Alanya: Where the Sun Smiles(Tips, Things to Do, Photos, Maps)

Alanya is one of the most important tourist destinations in Turkey. It is typically preferred in the summertime to visit since it offers lots of summertime activities. Besides, Alanya does not only consist of being a nice holiday area. Alanya has a big historical value, where you can find various historical landmarks.

Where is Alanya Located on the Map of Turkey?

Alanya is located in the south of Turkey on the Mediterranean coast. It is a district of Antalya province and located 130 km southeast of Antalya.

About the City

Demography

Alanya owns 9% of all tourism activities, and 30% of all the property purchases by foreigners in Turkey. Alanya has a population of 327.503, according to the data collected in the year 2018, and Alanya’s surface area is 1.598,51-kilometer squares. 

The population of Alanya increases every year due to the migrations from Turkey and abroad. Alanya is a popular place to live among elderly people from Europe with its mild climate in the winter months. People not only prefer Alanya as a place to spend their holidays but also love Alanya enough to be moved out to there.

Weather

Alanya carries the features of the Mediterranean climate, which is characterized by hot and dry summers and warm and rainy winters. Indeed, Alanya is hot in the summertime and warm in the wintertime. The climate of Alanya allows for various outdoor activities including sports and cultural events.

Alanya’s seawater has an average temperature of 21,4 centigrade degrees annually.

The climate of Alanya creates appropriate conditions for its famous product citrus to grow. The best products of citrus are grown in Alanya. Not only citrus but many other fruits, vegetables, and endemic plants are grown in Alanya as well.

MonthGeneral Expected Weather ConditionAverage Temperature
JanuaryRainy, Cloudy, Sunny10 C (50 F)
FebruaryRainy, Cloudy, Sunny11 C (52 F)
MarchRainy, Cloudy, Sunny13 C (55 F)
AprilSunny16 C (61 F)
MaySunny20 C (68 F)
JuneSunny25 C (77 F)
JulySunny28 C (82 F)
AugustSunny28 C (82 F)
SeptemberSunny25 C (77 F)
OctoberSunny20 C (68 F)
NovemberCloudy, Sunny15 C (59 F)
DecemberRainy, Cloudy, Sunny12 C (54 F)

History of Alanya

The answers for who first discovered Alanya or when it was first used as a settlement area remains unknown. The evidence shows that the history of Alanya goes back to the Upper Paleolithic period.

The oldest known name of the city was “Korekasium”, which transformed into “Kalanoros” in the Byzantine period.

Korekasium was first mentioned in the 4th century BC, by an ancient geographer Scylax, when the area was under the rule of Persians. Later, the area was mentioned in the writings of Strabo, Ottoman geographer Piri Reis, Moroccan jurist Ibn Battuta, and Ottoman explorer Evliya Çelebi. 

There is little to no information about the first and Byzantine periods of the area. It is known that city defense gained significance during the Arab attacks in the 7th century BC, and lead to the construction of castles. This is why most of the castles in the Alanya region were built in the 7th and 6th century BC.

Alanya Castle was taken from Kyr Vart, who was ruling the city as the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia’s Alanya governor, at that time by Kayqubad I. Kayqubad I. built a palace for himself in Alanya after the conquer of Alanya Castle. Besides, Alanya was like a second capital city of the Sultanate of Rum after Konya, a winter center, and a reconstruction area. The name of the city changed to “Alaiye” in the 13th century, when Kayqubad I. conquered the Alanya Castle.

The Sultanate of Rum got battered after the continuous attacks in the 13th century. In the year 1300, the Sultanate of Rum fell apart and the city sold to the sultan of Mamluk by Karamanids. In the year 1472, Alanya became a part of the Ottoman Empire in the Fatih the Conqueror period.

In the year 1571, Alanya was a part of Cyprus state with Tarsus. It became the district of Konya in the year 1864. Alanya became a part of Antalya in the year 1896, and officially became a district of Antalya in the year 1871. When Mustafa Kemal Ataturk visited the city in the year 1935, he decided that the name of this district should be “Alanya”.

Getting to Alanya

Thousands of tourists visit Alanya each year, from so many different starting points. There are various alternatives for you to get to Alanya depending on your starting point and preference of transportation.

