Anatolia is the main town in a popular holiday region on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The combination of miles and miles of sandy beaches and historic sights attracts an ever-growing number of tourists, most of them from Western Europe.
The story of Anatolia is long and turbulent. Though the place has been settled throughout all of history it wasn’t until the second century B.C. that Greek settlers founded a town. The Romans swiftly took over rule and praised the fertile soil and mild climate. In 130 B.C Emperor Hadrian and his wife Sabina visited the town and were greeted with a huge triumphal arch. Hadrian’s Gate is still in its old place and has been carefully restored, as have parts of the old town wall, built during the 13th century.
Not far from Hadrian’s Gate you will find a beautiful old mosque, built during the 19th century on the foundations of an ancient temple. The general mixture of ancient and oriental styles makes for an extremely attractive townscape. Continuing your walk towards the sea you will pass an ancient defensive tower, erected by the Romans who also illustrated its second function as a lighthouse in frescoes. The tower can be climbed and offers a spectacular view over the town and the harbour. From here it is just a few steps to the harbor where small fishing boats softly rock on the water. Should this inspire you to jump in as well, we recommend the beaches on the western and eastern edge of town where you can swim, snorkel, surf and jet ski.
Staying in the city you have yet to see the main landmark of Anatolia: the clock tower and minarets of Yivli Minare have been watching over the Old Town since the middle ages. To get a much better understanding of the city’s history visit the open air museum, recreating 3,000 years of rural and urban history, and the archeological museum, one of the biggest in the country. Should you not want to return home empty-handed check out the old bazaar district behind the clock tower. In typical winding alleys you can find all sorts of beautifully crafted souvenirs and jewellery. Do not shy away from haggling, it is actually expected of you and the sellers will be slightly disappointed if you do not try.
Though the town offers plenty of entertainment you should also explore the surrounding countryside. Whether you go east or west, there is a scenic coastal road which will inevitably take you past ancient relics and gorgeous shoreline. Should you prefer to have a set destination take your car in north-eastern direction to Perge. A number of well-preserved Roman buildings are perfect motifs to fill up the memory card of your camera. The most impressive constructions are an amphitheater, an agora (market square), and town gates. For a touch of exclusivity check out one of the golf courses around Belek, a town south of Perge on the coast. No less than five 18 hole courses offer all-round service including child care.
CarDelMar wishes you a pleasant stay in Anatolia with car hire!