Alanya is a city in the district of Antalya and is located 135 km east of Antalya. In the East is the city of Gazipasa and in the West Manavgat/Side. Alanya is also known as „Pearl of the Turkish Rivera” and is world-famous for it’s kilometers of fine and clean beach, crystal-clear water and the mild Mediterranean climate. The historical past, the various natural and historical sights and the multicultural way of life have made Alanya an unforgettable experience. Many different kinds of watersports, the colorful bazaar and the happy night-life made Alanya very popular with local and European tourists
The first settlements are dated in the before-Christian time which we explain under History. Before tourism the original settlers „Yörük” (a nomad race) lived from farming, fishing and stockbreeding. Over the winter months they lived in the mild climate of Alanya and in the summer they moved with their cattle to the Taurus mountains. But with the start of the tourism they settled down and opened boutiques and hotels.
With its vast beaches, historic sites, the innumerable fish restaurants of its modern hotel and motels and its cafes and bars, Alanya, is an outstanding holiday getaway. The first thing that greets the visitor is the 13th century Seljuk Castle,which sits like a crown atop of Alanya Peninsula. Besides the impressive castle, there is the shipyard and the Red Tower (Kızıl Kule) with monumental beauty. All along the road which runs beside the port are latenight cafes and bars and boutiques selling handicrafts, leather clothing, jewelry, handbags and local gourds painted with extraordinary colors. If you like to explore caves, then you must see Damlataş Cave.
Near the cave is the Ethnography Museum. By boat you can reach three other caves: the Phosphorous Cave with its phosphoric rocks, Girls Cave (Kızlar Cave), where pirates held their women prisoners, and Lovers Cave (Aşıklar Cave). The cool shade of Dim Brook Valley, 15 km east of Alanya, is an ideal place to get away and relax. The sea all around Alanya is excellent for swimming. Alanya is a paradise of sun, sea and sand.
Based on skeletal evidence found between the villages of Bademağacı and Oba northeast of the city, Alanya is believed to have been inhabited in pre-historic times.Alanya was sometimes considered part of Cilicia and sometimes part of Pamphilia. It was later ruled by the Hittites and Romans respectively. In a bad state of repair after a number of invasions and wars, the city was rebuilt by the Romans. In the Byzantine era, Alanya was called Kolonoros, which means the ‘beautiful mountain’.
Because of its climate, plants from all over the world can be found in Alanya. Some of the most common are oranges, bananas, vegetables of all kinds, tropical fruits from South Africa and India such as papaya, guava, avocado and a variety of dates and coffees. Alanya has a typical Mediterranean climate with wet humid winters and hot dry summers. The average temperature year-round is 19ºC. The water averages 21ºC.
The Historical Town Center
It would be most becoming to start the tour in the historical town center of Alanya from the harbor.Starting a tour from Kızıl Kule (the Red Tower), you can make your way towards the Shipyard, the middle part of the castle and the inner castle on the top. Kızıl Kule (Red Tower)
Regarded as the most attractive architectural structure of Alanya and almost a symbol of the town , Kyzyl Kule was commissioned by Alaeddin Keykubat , the Seljukid Sultan in 1226, and called Kızıl Kule for the red (Turkish : kızıl) bricks used in the construction. Kızıl Kule is 33 m. High having an octagonal plan with five storeys.
The bottom floor of the tower, where one pays an entrance fee, is used as an annex of Alanya Museum for exhibition of ethnographic works of art. You can see costumes of the Ottoman period, hand-woven textiles of the region and looms where these handicrafts were produced among the works of art exhibited.
leaving the tower behind, follow the pathway by the walls for a further 200 m after going down the stairs; you will reach the shipyard, again built during Sultan Keykubat’s period. The shipyard was built two years after the tower and is the only remaining shipyard from the Seljuks. It has five docks each of 7 m. Widht and 43 m. Depth all opening to the sea.
After Kızıl Kule and the Shipyard, Alanya Castle follows as part of the tour. It takes 45 minute walk to climb up the castle.