By Plane

The closest airport to Alanya is named “Gazipaşa-Alanya Airport”, which is around 40 kilometers away from Alanya. 

Even though you can only find direct flights to Gazipaşa – Alanya airport from İstanbul and Ankara in Turkey, there are some countries that you can directly fly to Alanya from. The following are the countries where you can find direct flights to Gazipaşa – Alanya airport:

  • Denmark
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Russia
  • Lithuania
  • Estonia
  • Romania
  • Azerbaijan
  • Ukraine

After you land in the Gazipaşa – Alanya airport, there are different options to get to Alanya center. Some airlines in Turkey offer free transportation to Alanya from Gazipaşa – Alanya airport. Besides, you can find services that depart from Gazipaşa – Alanya airport that will take you to Alanya, or you can take a taxi to get to Alanya. Taking a taxi from Gazipaşa – Alanya airport to Alanya will cost you approximately 245 Turkish liras (34 USD, as of March 2021).

There is another alternative airport that is close to Alanya. If there are no direct flights to Gazipaşa -Alanya airport from your starting point and you do not want to take connecting flights, you can choose to get off in the Antalya airport. You can find services that would take you to Antalya bus station. From there you can find lots of different firms offering you a service to get to Alanya.

If you would like, of course, you can always take a taxi but since Antalya airport is far away from Alanya, it can be pricey. The distance between Antalya airport and Alanya is 135 kilometers, which will cost more than 700 Turkish liras (100 USD, as of March 2021)

There are more flights to Antalya airport from the cities of Turkey in comparison to Gazipaşa – Alanya airport.

By Bus

You can also get to Alanya by bus as well. The distance between Alanya bus station and Alanya city center is only 2.5 to 3 kilometers, which is the equivalent of 8 – 10 minutes of driving. You can find intercity buses to Alanya from various cities. The following are the approximate hours that will take to get to Alanya by bus:

Antalya-Alanya133km (83 miles)2 hours
İstanbul-Alanya816km (507 miles)14-16 hours
Ankara-Alanya526km (327 miles)8 hours
İzmir-Alanya590km (366 miles)9 hours
Adana-Alanya470km (292 miles)8-9 hours
Bursa-Alanya667km (415 miles) 10 hours 
Denizli(Pamukkale)-Alanya326km (203 miles)5 hours 
Nevşehir(Cappadocia)-Alanya488km (304 miles)7 hours
Konya-Alanya263km (163 miles)4 hours

By Car

If you get to Antalya by car or if you rent a car from the Antalya city center, getting to Alanya by car is quite easy. The distance between Alanya and Antalya city center is around 130 – 140 kilometers, which is the equivalent of approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes of driving.

Urban Transportation

In Alanya, there are various transportation options. The most convenient option is taking city buses, which are operated by Alanya Municipality. By using these buses you can access many of the attractions easily.

Taxis are also available in different places of Alanya, easily accessible. 

Moreover, there is also a cable car that operates between Damlataş and Castle. I recommend getting to Castle by cable car instead of city buses or taxi since cable car serves you a great landscape of Alanya. 

Top Things to do in Alanya

There are lots of things to do in Alanya, and options might seem endless. Yet as in everywhere else in the world, there are some things to do in Alanya that you should do in a typical Alanya trip. Those things include the most popular destinations in Alanya and some hidden beauties.

Alanya Castle

Alanya Castle, which has a great significance in Alanya’s history, should be on the top lines of your to-do list in Alanya. Today, Alanya Castle is on the tentative UNESCO World Heritage list. Besides, Alanya Castle was pronounced as a cultural property that must be protected nationwide. The architectural properties of Alanya Castle show us that it should belong to the 12th century.

It is known that Alanya Castle is a medieval castle, however, the details inside of the walls include the traces of various cultures. Besides, Alanya Castle was used as a settlement area starting from the Hellenistic period.

The final look of the Alanya Castle was formed in the Kayqubad I. period when he conducted some reconstruction applications. The walls of Alanya Castle which surrounds the Alanya peninsula, are around 6 – 6.5 kilometers long. Alanya Castle includes more than 100 towers and around 400 cisterns, in addition to open-air museums. 

