Antalya is a beautifully sunny seaside city located on the Mediterranean in southwestern Turkey. It is surrounded by gorgeous, picturesque scenery and is located on the top of a cliff over the sea. Famous for its beaches, Antalya has 290 km of natural beach on the southern side and is and bordered by the Taurus mountains on the north. The centre of the city is located on a rocky plain right next to the coast.
Antalya has become one of the country’s most desireable vacation spots and is a modern city with a relaxed, Mediterranean atmosphere. It is also an ancient city going back to Greek and Roman times, and has many sites that survive from this period. The city was founded in 158 B.C. by the Roman king Attalos and called Attaleia at the time. The strong walls of the city were built by Emperor Hadrian and reinforced by the Byzantines many years later to defend themselves from the Arabs.
Only a little over 25 years ago, however, Antalya was little more than a rustic fishing village with its ancient architecture falling into disrepair. But the building of a five-star hotel in the 1970s put the town on the path toward becoming a resort hotspot, and the restoration of landmarks and new efforts toward historical preservation of the old town quickly transformed Antalya into a real Mediterranean gem. It has a population of approximately 775,157 and is the capital of the large Antalya Province.
Antalya has a typical Mediterranean climate with a great deal of sun, hot, dry summers, and very mild, fairly rainy winters. The city gets around 300 days of sun a year, with most of the cloudy and rainy days falling in autumn and winter. Winter temperatures tend to fall between 6 – 16˚C, while in summer the usual range is between 19 – 35˚C, though temperatures of 40-45˚C are not unheard of. However, even when the weather is extremely hot, the sea breeze helps to make it feel bearable. The sea temperature is always delightfully warm, and almost never goes below 17˚C at any time of year. In summer, the water temperature often reaches 27 or 28˚C.
The language of Antalya is Turkish. English and German are the main second languages and are generally spoken at all tourist sites and hotels, as well as other places if you are lucky.