Don’t miss to see Arap Evliyası which was built as a church in the 11th century and then converted into a mosque; the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Bedesten (market place) beside the mosque, resored and now used as a restaurant,bar and hotel, Ehmendek where the commander of the castle resided, little houses of Alanya remaining from the Seljuks and the Ottomans, Akşebe Sultan Masjid and Tomb
You can then go up the Inner Castle. Entrance to the Inner Castle is charged. The entrance gate opens to the large courtyard where on the left side you will see the big cistern vaulted with red bricks on the top. This cistern is the biggest of 400 cisterns existing on various parts of the castle and is still in use. One of the most important works of art present in the inner castle is the Byzantine Church (Aya Yorgi), once used as a Masjid during the Seljuks’s period, standing in quite strong and good condition.
The stairs right behind the church will lead you to a place which we can call exactly a viewing terrace. You should view the fascinating panorama of the town in three directions, especially at sunset. Adam Atacağı Tower is the last spot of the inner castle tour. It is related that the prisoners of the Roman times were made to play a similar gamble. They were given three stones and one who managed to throw the stone into the sea was released whereas those who could not were thrown into the sea through a catapult. The name Adam Atacağı (=Man Thrower) is given for that reason
After the Castle tour , the second route climbing down leads you to the entrance door of Damlata? Cave which lies to the west of the peninsula. The Damlataş beach is also named after this cave.
Adorned with alluring stalactites and stalagmites of various colours, the cave has a constant temperature of 22-23 degrees Celsius. It is said that the atmosphere of the cave has a healing effect on asthma except the allergic type and rheumatism with a humidity of 90-100 % and very high rate of carbon containing some radioactivity. The section where stalactites and stalagmites are seen is a cavity of 13-14 m. Width and 15 m. Height. Tours to the cave are scheduled in two different types: Sight seeing as well as health tours
Join one of the excursions to cover the Alanya Peninsula from the sea, and to see Kızıl Kule, Tersane and Alanya Castle. During this excursion, your vessel will call at three caves. The first stop is the Pirate’s Cave. The second is the Aşıklar Mağarası (cave) and the third one is Fosforlu Mağara (cave). Vessels are able to enter the caves. Once inside, the water shines almost as if phosphorescently . Hence , the name : “Fosforlu Mağara”. Swimming here is an enjoying experience.
Alanya is a rich historic site. The museums of the town gives a clear idea of the wealth. Alanya Museum comprises of three secions. The first is employed to display archaeological finds belonging to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. There are finds dated to prehistory, too. The bronze statue of Heracles in this section is remarkably impressive. There are ethnographic objects in the second section. Majority of the works are manuscripts, Korans and calligraphy. Also inside the museum a sample Alanya Home can be seen. The pieces displayed in the courtyard, comprise the third section. Sarchophagi and similar archaeological objects are displayed here.
Alanya has everything, from the well-known, fresh seafood and fish to steak houses, taverns, nouvelle cuisine, and just plain good Turkish home cooking. All the five and four-star hotels have a la carte restaurants. Non-guests are welcome to watch the shows and enjoy the cocktails before dinner. The choice of international dishes is astounding, the service top class, and the staff, polite and helpful. Along the outskirts of the city, there are charming little eateries serving Turkish pancakes (gozleme) and fresh yogurt drink (ayran), definitely spots to check out.
During construction, materials from previous ages were used. Grids at each face, observation windows, holes with rubber in the front used for pouring asphalt and boiling water over the enemies provide a special beauty. The dockyard symbolising the first meeting of the Seljuks with the Mediterranean remains standing strong with its facinating view and forms an ensemble with the castle. The building consists of five arched vaults and is 57 metres in length and 40 metres in depth. The inscription at the entrance includes Sultan’s seal and is decorated with rosettes. There is a room by the door which was used for prayer in some scientists’ opinion, while as a storehouse according to the others’. The room at the end of the dockyard is believed to have been allocated for dockyard officials. Seljuk had access to the Mediterranean through this harbour, which was the second marine base after the harbour in Sinop. The construction date is 1227. Tophane with two storeys thought to be built for the security of the dockyard has a rectangular ground plan 14×12 metres in size. The building was erected during the reign of A. Keykubat.
The museum has two sections where archaeological and ethnographical arts are exhibited and it was opened for visitors in 1967. An increasing number of artefacts found in the region required the establishment of new museum facilities, and the Archaeological Museum was taken into operation. For the opening of the museum, works of art from Ancient Bronze, Urartu, Frygian and Lydia Periods were brought from the Ankara Museum of Anatolian Civilisations for exhibition. The inscription dating from 625 B.C. discovered around Alanya with writing in the Phoenician language is one of the oldest artefacts and is exhibited here.
