Alanya is a cute city in the Mediterranean region within the borders of the province of Antalya. This small city is among the most popular holiday destinations in Turkey with its vivid nightlife, charming attractions, sublime history, and golden beaches.
Alanya is located on the Gulf of Antalya and is situated between the Taurus mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. And, the city has a warm climate; with many beaches along the coast, you will absolutely have an exceptional Mediterranean holiday. Plus, many ancient cities, historic castles, and natural attractions make the city a preferable destination for cultural and nature tourism. Also, if you’re just looking for a place where you can have fun, taste delicious local food, and spend quality time, Alanya’s vigorous nightlife and delectable cuisine will offer you an unforgettable vacation.
However, if Alanya is on your list, you should definitely know what to do to have a really memorable trip. So, you need a trip plan; but, don’t worry, in this post, I’ll tell you some of the places you should definitely visit in Alanya. Also, for a better plan, you should absolutely check out the trip plans on HeyTripster; to get the best trip plan to Alanya, you can click here.
The Song of Golden Sand and Azure Water: Alanya Beaches
Visiting one of Alanya beaches may be the first thing that comes into mind when one thinks of Alanya activities. Well, this city has really gorgeous beaches and an astonishing, azure-blue sea. So, I’ll try to list some of the best beaches in Alanya.
1. Queen of This List: Kleopatra Beach
There are a few beaches called after Queen Cleopatra of Egypt in Turkey. All of those beaches have a similar story: Roman politician and general Marcus Anthonius loves Queen Cleopatra and gifts her with a beach that would be named after her. So, the story is the same for Alanya Kleopatra Beach, yet the perfection of Kleopatra Beach is not a story. This long beach attracts tourists and beach-goers with its gold-coloured sand and azure coloured sea. Kleopatra Beach is a blue flag beach, which means that it meets the standards of the Foundation for Environmental Education. However, the only con of the beach is it is almost always crowded, even in winter. So, if you are looking for somewhere you can have a peaceful holiday without so many noises and people around, you might want to look for another beach. If you ignore the fact it is overcrowded, I believe you’ll see that watching the sunset in Kleopatra Beach is the definition of perfect activity. Also, there are many buffets and cafés around, so you can drink or eat something while having quality time. There isn’t an entrance fee, but you may need to pay for lounge chairs and parasols.
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2. You Can Do More Than Swimming: Damlatas Beach
Our next spot is another sandy beach with crystal-clear water and a perfect location near to everywhere! Damlatas Beach deserves to be the symbol of perfection. It’s just in front of Damlatas Cave, another place you should definitely visit, and has a view of Alanya Castle. You can watch the green mountain with the castle on it while drinking your lemonade on the thin, powder-like sand; very appealing, right? But, I should mention the range of activities Damlatas Beach offers, which is just impressive: you can take boat tours, do water sports, visit Damlatas Cave, taste some local or international dishes at the buffets or restaurants around the beach and so on. Plus, the beach is constantly cleaned by the staff; so, you will have a rubbish-free holiday, which is a really huge plus, in my opinion. Well, there are some cons about Damlatas as well. The sea has a rocky and slippery entrance, so you should be careful; also, it’s wavy and can be unsuitable for children to swim without the supervision of an adult. The beach can be kind of crowded sometimes, so you might like to have a look at other options if you’re looking for a tranquil beach experience.
3. Finally, There Is Enough Space for Everyone: Orange (Oba) Beach
Do you want to listen to the therapeutic voice of the Mediterranean Sea while turquoise blue waters washing the golden shores of Alanya? So, let’s go to Orange Beach or Oba Beach. It is a one-kilometer-long blue flag beach. It is pretty clean, and there aren’t usually many people, so if you want to avoid crowds, Orange Beach offers you a very tranquil beach experience. You can do various water sports on the beach and taste local foods at the restaurants and cafés nearby. The beach and the seafloor are sandy, yet some parts can be a little rocky, so you might want to bring your sea shoes. Also, I highly recommend you try the delicious corn they sell nearby and drink some coffee watching the azure sea of unfathomable scales.