Alanya Castle is located on the highest point of the western Alanya, which is around 250 meters long. 

Alanya Castle has two inner castles named Inner Castle (İç Kale) and Ahmedek Castle. Both inner castles are used as a museum now. Ahmedek Castle was built to defend the city from possible attacks from the land. The stones used in the Ahmedek Castle are relatively bigger than the stones in the rest of the Alanya Castle. It is known that an earthquake that occurred during the period of Suleiman the Magnificent harmed the Ahmedek Castle part significantly.

The Inner Castle part of the Alanya Castle takes place on the Westside. A chapel takes place on the middle side of the Inner Castle.

With its amazing history and view, Alanya Castle is one of the most important landmarks of Antalya, and you must visit there while you are in Alanya.

Red Tower

Red Tower is an important part of Alanya that is considered as the symbol of the city. It is known that the Red Tower was built in the 13th century for defense purposes, and it is a unique example of the Mediterranean defense architecture in the Medieval Age.

Red Tower was built by Kayqubad I., in order to obstruct possible attacks that come from the sea. The tower’s construction is done by a builder from Aleppo, named Ebu Ali Reha el Kettani. Red Tower was magnifying people back then as it does today, and you can observe mentioning of the Red Tower in many books written in those periods.

Since the tower is built on an inclined land, the height of it is different on the west side it and the east side of it. Evliya Çelebi, who was an important traveler in the 17th century, mentioned in his book that the Red Tower had a capacity for 2000 people.

On the lower parts of the tower, limestone and classical column trunks are combined skillfully. On the upper parts of the tower, red bricks were used. The reason for the usage of red bricks on the upper parts instead of limestone is because, after a certain height, it became difficult to carry the limestones so instead, baked red bricks were preferred.

Red Tower was designed in a way that the sunlight comes from the roof can reach the first floor of the tower. The red tower has 5 floors, and it is known that egg whites were used on the out part of the tower to make the tower stronger.

On the outer part of the tower, some inscriptions were found, in addition to writing that says, “gratitude to god”. An inscription takes place on the 10th meter of the tower, which marks the construction date of the tower as April 1226, and there is another inscription about the construction of the tower on the south side of the tower.

Red Tower was designed to be an octagon, and even though it looks simple and minimalist from the outside, the inside of it is pretty complex. This architectural dilemma is probably due to the reason Red Tower serves, which is defense. On the front side of the Red Tower, you can observe various defense mechanisms.

Shipyard

The shipyard is a historical structure that was built in the Seljuk Dynasty period. The construction of the shipyard was begun six years after Kayqubad I. took the city and was completed in a year. It takes place near the Red Tower.

The shipyard has an arched structure and the place where it was built was chosen intentionally to benefit the sunlight fully. The inscription on the entrance of the shipyard has a rigging that belongs to Kayqubad I., and it is decorated with various badges. The inscription on the entrance has a quote that refers to Kayqubad I. as the “sultan of the land and two seas”.

Alanya shipyard was not only being used as a place to construct ships or settlement areas for the ships in the wintertime, but it was also used as an area to ship repairment, it was a place where ironworks, administrative and warehouse areas were located. Today, the shipyard serves as a museum that exhibits ship and seamanship-related subjects. 

Damlataş Cave

Damlataş Cave was discovered in the year 1948, where people were constructing a place for a quarry, and takes place on the West side of the Alanya Castle. In order to get to the Damlataş Cave, one needs to pass through a 50-meters long passage which has 15 meters in height.

After passing through the passage, there is a space in the shape of a cylinder, in which you can get to the base of the cave. The cave gets the name “Damlataş”, (which means stalactite in English, but if directly translated the word damlataş refers to the combinations of words drop and stone), because of the drops pouring from the stalactites

Damlataş Cave is one of the most population destinations to visit in Alanya. It has a mystical vibe with an amazing environment. Besides, some say that the conditions in the Damlataş Cave help people who have asthma to feel better. 

Beaches

An Alanya trip without visiting the beaches would be deficient. Alanya is known for having one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean Region. The sand in some of the Alanya beaches is so thin that it cannot stick to your skin. In the weather where the air is still, you can see the fishes when you look through the sea of Alanya.

