Antakya or Antalya? Definitively Antakya, the main city of the beautiful region of Hatay located in the South East of Turkey. A city of tolerance, peace, nature, tasty foodie dishes and a looong history.
To begin with all Hatay region has a rich history dating from the Paleolithic ages going through Hittites period, Persians conquers, Greek occupation, Roman rise….and many more that we will discover in a museum that takes you through all the ages and civilizations that created this part of Turkey.
Hatay Archaeology Museum is the world largest mosaic museum and contains one of the world’s finest collections of Roman and Byzantine mosaics, covering a period from the 1st century AD to the 5th century. Worth to mention that a new museum was open inside The Museum Hotel Antakya.
Antakya, the main city of the region is the well-known Roman city Antioch, one of the most important cities from Roman Empire due to spice trade, Silk Road, and to Royal Road.
From religious point of view, Antakya is also the place where St Peter first preached about Christianity, in a church built on the hills of Antakya. The area is also well known for its religious tolerance as we will be able to visit a mosque, a synagogue and a Catholic church in a 300 m square.
Even though you will have a lot of learn about Turkish culture and what all civilizations left behind during centuries you will also have the change here to interact with Armenian culture because, in Hatay, you will find the single Armenian village left in Turkey, Vafliki village, actually a small community of 150 people that are mostly living from selling their home made goods.
We revealed a little about history, religion, culture but there is more. Hatay as a region is UNESCO recognized for its creativity in gastronomy and will make any foodie to fall in love with all the tastes and flavors that can be find here. All the civilizations that passed around, proper weather for agriculture almost all year and the fact that people try to conserve their traditions as much as they can made out of Hatay food a real piece of art
You can always enjoy some of the hundreds of foods in an old stone building transformed in a cozy, modern or traditional restaurant or you can have unique experiences by eating actually in the middle of the nature on waterfalls. We won’t tell you here everything as you must come and see, feel and live these places so you can understand them.