4. Walking on The Clouds: İncekum Beach
What can be a better activity than lying on the thin sand of İncekum and basking in the sun while watching the waves of the Mediterranean Sea? I’m sure many people would ask for some activities to do other than sunbathing or swimming. Well, I can gladly say that İncekum offers a rich range of water sports. By the way, the beach really deserves its name (İncekum means “The Thin Sand”) because the sand is so thin that you will feel like you’re walking on the clouds! Even though the sea is a tad shallow, the waves can be rough sometimes, making it hard to enter the sea. There are many cafés around, and the prices are pretty reasonable.
5. Keykubat (Begonvil) Beach
Keykubat Beach is another blue flag beach with magnificent turquoise water and lovely amenities. There are many green parks around; for this reason, the beach is sometimes called “Begonvil (Bougainvillea) Beach.” Keykubat is also known for its thin sand and shallow water; it’s sandy, but some parts of the beach can be a tad rocky, yet it wouldn’t be a huge problem. Another good thing about this beach is its location; since Keykubat is very near to the centre, it’s easy to access, and there are many cafés and buffets nearby. Plus, the beach is always clean and not crowded most of the time. There are many facilities where you can do various water sports and make your beach experience even more enjoyable. There isn’t an entrance fee.
A Historical and Archaeological Heaven: A Historical Trip to Alanya
Exploring the history of Alanya can help you understand the history of Turkey. So, visiting historic places can be one of the most enlightening things to do in Alanya.
6. A Brief History Course: Alanya Archaeological Museum
Before visiting all those castles and towers, you should first have a brief history course. So, your first stop should be Alanya Archaeological Museum. The museum can be a little small, but you’ll learn a great deal of stuff not only about the city’s history but the whole of Anatolia. The museum shows fragments of the historical past of Alanya from various periods. There are numerous ceramic, marble, bronze, and glass pieces and mosaics from the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras and many artifacts from the Seljuk, Ottoman, and Republican periods; some of the artifacts are as old as 2700 years! If you want to visit this museum, you only have to pay an entrance fee of 12,50TL.
7. Watching Alanya: The Ancient City of Syedra
Syedra is an ancient city located on a hilltop with a majestic view of the Mediterranean Sea. The history of Syedra goes back to the 7th century BCE when Greeks first settled the area, and the continuity of settlement lasted until the 13th century CE. Today, there are many buildings among the ruins of Syedra, such as impressive baths, a magnificent gymnasium, five water cisterns, an ancient temple, a Byzantine church, and an olive oil mill. Unfortunately, since there is neither public transport to Syedra nor trips organized by local travel agencies, you need to rent a car or walk uphill from the D400 route. Even though it’s a little tricky to get there, your visit to Syedra will definitely be worth it. Also, Syedra doesn’t usually have many visitors, which is pretty interesting considering it’s pretty close to one of the most popular holiday resorts in Alanya. However, that may be a good thing since you will have all the city for yourself!
8. A Little Break from The Modernity: Naula Ancient City
Have you ever got goosebumps when you visit ancient cities? Well, I believe most people do. It’s so interesting how we walk on the streets where people did their daily stuff, like shopping or chit-chatting with their friends, thousands of years ago; today, the place they once called “home” is nothing but a tourist attraction anymore. So, our next destination is Naula, an ancient city. Unfortunately, we know so little about this place. The settlement dates back to the Byzantine period, and it probably served as a port for Leartes, another ancient settlement located away from the coast. Naula is in the middle of modern buildings and easy to access. When you enter the ruins, you feel like you’re having a break from modernity and traveling back in time. The area is not fenced off, and you don’t need to pay an entrance fee.
