Hatay has always been the center of attraction due to its geographical location and the home of many civilizations in each time period. The city receives many visitors due to the abundance of historical works.
One of the most beautiful districts of Hatay province, Iskenderun was founded by Alexander the Great. Located in front of the Nur Mountains on the banks of Iskenderun Bay, the city is a commercial center well known for its lush nature and mild weather.
As a center of religious beliefs, Hatay is also famous for its religious monuments. The world's first Catholic church, the Church of Saint Pierre is located here. The church is sacred to the Christian faith since it is one of the four major patriarchates. In addition to the cave church of Saint Pierre, St. Simon Stylite and Yayladağı Barleam and Keldağı Barleam monasteries are among the other religious sites worth visiting.
The Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosque Complex, Payas Sokullu Complex, Sheik Ahmed Kuseyri Mosque, Habib Najjar Mosque and Grand Mosque are among the sacred sites of Islamic religion.
Aççana and Çevlik are among the historical sites rich in ancient remains. The 1380 meters long Titus Rock Tunnel, 130 meters of which was dug by human power, is another must-see tourist attraction.
You can sightsee the historical sites of Tel Aççana, the Necropolis, Dor Temple or Kinet Mound and take a look at the smaller findings put on display in the museums nearby.
The Hatay Archaeological Museum, also known as Antakya Mosaic Museum, is the world's second largest mosaic museum. Apart from that the museum has the world's third largest money collection. Displaying the valuable artifacts retrieved from major historical sites in districts such as Antakya, Iskenderun, Aççana, Harbiye and Çevlik, this museum is worth the visit.
You can visit the Demirkapı Walls surrounding Antakya district, and pass through the historical Demirköprü and Dana Ahmetli bridges.
Koz, Bakras, Cin, Payaş, Darbısak and Mancınık are among the historical strongholds built in ancient times to protect the city from any attacks. Having visited the strongholds, you may prefer to unwind by taking a relaxing bath at any of the historical hamams such as Cindi, Meydan, Kurşunlu, Saka or Yeni Hamam. Alternatively, you can take a soothing bath in the healing waters of the hot springs of Reyhanli, Reyhanli Hamat, Erzin Başlamış, Kisecik Village.
The beautiful green plateaus of Hatay province, Belen, Güzelyayla, Nergizlik, Tekepinar and Karincali invite you to spend some carefree time in the heart of nature. Nestled in an altitude of 1300 meters, Sarıseki Cave is another natural wonder that can be explored.
Once you are in Hatay you will have the chance to try the finest samples of its worldwide famous cuisine. Içli köfte, hummus, cevizli biber, tahinli patlican (eggplant with tahini), Yörük kebab, künefe, kabak tatlısı (pumpkin dessert) and kerebiç are among the regional delicacies highly recommended.
As for souvenirs, you can buy the finest silk weavings as well as pomegranate molasses and red pepper paste to enhance the flavor of your meals or some natural laurel soaps considered to be the key to beautiful skin.
Wouldn’t you like to visit Hatay and get acquainted with its cultural and historical heritage?