About Zoe S
Lives in Vendee, France
Since Feb 2009
25-34 year old female
I'm a freelance travel writer and guidebook updater for the Rough Guides, who splits her time between London and rural France, but am happiest when I'm on the road. I've spent a lot of time traveling in Turkey - in particular, Goreme & Cappadocia, Istanbul and Antalya - while writing and updating for the Rough Guide to Turkey and the Rough Guide to Istanbul, as well as writing for Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman and blogging about Turkey for World Nomads. Another favourite spot is South America, where I lived and worked in Buenos Aires, traveled extensively through Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, and volunteered in Lima, Peru and Quito, Ecuador. Traveling for me is about the journey- about venturing into the unknown, connecting with locals and experiencing everything a destination has to offer. I'm passionate about sustainable and eco-friendly travel, and am most inspired by natural landscapes, often choosing to explore on foot, by bike or on horseback.
Architectural Buildings, Religious Sites
Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites
Speciality Museums, Castles
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Neighbourhoods, Theatres
The most atmospheric introduction to Antalya is a walking tour of Kaleici – the historic walled center that dates back to Roman times, but now forms the heart of the modern city. Lose yourself in the maze of streets, stopping for tea at a traditional teahouse, browsing the many souvenir shops, or admiring historic landmarks like Kesik Minare (Broken Minaret), the Saat Kulesi clock tower and the Mehmet Pasa mosque.
One of Kaleici most striking buildings, the Yivli Minare Mosque (the 'Fluted Minaret' mosque) dates back to the 13th-century and it's more than just a navigational landmark. Visitors are allowed inside the mosque, except during prayer times.
Still as grand and imposing as it probably was in Roman times, the triple-arched Hadrian's Gate is the monumental entryway to the old town and dates back to 130 AD. The gate leads to one of my favorite areas of Kaleiçi – a warren of quiet side-streets dotted with restored Ottoman-era buildings, open-air cafes and tiny arts and crafts shops.
Escape the bustle of Kaleiçi for a picnic in the picturesque Karaalioglu Park, where you'll find flower-lined walkways, plenty of shady benches and a scenic seafront promenade.
Located at the edge of the Karaalioglu Park, Mermerli Beach is Antalya's only city beach. It's small, but has everything necessary for an afternoon of swimming and sunbathing – a sandy beach, calm shallow waters and an onsite bar/restaurant.
Easily one of Turkey's top museums, leave yourself plenty of time to take in the many exhibits at the Antalya Archaeological Museum, most notably a collection of friezes and statues excavated from the ancient city of Perge.
If you can't visit all of Turkey's iconic buildings, this quirky attraction might be the next best thing, with miniature sculptures of the dozens of the country's most memorable sights. Look out for the Aspendos theater, Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and Pamukkale Hierapolis.
A favorite of mine for its huge range of mezes, tasty kebabs and casseroles, all at affordable prices, Pasa Bey Kebapcisi is a top choice for a leisurely lunch, and it draws a good mix of locals and tourists.
Antalya's historic harbor is a lively spot filled with souvenir shops, waterfront cafes and colorful sailing boats. Board one of the traditional vessels or pirate ships for a boat tour of the coastal caves and waterfalls.
Once a watchtower that marked the meeting of the Antalya's land and sea walls, the imposing tower of Hidirlik Kulesi is an unmistakable landmark located at the edge of the Karaalioglu Park.
If, like me, your knowledge of Roman history is limited, it's best to visit with a guide who will help bring to life the vast agora, grand colonnaded street and Greco-Roman amphitheater that once made up ancient Perge. Dating back to before 1500 BC, it's the most important of Turkey's ancient Pamphylian cities, so if you only visit one ancient city, make it this one.
Combine a trip to Perge with nearby Aspendos, one of Turkey's best preserved Roman amphitheaters, dating back to 155AD. Be sure to climb to the top of the theater, where you can enjoy the views over the hillside and explore the ruins of the ancient Roman acropolis.
A worthwhile detour en-route to nearby Side, the Manavgat Falls offer a scenic backdrop for a walk or a drink at one of the waterfront cafes.
Head to nearby Side for lunch at this waterfront restaurant, which offers stylish surroundings, friendly service and a reasonably priced menu with a variety of local fish and seafood, and international dishes.
The entire town of Side is like an open-air museum, with the remains of its ancient city scattered throughout the modern tourist resort. The Temple of Apollo is an obvious highlight and makes a striking sight perched on the edge of the coastal cliffs, but don't miss the neighboring Athena temple, the monumental gate at the entrance to the walled old town, the agora and the huge 20,000 seat theater.