After arriving in Antalya, Turkey, one of the first places my husband and I visited was Karaalioglu Park. Karaalioglu Park is one of the largest parks in the Antalya province and is in Kaleici (Old Town) city center. This beautiful park overlooks the cliffs and harbor into the Gulf of Antalya. You will have a full view of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the coast of Konyaalti Beach. In the background, you will see the cascade mountains of Pointed Mountain National Park.
Inside the park, there are three streets in the east-west direction parallel to each other and these streets end with three viewing terraces on the seashore. This park is continuously improving with additional art exhibits and beautiful gardens making it an enjoyable place to visit by all.
Let’s begin at the Hidirlik Tower and walk our way through the park, ending at Galiz Boulevard.
The Hidirlik Tower is one of the oldest surviving monuments in the city. It is believed that the ruling Roman Empire built it in the second century. Historians were not sure of the purpose of the tower but later believed it was used as a lighthouse which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.
As you walk north from the Hidirlik Tower you will come upon the first terrace. Here, you will find a spectacular view of Konyaalti beach. The Statue of Nazim Hikmet Monument is at the end of a street on a terrace. Nazim Hikmet was a Turkish poet, playwright, novelist and known for his lyrical flow of statements. The statue was created in 2010 on the 47th anniversary of his death.
At the second terrace is the late 1970s statue of “Worker and Child.” This statue was constructed by the sculptor Mehmet Aksoy. Aksoy felt that the laborers should be honored as they make daily sacrifices for others. He felt that workers make an important part of the social entity in Antalya and wanted to honor them. The child is a representation of the future.
Between the second and third terrace you will find the statue of “Don Quixote” by Cahvar Goktas. The Don Quixote statue, which is right next to the famous CHINESE tree of the park, is located on the cliffs, with its back-facing mountains, looking at you as the protector of the sea. Don Quixote is a Spanish novel written by Miguel de Cervantes known to be the first modern novelist and considered to be one of his best literary works ever written. The plot of the novel revolved around the adventures of the noble named Alonso Quixano, who loses his mind after a failing romance and decides to become a knight and serve his nation.
Located at the third terrace is the statue of “Hand” of Kuzgun Acar which was placed in the park in the early 1980s. With some political debate over the meaning of the sculpture, it once was removed but later returned. This statue is a representation of Hasim Iscan’s hand and his wife Fersa, with the embedded wedding rings they took from their fingers to immortalize the great love they had for each other.
After you reach the end of Karaalioglu Park, where the “Hand” sculpture is located, circle towards the east and head to Isiklar Street. As you stroll through this shaded walkway, you will come across various Greek statues along both sides of the walking path. To the right of this walking path you will see a newly constructed skateboard park.
Karaalioglu Park is a great park to meander through during the day to enjoy the many different flowering plants along the way. You’ll also have a spectacular view of the mountains and the sea. This park is an enjoyable place to relax and unwind in the evening under the moonlit sky.
Several different cafes and restaurants are available for a light lunch or you can simply enjoy watching the sunset from any bench inside Karaalioglu Park. At Deniz Kenari Cafe, you can find comfortable seating areas where you could enjoy hot tea and/or hookah while taking in the spectacular view. In the summer, walk down to Adalar Beach Club and, for a small fee, enjoy some drinks and appetizers while you swim in the turquoise water.
My husband and I enjoy our morning walks and sometimes we bring a small picnic and sit on the cliffs to enjoy the sounds of the waves while watching boats coming into the harbor. Throughout the year, several festivals and special events are held in Karaalioglu Park which is just another reason to visit.