Turquoise Coast

Some 17km east of Antalya, Perge was one of the most important towns of ancient Pamphylia. Inside the site, walk through the massive Roman Gate with its four arches. To the left is the southern nymphaeum and well-preserved baths, and to the right, the large square-shaped agora. Beyond the Hellenistic Gate, with its two huge towers, is the fine colonnaded street, where there's an impressive collection of columns. Allow two hours to fully tour the site, which has very little shade.

The water source for the narrow concave channel running down the centre of the colonnaded street was the northern nymphaeum, which dates to the 2nd century AD. From here it's possible to follow a short path to the ridge of the hill with the acropolis where there are stupendous views over the ruins.

Perge's 12,000-seat theatre and impressive stadium are located along the access road just after the main site entrance and car park.

Perge experienced two golden ages: during the Hellenistic period in the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC and under the Romans in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD (from which most of the ruins here date). Turkish archaeologists first began excavations here in 1946 and a selection of the statues discovered – many in magnificent condition – can be seen at the Antalya Museum. Excavations and restoration work continue on-site.

Antalya's AntRay tram extends east to Aksu. From İsmet Paşa tram stop in central Antalya, it's 14 stops to Aksu. From the tram stop, it's an easy 2km walk to the ruins. Many Antalya travel agencies run combined excursions to Perge and Aspendos. A half-day taxi tour will be about €45 for the two sites.

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