Turkey has a vast, rich history stretching back for thousands of years. In Alanya the signs of history are very easy to see and history of Alanya is very colourful and interesting. In the ancient times the whole Anatolia was divided into several kingdoms and states. There are several towns and buildings left from those times in Turkey. The main historical sights in Alanya are the Alanya Fortress, Red Tower and Alanya Shipyard, but there are several other interesting historical sights worth visiting around the region.
Anemurium fortress in Anamur is built just on the Mediterranean shore and it is very well preserved and definitely worth visiting. Anamur is 120 km east from Alanya. There are for example a Roman odeon, several tombs and Roman baths with beautiful mosaics to see in Anemurium.
Syedra – an ancient city just 20 km west from Alanya. The fortress is built 240 meters above the sea level and from the fortress there is a magnificent view over the coastline. Syedra was mentioned in the history already 2000 years ago.
Alarahan – 35 km west from Alanya, near Alara river. Alara castle has been built partly inside the mountain and looks very impressive. Only way up to the castle is through tunnels, so prepare yourself with a pair of good shoes! The scenery from the castle is definitely worth the climb.
Side – A famous holiday destination and Roman town 60 km west from Alanya. There are for example an impressive amphitheatre, Temple of Apollon and a Roman bath to see in Side. The village itself is small and charming. Big open air markets are held twice a week in the nearby town Manavgat.
Aspendos – One of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters in the whole Mediterranean region and only 95 km drive from Alanya. Severals concerts, opera and ballet festivals and other events are still held every year in this 2000 years old theatre.
There is a broad range of activities in Alanya. Bicycling, scuba diving, riding, paragliding, surfing, supping, mountain biking, trekking… just to mention a few of them.
Manavgat Adventure Park is a climbing park set in the forest. Climbing through the course is fun and challenging exercise for all, and takes approximately one hour. The course consists of climbing nets, suspension bridges and ziplines and it runs in a beautiful landscape.
Have you ever tasted the traditional turkish breakfast (Köy kahvaltı)? The table is set with dozens of small plates, serving varieties of cheeses, olives, jams, bread and several other delicacies. Locals get together on Sundays and travel to mountains to enjoy the breeze of fresh mountain air and beautiful sceneries and of course for the breakfast. Also the travel through small mountain villages is an unforgettable experience. Some popular restaurants for breakfast are Tepe Montana and Zirve (at Tepe), together with Park Orman –restaurant (approximately 20 km from Alanya).
Turkish give a great value for good food and as a proof of that, turkish kitchen has been chosen as one of the three best kitchens in the world. The most modest restaurants are usually the best ones and choosing a restaurant where the locals are eating, these are some good tips when selecting a restaurant.
For a light lunch one may choose a lentil soup (mercimek çorbası) or fresh fish. Near the fish and vegetable market there are several restaurants serving fresh fish with very reasonable prices.
Proper dinner in Turkey begins traditionally with many small appetizers called as meze. For the main course it is common to choose some barbecued meat served with vegetables. As a dessert turkish are often enjoying fresh fruits followed by a glass of black tee or a tiny cup of strong turkish coffee.
River Oba is a good alternative to well known and sometimes crowded river Dim. By the both rivers there are cosy picnic areas and small restaurants with excellent food and friendly service. On the way to Oba river especially, you drive through tiny villages and countryside. It is hard to believe that these places are just few minutes’ drive away from Alanya.
Taurus mountains run along the southern coast of Turkey and reach on the highest peaks altitude of 3 500 meters. The mountain range was formed about 60 million years ago and because of the high calcareousity of the soil, there are several caves and underground lakes in the mountains. There are also many dripstone caves around Antalya and Alanya. The most famous of them are Dim Cave and Damlataş Cave in Alanya area.
On the eastern side of Alanya, about 40 km away, is Sapadere canyon. A cold watered river runs on the bottom of this steep walled ravine. At the end of the canyon there is a beautiful waterfall which is easy to reach by a walkway built just above the river.
In the neighbouring areas there are several other caves worth visiting. One of them is Altınbeşik cave near Manavgat. It is one of the biggest caves in the area and the underground lake inside the cave is biggest in Turkey and third biggest in the whole world. Altınbeşik cave is 2 500 m long and there are some prehistorical engravings in the cave. Also Tınaztepe cave up in the Taurus mountains by the Konya highway is a popular cave to visit.
Kurşunlu waterfalls close to Antalya, appr 120 km from Alanya is a pleasant, green recreational area, where one can have a nice walk enjoying the tranquility and beautiful scenery.