27 October 2014
 Antalya, Turkey: Ancient Treasure, Modern Lures

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Antalya is Turkey’s largest international sea resort, located on the Turkish Riviera.

Let me let loose some superlatives.

According to tourism authorities, Antalya is the fastest-growing city in Turkey with about a million people in and around the city. And last year, depending on who is doing the counting, Antalya became the third most visited city in the world by number of international arrivals, ranking behind Paris and London. Or perhaps fourth, or maybe fifth with Singapore and Bangkok in the mix.

In any case, a whole lot of foreign visitors, about 10 million per year. Plus many millions who come to the seashore from the hot interior of Turkey in the summer.

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The waterfront in Antalya. Photo by Corey Sandler

And in this Muslim country, in a place a few hundred miles from the border with Syria and just around the corner from the Middle East, the visitors come mostly to party.

There is a very active beach scene—usually from mid-April until early October, with quite a lot of flesh on display; some would look a whole lot better under cover.

There is the Aqua Land water park, and Dolphin Land in season.

And there is this: the Titanic Beach Lara, on the coast about 12 kilometers or 8 miles from Antalya. Restaurants, bars, 589 rooms in a landlocked hotel that is designed to sorta-kinda look like the SS Titanic. 

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The ancient Gate of Hadrian, a rug store in the city, and a hint of old times in Antalya.

Wonders never cease in this part of the world.

And for many of us, the true wonder is the spectacular Antalya Archeological Museum. It has a huge collection of ancient artifacts, coins, implements, and a enough Roman statues and sarcophagi to outfit an Eighth Wonder of the World.

Even better, on the day of our arrival the museum was closed.

But they opened it for our group of 26 guests and me, and we wandered about jaws agape.

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The Emperors Trajan, left, and Hadrian, right.

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The Hall of Statuary, left, and Hermes, right.

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A two-thousand-year-old sarcophagus, mirrored on the polished floor.

All photos by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.


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