9. Legacy of Romans: Alanya Castle
Turks considered themselves as the heirs of Romans for a really long time. Ottoman Sultans called themselves “Kayser-i Rum” (Ceaser of Rome), and before them, Seljuk Turks founded “Saltanat-ı Rum” (Sultanate of Rome). Of course, back then, many empires tried to claim the Roman heritage. However, it’s not our topic to discuss these claims. Today, there are many Roman ancient cities, fortifications, and towns in Turkey; you can see at least one in almost every province. Alanya Castle is one of those fortifications. A Roman pirate called Tryhos founded a fort in the region around the 2nd century BCE. In 64-65 BCE, Romans captured the fort and kept it until Turkish sultans conquered the region hundreds of years later. Today, the 6,5-kilometre-long castle offers a memorable tour to visitors. The entrance fee costs 30TL.>
10. A Hidden Gem: Ehmedek Castle
Ehmedek Castle is located on the north of Alanya Castle. It was built in order to prevent attacks on the Sultan’s Palace. There is an inscription on the entry door, which implies that the castle was established in 1227. Since the castle was built on the remains of an ancient Hellenistic castle, you may see the remains of that castle on the walls of Ehmedek. It’s located in a really great spot where you can watch the ships on the Mediterranean Sea and the magnificent nature surrounding the castle. Even though it’s not a famous spot, you can give it a shot; I believe you won’t regret it. Ehmedek is a part of Alanya Castle, so you will only need to pay an entry fee of 30TL to enter Alanya Castle, then you can visit Ehmedek too.
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11. Turkish Delight: Red Tower
Our next spot is the city’s symbol: Kızıl Kule, or Red Tower. It was built in 1226 during the rule of Turkish Seljuk sultan Ala ad-Din Kay Qubadh I for the purpose of protecting the harbor. The name of the tower derives from its red-colored bricks. In my opinion, the Red Tower is a must-see spot for tourists; you can take a lot of instagramable pictures, watch the Mediterranean Sea and take the cable car to make your trip even more memorable. It’s near Alanya Castle, so I recommend you visit Alanya Castle first, then head to Red Tower; with that, you will see every part of the fortifications used to protect Alanya. Understanding how hard they tried to defend the city and the harbor may make you realize how valuable Alanya was in antiquity.
Other Places You Should Visit in Alanya
There are plenty of places you can visit in Alanya. However, I cannot list them all here; so, here are 5 Alanya attractions that you should definitely see.
12. Song of Water: Benlidere Waterfall
Are you ready to listen to the song of water? I hope you like waterfalls because our next spot is Benlidere Waterfall! Inside of green nature, among chirping birds and butterflies, you’re heading to a dream place. Unfortunately, on the way to the waterfall, you’ll come across a dump; it’s definitely horrendous to see dirty rubbish near such a beautiful place. However, if you ignore this part, you’ll have a really delightful time at the waterfall. Since there won’t be many people, it’ll be pretty tranquil. If you bring some sheets and food, you can have a really nice picnic there. I recommend you take lots of pictures at the waterfall because they’ll all fit your Instagram profile.
13. Shhhh… Dim Cave
Watch your head and stay silent because we’re going down Dim Cave! If you ask me, it’s one of the most popular destinations in Alanya. According to its website, “Dim Cave is a natural and karstic cave. It was formed by the carbonic-acid-rich rain and snow waters running through the faults and joints dissolving the limestone rocks.” That must be heaven for speleologists, right? A visitor likened the cave to hell from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy; I guess that’s brilliant because the cave does look and feel like the underground world in various mythologies. But, don’t worry, there are no goblins or weird creatures down there; it’s just an expansive, historical cave with stalactites and stalagmites. The entrance fee costs 18TL per person.
14. Picturesque and Tranquil: Alanya Lighthouse
Bright and cute, well, I’m not sure it’s the first spot a tourist should visit, yet it’s a great place to take pictures, relax and watch the sea while eating some mussels, corn, or chestnuts. There aren’t many things to do at the lighthouse, but this may be the best thing about it. It doesn’t have an unusual feature or something; it’s just beautiful as it is. Actually, its history is a bit interesting: Alanya Lighthouse was originally built in France in 1880, and around the mid-20th century, it was transported to Alanya. It may be a nice place to visit after the Red Tower since they’re so close to each other.
