Hatay Province : Antakya
Antakya, also known as Antioch, Antioch-on-the-Orontes, or Hatay is the capital of Hatay Province, Mediterranean Turkey. It is not to be confused with Antalya, another city in Mediterranean Turkey, but located several hundred kilometers to west from Antakya.
This city in the very south of Turkey was an important centre of early Christianity, with some of the first non-hidden churches. Today it’s a truly multicultural place, where you can hear prayers in many different tongues. Many sects of Christianity (Greek Orthodoxy, Syriac Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism to name a few) and Islam, as well as Judaism, are all represented with their dedicated temples in Antakya.
The city is not located on the sea-shore, but the Asi River (formerly known as the Orontes River) flows through the city center.
Domestic flights are available to Hatay Airport, 25 km from the city center. However, nearest international airport is located in Adana, located a couple hundred kilometres to the north. The 'Havas' bus runs from the airport hourly to the city centre for 9 lira, and takes around 20-30 minutes. If you need to get back to the airport, the Havas leaves out the front of the 'Buyuk Antakya Hotel'(on the river, close to the Mosaic Museum, its a huge resort style hotel, you can't miss it) every half hour most days, but check the Havas website for specific departure times. This is alot cheaper than a taxi! Please note that you will have to flag the Havas bus down from the front of the hotel, as not many people utilise this service, so make your presence known as it drives past.
The city is known for its tasty cuisine (one of the most delicious in Turkey), which has many Middle Eastern influences. One of the must eats in Antakya is a dessert called Künefe, which is a shredded pastry with cheese.
Telephone code of Antakya is 326.