Alanya's Mediterranean climate and vast beaches makes it one of Turkey's most popular resorts. “Where the sun smiles” is Alanya's well-earned slogan; the resort's long, hot and dry summer season runs from May to October. Nestled on Turkey's Southern Coast, Alanya is an ideal choice for those looking for a fun and relaxing holiday, and its historical sites provide a cultural twist to the usual all-inclusive fare.
As Turkey represents a wonderful coming-together of East and West, so Alanya offers a satisfying combination of the old and the modern, calm and buzzing. The Citadel of Alanya and the Kizilkule, the Red Tower, and other interesting historical landmarks around the castle walls give a cultural option to those wishing to take a day off from the beach. In contrast, the new part of the town is large and contemporary, with modern facilities, and will keep you busy through the day and into the night when it comes alive with a thriving after-dark scene.
If you're happy to spend your holiday horizontal on a sunbed, Alanya is an ideal choice. The two main beaches of Alanya are naturally separated into East and West and lay only metres away from many hotels. On the Western part is Cleopatra's Beach. Clean sand, clear water, incredible scenery, it's no wonder Cleopatra's Beach is regarded as the city's best. And over on the East...Eastern beach! With Alanya's long stretches of pristine sand and warm warms it's no coincidence the resort is held in high favour with visitors escaping the British weather!
Tucked into Turkey's rugged landscape and flanked by mountains Alanya Portakal (Orange) Beach is located just east of the city centre. At 1km long and over 100m wide in parts, this Blue Flag beach is a jewel in the crown of Antalya beaches. While entry is free, a small fee will give you access to nearby hotel beach services. Sunbeds and shades are available to rent at a small cost at both beaches, and there are plenty of beach side bars to grab some lunch and an ice-cold drink.
If you're looking for a bit more action, Alanya has a number of watersports to get your pulse pumping. Hop on a banana boat or pedalo, or try your hand at windsurfing, or for serious thrill-seekers, see it all from a birds-eye view parasailing. Nearby, you'll find Sealanya, Europe's largest waterpark. Not your standard slides-and-wave-pool affair, Sealanya is a tropical paradise, complete with sandy beaches and tropical lagoons, filled with marine fish. You can get up close with stingrays and even sharks- behind a net!- or if that is too excitement, the lazy river will let you drift away into a state of Zen!
For the culture-seekers, take a walk around The Citadel, Alanya's 13th century fortress. With over 6 kilometres of castle walls and 140 towers including the city's most recognisable landmark, the Red Tower, The Citadel gives an insight into the areas history and provides stunning views across the resort.
If you'd like to be reminded of the weather you've left at home, the cool, wet Dim Cave should do the trick! Estimated to be over 1 million years old, the cave is one of Turkey's largest. Footbridges throughout allow visitors to move around the cave without destroying the intricate stalagmites to reach the lake at the far end of the cave.
For your souvenirs, head to the Alanya bazaar. For beautiful leather goods, vibrant textiles, unique jewellery, and even the odd knock-off designer item, your loved ones will thank you for avoiding the standard souvenir tourist-trap!
Everyone is sure to find something to tickle their tastebuds as Alanya's culinary offerings come from far and wide. You'll find seafood, freshly caught off the coast, a host of European-influenced options and, of course, traditional Turkish.
Choose the meze to sample a range of small tapas-style dishes before graduating to the full meals- try the kokorec (lamb skewers), beyti sarma (spicy meatballs and flat bread) and mant? (Turkish ravioli).