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Hatay (built on the site of the ancient city of Antioch) is in the very southernmost quarter of Turkey. Its fascinating blend of ultra-modern accommodation and resort facilities as well as its historical importance as one of the sites in the entire region make it a unique and charming destination.
Book a flight to Hatay with Qatar Airways and discover one of the Middle East’s most interesting and culturally significant locations, that also offers a modern, 21st century experience for travellers from all over the world.
Hatay bursts with historical sites of interest dating back thousands of years. The Mosaic Museum, houses a huge selection of Roman mosaics, gold coins, and Bronze and Iron Age artefacts.
Carved into the rock is the Church of Saint Peter. This incredible structure dates to around the 5th century, and is one of the oldest churches in the world. Behind and underneath the church is a network of caves and tunnels. Another key religious site is the seventh-century Habib-i-Neccar Camii, the oldest mosque in the city and one of the oldest in the whole of southern Turkey.
Travel to Hatay and you can explore the Titus Tunnel, constructed by the Romans and still one of the city’s biggest attractions. Head to the beach car park at Samandağı and walk the length of the tunnel (approximately 1.4km) to witness for yourself its fascinating display of ancient Roman engineering.
Head out of the city and pay a visit to the Harbiye waterfalls to soak in some natural beauty, or pass some time exploring the quality silk souvenirs in shops around the city.
Most locals spend their down-time at the Büyük Antakya Parkı, where you can jog, cycle, and take part in other sports, or simply relax in one of the open-air cafés and tea houses. The park is in the middle of the city and is a tranquil open space with beautifully maintained gardens.
Look out for traditional Turkish baths, where you will be treated to one of the most relaxing experiences of your holiday. Most baths offer separate days for men and women, so check before booking that you are arriving on the right day.
The mountains in the surrounding area are wonderful for hiking and trekking, and there are also plenty of cycle paths in the countryside to explore. The coast is a few miles away, so walks along the Asi River are a great way to spend an afternoon.
Food in Hatay is unlike other Turkish cuisine,taking its inspiration from the Ottoman- Levantine style of cooking, and tends to be slightly spicier than cuisine in the rest of Turkey. You will find most meat-based dishes use either beef or lamb, flavoured with spices and served with flat bread. Look out for İçli köfte, the Turkish take on kibbeh, a deep fried stuffing of minced meat and nuts. Other delicacies in the area include za’atar, a spicy paste spread on pita bread, and künefe, a sugary dessert made with cheese. Pomegranate juice is a popular cold drink, and you will also find a lot of fruit-based snacks and pastries on offer.
For an authentic Turkish shopping experience, wander through the twisting, cobbled streets of the Old Town, where you will find artisan boutiques, delightfully authentic houses (complete with carved wooden lintels), and family-run cafés. The city is particularly famous for its silk products, and a regional speciality is laurel soap – locally known as defne sabunu or garlı sabun – which is said to be wonderful for the skin
Essential facts about Hatay
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip