Alanya is one of the most loved Turkish resorts – from May to October it is a big city famous for Kleopatra beach and Alanya castle. But are those places the only must-see places in Alanya? Far away from this. Alanya has much more to offer than I was expecting.
Alanya’s name is coming from Alaiye which was given by the Seljuk Turks after the conquest. Alanya wasn’t always big city like it is today. Alanya used to be a fishing village but in the 80’s it started changing into a big city. I knew Alanya was popular destination among holidaymakers looking for sun and great beaches and that’s why it wasn’t on my travel radar before. I usually don’t prefer popular tourist destination, but I was in Turkey before, fell in love with this country and wanted to explore this part of the country too. It is easily reachable from Istanbul – there are frequent flights from the Istanbul Airport.
I’m presenting you a list of must-see places in Alanya to get you inspired.
ULTIMATE MUST-SEE PLACES IN ALANYA
Alanya Kalesi & Red Tower
Alanya Kalesi (Alanya Castle) is located on the top of the hill and it is certainly one of the must-see places in Alanya. There are three ways to get to the top – by car, cable car or walking. The castle is the most significant landmark of the city and it has great value for Alanya. Before it was used for strategic distribution and it’s also known to be the best protected castle in the history.
As mentioned above, there are different ways to get to the top, but the best way to get there is by cable car. There are two different fares – one for the locals and one for the tourists. The price in 2022 was 100 TRL for roundtrip. You will get some amazing views during the ride – you can see the Cleopatra beach, the Damlataş cave and the whole city.
You can also drive up to the castle or walk from the bottom – from the nearby Red Tower. Red Tower (being the second most important landmark of the city) stands by the water nearby the Shipyard built in the 13th Century by the Seljuks. It served for the protection of the port and the shipyard. The tower is consisting of five floors and the last two were built out of red clay bricks which resulted in the well-deserved name Red Tower.
The city walls from the Red Tower will take you to the shipyards. Built-in 1227 by the Seljuks, the shipyard is 56 meters wide and 44 meters long. Ships were built underneath the five arches of the shipyard, which is rather an unknown sight in Alanya. Although it is located directly under the castle, it is easy to miss, but I would put in on the list of the must-see places in Alanya.
The castle wall is more than 6km long and it offers some great views of Alanya and its two main beaches – Kleopatra beach and Keykubat beach. Those impressive views will be the highlight of your visit. You can feel that the entire city and the Mediterranean Sea are under your feet.
Alanya Castle Gallery
Located on the west of Alanya castle, very close to the cable car which takes you to the Alanya castle. It was discovered accidentally and now it’s known as Asthma cave thanks to its special nature. Combination of 22°C throughout the year and the air containing 70% more nitrogen than the outside & 10 to 12 times more carbon dioxide makes very good alternative treatment for patients with asthma.
Name of Cave “Damlataş” comes from the stalactite which exists by water droplets. It is the first cave which was opened to tourism in Turkey.
Dim cave, second largest cave in Turkey, is located in the Dim Valley which is named after the Dim stream. It is located 14km away from Alanya city center. Thanks to the stalactites and stalagmites embellishing the whole cave it’s one of the prettiest caves in Turkey. At the end of the cave there is a 200 m2 wide lake. The temperature is 18°C and it is constant – it is the same in summer and in winter. It is estimated that the Dim cave is about 1 million years old.
Dim River – Dim Çayi
Dim cave, mentioned above, is part of the Dim valley and it is not the only visit-worthy place in the valley. One of the most popular and must-see places in Antalya is the Dim River. Lots of tourists, including Turkish people, love to visit this place to escape the bustling and loud Alanya city center.
The Dim River with picnic areas and restaurants is the place to be visited to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the coolness of the mountain water. The Dim River is a perfect place for having a Turkish breakfast, picnics, relaxing and nature walks. If you are an adrenaline lover, you can go rafting too. Along the river you will find lots of restaurants, some of them built on the river bed. During the summer, when the water level is low, the tables of the restaurants are placed in the water, so you can have your feet in the cool water of the river while eating out.
Beaches of Alanya
When thinking of Alanya activities, visiting the beaches of Alanya may be the first thing to cross your mind. This city has some gorgeous beaches and astonishing sea.
Absolute winner of the list is Kleopatra Beach, with its gold-coloured sand and azure sea. Here’s the story behind the name of this beach – Roman politician and general Marcus Anthonius loved Queen Cleopatra and gifted her with a beach that would be named after her. The only negative side about this beach is that it is always crowded, so you can’t count on having a peaceful time on the beach. I believe that the beach is worth the visit regardless of the crowd. Or you can visit Alanya before summer months when there is less people. There isn’t an entrance fee, but you have to pay for lounge chairs and parasols. One of the best activities is watching the sunset – believe me, it is perfect.
Another sandy beach with crystal clear water is Damlataş Beach, just in front of the Damlataş cave. You should definitely visit this place and spoil yourself with drinking a lemonade while looking at the green mountain with the Alanya castle on it. But you should be careful when entering the sea, because the sea has a rocky and slippery entrance, plus that it’s wavy and it can be challenging to get in/out the water.
There are also many beautiful beaches outside the Alanya – like Incekum beach or Mahmutlar beach. I bet that you’re going to love every single beach in Alanya area.
This place should be on your must-see places in Alanya if you would love to enjoy in aerial view of Alanya. It is developed as a green park by the Municipality of Alanya. It has some shops, cafés, and restaurants and it is also a perfect picnic place. The views from here spectacular, you can see the ocean, the harbor and the entire city below.
There is one more thing not to be missed – you should know that Mediterranean Coastline of Turkey is a fruit factory. I highly recommend you to visit a local market to buy some fresh fruits or veggies. And you really have to try the fresh squeezed juice on the streets. It’s the best orange juice I’ve ever had.
Have you visited Alanya previously? Are there any must-see places in Alanya that you would put on the list too?