Antalya first came to the limelight with the discovery of the Karain Cave, one of the oldest human settlements in the world. It hosted many civilisations from near and far thanks to its favourable climate and abundant plant and animal life. Located in southwest Anatolia, the Gulf of Antalya was known as the Gulf of Pamphylia in ancient times. Even though Antalya was established much later than other cities on the Gulf like Side, Aspendos, Perge and Phaselis,it grew at a rapid pace due to its natural harbour and its mountain passes which enabled access to the interior regions.
While these prominent cities of the past were abandoned over time, Antalya not only continued to exist, but flourished and is today one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean region. In the second half of the 20th century, strides made in the tourism sector bore fruit in a very short time. With its natural environment, historical attractions and world-class facilities Antalya has become one of the most important tourist centres in the world.