15. Sapadere Canyon
Are you ready to be astounded by this heaven of rivers where you will see waterfalls, rare plants, different species of animals, and crystal-clear water gushing over a set of rock steps? If yes, our next destination is Sapadere Canyon. It’s a lovely place to visit for a day out. The canyon is long, yet it won’t, probably, take more than 2 or 3 hours to finish the route; there is a small cafeteria, so you can drink something refreshing after or before a long walk through the canyon. I definitely recommend you to head Syedra, which is also on our list, after the canyon; you’ll definitely love it there too. Plus, don’t forget to take lots o’ instagramable pics.
16. Cleopatra Bath
Turkish baths are famous around the world for the therapeutic massages they offer and their health benefits. So, our next destination is Cleopatra Bath, the place where you’ll be reborn as a healthier and lighter person! This bath may be one of the bests in Turkey, so when you’re in Alanya, you should definitely visit there and have a massage. They have awesome masseurs, affordable prices, excellent quality, and high hygiene standards; what else would you ask for, right? I recommend you visit this place either after or before a long and tiring day because it will definitely refresh you. And, it’s close to the center, and there are various attractions you can visit nearby, such as Cleopatra Beach and Alanya Aquapark.
Tourists and locals, living the moment, are getting lost in the glowing streets of Alanya and the mirthful thoughts of themselves. Nightclubs and bars are filled up with those blissful spirits and merry songs they dance to. They indulge and forget that they live in a world of chores, that they had a yesterday and will have a tomorrow. You may get shocked how this small town is lively and cheerful when the night falls. It’s not a part of our world; no, it’s a totally different place when the sea begins to sing its lullaby to this Elysium and its joyous souls. After a memorable day of discovering the cute town of Alanya, travelers need to find a place where they can chill with good drinks and tasty appetizers.
After all those fancy words, I believe you get what I tried to say: Alanya has a vigorous nightlife. Actually, that may be a geographical thing; in Turkey, the Mediterranean cities are generally known for their beaches and nightlife. So, I recommend you discover Alanya’s nightlife; in this post, I’ll list 4 places you may visit to taste a piece of Alanya’s nightlife, yet there are plenty of other places you can go and have fun.
17. Las Vegas Café & Bar
With great music, drinks, and a merry crowd, be ready for a hell of a night. Las Vegas Cafe & Bar is a place where you’ll enjoy the moment and forget about everything else. The bar has a great atmosphere, yet the prices may be a little high. It’s a general problem in Turkey though, alcoholic drinks are a tad expensive. It may not be the Las Vegas we know, but it’s still Las Vegas, and what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas (Wow, lots of Las Vegas). So, have fun!
18. Black Horse
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Black Horse is a wondrous place with its attentive staff and exquisite drinks, yet prices may be a bit high, and the bar can be a bit crowded; well, you’re in Alanya, everyone loves having fun here. Nevertheless, the crowd shouldn’t be a huge problem since you’ll have more opportunities to get to know the locals and their cultures. Of course, there’ll be many tourists from various countries as well, so if you’re a social person -I’m sure you are- you’ll love it here. I recommend you come to this place before midnight if you want to find a nice spot before it gets too crowded.
19. Harem Cafe Bar
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Harem is a place where you can listen to live Turkish arabesque music. It has a cozy, warm atmosphere with really talented artists. It has an old-school nightclub culture, so if you’re looking for a place where you can party, you may like to check out other options. But Harem is the right choice to listen to live music and spend time after an exhausting day. The prices are fair and definitely cheaper than in some places.
20. Aloha Tiki Bar
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After traveling around Alanya, seeing lots of marvelous places, and getting tired, you may visit Aloha Tiki Bar that offers you quality time with its high-quality cocktails, great music, and friendly staff. Plus, they have pretty reasonable prices for their special cocktails, which you should definitely try. The place isn’t so crowded most of the time, it’s really like a hidden gem.
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I’m a student of translation, a learner of languages, a reader of books, a listener of songs and a wanderer lost in thoughts. My motto is: “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” (Thanks to H. D. Thoreau for this amazing quote)