There are various options to choose from when it comes to the beaches in Alanya, with different opportunities. You can find a beach where you can party a lot and have fun, a beach which is calm and chill, a beach is appropriate for your children to enjoy and so on. Besides, some beaches in Alanya carry the blue flag beach.

The most famous beach in Alanya city center is Cleopatra Beach (also known as Damlataş Beach) which is located on the west side of the castle peninsula. The other famous beach is Orange Beach which is located on the east side of the city. Both of the beaches are sandy. 

Harbor Area

The Harbor area takes place in the middle of the city center of Alanya and is in between the Red Tower and the Alanya Municipality building. If you will take a boat tour, there is a high chance that it will depart from the harbor area.

Besides being a place for yachts, ships, and boats to depart, the harbor area is known for having lots of nice restaurants and cafes. If you want to enjoy your dinner in a fancy restaurant where you can see the amazing view of the Mediterranean Sea while you are in the city center, then the harbor area is the best option for you. 

Dim River

Dim River’s source comes from the Taurus Mountains, and by following the valley it creates, it pours into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the landmarks of Alanya that almost every tourist visits before leaving.

The weather in Dim River is almost chilly in every season, which makes it a popular destination to visit especially in the hot and dry summertime. There are lots of cafes, restaurants, and facilities near the Dim River where you can enjoy a nice dinner, a cup of coffee, go fishing, or maybe swim in the Dim River.

Besides, you can participate in different tourism activities including jeep safari, ATV safari, bicycling, and hiking. If you like being in nature, Dim River is a great option to spend your time in while watching the wonderful view of Alanya.

Dim Cave

Dim Cave takes place 11 kilometers south of Alanya, on the west slope of Mount Cebireis. There are various geographical formations inside of the Dim Cave, that offer you a unique view. On the very end part of the cave, you can see a small lake that has a surface area of 17-meter squares.

The Dim Cave has the statue of being a semi-dry cave. Even though the length of the Dim Cave is around 410 meters long, only 360 meters long part of it is open for visitors. Dim Cave is known as one of the most beautiful caves of Turkey and visiting there while you are in Alanya is highly recommended.

Sapadere Canyon

Sapadere Canyon is a popular destination among tourists in Alanya to visit, and it offers you to run away from the hotness of the city in the summertime with the opportunity to be with nature. Sapadere Canyon has a length of 750 meters and a height of around 400 meters.

Sapadere Canyon takes place in a village named Sapadere. For visitors to walk more comfortably around the canyon, the roads were renovated nicely with a planned walking route. From 300 meters from the entrance of the Sapadere Canyon, you can see a gorgeous waterfall and a pool.

There are various structures and buildings in the Sapadere Canyon that you need to see while you are in there. Those structures include a watermill and a rope weaving workshop. Sapadere Canyon is a great opportunity to become distant from all of the noise of the city and get some headrest.

Alanya Archeology Museum

Alanya Archeology Museum is an archeology museum formed with the artifacts brought from Museums of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, and with the artifacts found in the area, in the year 1967. With the excavations conducted in Alanya after 1967, Alanya Archeology Museum became more enriched every year.

You can observe artifacts from Bronze Age, Phrygia, Lycia, and Urartu periods in Alanya Archeology Museum. Alanya Archeology museum consists of two different sections, one of them being the archeology section and the other one being the ethnography section.

The most interesting and popular artifact of the Alanya Archeology Museum is the statue of Herakles. The statue of Herakles is being exhibited in a room of its own. There are different examples of different ages’ architectural properties in Alanya Archeology Museum including the Hellenistic period, Byzantine period, Classical period, and more.

Turkish Bath

Turkish bath, as known as hammam, should be on your to-do list in Alanya. You might get tired from all the sightseeing and exploring, yet your limited time in this wonderful city might make you feel remorse if you choose a day off. Turkish bath is the perfect option when you want to replenish, get some self-care while you are continuing to explore Alanya.

Turkish bath is often compared with spas, but once you got there you will understand how different those two things actually are. The main idea might be the same, but you will get a completely different experience than you would get in a spa. 

