Antakya is a small town with a huge contribution to make situated on the Syrian border and also known as Hatay.
Antioch was a city of great religious importance. It was the home of several Roman temples and its suburb, Daphne, was held to be the very place where Daphne was turned into a laurel tree to escape the affections of Apollo. Antioch had also been the home of a large Jewish community since the city’s founding in 300 BC. Antioch played an especially important role in Christian history: it was the base for Paul’s missionary journeys, where Jesus’ followers were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26) and where the Gospel of Matthew was probably written.
Antakya has a rich, diverse and powerful history that is reflected in its special cuisine. Today, the cuisine of Antakya is influenced by and is similar to Lebanese and Syrian cuisine.
Stopping at one of the many shops selling künefe (aka knaffeh, a rich pastry made of shredded filo dough filled with cheese and butter and drenched in sugar syrup) makes a tasty start to an Antakya stroll.
Sample the famous local cuisine at one of the Antioch house.
Visit the Daphne Waterfall at Harbiye, do not forget to step into the ice-cold water.
g2o Cultural Tips
Try to touch the tears of Daphne (Waterfalls of Harbiye) who was transformed into a tree under the astonished looks of Apollo, son of Zeus and god of light.
Visit one of the oldest churches of Christianity, Church of St. Pierre.
Visit Antakya Archeological Museum, the second largest collection of classical/Roman mosaics in the world. The museum also features a good coin collection, artifacts from the Iron and Bronze ages found in sites nearby and a very impressive sarcophagus with great reliefs.
g2o Hot Tables
Eat at Antikhan Restaurant: Try delicious "Zahter Salad" (traditional Levantine Arabic spiced thyme, oregano and sesame seeds, mixed with olive oil, spread on flat Pita bread) “at and “Çökelek” (dried curds served in spicy olive oil)
Eat at Anadolu Restaurant: Try künefe