With its vast beaches, historic sites, the innumerable fish restaurants of its modern hotel and motels and its cafes and bars, Alanya, is an outstanding holiday getaway. The first thing that greets the visitor is the 13th century Seljuk Castle,which sits like a crown atop of Alanya Peninsula. Besides the impressive castle, there is the shipyard and the Red Tower (Kızıl Kule) with monumental beauty. All along the road which runs beside the port are latenight cafes and bars and boutiques selling handicrafts, leather clothing, jewelry, handbags and local gourds painted with extraordinary colors. If you like to explore caves, then you must see Damlatas Cave.
Near the cave is the Ethnography Museum. By boat you can reach three other caves: the Phosphorous Cave with its phosphoric rocks, Girls Cave (Kızlar Cave), where pirates held their women prisoners, and Lovers Cave (Aşıklar Cave). The cool shade of Dim Brook Valley, 15 km east of Alanya, is an ideal place to get away and relax. The sea all around Alanya is excellent for swimming. Alanya is a paradise of sun, sea and sand.
Based on skeletal evidence found between the villages of Bademagi and Oba northeast of the city, Alanya is believed to have been inhabited in pre-historic times.Alanya was sometimes considered part of Cilicia and sometimes part of Pamphilia. It was later ruled by the Hittites and Romans respectively. In a bad state of repair after a number of invasions and wars, the city was rebuilt by the Romans. In the Byzantine era, Alanya was called Kolonoros, which means the 'beautiful mountain'.
Because of its climate, plants from all over the world can be found in Alanya. Some of the most common are oranges, bananas, vegetables of all kinds, tropical fruits from South Africa and India such as papaya, guava, avocado and a variety of dates and coffees. Alanya has a typical Mediterranean climate with wet humid winters and hot dry summers. The average temperature year-round is 19?C. The water averages 21?C.
WHERE TO VISIT?
The museum includes certain sections in which archeological and ethnographic works are kept and exhibited. The most ancient work displayed in this museum, is the inscription in Phoenician language dated back to 625B.C. Bronze, marble, ceramics, glass and mosaic finds belonging to Roman, Byzantine periods, an epitaph in Karaman language and coins of Archaic (7-5 B.C century) , Classical Ages, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman and Republican Periods are exhibited in archeology section. The ethnography section includes Turkish Islamic works of art and traditional belongings, guns, handicrafts, jewels, pots and pans collected from the environs of Alanya. A symbolic section of a traditional Alanya house can also be seen in this part.
Kizilkule Ethnography Museum
Being the symbol of Alanya, this monumental building was constructed in 1226 for military purposes to defend the pier and was one of the unique sample of Seljuk art. After being restored between 1951-1953, the structure gained the function of ethnography museum through the exhibitions of carpets, clothing, pots and pans, guns,etc peculiar to Alanya.
Alanya Castle is the only Seljuk castle which has been preserved until the present day. In 1225 Sel?uk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat had the castle built on top of the Roman ruins. The castle is a treasure chest of history. Inside the castle ramparts there are Agios Georgios Church, Kanuni Sultan S?leyman Mosque, Akşebe Sultan Tomb, the Seljuk Baths, the artisans' shops, the bazaar's storage rooms, the tomb of Zitti Zeynep, the Palace of Sultan Alaaddin, big and small cisterns, a lighthouse and a dungeon.
The Red Tower
The Red Tower (Kızıl Kule) was built in 1226. The five-storey tower is octagonal. The main support structure of the tower also serves as a cistern. The bottom floor of the tower is now an ethnographic museum.
Leartis-Learti (Mahmutlar Ruins)
This city, 22 km from Alanya, has churches, baths, cisterns, residential buildings, a small stadium and theater, temples and streets lines with columns.
The city of Syedra was founded in the 3rd century BC on top of a hill between the modern day villages of Kargacı and Seki. Inscriptions found in the portion of the city which was located on the hill and the surrounding area prove that it is an old Roman ruin. The lintels of the monumental city gate are still standing. There are 3 pools in the city which were most likely used as water depots and on both sides of the column-lined streets there are historic structures and mosaics.
