The Dim River.
It emerges from the Taurus Mountains at the eastern end of Alanya.
Having read rave reviews, we rented a car for the day to go exploring. Well worth it. The road follows the river inland, past the hydro electricity dam and along the side of the lake created by it, surrounding all the time by steep, wooded mountains.
Mt Akdağ dominates.
Quite easy to navigate, and the roads were OK (mostly). Not A class, but not dirt tracks either. Remember to make allowances for Turkish driving habits.
We stopped for lunch at one of the waterpark/picnic type places which the locals were enjoying on a hot Sunday lunchtime in August. Another tip...
More interesting than it sounds at first - it dates from the Seljuk era. It was late morning when I visited (in August) and already over 30c. The short walk from the city centre had me soaked in sweat.
But, the shipyard was delightfully cool inside. At least 10c less, I'd reckon. Shade. Breeze. The sea. Bliss.
Astonishing to realise the structure is over 700 years old. It was built by the ruler of the time, so that he could build ships to control the eastern Mediterranean (as he had done on the Black Sea coast).
It was 4ytl for entry.
It dominates the town, built on a hill overlooking the town and sticking out into the sea. A structure dating back to 1226.
We got a public bus to the top of the hill, and then walked back down. Even walking down was very hot work in August. Even before noon.
It was worth it. Wonderful views over the coastline. The castle itself. An insight into old Alanya on the way down.
Entry was 10ytl per adult. The bus was 2ytl
Alanya Castle is obviously a landmark of the city, as it is seen basically from every point. The castle walls date back to the 13th century and are built on top of Byzantine fortifications. The walls are 6,5 km long and include 140 towers, including the most famous Red Tower. Inside the castle one can find Byzantine church, mosque, caravanserai and numerous cisterns and villas. From top of the Castle walls you'll get the best view over Alanya city, Cleopatra beach and turquoise waters. Truly breathtaking!!!
Please do not attempt to get up here by foot. Not in the summer time, at least. We were literally melting down simply walking around the castle. Take lots of water with you (preferably in the city), as the prices go higher the higher you get up into the mountain. Also there are no toilet facilities here, so take your time before getting to the top. The nearest toilets are half way down the hill in the cafes and restaurants.
After visiting the Alanya Castle we've stopped for an ice-cream in the first restaurant down the hill. From here you get a perfect view on the other side of Alanya with its marina and Red Tower. And I'm not talking about the marvelous ice-cream bowl we had - it was delicious, refreshing and so at the right time!!!
The Red Tower is considered to be the symbol of the city. You will not miss it if exploring the city by yourself because this tower, apart from other castle towers, is made out of red bricks.
Another famous sightseeing point not to miss is Damlatas Cave. The entrance to the cave is at the bottom of the mountain, next to the road going to the castle, basically right on the beach. It is hard to miss as there is a big plate announcing the cave entrance right in front of a parking square. But if you think that you have found an escape from the heat, just because the cave has permanent 22C degrees, think again! )))) The humidity is 95%!!!! Once inside, you think you were better off outside at 35-40C. ))) Once you are inside, your whole body runs with water and clothes are as wet as just out of the washing machine. ))) To my mind, there is nothing to do for more than 10 minutes anyway - the cave is really small and if you have seen some better examples (especially Marble Caves in Crimea, Ukraine, which have breathtaking beauty!!!), you'll find this cave a joke. I couldn't believe, that one single cave hall was actually it, so I searched for some hidden passageways, but no - that was it. Once it's said and you know what to expect, this is well worth a single visit.
For all the people who likes to party day and night then Alanya is the place to go to. The best party places in located in the bazar area just by the harbour area.
There's a lot of places to choose from. We went to several different places and they were all great and open allllllllllllllll night loooooooong.
There are two beaches in Alanya. This one is on the west side of the Alanya castle an it's called Cleopatra beach.
