The ancient city of Termessos is known for being one of the most dramatically situated ancient cities in Turkey. Set high in a steep mountain setting (24 miles and one hour) north of the popular Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya, Termessos is currently a protected area set in Gulluk Dagi National Park. On arrival at the park you’ll come across places to grab a bite to eat (a restaurant, cafe and snack shop) and you’ll also see the famous “exhibition room” which is in essence a museum that houses photos of Termessos’s ruins. Visitors will also be greeted by tour guides who offer their services to those who want a more in depth insight into the stories behind the archaeology of this famous unrestored site. If you prefer to move around without a guide, you can rest assured that all major buildings are clearly marked and that paths are kept clear of debris so you can amble your way around the “Indiana Jones” style terrain and discover its historic delights. A visit to Termessos really is a great opportunity to marvel at the ancient beauty that Turkey has to offer. Make sure you don your walking boots, as the terrain is partly an uphill affair (not for the faint hearted). A walk uphill is well worth it though. As on arrival at the Theatre you’re in for a treat of breathtakingly beautiful views of the forests and valleys. Other must see sights at the higher level include the Upper Agora, Odeon-Bouleuterion, Hereon (monumental tomb), a Colonnaded Street, and the Corinth Temple. The necropolis is a 15-minute hike from the Theater, some of it uphill. And so, after soaking up the heaps of history and picturesque panoramic views you’ll need to brace yourself for the walk back down the rocky path. But, all in all, if you’re looking for a day out that lets you learn, soak up an authentic Turkish historic site and work up a small sweat.
Don your best walking shoes and take a trip to Termessos.
The park opens at 08.30 am in the summer and last entry is at 17.30 pm. However you do not have to leave the park until 19.30 pm. In the winter opening times vary, often due to bad weather such as heavy rain, snow or fog. It’s also important to be aware that there’s a small entrance fee too. If you’re thinking of visiting the park it’s advised that you set aside at least half a day (or let’s say 3 to 5 hours) in the earlier hours of the day, come armed with a bottle of water and a packed lunch in readiness for a day out at this historic place.