The first thing that would catch your attention would be the architectural design. Later, the massaging techniques and pouching service would make you feel amazing. There are various places that you can experience the Turkish bath experience in Alanya and go to one of them is strongly recommended since you will feel good and get to experience a new thing.

Boat Tours

Only thinking of a nice boat tour on the clear sea of Alanya is enough to make you feel relaxed and imagine how would it be to spend a day in Alanya, on the boat. Since tourism is very important in Alanya, tourism activities like boat tours are very valued, to make sure that you will have the best experience.

There are lots of different boat tours in Alanya, with different options and different routes. Some of the boat tours offer dinner and drinks, whereas some offer DJs and parties. You can look for the best option for you and spend some unforgettable time in the Mediterranean Sea.

Besides, boat tours could be amazing with your significant other. If you are planning a nice proposal, consider doing it in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, while you are on a boat tour with your girlfriend or boyfriend at the most unexpected time. Would not it be so romantic?

Jeep Safari

Jeep safari is another unique experience that you can participate in Alanya. With the amazing maquis vegetation consisting of pine trees of the Alanya and Taurus Mountains, you can have the best jeep safari experience ever. If you like exploring nature, then you should not miss out on this opportunity while you are in Alanya.

You can explore the other parts of Alanya where there is no urbanization but only nature. Besides, you will be able to see the whole Alanya and Antalya view since many of the jeep safari tours get to the high points of mountains. Like in the boat tours, different jeep safari organizations offer you different options.

There are jeep safari tours with different routes and opportunities. Some of the jeep safari tours offer many fun activities like animations, shows, swimming, and so on. You can choose whatever activity gets your attention and participate in that jeep safari tour.

Paragliding

If you want to boost your adrenaline level and try something extra, Alanya is the best place to go paragliding. You can try paragliding experience with professional pilots, from 600 – 800 meters of height, yet the most preferred height for paragliding is from 600 meters. There are a couple of takeoff runways for paragliding in Alanya.

If you have a health condition that may prevent you from paragliding, please do not forget to consult your doctor before attempting such an activity. Additionally, if you are afraid of heights this would not be the best option to spend your day. But if you are an adrenaline addict without any health conditions, then paragliding would be the best option for you.

Day Trips from Alanya

Even though you are accommodating in Alanya, there are no reasons to explore more than it. You can plan day trips from Alanya to various points of Antalya to expand your trip and see more. This way, you will be able to see more things that Antalya offers you in addition to the Alanya region.

Antalya City Center

It would be a shame to leave Antalya without exploring the Antalya city center. There are lots of activities to do and lots of places to visit. Antalya city center is 133 kilometers, which is the equivalent of 1 hour and 40 minutes of driving approximately. This means that you can leave Alanya in the morning to get to Antalya City Center, and you can get back to Alanya in the evening.

The following are some of the places that you can visit on your day trip to Antalya CityCenter:

  • Kaleiçi District
  • Antalya Museum
  • Karaalioğlu Park
  • Antalya Toy Museum
  • Iskele Mosque
  • Murat Pasha Mosque

Side

Temple of Apollo in Side

Side is the name of a small neighborhood in the Manavgat district of Antalya. It is one of the most preferred destinations to go to while tourists are in Antalya. The population of Side can rise to a million in the summertime even though its population in the wintertime is just around 12 thousand.

Evidence shows that the history of the Side neighborhood goes back to Hittites, yet some sources state that Side was established before the 7th century. Köprülü Canyon, which is an amazing natural landmark of Antalya, takes place in the Side neighborhood.

You can visit lots of historical and natural landmarks while you are on Side. The following are some of the destinations that are recommended for you to visit:

  • Side Museum
  • Altınbeşik Cave
  • Aspendos Theatre
  • Side Ancient City and Apollon Temple
  • Köprülü Canyon

Aspendos

Aspendos is an ancient city that takes place in the Serik district of Antalya, which is around 95 kilometers away from Alanya. Aspendos is known as one of the richest cities in Pamphylia. The most famous structure in Aspendos is its theatre.

You can get to Aspendos from Alanya in the morning and spend your day trip here to go back to Alanya in the evening. The city was built in the 2nd century BC, by the Achaeans. The reason for its theatre is that popular is due to being well preserved even though it is too old. The legend of Aspendos theatre adds more soul and mystery to it as well.

