Pamphylia (Turkish: Pamfilya) is a region in the southern Mediterranean region of Turkey. With large sandy beaches backed by Roman ruins, Pamphylia is great for swimmers, as well as history lovers.
- 1 Antalya – the largest city and hub of the region
- 2 Aksu – a small city close to Lara, Kundu, and Perge
- 3 Alanya – a coastal resort city with some history to see dating back to Seljuqs
- 4 Belek – golf courses amidst pine woods
- 5 Kumköy – a coastal resort near Side
- 6 – hub for visiting nearby waterfalls
- 7 Serik – a small city close to Aspendos
- 8 Side – a seaside resort with some well-protected Roman ruins including an amphitheatre
- Köprülü National Park – 92 km northeast of Antalya, this national park is based on Köprülü Canyon, with a Roman bridge and restaurants offering fresh trout
- Saklıkent Ski Resort – 45 km west of Antalya, usually possible to ski November through May
- 1 Termessos – ancient Pisidian city 30 km northwest of Antalya over the mountains; one of the best preserved ancient cities in Turkey with an amphitheater and rock-cut tombs
The region occupies northern coasts of Gulf of Antalya, a large indentation of Mediterranean Sea, and some places more inland. Pamphylia is one of the rare large coastal plains in western Mediterranean Turkey, which results in large and long sandy beaches. The plains are backed by the Taurus Mountains, which gets closer to the coast as you approach east, where the terrain is much more mountainous, and the mountains usually ascending from right at the edge of the sea.
In modern administrative terms, Pamphylia lies on the central and eastern two-thirds of Antalya Province.
Tourism scene in the region largely consists of all inclusive resorts with an abundance of palm trees mainly serving package tourists, with a wealth of Roman ruins all around in the mix and mountains overlooking the coastal strip.
The only international airport in the region is Antalya Airport (AYT IATA), located in the outskirts of Antalya. Another one, Gazipaşa Airport, about 40-50 km southeast of Alanya, is under construction.
Lycian Way, a waymarked hiking trail, is a great, if a bit tiresome, way of getting into the region. It connects Fethiye and several towns and ancient sites (some of which are off the beaten track in a literal sense) along the Lycian coast with Hisarçandır, a village up on the mountains southwest of Antalya.
D400 Highway enters the region from its both western and eastern extremities and traverses the whole region with closely following the shoreline, and thus connecting all significant coastal cities and towns (i.e., all of those relevant to travellers).
People in the region are not very friendly towards hitchhikers. But unfriendliness here should not be taken as that you will be shown middle fingers or that they will stop next to you, express some nasty comment, and accelerate as fast as they stopped: They just don’t stop, and behave like you are not even there. Even if you are a very good stop (nearby traffic lights, lots of cars, and a large shoulder to pull over), expect to wait at least two hours for a lift (at least in eastern and northern sections of the province: the highway between Antalya–Alanya and the highway north from Antalya), but maybe that was the general unluck of two males hitching together.
- 1 Aspendos (7 km northeast of central Serik), ☏ +90 2427357337. Daily: summer 08:00-19:00, winter 08:30-17:30. A former Greco-Roman city. At specific dates, Anatolian dance performances are carried out for visitors. Official website. 42 TL.
- 1 King's Pool (Kral Havuzu) (follow the red signs. the gps marker seems off, but ask the locals as soon as you are there). A wonder of nature worth seeing, a beautiful pool in an impressive canyon at a cliff. Some people even camp here overnight. Free.
The telephone code for Pamphylia (as well as part of Lycia) is (+90) 242.
While Pamphylia has some of the finest beaches of Mediterranean Turkey, there is more to the Turkish coast than just Pamphylia. The following are some of the nearby places that are also worth a trip:
- Lycia to the west — the "Blue Voyage" takes you to gorgeous coves surrounded by verdant mountains bestowed by plenty of historic sites.
- The Cilician Mountains to the east — beaches, pine forests, and historical sights again, but much less touristed (and indeed, more thinly populated) than Pamphylia.
- Northern Cyprus to the southeast — it is possible to catch a ferry to Kyrenia from Alanya in high season.
- The Lakes District to the north — over the Taurus Mountains, this inland area is an off the beaten path destination.