Category: Photo of the Day

Top Five Antalya Day Trips



The lovely harbor of Kaleiçi, which dates back to Roman times.

Did you know that Antalya is one of the top tourist destination in the world, with more than 10 million tourists arriving each year?  Antalya is both a city and a region.  The city of Antalya has about two million people.  It has a lovely historic center, Kaleiçi, which boasts buildings from Ottoman times and a number of Roman sites. Kaleiçi would be my choice of a place to use as a base to see the area, if I didn’t already live here. The region of Antalya includes many popular tourist destinations such as Side, Belek, Kemer, Olympos, Cirali, and Kaş. There are miles of lovely beaches and hundreds of all-inclusive resorts to fit any budget.


Nate exploring the cliffs on a winter day. How do we know it is winter? There are clouds, and he has a light jacket on!

We moved to Antalya in December 2014 and we love it!  The weather is amazing. December, January, and half of February are rainy and windy. The second half of February already felt like the beginning of spring with mild sunshine in the low 60’s, interspersed with a day or two of rain.  It’s quite similar to a California winter. March was definitely  spring, with a little rain. So far, April almost feels like the beginning of summer! May and June are hot with summer-like temperatures in the 80’s.  July, August, and the first half of September are wickedly hot and humid; that’s when we like to get out of the city. When the humidity breaks sometime in mid to late September, the weather is again warm and sunny into October.  Even November has mild sunny days!


The park where I took this photo is just a short walk for us. This was taken in April…notice the snow on the mountains, overlooking the Mediterranean!

We have lots of guests who visit us, and we enjoy showing them our lovely area.  There are many significant archaeological sites and nature parks that are easily reached on a day trip: Phaselis, Termessos, Kurşunlu Şelalesi (Waterfall), and Perga are the ones we have visited and enjoyed. Here are some of our favorite day trips:


Be sure to try freshly squeezed orange or pomegranate juice.

1. Kaleiçi has buildings dating from Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman times. It has lovely parks, cobblestone roads lined with flowers, charming restaurants and cafes, and a myriad of little shops.


It’s fun to get lost in the little streets filled with shops, cafes, and boutique hotels.

Be sure to take a boat ride, but be sure to bargain with the guys trying to get you on their boat!  They will often say something like, “Normally it costs 22 Euros, but for you, only 10 Euros!” Don’t pay more than 10 TL for the 30 minute ride! The price starts to drop as you walk away, and bargains are made especially when the motor is running and the boat is about to pull away.


Don’t pay more than 10TL for the 30 minute ride!

There’s a lovely, large tea garden next to the statue in the photo below. Locals love to come to the tea garden and have Turkish tea, snacks, sit and talk while enjoying the view over the Mediterranean.


This is on the eastern end of Kaleiçi, off of Işikar Caddesi.

2. Phaselis has ancient ruins located on three sparkling bays, surrounded by forest…what can be better??!!  It’s one of our favorite places to have a picnic, combined with a leisurely walk through the ruins and a swim in the sea.


Enjoying one of the bays just steps from the ruins on an April day.

Phaselis is located between Kemer and Olympos. The town was founded in 700 BC and became an important center of commerce between Greece, Egypt and Asia. At one time it was captured by Alexander the Great!


Phaselis was often under threat by pirates.


Don’t forget to bring a picnic lunch:)

3. Termessos was a Psidian city built in the Taurus Mountains. The ruins are some of the best preserved in Turkey, and it is surrounded by pine forests in a national park. The views from the amphitheater are stunning! The hike does take you uphill, so be prepared with sturdy hiking shoes.


Termessos is one of the best preserved sites in Turkey.

Termessos is located within the Güllük Dağı National Park.  It’s best to get there by car.  It is possible to go by public transport by a domuş from the otogar (bus station); you will be dropped on the side of the highway across from the entrance to Termessos. There is a steep 9K climb up to Termessos, or you can pay for an expensive cab to take you up, wait for you, and bring you down again. I’d recommend renting a car; they are only $20-$30 per day for a small economy car. We use and pick up the car from the airport; they have always been reliable thus far.


