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Daily excursions from Side - II /Antique cities


An important city of ancient Pamphylian, Perge (18 km from Antalya) was originally settled by the Hittites around 1500 BC St. Paul preached some of his first sermons here. The theater's stage has finely carved marble relieves; other carvings from around the city are displayed in the stadium. Amateur archaeologists will want to see the handsome city gate flanked by two lofty towers, a long colonnaded road once paved with mosaics and lined with shops, a large agora, the public baths and a gymnasium. The name Perge comes from Anatolian dialect; nonetheless, in ancient times the townsmen believed that it had been founded by Greek heroes after the siege of Troy. Perge is also know because it is the birth-place of the mathematician Apollonius, author of a famous treatise on geometry.

Other structures include the necropolis, city walls, gymnasium, Roman Baths, memorial fountain and the Greek and Roman gates.


In the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, is located on a natural plateau flanked by two mountains at 1040 meters above from the sea level. It is one of the best preserved archaeological sites in south Turkey and the only town that Alexander the Great never managed to conquer. During the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C., Termessos was at the peak of its glory and boasted as many as 150,000 inhabitants; most of its buildings also date back to this period. Later on, it was severely damaged by an earthquake and gradually become less populated until it was completed deserted in the 7th century A.D. Of all the ruins, the most impressive by far is the Theatre; hewn out of the rock, it offers a view as far as Antalya. An outstanding feature of Termessos remains the large number of tombs, all around the slopes to the east, west and south. 


(75 km to Antalya) Near Kemer are the remains of ancient Olympos founded during the 3rd century B.C. and pirates' den before becoming a Roman Empire. The ancient city of Olympos is situated on the southern side of Mt. Tahtali. Oleander and laurel bushes shade the Olympos Valley, which you can approach by land and sea. The play of light on the quiet pools of water enhances the mosaics in the bath. A temple gate and theater also remain from antiquity. The outer walls and towers around the bay date from the Middle Ages. North of Olympos up from Cirali Beach, is Yanartas (at a height of 300 meters) where according to mythology the Lycian hero Bellerephon, mounted on his winged horse Pegasus slew the fire-breathing monster, Chimera. Gas, which seeps from the earth, burns brightly at night at this site, which the Byzantine also considered a religious area. Homer narrates in the IV book of the Illiad that it was the dwelling-place of Chimaera, the fire breathing monster, part lion, goat and serpent, which gave it its name.

Apart from the ruins, Olympos is well known for its simple tree house camps, where most tourists stay, and a natural environment thanks to forests and vineyards near to a beautiful beach.


The ancient remains of Ariassos, around 50km from Antalya, are located on a slope and contain baths and rock tombs.


Phaselis founded by Rhodes at the beginning of the 6th century B.C., it soon became an important harbour, as can be deduced from the ships portrayed on coins. The Theatre dates back to the 2th century A.D. The arches of the Aqueduct that supplied the city stand out the green of the pines. Lastly, one can admire the Baths and the paved road that leads to the gate erected in honor of the emperor Hadrian. This antiquity harbour city were once a major commercial center/ The ruins of aqueducts, agoras, baths, a theater, Hadrian's Gate and an Acropolis reveal the city's historical importance. From the south harbour, look up at Mountain Tahtali (Mt.Olympos) for a spectacular view. The sheltered sandy beaches make a superb playground, and the waters are calm and safe for swimmers.


Believed to have been in existence since the 5th century, Limyra is still in existence despite a massive earthquake in the mid 19th century although was emptied in the 7th and 9th centuries after the Arab invasions. The city, which is 11km south, composes of three section; the acropolis, areas of settlement, and necropolis.


Excavations of this city reveal that it probably existed from the 5th century BC, and controlled much of the Arycanda valley. Having survived a destructive earthquake in 240 AD, the city maintained its prominence until the 11th century, and its most important structures still survive today.

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