Situated in a stunning harbor of limestone cliffs surrounding by forested mountains, Antalya has served as a crucial port town from the 3rd century B.C. onwards.
The city found its beginning around 150 BC by King Attalus of Pergamon, establishing the city as a base for his large naval fleet. Roman rule almost immediately followed, as well as large construction projects which expanded the city. Most notable is Hadrian’s Gate, the last remaining of the ancient city’s several gates. Antalya prospered under several dynasties as the years followed, where many rulers prized the port for its access to regions around the Mediterranean, ranging from Byzantines, Seljuks to Ottomans. Some of the most impressive remains of Seljuk rule are the kulliye of structures, highlighted by the Yivli, or Fluted, Minaret.
The long history of this port city reminds a modern visitor the importance of a sea port, especially in the later periods of the Silk Roads where the Maritime Routes gained such importance. Surrounding Antalya in all directions are stunning remains of forgone empires, making a trip to this region well worth it for the curiosu explorer. Antalya, Turkey's fifth-largest city, still retains much of the excitement that the Silk Roads brought to this town over the past two milenia.
THE SILK ROAD JOURNAL
How We Got Here:
Antalya is a major Mediterranean port in southern Turkey. We arrived via a long bus from Kayseri.
Stumbling upon Kekova on the Turquoise Coast. Very few people were at this crystal-blue stretch of Mediterranean, dotted with underwater remains and warm and shallow swimming holes.
Tenting on the beach of Fethiye after dark, hearing only the crashing of waves feet from our tent, and waking up to a beautiful sunrise revealing bright blue water.
➨ Skirting the Shores of Lycia ~ Read the Story
S N A P S H O T S O N T H E R O A D
W H E R E W I L L Y O U R J O U R N E Y T A K E Y O U N E X T ?
Leaving Antalya presents a problem in that the pleasant Mediterranean Coast puts a spell on the restless explorer, but also that an endless supply of branches could be used to advance to China. As bartering commences with a sailor, two viable options present itself.
Voyage across the Mediterranean to the bustling port of Antioch and onwards through Persia and India, or sail more south to the ancient port city of Tyre and make your way through the King's Highway.