Yet there are lots of more structures in Aspendos ancient city beside the theatre. The following are the structures in Aspendos ancient city:

  • Stadion
  • Agora
  • Basilica
  • Hammam (Turkish bath)
  • Aqueduct
  • Nymphaeum
  • Acropolis

Perge

Perge is the name of an ancient city that takes place 18 kilometers south of Antalya. If you want to add some historical vibe to your day trip from Alanya, then visiting Perge is highly recommended.

Perge ancient city was the capital city of the Pamphylia region at some point in history. Researchers think that the acropolis on the Perge ancient city was built on the bronze age. Perge ancient city is considered as one of the richest and most beautiful cities of the Hellenistic period. Besides, mathematician Appolius of Perga was born here.

Perge ancient city has an amazing history that would definitely magnify you. If you are into history, then reading the history of the Perge ancient city would add to you so many things. The following are the structures found in the Perge ancient city:

  • Agora
  • Hellenistic Gate
  • South Hammam (Turkish bath)
  • Stadium
  • Theatre

All of the structures have a different story to tell you.

Köprülü Canyon

Köprülü Canyon takes place next to the Köprüçay River and is categorized as a national park. It is one of the longest canyons in Turkey. You can participate in various activities in Köprülü Canyon including hiking, bicycling, rafting, and other water sports.

Köprülü Canyon is a great opportunity if you want a day off from the crowd and noise of the city and be in nature. Besides, the only thing Köprülü Canyon is not limited to nature, there are various historical landmarks that you can visit around. The Ancient City of Selge and a small part of the Saint Paul path is in Köprülü Canyon.

The fauna and the flora of Köprülü Canyon are unique and one of a kind. You can see various animals and plants that you cannot see anywhere else, in addition to animal and plant species that are under protection due to being in danger of extinction. 

Kurşunlu Waterfall

Kurşunlu Waterfall is a waterfall in Antalya that is considered one of the important landmarks of the city. If you like wandering around nature and get away from the noise of the city, then Kurşunlu Waterfall is one of the best options for you. You can go on long walks with your loved ones, have a picnic, or just read while laying on the ground.

You can observe various animals and plants in Kurşunlu Waterfall since it has a rich fauna and flora. Kurşunlu Waterfall is one of the best places to be in nature and take some headrest, so it is highly recommended to use this opportunity while you are in Alanya.

Manavgat Waterfall

Manavgat waterfall is another natural beauty of Antalya, and it is the first thing that comes to mind when you mention Antalya to some people. Manavgat Waterfall is usually referred to as the most popular waterfall of Antalya, and you must visit there at some point of your Alanya trip.

Manavgat Waterfall takes place in the Manavgat district and is located on the east side of Manavgat. Manavgat Waterfall is 60 kilometers away from Alanya, which makes it an ideal destination for a day trip from Alanya.

The north side of Manavgat Waterfall is surrounded by the Taurus Mountains, and the Taurus Mountains are the place where Manavgat Waterfall gets its source. Manavgat Waterfall’s waterfalls from cliffs that are around 5 meters in height. Even though the height of the cliffs is not that long, the width of it is quite long.

If you came to the Manavgat Waterfall with your lover, it means that you have the opportunity to lock your love to eternity. There is a place for you to lock a padlock in Manavgat Waterfall, as a sign of your love is being locked there. How romantic is that?

What to Eat in Alanya?

Alanya not only offers you a nice and unique holiday, but it offers you the opportunity to try delicious food. There are various regional foods in Alanya. If you are open to trying new tastes and experience Alanya fully, you must try the regional foods of Alanya. In addition to the traditional food of Alanya, you can find foods from various cuisines including France, Italy, Japan, and many more. You can eat your dish by the sea or by the amazing view of Alanya. 

Stuffed Squash Blossom

Stuffed squash blossom is a very popular dish in Alanya. In fact, stuffed squash blossom is a popular dish in the whole Aegean and Mediterranean Region but in some districts, it is more common, and Alanya is one of those districts. 

