Alanya, a beautiful coastal city on Turkey's southern Mediterranean coast, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. With its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and vibrant nightlife, there are plenty of things to see and do in Alanya. In this article, we'll explore some of the top things to do in Alanya to make your trip unforgettable.
1. Explore the Alanya Castle
The Alanya Castle is the most iconic landmark of the city. It was built in the 13th century by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad, and it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline. The castle is situated on a hilltop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and it is one of the best-preserved medieval fortresses in Turkey. Inside the castle, you'll find a maze of narrow streets, ancient buildings, and panoramic viewpoints that are perfect for taking photos.
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2. Visit the Red Tower
The Red Tower, or Kızılkule in Turkish, is another famous landmark in Alanya. It was built in the 13th century to protect the city's harbor from invaders, and it is now a museum that showcases the city's maritime history. The tower is named after the red brick used in its construction, and it stands at 33 meters tall. Inside, you'll find exhibits that display the tower's history, including ancient weapons, ship models, and maritime equipment.
3. Relax on Cleopatra Beach
Cleopatra Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Alanya, and it is named after the famous Egyptian queen who is believed to have swum here. The beach is a long stretch of soft white sand that is perfect for sunbathing and swimming. The water is crystal clear and calm, and there are plenty of beachside cafes and restaurants where you can grab a drink or a bite to eat.
4. Visit the Damlatas Cave
The Damlatas Cave is a natural wonder that is located in the heart of Alanya. It was discovered in 1948 during the construction of the city's harbor, and it is famous for its stunning stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is also believed to have therapeutic properties, thanks to the high levels of carbon dioxide and humidity inside. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cave to learn more about its history and geology.
5. Take a Boat Tour
One of the best ways to explore the Alanya coastline is by taking a boat tour. There are several tour operators in the city that offer day trips to nearby coves and bays, where you can swim, snorkel, and relax in the sun. Most tours also include lunch and drinks, so you can enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the beautiful scenery.
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6. Go Parasailing
For the more adventurous travelers, parasailing is a must-try activity in Alanya. You'll be lifted high into the sky by a parachute that's attached to a speedboat, offering breathtaking views of the coastline and the city. Parasailing is a fun and exciting way to see Alanya from a different perspective, and it's an experience you'll never forget.
7. Explore the Dim Cave
The Dim Cave is another popular natural attraction in Alanya. It's located about 12 kilometers from the city center and is accessible by car or bus. The cave is famous for its underground river, which is surrounded by stunning rock formations and stalactites. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cave to learn more about its history and geology.
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8. Explore the Alanya Bazaar
The Alanya Bazaar, or Alanya Market, is a bustling shopping district in the heart of the city. Here, you'll find a wide variety of shops selling everything from Turkish carpets and ceramics to spices and souvenirs. The bazaar is a great place to immerse yourself in local culture, practice your bargaining skills, and pick up some unique gifts to take home.
9. Visit the Alanya Shipyard
The Alanya Shipyard is an ancient shipyard that dates back to the Seljuk period. It was used to build and repair ships, and it played an important role in the city's maritime history. Today, the shipyard is a popular tourist attraction where you can see the remains of the ancient docks, watch demonstrations of traditional shipbuilding techniques, and learn about the history of the city's navy.
10. Hike to the Alanya Castle
For the more active travelers, hiking to the Alanya Castle is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying stunning views of the city. There are several hiking trails that lead to the castle, and the most popular one is the one that starts from the Red Tower. The hike is relatively easy and takes about 30-45 minutes, but it's worth it for the panoramic views of the coastline and the city.
11. Take a Turkish Bath
Taking a Turkish bath, or hamam, is a popular activity in Alanya. It's a great way to relax and unwind after a long day of sightseeing or activities. There are several traditional Turkish baths in the city that offer a variety of services, including massages, scrubbing, and bathing in hot and cold water pools. It's a unique and cultural experience that you shouldn't miss.
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12. Go Scuba Diving
Scuba diving is another popular activity in Alanya, thanks to the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean. There are several diving centers in the city that offer courses and guided dives for all levels of experience. You'll have the chance to see a variety of marine life, including colorful fish, octopuses, and even sea turtles.
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13. Visit the Alanya Culture Center
The Alanya Culture Center is a cultural hub that hosts a variety of events and exhibitions throughout the year. It's a great place to learn more about the city's history, art, and culture, and to experience traditional Turkish music and dance performances. The center also has a library, a cinema, and a coffee shop where you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
14. Attend the Alanya International Jazz Festival
The Alanya International Jazz Festival is a popular event that takes place every year in September. It's a great opportunity to listen to some of the world's best jazz musicians, both local and international, while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Alanya. The festival takes place in various venues throughout the city, and it attracts jazz fans from all over the world.
In conclusion, Alanya offers a wide variety of activities and attractions for travelers of all ages and interests. Whether you're interested in history, culture, nature, or adventure, you'll find plenty of things to see and do in this beautiful city on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. So pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable experience in Alanya!