Tour possibilities from Antalya are :
Side, Perge, Aspendos :
Side is a must-see. And what makes it so appealing is that its archaeological relics are scattered around the old town. First you'll see Side's showpiece - the Temple of Apollo. It's said that Anthony and Cleopatra held love trysts under its shining white columns. Afterwards, you'll have time to explore Side on your own, before heading for the Manavgat Waterfalls for more great photo opportunities.
First on the history hitlist is the classical city of Perge. This once bustling Roman port was founded around 1300 BC and the first stop for St. Paul on his missionary journeys around the Mediterranean. Take a tour, stepping through the triumphal Roman gate to admire the ruined temples, marketplace and fountains. On the column-lined main street, meanwhile, you can even see the grooves in the flagstones created by long-ago chariot wheels. There’s also a magnificent, 12,000-seater Roman stadium and the remnants of a Bronze Age acropolis.
Leaving Perge behind, it’s then on to Aspendos to see the one of the world’s best-preserved Roman theatre. Built into a steep hillside and big enough for 15,000 spectators, this vast semicircular edifice was used to stage plays 2,000 years ago. And its perfect acoustics mean that it’s still used for operas and concerts today.
Sagalassos is an archaeological site about 100 km north of Antalya and 30 km from Burdur and Isparta. In Roman Imperial times, the town was known as the 'first city of Pisidia', a region in the western Taurus mountains, currently known as the Turkish Lakes Region. Already during the Hellenistic period, it had been one of the major Pisidian towns. After having suffered from a major earthquake in the early sixth century ad, the town still managed to recover, but epidemics, water shortages, a general lack of security and stability, a failing economy and finally another devastating earthquake around the middle of the seventh century forced the inhabitants to abandon their town and resettle in the valley.
Large-scale excavations started in 1990. A large number of buildings, monuments and other archaeological remains have been exposed, documenting the monumental aspect of the Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine history of this town.
Olympos and the Chimeira :
Olympos is an ancient city which is located in a valley 90 km southwest of Antalya. The former city of Olympos was founded in the Hellenistic period, presumably taking its name from nearby Mount Olympos, one of over twenty mountains with the name Olympos in the Classical world. From these mountains, according to Homer, the god Poseidon looked out to sea and saw Odysseus sailing away from Calypso's island, and called up a great storm that wrecked him on the shores of the island of Nausicaa. The coins of the city of Olympos date back to the 2nd century BC. It was described as an ancient city full of riches and works of art. The city became one of the six leading cities of the Lycian League. In the 1st century BC, Olympos was invaded and settled by Cilician pirates. This ended in 78 BC, when the Romans took the city after a victory at sea, and added Olympos to the Roman Empire. The chief deity of Olympos was Hephaestus, god of fire and blacksmiths.
Near Olympos, located in the neighboring village of Çirali and about 200 metres above sea level, the eternal flames called the Chimaera may be seen issuing from the ground. The fuel source for the flames is natural gas, largely methane, seeping through cracks in the earth. The mythical Chimaera - or Chimera - was a monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a serpent, who roamed these woods and sprouted fire from her mouth.
For a different evening activity : “Fire of Anatolia” (May to October) Performance in the Antique Theater of Aspendos
The ancient region of Anatolia makes up most of central Turkey and its folklore has shaped much of the country’s wider culture and customs. And this world-famous show tells you the story of its past through the medium of dance. Featuring the incredible ‘Fire of Anatolia’ dance troupe, it’s Turkey’s answer to “Riverdance” : a cast of 120 dancers stepping, stomping and swirling to traditional folk music from the Black Sea to the Balkans. And ballet and acrobatic modern dance acts all backed by swirling Turkish music and drumming. Add dazzling lighting and costumes and you’ve got yourself a show you’ll never forget. Look out especially for the fastest dances. ‘Fire of Anatolia’ holds the world record for performing the most dancesteps in one minute - 241 to be precise. Accommodation: