Things to Do in Alanya
The town of Alanya lies on the southern coast of Turkey in the Antalya region. It is a popular beach resort town and draws tourists from many countries around the world. One of the city's best beaches is Cleopatra Beach (Kleopatra Plajı) located on the west side of the peninsula near the Damlataş Caves. The name comes from the legend that says the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra stopped in Alanya during a voyage in the Mediterranean Sea and swam in the bay.
Kleopatra Beach is a sandy one with clear water. It is a Blue Flag beach due to its high standards for water quality, safety, and environmental services. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities. When you get hungry, there are plenty of nearby cafes and restaurants serving Turkish and international dishes. Other activities in the area include exploring the dripping Damlataş Caves, wandering through the old town, and learning about the region's rich history.
The Alanya Shipyard is the historic dock area of Alanya, Turkey and is also referred too as Alanya Tersanesi or, occasionally, Alanya Tersane. The shipyard dates back to the 3rd century BC, although the shipyard you'll see today was built in 1226. At one point it was the main naval base for the Seljuk navy, and it is one of the only remaining preserved Seljuk shipyard. During the late 1400s, Alanya became an important port for trading with other Mediterranean countries such as Egypt, Syria, and Cyprus.
Today it is the best preserved dockyard on the Mediterranean basin. It consists of five docks that are more than 180 feet long. It is an open air museum connected with the Alanya Castle. The defensive walls of the castle, which stretch for four miles, go through the Alanya Shipyard and connect with the Red Tower. Those who visit the shipyard and castle will be rewarded with views of the sea, the surrounding countryside, impressive mountains, and the city itself.
Standing proud on a rocky outcrop in the heart of the city, medieval Alanya Castle (Alanya Kalesi) is Alanya’s defining landmark. Encircled by 4 miles (6 kilometers) of walls, the Inner Fortress (Iç Kale) houses the remains of an 11th-century church, while the Ehmedek Castle area hosts ruins dating back to ancient Greek times.
A tall gorge filled with turquoise streams and waterfalls, Sapadere Canyon (Sapadere Kanyonu or Sapadere Kanyon) is a retreat into nature in the Turkish Riviera. Formed centuries ago by erosion from water and ice, it stands 360 meters long and nearly 400 meters high. Fresh air breezes through the canyon, filled with the sounds of rushing water and wildlife such as butterflies and birds.
Once unknown outside of locals, facilities were only recently built to welcome visitors from all over Turkey and the world. A natural wooden path curves through the park, at times leading to pools for swimming (especially welcome in the summer heat.) High rocks and the Torsos mountains scenically surround you as you walk through. At the end of the path is the canyon’s most impressive waterfall, which also has a spot ideal for swim in the clear waters. The nearby Sapadere Village is also worth a stop.
The Red Tower (Kızıl Kule) is the most well known tower in Alanya Castle, Turkey. The castle was built in the 13th century and was used as a defensive fortification until the time of the Ottoman Empire. Today it is a museum offering visitors a chance to explore the history of this area. The view from the castle is striking due to is location 820 feet high on a rocky peninsula that sticks out into the Mediterranean Sea. From here you can see the beach town of Alanya, the sea itself, the Pamphylian plain and Cilician mountains.
The Red Tower stands 95 feet tall and is one of 140 towers that surround the castle. It is the start and end of four miles of walls that once protected the castle from invaders. The walls pass through the battlements, the Citadel, several bastions, the arsenal, and the shipyard before reconnecting with the Red Tower.
Adorned with 15,000 years worth of stalactites, the small-yet-perfectly-formed Damlatas Cave is one of Alanya’s signature sights. Discovered in 1948 while the new harbor was being built, the humidity and constant temperature of the cave are said to have therapeutic properties.
The 2-story residence where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk—the first President of Turkey—stayed during official visits between 1930 and 1935 is now a museum dedicated to the legendary revolutionary. Filled with personal effects and historic items, the Alanya Ataturk House Museum (Alanya Atatürk Evi Müzesi) is a fascinating tribute to Atatürk’s visits to Antalya.
The biggest water park on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast sits southeast of Antalya in between Manavgat and Alanya, overlooking the sparkling turquoise sea. With 24 rides from family slides to Kamikaze chutes, the Water Planet Aquapark is a fun-filled day out for the whole family. There’s a splash pool full of interactive animated toys for toddlers to enjoy while all kids love floating around the Lazy Rivers and splashing in the wave pools. Several adrenaline-pumping slides are perfect for thrill-seeking teens, including the spiraling Black Hole and the Four Twisters. If that’s not enough, try Water Planet Aqua Park's 70-meter (230-foot) bungee jump or rafting on the wave pool (both extra charge). Lifeguards are on duty at all the rides and facilities include sun loungers, showers, changing rooms and lockers, several restaurant and bar options – from fast food to à la carte – a henna tattoo parlor and a few souvenir stalls.
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