The Gulf of Antalya, located in southwest Anatolia, was known in ancient days as the Gulf of Pamphylia. The mountain ranges encircling the Gulf run parallel to each other along the coast, but later intersect each other at the Lakes Region to the north.
Travelogues, especially those written in the 19th century by Western archaeologists, historians, artists, architects, sailors and geographers, refer to the nature around Antalya as “extraordinary.” The depiction of Antalya’s natural environment by the 19th century traveller Karl Lanckoronski is especially noteworthy: “Anyone who wants to witness the beauty of the mountains should come here. Mountains overlap each other as if in a hurry to reach the sea. The harmony of every shade of green and blue dazzles the spectator and constantly changes with the daily path of the sun. Waterfalls, rivers, date trees, minarets... In short, the imaginary depictions of magnificent landscapes by European authors can be found here for real.”
The famed Ottoman navigator Piri Reis outlines the ports he explored around the Gulf according to the geographic location of the rivers and mountains rising behind them, just as he did in other areas of the Mediterranean.
In ancient times, the most familiar places located around the bay, such as Pamphylia, Lycia, Pisidia and Isauria, enabled visitors to enjoy the pristine environment and experience traditional ways of life. In light of the accounts of explorers throughout the centuries, those sightseeing trips provided plenty of opportunities for those interested in nature and history to make their own observations.