One of Termessos’ claim to fame is that the city defied Alexander the Great in 333 BC.

4. Kurşunlu Waterfall Nature Park is in a beautiful pine forest; it’s a pleasant and easy hike with picnic facilities and a small outdoor café by the water. It’s just a short drive (under 30 minutes) from Antalya. We’d recommend renting a car, although there is a dolmuş that stops there infrequently. Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed!



Andy loved this Oreo-based milkshake… it was a nice way to end our exploration at the cafe by the water!

5. Perga was an ancient city of Pamphylia, and was renowned for its worship of Artemis, the Anatolian nature goddess. There was an annual festival in her honor, and coins depicted her image and that of the temple. The ruins of Perga stretch across 15 kilometers.


Alexander the Great stopped here after Phaselis.

Perga was visited by the Apostle Paul as recorded in Acts 14: 23-25.

23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting,committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. 24 After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, 25 and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.

Attalia = Ancient name for Antalya!

Perga later became an important center of Christianity, during the reign of Constantine.


The first mention of Perga was in Hittite times, when it was known as Parha.

Other day trips that we have not yet done are Duden Waterfalls and the Olympos Aerial Tram. The  Antalya Aquarium is a bit pricey but interesting with its long tunnel with fish swimming overhead. Check Tripadvisor’s list for more to see and do in Antalya:

Things to do in Antalya

Of course, other great day trips include visits to the beaches.  Lara Beach (sandy) is to the east of Kaleiçi, and Konyaalti Beach (pebbly) is to the west. They are easy to visit via bus and /or tram, depending on which beach you choose. Be sure to swim, once the weather is warm enough.  The Mediterranean is crystal clear and warm.


Our local swimming pool:)

Enjoy this lovely area and let me know what your favorite places are!



Kaleici's harbor in Antalya

Kaleici’s harbor in Antalya

After six months of traveling, 30+ homes/beds, our nomadic family have a new home!  We have settled in Antalya, Turkey, on the Mediterranean Coast. We love it here!

This park is just a short walk for us.  This as taken in April...notice the snow on the mountains!

Mediterranean. Mountains. Perfection. This was taken in April…notice the snow on the mountains!

I have been in love with Turkey since my first visit more than 20 years ago.  I was traveling with my best friend from college (a ten month backpacking low budget trip around the world) when we discovered Turkey without planning it ahead of time. As we met other young college-aged travelers, and they heard that we were heading for Europe and Greece, many said, “Are you going to Turkey?? You gotta go to Turkey!!”  Being the Americans we are, Turkey wasn’t on our radar. Turkey is the vacation hotspot for Europeans, Russians, and many other nationalities. We decided to see for ourselves what everyone was raving about.  So we took a boat over from Greece to Turkey. I was hooked immediately!

The water is beautifully clear, like a swimming pool.

The water is beautifully clear, like a swimming pool.

Anyone who has traveled to Turkey needs no explanation of why I fell in love with this country.  For those of you who haven’t yet been here, it’s the friendly, welcoming people; the delicious food, the abundance of fascinating archeological sites: the miles of beautiful beaches, the fascinating city of Istanbul straddling two continents, the culture, the sunshine…I could go on and on! There are even amazing archeological sites on beautiful beaches, where you can enjoy great food with friends.

The ruins of ancient Phaselis sit amongst three beautiful bays, nestled in a forrest.  It's no wonder the Romans decided to build here!

The ruins of ancient Phaselis sit amongst three beautiful bays, nestled in a forest. It’s no wonder the Romans decided to build here!

We decided to move to Antalya after coming to visit in February 2014.  We discovered that it has an international airport, with direct flights to many cities in Europe and the Middle East.  Istanbul is just a one hour flight away.  Antalya is the main city in Turkey’s Turquoise Coast.  Did you know that it’s one of the top five travel destination in the world??!! More than 10 million people visit here every year!!  Most go to the numerous all inclusive resorts along the beautiful Mediterranean coast. 300 hundred sunny days a year sounds pretty good to those coming from cooler, European climates!