Hibeş

Another popular and traditional food in Alanya is hibeş, which is also popular in the whole Mediterranean Region. Hibeş is made from chickpeas, garlic, and tahini and it is typically served as a side dish or appetizer. Trying Hibeş to experience Alanya more is strongly recommended.

Taze Ülübü

The traditional food of Alanya, Taze Ülübü, is mostly not known in other regions. Taze means fresh in English, and “ülübü” refers to the core of the black-eyed pea in the Mediterranean Region. Most of the people outside the Mediterranean Region would not understand when you say ülübü to them. Taze Ülübü is made from ülübü, meat, butter, onions, and some spices.

Çiğirdik

Çiğirdik, on the other hand, is another name for the sesame halva. Çiğirdik is a popular dessert in Alanya especially in the wintertime, but you can find it in all seasons. It is made from just sesames and honey. Some people prefer to use grape molasses instead of honey in Çiğirdik. If you want a healthy dessert after your dinner, lunch or if you just looking for a healthy snack, then çiğirdik is the best option for you since it does not include raffinate sugar.

Alanya Bundle

An indispensable part of the breakfasts in Alanya is the Alanya Bundle. Alanya Bundle is prepared by adding curd cheese and tabouli tartar inside of a crepe and then putting it in the shape of a bundle. If you ever happen to have breakfast in a café of Alanya, there is a high chance that you can see Alanya bundle on the menu.

You can see the Alanya bundle on the menus as “Alanya Bohçası” (bohça means bundle in Turkish)

Orphan Halva

One of the most significant foods in Alanya that you must try is named “orphan halva” (you can see this on the menus written as öksüz helvası). It is a dessert that is difficult to make, which makes it quite unique. It is made from grape molasses, flour, and water. You need to boil grape molasses and water in a pot and then mix it with flour for a while. After, you need to take it off from the pot and shape the halva.

Ilibada Wrap

Ilibada wrap is another traditional dish of Alanya. Ilibada wrap is around 15-20 centimeters long and has a width of 8 to 10 centimeters. Ilibada could be found in the wintertime and the springtime. Some species of Ilibada are not preferred since they could be bitter. Ilibada wrap is made from filling Ilibada leaves with rice filling.

Other foods from Turkish cuisine

In addition to those foods, in the restaurants and cafes of Alanya, you can find various traditional Turkish food. If you want to try out kebab, döner, or manti, you can try them out in the restaurants and cafés of Alanya.

Since you are in Turkey, there is some food that you need to try out before you leave. Kuru fasulye, or Turkish white beans stew, is considered as the national food of Turkey and you can find it in the cafes of restaurants of Alanya, it is highly recommended for you to try if you want to experience Turkey fully. Besides, you must try out the dishes I mentioned earlier such as döner, kebab, and manti.

Nightlife in Alanya

Since Alanya is a great place for tourism activities, the nightlife had to be on some level and Alanya succeeded to make it the best of it. There are various options to choose from according to your preferences in terms of nightlife in Alanya.

Even though there is no specific street to refer to as “here is the place where nightlife is most alive” in Alanya, there is a district where we can refer to as the place where the nightlife is the most alive. This district is referred to as the district of pubs, which is the Iskele Square near to harbor. 

Of course, there are other nightclubs, pubs, and discos other than Iskele Square, but the most famous and biggest ones are located here. The nightlife in Iskele Square typically starts around 9 PM and continues until 3 AM. If you want to keep partying and having fun after 3 AM, you can get to the discos that are outside of the center to keep dancing until morning.

Another alive point in Alanya in terms of the nightlife is the Bostancıpınarı Square. Bostancıpınarı Square takes place on the upper side of Iskele Square. You can find various places to have a nice night including pubs with live music, clubs, discos, and ballad bars. If you could not find a place according to your taste in Iskele Square, do not give up until you look around in the Bostancıpınarı Square as well.

A unique part of the nightlife in Alanya is the cultural diversity. Since so many tourists from different countries and cultures, you can find various activities. Besides, you can meet people from different countries in Alanya.

Shopping in Alanya

Whether if you want to buy something that will remind you of Alanya, or you need something, shopping is a part of your holiday and luckily you can shop in Alanya very well. Of course, there are various shopping centers in Alanya where you can find everything. But, if you want to shop from local shops, Alanya offers you hundreds of options as well.

