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From The Marmara Antalya
60 min

Bayatbademleri, 07800 Döşemealtı/Antalya

Phone +90 (242) 423 74 16
Open Hours

08:00  AM–08:00 PM



Located just 34km (21 miles) from Antalya in the Taurus Mountains is the massive ancient city of Termessos. While little is known about its formation or downfall, it is one of Turkey’s most impressive ancient ruins. The people of this great city were fierce and unafraid of battle. The fortified positioning of the city gave it a unique advantage against invasion. Today, that same high positioning in the mountains has allowed the ruins to become reclaimed by the pine and juniper forests of the area. For visitors, Termessos offers stunning views of modern day Turkey.  

History of Termessos  

What we do know about Termessos is that it was one of the few cities that successfully defended itself from the formidable Alexander the Great in 333 BC. It then became an independent state ally to the Romans in 70 BC. It was also mentioned in Homer’s Iliad during the story of Bellerophon. He was a Greek hero who forced the people of Termessos to surrender. Today, the ancient ruins are described in two sections. There are the lower and upper city ruins.


Lower City Ruins 

The lower city ruins are what you will encounter first. This is the newest part of the city. As the town grew, it expanded beyond the original city walls, creating the lower city. Located in the the lower city are the Temple of Artemis, Hadrian’s Gate, Western necropolis, and the Tomb of Alcetas (Alketas). 

Tomb of Alcetas (Alketas) 

The Western Necropolis is home to the tomb of Alcetas, a general who once served in the army of Alexander the Great. Upon Alexander’s death in Babylon, Alcetas lost power and influence, so he found refuge in Termessos. When his enemies found him, they demanded that the people of Termessos hand him over. With the city elders intending to comply, Alcetas saw no option but to take his own life. The elders handed the body over to the Greek enemies. Termessian warriors disagreed with the elder’s actions. So they retrieved the body and gave Alcetas an honorable burial.  

Upper City Ruins  

The upper city ruins are within the original protective wall that once surrounded the city. It is the oldest part of the city and the heart of the community. The upper city is where the agora, cisterns, Colonnade Street, Bouleuterion, and another necrolopis are located.  

Termessos Theater 

The most impressive sight in the city is the theater. Located over 1,000 meters above sea level, it offers breathtaking sweeping views of the mountains. Despite being expanded by the Romans, this theater is small compared to classic theaters in other cities. During the time of Termessos, it is thought the theater could seat 4,000-5,000 spectators. .  

Plan Your Visit  

The Termessos National Park is open daily from 9 am to 7 pm from April to October and 8 am to 5 pm from November to March. The ticket booth closes two hours before the park. While Termessos is a short car ride from Antalya, it is too far to walk to. The trails throughout the ruins are clear and well-marked, but the paths are steep and have loose rocks. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water.  

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