Besides, remains from Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Periods, made of bronze, marble, earthenwareand glass and mosaics and inscriptions in the Karamanlica language and coins from Classical(B.C. 7-5th century), Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuki, Ottoman and Republic Times are also exhibited here in a separate section.
In the ethnographical section, Turkish-Islamic artefacts and others delivered by Directorate of Primary Education and collected in the surrounding region and reflecting features of the times, yörük rugs, red sacks, daily utensil containers, jewellery, manuscripts and writing tools are exhibited in a room arranged in the form of an Alanya house. Furthermore, the stone carvings and mosaics exhibition from Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Times are exhibited in the yard of the museum.
The Kızılkule Ethnography Museum
This grand building erected in 1226 for military and dockyard control purposes is one of unique monuments of the Seljuks, and is the symbol of Alanya. After repairs between 1951 and 1953, in 1979 carpets, rugs, clothes kitchen tools, weapons, scales, lightening rods and weaving tools unique to the Alanya region and tents reflecting the yörük (nomad) culture are exhibited, and thus the building functions as our ethnography museum.
The Atatürk House Museum
The founder of Turkish Republic, the Great Leader Atatürk, came to Alanya on February 18th, 1935 and stayed in the house to rest for a while, and the house was donated to the Ministry of Culture by its owner Tevfik Azakoğlu and in 1987 the house was restorated and decorated in order to receive visitors as “Atatürk’s House and Museum”. On the first floor, Atatürk’s personal possessions, photographs, a telegram written for the Alanya people by Atatürk and other historical documents are exhibited, on the second floor the elements of a typical Alanya house can be seen and some ethnographical objects unique to the region are exhibited.
Ruins in the Surrounding Region
Dağlık is within borders of Güneyköy, 18 km from the Gazipaşa district. It falls into the borders of region known as Mountainous Kilikya in Ancient Times. The name of the town comes from Antiochus IV, king of Kommagene. The ruins stand on three hills. The first one is an area consisting of agora, bath, triumph parade line and church; the second part is the necropolis area with tomb structures unique to the Kilikya region; the third part consists of the ruins of the castle built on the sharp rocky area extending to the sea to the west. To the north of the city there are the ruins of a temple whose architectural components are still visible. There is a building with religious functions with an apsis of three walls called trikonkhos. The ruins date from Roman, Byzantine and Medieval times.
3 km south of Gazipaşa, about 45 km from Alanya. The city lies at the foot of hill extending towards the sea in elbow shape. The acropolis of the city stands on the hill. There is a vaulted two-room bath at the point where Selinus (Hacı Musa) meets the sea. The coulmns of the agora on the sea side have been lost, but stylobat traces can still be seen. Upon walking Further towards the east from the agora, a building with an apsis is to be seen. Most probably the building was established over a religious temple. There is monumental structure on the east side of the church. The entrance door, which is the only Islamic structure of the city, is surrounded with lively arabesque motives of Lescuklu. These ruins must be the remains of a mansion. The tomb structure in the cemetery, which is the necropolis of the city, gives a very good impression of the burial customs in Kilikya. Some parts of the water canals of the region have survived untill our time. The Roman Emperor Trajan died in the city while he was returning from the Parthan expedition and his ashes were buried in Rome. The ruins date from Roman, Byzantine and Medieval Times.
Located on 33rd km of the Alanya-Gazipaşa highway. The ancient city has its name from Iotape, the wife of Antiochus IV, King of Kommagane (A.D. 38-72). The city minted its own coins during the period from Emperor Trianus to Valerianus. The ruins have features of the Roman and Byzantine Periods. The acropolis of the city is on the high hill extending to the sea. The castle walls give it the appearance of a castle. The buildings have been subjected to considerable destruction. In the valley where the acropolis is connected to the land, there is the Harbour street extending in east-west direction. On both sides of the street, there are crepis consisting of three steps and sculpture podiums. On these, the inscriptions contain information about successful athletes and philanthropic citizens of the town. In the bay located on the east of the acropolis there is a basilica in rectangular shape with three naves. There are traces of frescos inside the small church in the town. In the fresco H.G. stratelates was depicted. Another building still remaining in the city is the bath. The sewage system of the bath can still be seen. On the modern road passing through the city center there are the ruin of a temple 8×12.5 m. in size. The necropolis of Iotape is on the north and south hills of the city. Beside monumental tombs there are also small tombs. There are structures covered with vaults in the city.