As I mentioned earlier, Alanya’s jams are quite popular. You can find various small shops that sell handmade jams, in addition to the bazaars in Alanya. Since jams’ shelf life are quite long, it would be an amazing gift.

Another shopping option in which you can remember Alanya at its best, are shawls and scarves that are made by silk weaving. Different from mass-produced products, silk weaving products could be the best souvenir ever. Also, there is always a place for your typical souvenir options like trinkets, magnets, postcards, and so on.

Events in Alanya

Athletes competing in swimming component of Alanya Triathlon.

Athletes competing in swimming component of Alanya Triathlon. Photo 107219703 © Evren KalinbacakDreamstime.com

Various events take place in Alanya annually, and there is always a chance that you can participate in one of them depending on your holiday dates in Alanya. Those events include sports and cultural events, in addition to festivals.

Alanya International Children Festival takes place between 13 – 26 April, and it aims to celebrate National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. Events in this festival are typically designed for children, parents, and teachers yet even if you are not belonging to any of those categories, you are always welcome.

Oceanman Open Water Swimming Race takes place on the second week of May, and it has the feature of being the world’s largest open water swimming race. Swimmers from all around the world participate in this race.

Alanya International Tourism and Art Festival is held on the last week of May and has a different theme each year. It is one of the best festivals regarding art and culture. Within the scope of this festival, many exhibitions are held around the Red Tower.

The following are the other events in Alanya:

  1. Traditional Gökbel Oil Wrestling (takes place on the 3rd week of June).
  2. Alanya International Jazz Days (takes place on the 4th week of September)
  3. Triathlon European Cup Alanya (takes place on the first week of October)
  4. World Winners Cup Beach Football (takes place on the 4th week of October)
  5. Alanya Tropical Fruit Festival (October)
  6. Alanya International Stone Sculptures Symposium (November)
  7. Alanya International New Year Fair (first week of December)

Where to Stay in Alanya

When it comes to accommodation, there are hundreds of options in Alanya to choose from. From five-star hotels where everything is included to the housings where you can accommodate for cheap. Researching the facilities that hotels are strongly recommended. 

There are hotels with spa services, waterparks, discos, and so on. Another accommodation option in Alanya is Airbnb. If you want a place of your own, you can find some amazing houses and villas on Airbnb as well. 

If you want something different and more adventurous, camping in Alanya is an option depending on the weather conditions. Camping is recommended especially if you want to get away from the crowd of the city and get some headrest. There are caravans that you can rent in addition to tent areas.

Frequently asked questions about Alanya

Whether if you want to visit Alanya or you just want to learn more about it, there might be some questions in your mind that need to be answered. The following are some of the frequently asked questions about Alanya that might help you to clear out the way. 

What is Alanya like in Turkey?

Alanya is like the combination of the best things you can imagine including fun, relaxation, and diversity. If you are looking for a holiday where you can find alternatives for everything, then Alanya is one of the best options for you.

What is the difference between Alanya and Antalya?

Antalya is the name of the province where Alanya takes place. Alanya is a district in the city of Antalya.

Is Alanya expensive?

The prices in Alanya are a little bit more expensive in comparison to the other cities of Turkey. On the other hand, it is much cheaper than the resorts that are located in other countries.

Is Alanya lively?

It would not be exaggerating if I would say that Alanya is one of the liveliest places in Turkey. You can live life fully in Alanya. 

Is Alanya in Europe or Asia?

Alanya takes place on the Asia continent of Turkey. 

Is Alanya safe for families?

Yes, petty crime in Alanya are little to none and Alanya is one of the most preferred holiday destinations in Turkey for families.

How far is Alanya from Antalya?

Alanya is approximately 130- 140 kilometers away from Antalya, which is the equivalent of around 85 miles.

Does Alanya have an airport?

Yes, Alanya has an airport named Gazipaşa-Alanya airport.

Are there flights to Alanya from other countries?

Yes, Alanya has an international arrivals section.

Is Alanya near to Syria?

Alanya is far away from the Syrian border of Turkey.

Can I find activities that would entertain my children in Alanya?

Yes, there are lots of opportunities to spend some quality time with your children in Alanya.

 

 

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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