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Perge, Turkey Guide

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="24" gal_title="Ancient Perge (near Antalya)"]

 

Perge is the closest significant Roman ruin to Antalya, and well worth a visit!

You can make a day of ruin-hopping by combining it with visits to AspendosTermessos and perhaps even Side (map).

The Great Theater and the stadium of Perge (PEHR-geh) are its most impressive and intact buildings, but the remnants of its massive Hellenistic-Roman gate-towers are most photographed because they're so unusual. The stadium has a 4 million TL reconstruction in order to be able to host modern day performance venues.

Through the gates are remnants of a fine colonnaded street—not as fine as the Arcadian Way at Ephesus, but still quite impressive. The southern baths and the agora are worth exploring. There are also multiple 5th & 6th century churches and temples that have recently been excavated. The acropolis, on a nearby hilltop, has few extant buildings but a fine overall panorama of the ruins. One of the best preserved Roman Bath's can be found at Perge as well. There is Biblical significance to the city as Paul and Barnabus came through the city two different times on their first missionary journey. When you see the mountains in the background and imagine the challenging 100 mile journey they had to reach their final destination, you can imagine why their young companion John Mark deserted the group!

With Antalya or Side as your base, car or guided tour are the easiest ways to visit Perge. By public transport, take a minibus from Antalya's Otogar to the town of Aksu on the Antalya-Side highway, then hitch, hike or taxi 2 km (1.2 miles, a 20-minute walk) north to Perge. If you want to taxi all the way from Antalya central you can expect to pay around 50-100 TL.

Speaking of hiking, Perge is a starting-point for the St Paul Trail leading north up to the Anatolian plateau. (The other starting-point is Aspendos.)

After you visit Perge you should try eating some famous "Kofte Piyaz". The pictures show Jim and a friend Donnie thoroughly enjoying an amazing feast of famous Turkish meat balls and white bean salad after a few hours of exploring Perge. There is no way to describe how delicious this simple and very local tradition can be! Our favorite TTP recommended place is "Meshur Simsek Kofte Piyaz" in the little town of Aksu near ancient Perge.

—by Tom Brosnahan


Distances & Travel Times

Antalya: 17 km (10.5 miles) NE, 20 minutes

Aspendos: 34 km (21 miles) E, 35 minutes

Side: 52 km (32 miles) E, 50 minutes

Termessos: 47 km (29 miles) W, 1 hour

—by Tom Brosnahan


Excursions from Antalya

Antalya Transport

Olimpos & Çıralı

Phaselis

Kemer

Mediterranean Turkey

Where to Go

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