This view is just a short walk from our flat!

This view is just a short walk from our flat!

Antalya’s old city of Kaleici is super charming.  It’s small, and easy to navigate. There are, of course, all the touristy shops selling carpets, Turkish delight, spices, souvenirs, and trinkets.

Always bargain before purchasing!

Always bargain before purchasing!

You can get lost in the windy streets full of restored houses from the Ottoman days. However, as long as you head downward, you’ll end up at the lovely port. Going on a boat ride ride is a must-do.  Be sure to negotiate the price of the boat ride!  Prices go down as a boat is about to pull away. Children are free.

There are lots of boats to choose from; lots have a pirate motif.

There are lots of boats to choose from; lots have a pirate motif.

There are many historical sights from Antalya’s multi-layered past.

We have had a steady stream of visitors.  It is fun to show friends our new city!

We have had a steady stream of visitors. It is fun to show friends our new city!

Hadrian's Gate....built in honor of Emperor Hadrian's visit here in the 100's.

Hadrian’s Gate….built in honor of Emperor Hadrian’s visit here in the second century.


There are many wonderful day trips you can go on.  I’ll be writing more about them in the future. Here are some of our favorites:

Ancient Termessos

Ancient Termessos

Side, a lovely sea side town with fascinating Roman ruins and a long sandy beach.

Side, a lovely sea side town with fascinating Roman ruins and a long sandy beach.

Phaselis is great to take in the ruins, enjoy  a picnic by the sea, and have a swim.

Phaselis is great to take in the ruins, enjoy a picnic by the sea, and have a swim.

Come see why more than 10 million people come here for vacation every year!

We went to this lovely seaside town last month and we are  looking forward to returning next week!

We went to this lovely seaside town last month and we are looking forward to returning next week!

The end of a lovely, sunny day in February!

The end of a lovely, sunny day in February!

Sariyer, Turkey: February 2013

Sariyer, Turkey: February 2013

This was taken on a rainy day last February on one of the stops on the half day Bosphorus cruise with friends.  The harbor was so colorful!

Château de Chenonceau

It looks like Andy is standing in front of a painted set!

We went to this lovely castle when we were staying in the Loire Valley when our daughter, Samantha, joined us in France in the summer of 2012. The Loire Valley is dotted with beautiful castles, but this was my favorite!

Venice...or is it?

Venice…or is it?

On Thursday we surprised Nate with a trip to Legoland, a day trip from Munich.  He was delighted, to say the least!  Besides lots of fun rides, they had lego replicas of several famous cities, Venice being one of them.  Compare with the photo below!

The real Venice:)

The real Venice:)

The Pegasus fountain, where Julie Andrews sang "Do Re Mi" with the Von Trapp children.

The Pegasus fountain, where Julie Andrews sang “Do-Re-Mi” with the Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music.

Yesterday we took the train to Salzburg from Munich.  It was a lovely, sunny day.  Salzburg is such a beautiful city!  We walked all over the city, as it is very compact. The views from the fortress on the hill are stunning! It was a great day trip from Munich, but left us wanting to go back to explore it some more…sometime in the future. One day definitely wasn’t enough!

My two crazy men!

My two crazy men!

We took the train from Prague to Munich on Saturday, and spent yesterday exploring Munich.  The photo was taken at Marienplatz, the historic city center since the 1100’s.


Utah Beach

Utah Beach, July 2013

The D-Day invasion of Normandy took place on June 6th, 1944. Utah Beach was the code name for the westernmost of the Allied landing beaches. If you continued walking down the beach, you would eventually  arrive at Omaha Beach, which saw the heaviest casualties of American soldiers (dramatized in the first scene of Saving Private Ryan). It was a sobering experience to walk on this beach, to imagine the hundreds of landing craft, and to remember the brave young soldiers who risked and gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy.