Alanya Under The Winter Sun
Editor's note: Anadolujet (AnadoluJet Website), trademark of Turkish Airlines, has published a big article about Alanya in their in-flight magazine. This has been done because from 22 January 2014 they shall start to cater flights to Gazipasa airport.
Journal holds no (legal) rights to the following presentation and all credits go to Anadolujet for writing such a nice piece about our beloved region.
Warm Mediterranean sun shines 300 days a year at Antalya’s coastal town Alanya where one can see some of the best examples Seljuk and Ottoman architecture in Southern Anatolia.
There are many reasons to come to Alanya even in Anatolia’s deepest winter. Perhaps the first one is the warm Mediterranean sun that shines throughout the year. With the natural charm of all towns that are located between the sea and mountains, Alanya is also at the heart of a magnificent cultural accumulation. The rising star of the Mediterranean coast, Alanya overlooks the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean from the wooded slopes of the Taurus Mountains, attracting more than a million tourists every year. We begin our tour around the town from Alanya Castle.
Dating back to Seljuk era Alanya Castle is one of the oldest settlements at the town. It looks like an eagle’s nest atop a craggy peninsula at some 250 meters above the sea. Surrounded by a 6.5 kilometers long strong rampart, the castle was protected by 83 turrets which were built in Seljuk and later in Ottoman times. It was built in 13th century over a foundation that dates back to the Hellenistic period. The most impressive section of the castle as well as the symbol of Alanya is the 33 meters high octagonal Red Tower just behind the wharf. The structure that resembles a five arched stone bridge to the left end of the tower is the only shipyard that is left from the Seljuk era. Preserving the characteristic urban texture of Alanya, the inside of the castle looks like an open air museum with the best examples of Ottoman architecture especially at the Tophane (arsenal) neighborhood that continues to exist within the castle for centuries. There is also another interesting neighborhood called Ehmedek at the higher sections of the castle. Reminding a medieval Mediterranean town the neighborhood nests some 2000 years old buildings. Old Turkish graves among old fig and cypress trees, an age-old caravanserai covered with ivies, Roman bastions, Byzantine cisterns, Süleymaniye Mosque and its elegant 16th century wood work decorations, Ottoman baths, a lighthouse, churches, tombs and dungeons… The surroundings of Alanaya Castle also keep a lot of surprises for tourists: A long and pleasing walk among hand woven silk and cotton textile workshops, gift and souvenir counters, colorful bottle gourds decorated with authentic figures, authentic diners at the pleasant gardens of historical houses, restaurants and cafes with a wonderful port view all wait for you.
WARM, EXOTIC, MODERN
Known as the land of the sun in history, almost 65 percent of Alanya is green. The 70 kilometers long coast line stretching from Ulaş promontory to Gazipaşa border constitutes the main axis of Alanya’s urban development. Lined by palm and date trees on both sides Atatürk Boulevard is lively and exotic all day long. Alanya Museum is just one of the many surprises that the streets intersecting the boulevard hide. At a walking distance from the boulevard, on the western shore of the castle peninsula there is Damlataş Cave. A true miracle of nature filled with honey colored stalactites and stalagmites the cave has a constant temperature of 20 to 23 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The cave is said to have a healing effect on asthma and rheumatism patients due to various chemical gases and radioactive waves it emits. Alanya market is lively the whole year. The only alternatives to the market where you can find all kinds of gifts, clothing, gold and silver accessories and jewelry, leather and woodwork are the neighborhood markets. It is not easy to leave these markets without buying some of the herbs, herbal teas, spices and local garments that are brought from mountain villages and towns surrounding Alanya. On the way from market to the waterfront, the Havuzlu Park nests one of the most beautiful green spaces of Alanya. The park’s gate on the waterfront side opens to the Rıhtım Street, one of Alanya’s favorite walking courses.
A true beach heaven, both Alanya’s city center and the surrounding areas feature many beautiful beaches. The quality of water is checked by microbiological analyses every 2 weeks at these blue flag awarded beaches. Blue flags are given only to those beaches and marinas that meet international standards. Since the water gets deeper after 50 meters from the shore Antalya’s sea is considered very safe for children and people who cannot swim well. It is believed that Egyptian Queen Cleopatra’s favorite golden beach was also in Alanya. Located at the west end of the town, the 2 kilometers long Cleopatra Beach is among the 10 most beautiful beaches of Turkey. Moreover, it has been rumored that the fine and non sticking sand of the beach was brought from North African coast upon Cleopatra’s command. Located just at the west exit of the town the 2 kilometers long Cleopatra beach is considered among the 10 most beautiful beaches in Turkey. You may even see cute Mediterranean monk seals in Alanya’s Aşıklar (lovers), Korsanlar (pirates), Fosforlu (luminous), Dipsiz (abysmal) and Beldibi caves. Another natural wonder of Alanya is the Dim Valley at 15 kilometers distance from the town center. Running through the wooded valley Dim River is the main reason of the abundance of agricultural harvest in the region where banana goves will make you feel as if you were in the Far East. Alanya is ready to wellcome you four seasons a year. We believe you must accept this invitation.