At Cleopatra beach the sand is more fine corned than on the East side. There are more waves at the Cleopatra side. The water is wonderful, warm and clean. It's actually warmer in the ocean than in the pool at the hotels.
Don't miss my videos of the Cleopatra Beach!!!!!
There's plenty of different kinds of boat trips to choose from. We took the one hour tour from the harbor.
At the tour the boat stops 3-4 times for 10minutes swimming time. The route is along the castle where we stopped by several caves, and then to Cleopatra beach and back to the harbour.
We didn't know that the boat would stop for swimming so we didn't have any x-tra clothes with us :/
The price for the tour was 7,5 Euro for adults and 5 Euro for children.
You can haggle for the price here if you want!!!!!!!
The Red Tower is right by the harbour on the East side of the Castle. The Tower is connected with the wall of Alanya Castle.
Now the Red Tower is a museum, it cost 3 Lira (about 1,5 Euro) to enter the Tower.
The steps to climb up to the top of the tower are very hard to climb on because they are very steep and uneven.
In some way you are obligated to visit this castle, everywhere you go you se the castle. Up there is a great view over the Cleopatra Beach and the ocean.
The entrance fee is 10 lira thats about 5 Euro.
A taxi up to the Castle from central Alanya is about 15 Lira.
Though its not so special inside the walls but I recommend that you go and visit the Castle just for the view.
I bought myself a mid-range set of Snorkel & Goggles for 50 Lira (25 Euro), and spent many happy hours snorkeling off one of the plenty small reefs littering the beaches of Alanya & Mahmudlar – there are a variety of fish living just off the coast, protected from man by the reefs – in one shoal I saw about 30-40 fish, of 3 different species, and all quite big.
Now, if you want to do Scuba diving, you’re going to pay about 50 Euros, for ½ an hour underwater – and you’re not guaranteed to see much more than just fish! So, my advice? Get yourself a snorkeling set, and spend every day in the water!
We’ve found that it’s actually better to exchange our Euros/Dollars into Turkish Liras before buying anything, as it actually works out cheaper. Most places work on a 2:1 Euro exchange rate, when in reality the rate is between 2.25 & 2.35.
So, for example, if you wanted to buy a parasailing trip, the advertised price is either 60Tl (lira), or 30 Euros. But if you’ve changed your Euros (at 2.32, as we did today), paying in Liras would only cost you about 26 Euros. Every penny counts!
There are Exchange points all over the city, inside and outside - the best rate we found though was in a local bank.
Every Friday, in the center of town, is one of the biggest fruit & veg markets I’ve ever seen. One of the best things is the fact that vendors cook your sweetcorn on the spot, so you can have a great snack as you’re wandering the stalls. It’s a wonderful, colorful, experience – just be careful of the prices for goods that don’t have a price tag. They operate on a tourist/local price, with the tourist price sometimes being twice the local price.
There are plenty of water sports activities available along the beaches, including diving, parasailing, jet skiing & banana-boating. Slightly pricey though, with parasailing starting at about 30 Euros per person, and jet skiing at the same price, for 15 minutes.
Go, see the castle with its long wall by the sea and 140 towers; and its neigbourhood with toy-like houses. Go inside the castle, do a bit of climbing and you've got yourself a beautiful view! The Mediterannean on one side and the Toros Mountains on the other.
Not far from Alanya's Ulas park you can find the beautifully situated Ulas Beach ... one of the best beaches in the area. Here you can also find tables, chairs, barbeque grills and even public toilets. Perfect for a little picnic and a good place for relaxing, swimming or just enjoying life. Local people love to come here, because noy "any topless tourists" can be watched ...
The entrance is due to payment you can reach there by public buses/minibus (named dolmus) going to Konakli, Avsallar, Turkler, and others, by buses going to Antalya, by taxi or by special tours. Enjoy a special day's boat trip, which you can find around the cliffs and harbour.
But don´t walk to this beach on Sunday, then it´s full with grilling, playing and too loud speaking Turkish families.