Alanya is a resort city in Turkey, which has collected everything you need for a great holiday. Here you can not only swim and sunbathe on sandy beaches, but also visit interesting places: parks, museums, caves and grottoes, as well as unique architectural structures.
Who and why to go to Alanya
If you like to learn something new about the city you come to on vacation, then you will definitely like Alanya. Here you can visit the archaeological museum, wander through the ruins of Siedra and numerous caves, as well as see the Suleymaniye Mosque and the Byzantine Church of St. George.
To feel the spirit of the city, be sure to visit the Alanya fortress and the Red Tower.
Couples with children will love the dolphinarium, where you can not only watch shows featuring these amazing animals, but also experience the wonders of dolphin therapy. You can also take the kids to the water park. On the territory of the complex there are swimming pools, attractions, cafes and restaurants. Kids are entertained by animators while parents relax and drink coffee.
For those looking for a more relaxing holiday, sandy beaches and leisurely walks await. There are many green parks in Alanya where you can admire sculptural compositions and fountains, visit an exhibition of artists. And after a day full of events and excursions, you can stroll along the embankment, go to a cozy restaurant and have dinner.
Cultural attractions and museums
The date of foundation of the Alanya Museum is 1967, and since that time the collection of exhibits has been constantly updated. The museum has two large departments: archaeological and ethnographic art. In the hall of archeology, visitors can see the products made of bronze, glass, baked clay from the time of the existence of the Roman Empire and Byzantium.
The department of ethnographic art presents clothes, jewelry, household items, weapons — in general, everything that was found in Alanya itself and its environs. The most ancient exhibit of the museum is a stone with surviving Phoenician inscriptions made in 625 BC.
Ruins of Siedra
In Cilicia (35 km from Alanya) are the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Siedra, which was founded in the III century BC. The ruins are located on a hill between two villages — Seki and Korgisak. The columns and mosaics, the triumphal arch and the source of water used by the locals have survived to this day.
Also visible are the remains of the street, where you can see the fragments of granite columns — evidence of the former wealth and greatness of the city. In the center of Siedra, a cave has been preserved, carved into the rock for religious ceremonies. In the evening, the ruins are illuminated, which gives the dilapidated city a special charm.
The foundation date of the Sharavsinsky caravanserai (Sharapsa Khan) is the middle of the 13th century. The idea to build it belonged to the son of Sultan Alaadin Kay-Kubad. He wanted to attach Alanya to the capital of the state of Konya, so that merchants and wanderers could rest from the road and water the horses. The caravan house was surrounded by thick walls, and watchmen stood on the towers.
The building is well preserved and has recently been restored. Today it is an entertainment center with restaurants and souvenir tents. The show «Turkish Night» is also held here.
The most interesting places in Alanya
The park is located in the city center, close to the famous Cleopatra Beach, so that vacationers can stroll in the pleasant shade of green spaces. It stretched for 950 m in length and 480 m in width.
The park has the atmosphere of a southern garden: olive trees, various types of palm trees, creepers and magnolias grow here. There is a pond and three fountains on the territory.
You can get from the city to the dolphinarium by bus, the trip will take only 20 minutes. An interesting performance awaits you with the participation of marine animals: dolphins, sea lions and seals. «Artists» perform tricks and amuse the audience — both adults and children.
If you wish, you can even swim with the dolphins. On the territory of the dolphinarium there is a water park with water attractions, and you can have a bite to eat in a local cozy restaurant.
Waterfront park in Kestel
This park is suitable for an evening walk. Here you can admire the beautiful fountain and aqueduct, look at the waterfall. Also, a lot of exotic plants grow in the park, as well as exhibitions of artists and entertainment events.
Water Planet Waterpark
The largest entertainment center on the coast, located on the territory of a 5-star hotel. The park offers various attractions for vacationers: slides, towers, pools, an artificial reservoir where you can swim in inflatable boats, etc.
For a fee, you can jump from the bungee. Active recreation awakens the appetite, so there are cafes and bars in the park where you can have a bite to eat and rest.
Many legends are associated with the Pirate’s Cave. It is believed that this is where the pirates hid their treasures and kidnapped girls. The city and the cave were connected by a tunnel through which the robbers transported their treasures. Under its vaults there is a large «hall» about 8 m high. You can get to the cave by boat.
This cave is of natural origin, and was accidentally discovered in 1948 during the extraction of stone for the construction of a fortress. However, it has existed since ancient times — its stalactites and stalagmites date back to the 15th-10th centuries. BC.
It is generally accepted that being in a cave has a beneficial effect on people with asthma and lung diseases. The cave is located in the very center of Alanya, and you can get here on foot, by bus, taxi or as part of a city tour.
Dim Cave is located 12 km from the city and takes its name from the Dim Chay River, which flows nearby. There is a small lake inside, and stalactites and stalagmites hang from the walls and ceiling.
The cave was formed as a result of streams of rainwater falling into the crevices of the rock and it is already about a million years old, but it was discovered only in 1986.
Cave of the Lovers
There are also many legends and legends about this cave. They say that under its vaults they found the skeletons of a man and a woman tightly embracing.
Having overcome the winding corridor passing through the entire rock, you can reach a ledge 8 m high above the sea. It is believed that lovers who jump into the water from here, holding hands, will be together forever, and nothing will separate them.
The Byzantine fortress, built at the beginning of the 13th century, is a symbol of the city along with the Kyzyl Kule tower. The walls of the fortress are made of cobblestones and bonded with a special mortar to withstand cannon volleys.
Various towers are built into the walls, and inside there are about 400 reservoirs and wells with water supplies. The arched gates of the fortress are an example of medieval architecture. You can enjoy a beautiful view of the sea from a special observation deck.
Red tower of Kyzyl Kule
This is the most visited attraction in Alanya. The tower has the shape of an octahedron and is built of red brick, which explains its name. It was created to protect the city from the invasion of enemies, therefore it is equipped with everything necessary: loopholes, sites for cauldrons with resin, thick walls and a barrier line.
The mosque is a fine example of Turkish architecture. It was first built in the 13th century, but subsequently destroyed. It was restored only in the 16th century during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, which gave the mosque its name.
The building is built of stone, the main dome is made in dark green, and below it is a prayer hall with expensive oriental carpets on the floor. Windows, doors and gates are made of wood and decorated with carvings. Suleymaniye is not just an architectural monument, but also a functioning mosque.
Kizkalesi Maiden Castle
The castle is located on an island that is closer to the city of Mersin than to Alanya, but it is worth a visit for anyone who is fond of history or just wants to visit an unusual and interesting place.
Previously, there was the ancient city of Korikos, but after the invasion of Shapur, the king of Persia, it was destroyed. They tried to restore it, but by the 11th century, Korikos was practically wiped off the face of the earth.
Then the Byzantines paid attention to it and built the Kyzkalesi castle, which became part of the defense of the island. The wedding of the Byzantine Emperor John III and the daughter of King Frederick II was celebrated here. 3 floors of the castle have survived to this day.
The city lighthouse made of snow-white stone illuminates the road at night for arriving ships. Its light spreads over 200 nautical miles, and the height of the lighthouse is 22 m.
Tourists can go up to the observation deck to enjoy the view of the city and the sea. On the walls inside the lighthouse there are colored panels depicting sailboats and sea waves.