The city of Antalya stretches along the bay bearing its name, and is built at 39 meters altitude on a rocky coastline. One is immediately struck by the Taurus mountains rising to 3086 meters above this coastline, intersperesed withvalleys of varying sizes. Land and sea everywhere meet the beaches stretching for miles or the steep cliffs. The Taurus mountains against the blue backdrop of the sky, the precipices and especially the caves close to the sea add another dimension to the beauty of the region.
Small and large streams emerging from the west side of the Taurus water the plains on their journey to the Mediterranean. This translucent running water, cascading into the sea at points along the coast, is another attractive sight.
The plant life of Antalya is extremely varied. Every kind of tropical plant can be found along the coast. Visitors to Antalya are struck by the size attained by the different species of cactus. When you reach the foothills of the Taurus, you will see they are covered in the typical Mediterranean maquis, while the forests are full of thriving oaks and pine trees. The coton and sesame plantations and citrus and banana groves of the plains have a beauty of their own.
In Antalya the four seasons only appear on the calendar, as there is no real winter here, so much so that when in 1985 for the first time in 60 years snow fell, it was front page news.
The summers are hot and rainless while the other months are warm and often rainy, with a mean annual temperature of 18.7 °C. On average there is no rain for 309.5 days a year. It is very rare for the temperature to drop below zero. During the last 40 years the highest recorded temperature was 44.6 °C. In Antalya the average humidty rate is 64%, whereas the seat temperatures are 17.6 °C in January, 18.0 °C in April, 27.7 °C in August and 24.5 °C in September.
Termessos is perhaps the most interesting ancient city in Antalya region. It is a Psidian city built at a height of 1050 meters in the Taurus Mountains. Termessos constitutes an unusual synthesis of a large number of rare plants and animal species, which are under protection in the Termessos National Park. When turning off the Antalya-Burdur highway (11 km.) in the direction of Korkuteli, the Termessos signpost will be seen 14 km. further on, and Termessos itself is a further 9 km. A visit to this site requires time and the stamina to walk uphill, because Termessos is built entirely on a mountainous area difficult to access.
This is one of the best preserved monuments in Antalya. This Roman edifice was built in 130 A.D. to honor the Emperor Hadrian. Formerly the city walls enclosed the outside of the gate and it was not used for many years. This may be the reason why it has not been destroyed, and it was only revealed when the walls collapsed. It is considered as Pamphylia's most beautiful Gate. The upper part has three apertures in the shape of a cupola, and except for the pillars is built entirely of white marble. The ornamentation is very striking. The original Gate was two storeys but little is known of the top storey.
On either side of the Gate are towers, which are known not to have been built at the same time. The southern one is known as the Julia Sancta tower and is a work of the Hadrian era. It was constructed of plain stone blocks. While the base of the northern tower belongs to antiquity, the upper part is left over from the Seljuks.
It is worth while stopping in front of the Gate and reflecting for a few moments. On the one hand you are standing on modern Antalya's dual carriageway, lined with palm and orange trees, Ataturk Caddesi, while behind you is ancient Attaleia, the past and the present separated by Pamphylia's most beautiful Gate, which itself has on either side towers representing the art and civilization of two different epochs. This blending of the epochs is something peculiar to Antalya and can be often seen.