The Port City of Iotape (Aytap)
Iotape is 30 km east of Alanya. The modern day highway along the Mediterranean coast goes right through this Roman city. The city was named in memory of King Antiochus' wife, Iotape. The city has a small port measuring 50-100 meters. The most well preserved parts of the city of Iotape are the remains of the old street, the baths, a church, a necropolis and acropolis.
Built in 1228, the shipyard is 56,5 m in length, 44 m in depth and includes 5 rooms. In case of any danger might be received from the south, the shipyard has been strengthened by a two storey and two room tower.
S?leymaniye (Kale) Mosque
The mosque, which reflects Ottoman architectural design, is known to have been built in the 16th century on top of a Sel?uk temple. The wooden windows and doors are beautiful examples of Ottoman carvings.
Emir Bedr?ddin Mosque
Beside this mosque, which Emir Bedr?ddin had built in 1227, is a small minaret made of cut stone. Its pulpit is one of the examples of carving art.
Aksebe Sultan Mosque
Aksebe Sultan is one of the first commanders of Alanya castle.The mosque was made to be built by him in 1230. On the western side of the mosque there is a minaret special to its own architectural style.
Built in 1232 by Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat, the Alara Inn is located on Alara Creek which forms the boundary between Alanya and Manavgat, 9 km north of the sea. The 2000 m? inn is made entirely of cut stone. The guardhouse, fountain, mosque and baths are in mint condition and certainly worth seeing.
Located on the 15th km of the Antalya- Alanya highway, Şarapsa Caravanserai was constructed by Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat's son Giyaseddin Keyh?srev II between the years 1236-1246 on an area which is approximately 850m?.
B?y?k Dipsiz Cave
The Others Important Caves
Situated about 15 km northeast of Alanya, at a place called ?atak, the picnic areas in the vicinity bring a liveliness to the area.
The mouth of the cave, which is approximately 10 m wide and 5-6 m. tall, is big enough to allow boats to go in and out. The dome-shaped interior with its colorful ceiling leads northward into the pitch-black depths of the cavern.
The mouth of the cave is about 2 m. above the sea and big enough for a person to get through. The mouth of the cave is adorned with stalactites, stalagmites and columns.
Having a similar appearance with Korsanlar Cave, Fosforlu Cave can be accessible by boat since its entrance is wide enough. Various hues deep into the sea display superb spectacle.
Unlike most vacation spots, Alanya has beaches right in the very center of town and the cool shade of Dim Brook valley, 15 km east of Alanya, is a great place to get away and relax. About 25 km west of Alanya are the beaches of Avsallar, which is a nice vacation spot. If you go east of Alanya towards Gazipaşa, you will see magnificent beaches. About 30 km east of Alanya are the Roman ruins of Iotape (Aytap), a nice place for an excursion with an excellent beach and nice bays.
The river which offers the best rafting in the area is the Dim Brook which empties into the sea, 6 km east of Alanya. The 'Alraft' rafting facilities found on the river 20 km to the northeast of Alanya offer rafting excursions.
Recently there has been quite an interest in trekking and amateur mountain climbing. This interest is mostly due to the mountains of Akdağ (2451 m.) and Cebelireis (1649 m.) as they are very suitable places for these sports. Mt. Akdağ has been declared as a Winter Sports Tourism Center by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The Alanya Triathlon
This international sports event, which is held every year in October, began in 1991. Broadcast to the world via Eurosport TV, this non-stop event consists of three separate races: swimming, cycling and running.
Because of the area's climate, terrain and vegetation, it has wonderful potential as a hunting area. Because of the rapid decline in the deer population they are now protected and hunting is prohibited but mountains goat hunting is allowed on a restricted basis.
It is possible to catch almost any kind of fish in Alanya. The main ones are gilt-headed bream, annular bream, swordfish, red gurnard, chub mackerel, shark, rock grouper, red sea bream, whiting, tuna, red mullet and gar.Fish that are encountered in fresh water lakes and streams include striped mullet, bass, carp and eels. In addition, trout are raised in the Dim Brook region.
There are many places to camp and to park motorhomes in and around Alanya.