Located approximately on the 20th km of the highway between Alanya and Gazipaşa, within border of Seki village. The city is entered through a monumental gate still remaining on the west side of the town. There are several cisterns which met the water needs of the city. In one of the caves, there is a niche carved into the stone with fresco paintings. The cave must have been used for religious purposes. It is known as the baptising cave. There is a bath building on the east side of the town. There are mosaics on some parts of the bath floor. Just to the west of the bath, in north-south direction, the columned street of the town lies. There are niches in the north walls of the street. In the excavations made by Directorate of the Alanya Museum since 1994 it was understood that the street is 250×10 metres in size and was covered with a wooden roof and the south side is open. There are many inscriptions about races and competitions. Other important structures in the town include temples, the theatre, shops, houses and town walls. The excavations dated the ruins to between 7th century B.C. and 13th century A.D.
A settlement on the foot of Cebel-i Reis Mountain rising at the entrance of Dim Valley in the Taurus Mountains. About 25 km from Alanya. The nearest village is Gözüküçük. The border of the region known as Mountainous Kilikya Region in antiquity. Strabon mentions the town as having a harbour and standing on a hill shaped as a breast. The important ruins of the town remaining at present are observatory towers, Caracalla excedra, odeon or theatre, Zeus Megistos temple, Apollon temple, Caesar temple, agora, bath and necropolis. Absence of ruins from Hellenistic times is due to the fact that the town was under control of pirates during that period and therefore sufficient improvements were not made. An inscription in the Phoenician language dating the town to the 6th century B.C., which was found in the town, is exhibited in the Alanya museum. Another important object discovered in the town is the “diploma of a Roman soldier” on exhibit in the Alanya Museum, which gives information about the military aspect of the town. The ruins date from the Roman period.
In the Elikesik village located 6 km north-west of Alanya. Within the borders of the Pamphylia Region. Popularly known as Sinekkalesi. Strabon mentions that the timber used in ship building was grown in the town and particularly there were cedar trees in the town. It is believed that the town was founded before the Roman period. The rectangular stone tower shows Hellenistic features. The most important ruins of the town include: an ancient fountain, pool, semi-circle designed, excedra the seats of which are still seen, inscriptions still readable, religious complex and necropolis. Some inscriptions discovered in the town pavement include the emblem of Hermes, which indicates existence of a Hermes temple in the town. Considerable parts of an embossed stele ostotechs exhibited in the Alanya Museum were discovered in the town. It is known that a small relatively impoverished community lived in Hamaxia between A.D. 100 and 200 under the administration of Coracesium. An important part of the ruins date from Roman and Byzantine Periods.
Within the borders of Bayırkozağacı village of Güzelbahçe town of Gündöğmuş county. The important ruins have survived until present, include tombs in the necropolis and natural rock tombs. The face of rock stones are of a monumental nature and have 18 steps. The tomb room is only one location and the top of entrance is carved in a vault shape and the inside of the cave is decorated with a Medusa head, and both sides of the vault are decorated with eagle figures. Several inscriptions discovered nearby include information shedding light upon the history of the town. The ruins date from Roman and Byzantine Periods.
Antalya – Alanya Dim Cavern
DIM CAVERN, KESTEL / ALANYA
TÜRKİYE, DIM CAVERN
Dim Cavern is located within the bounderies of Alanya – Kestel township, towards the south slope of Dim valley, at an altitude of 232 m.
The Cavern is 134 km from Antalya Airport and its distance from Alanya city centre is 11 km. You may gain access to the cavern, by taking the seaside road passing through Kestel township.
Dim Cavern was known for a long time and some parts were used as a sheep fold. During 1986 the cavern was studied geologically and geomorphologically. The Cavern was introduced to the visitors after the conclusion of scientific inspections by MAGTUR Co. in 1998.
This cavern had been named as “Dim Cavern” due to the name of the population living nearby.
The 360 m long path is prepared and illuminated, so as to provide a pleasant excursion offering a tremendous scenary of stalagmites and stalactites to the visitors.
You can observe the continious formation and the calcerous flowers in Pamukkale Hall at the west side of Dim Cavern; as well as the lake located at the southern part.
The environment will offer you all seasons at the same time of year with the snowy peaks of the Taurus Mountains, the clean and warm sea, and the bright sun of the Mediterranean region.