Main Attractions in Hatay

The prime reason you should visit Hatay is the Antakya Archeology Museum (Antakya Arkeoloji Müzesi), which houses a world famous collection of Roman and Byzantine mosaics. Stunning jewelry, statues, tombs and archeological findings belonging to various periods discovered at the excavations executed in Harbiye, Antakya, Aççana, Çevlik and Iskenderun are exhibited in the museum.

A little outside the city is the holy site where St. Peter's Grotto is situated. The cave church, where St. Peter preached and founded the Christian community, was declared as a holy place by Vatican in 1983. The Iron Gate of Antioch is to the south of the grotto among the ruins of the city. The Castle of Antioch offers a panoramic view of the city.

At Harbiye, 8 km beyond Antioch, you can delve into history and mythology as you visit the ancient city where Apollo fell in love with Daphne, and Mother Earth, in order to save Daphne, turned her into an elegant tree. The story weaves on further to say that the waterfalls of Harbiye were formed from the tears of Daphne.

Take a swim at Samandag to cool off from the hot and humid Antakya weather, or walk in the footsteps of St Paul and St Barnabas at the ancient city of Seleuica Pieria, 6 km south of Samandag. This city was a busy port at the time when St. Paul and St. Barnabas made their first missionary journey from here. The most interesting monument here is the Tunnel of Titus, which is a huge canal, dug for the purpose of diverting waters of Orontes River. Another highlight here is the rock tombs with their impressive facades relating to the Hellenistic period.

Take a drive to the Kapisuyu village and from the Zeus Temple, you get a breathtaking view of the harbor, golden beach and lush, fertile plain lying below.