Sat beneath the gaze of the imposing Taurus Mountains and looking out across the glistening expanse of the invitingly turquoise coloured Mediterranean, it’s not difficult to see the immediate appeal of the Turkish coastal region of Alanya; and easily explains the popularity of this southern part of a country which famously straddles both Europe and Asia. Recognised as one of the strongholds of the once far-reaching Ottoman Empire, this stunning area which lies to the south is today acknowledged as a holiday destination of choice for both couples and families planning for fun and adventure. Perfectly situated less than 20km from the heart of the city, Alanya hotels such as the Eftalia Village Hotel is a sizeable, modern resort which boasts impressive hospitality and extensive facilities, and is seen by many as representing the ideal base for a memorable sunshine break. As are a host of hotels, for those of you planning a cheap holiday in Alanya for 2018.
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There are many aspects of a visit to Alanya, with its historic old town, sandy beaches, excellent places to eat and buzzing nightlife. You are also in a good position for a day trip to Side with its Roman ruins and amphitheatre or the spectacular waterfalls outside Mangavat and beautiful mosque in the centre.
Make a visit to the 13th Century castle and its accompanying cave in Alanya before exploring the old town and enjoying the amazing sea views. While you are there you will want to see the ‘Pamukkale’ which translates as ‘cotton castle’. Solidified springs have formed petrified pools that look snowy white where you can bathe in thermal pools.
Walk around the old town and find charming cafés and markets or head to the beach for some action on the water or some lazing on the sand. Alanya is renowned for its nightlife so you will be spoilt for choice for bars or clubs staying open until the early hours.
There’s a host of tempting tastes of Turkey awaiting the budding foodie who chooses to sample the local culinary delights found during their holiday in Alanya, with all palettes catered for by virtue of numerous bars and restaurants. It’s fair to say that Turkish people are in love with food, and would certainly give the French a run for their money; which ultimately plays into the hands (or rather, mouths) of tourists visiting destinations such as Alanya this summer. From home-grown Turkish fayre, Mediterranean-sourced dishes and broader European menus to Mexican, Japanese and Scandinavian, food venues in Alanya will tickle the tastebuds of even the most difficult of eaters.
Not only do holidays in Alanya provide excellent dining and nightlife options for gallivanting couples, but it also gives families with altogether different priorities (and itineraries) a myriad of ways in which to keep the younger members of their party both entertained and educated. Take for example the Antalya’s Aquapark and Aquarium, Disneyland Lunapark, Alanya Castle, Damlatas and Dim Caves and Alanya Archaeological Museum. While the former are platforms for thrills and spills a plenty, the latter afford holidaymakers insights into the rich history of Turkey. And don’t forget, elsewhere you’ll find a raft of traditional boutiques and craft stalls around the city, many of which specialise in leather, jewellery and other handicrafts which in some ways characterise the Turkish culture.
For those tourists and sightseers who lust after pulse-quickening of another variety, then once again an incomparable Alanya holiday can deliver the tourist goods by the spade-full. Not least in a mix of different leisure time guises, ranging from horse riding to jeep safaris and every thrilling thing in between. With regards to horse riding, then why not take up the reigns of a unique riding tour which sees those participating take a journey to the very pinnacle of the stunning Taurus Mountains. With views which will take the intrepid explorer’s breath away, those enjoying the experience will be further lost for words when they ascend to the ancient city of Syedra to witness its beautiful castle. Sticking with the mountains, the Jeep Safari company offers a full day’s off-road trekking, widely considered to be amongst Alanya’s best excursions. At the same time you’ll visit a small, traditional rural Turkish village and enjoy lunch at a well-known restaurant by the Dim Cayi River. Alternatively you may wish to throw yourself into a full day’s whitewater rafting and canyoning, which makes top billing at the Koprulu Tour; and when and where you also get to discover other aspects of nearby Antalya Province, including a 2,000-year old Roman bridge. Or maybe scuba diving is more your idea of holiday adventure, and delving into the life beneath the crystal clear waters off Alanya. Another 1 day course gives you just this opportunity, and is suitable for beginners and experienced divers alike; and comprises of lunch on board the boat.
Turkish resorts such as those found dotted throughout Alanya – and which comprise what’s been long-dubbed, the Turkish Riviera - are renowned for their choice of watersports offered, and thrill-seeking holidaymakers will be spoilt for choice, courtesy of the availability of water skiing, parasailing and banana boating to name but three options. Of course, if your ideal Alanya holiday in the sun demands a little less adrenalin, the clear, calm waters of the Mediterranean which lap up against Alanya beach are ideal for the more genteel pursuit of swimming. And if you’re hoping to conserve your energy entirely, then just pull up a sun lounger, kick back and simply soak up the rays on the clean, white sand beaches while others take the plunge instead. Shallow, safe bathing waters can also be discovered at nearby Side and Belek, fascinating, ancient towns which are also home to a range of bars and restaurants.
For those wanting to extend the good times long into the evening, Alanya holidays affords the tourist a bustling hub of nightlife activity. The city’s ‘Bar District’ populates the harbour area, where small, independent bars sit side-by-side with and larger nightclubs in and around a marina setting, and a place where once the sun sets the neons and Mediterranean beats take over as the holidaying spotlight falls on more nocturnal fun. At a glance, the likes of the Robin Hood, the Summer Garden and the Bistro Bellman stand out, as a cross-section of venues which habitually keep the party vibes going, while serving a veritable smorgasboard of food to help absorb the liquid refreshments.
It may not necessarily stir the same emotions as Paris or Venice, but that’s not to say that the southern Turkish coastal city (and surrounding vistas) of Alanya don’t conjure up their own romantic idylls for couples looking to rekindle feelings of l’amour. Or as the Turkish say, ‘ask’ (albeit with an accent on the ‘S’). Few would argue that watching the sun setting over the city from the heights of Alanya castle is not up there as one of the most romantic of gestures, while a trip to take in the watery delights of Manavgat waterfalls is another memory to make a shared experience with a loved one. Meanwhile the sunken city boat trip which forms part of the Demre & Myra Tour would definitely serve to bring two people closer, as would the full day excursion to the Green Canyon as part and parcel of a boat trip. Indeed, the latter involves what’s been universally described as a relaxing cruise along an emerald green lake, its natural geographic presence further framed by the Taurus Mountains and lush wooded landscapes.
Culture vultures won’t be short of things to discover during their Alanya holiday either, with a host of ways to spend their time including the aptly-named, annual Alanya International Culture and Art Festival; which is staged during the last weekend in May. The area is nothing if not a cultural hot spot per se, while there’s numerous other places to explore all within striking distance for those happy to travel a bit further afield. The previously mentioned Dim Cave, Alanya Castle, Manavgat waterfalls and Kekova-Demre-Myra tour can all be reached with the minimum of effort and planning, with trips to Pamukkale, Anemurium antique city and Cappadocia requiring a little more travelling, yet completely worth it. staying closer to your Turkish home from home however, and the aforementioned Alanya street bazaars sell interesting souvenirs and goods at reasonable prices, and al also touched on earlier, the city plays host to a cornucopia of cafes, bars and restaurants to dip in and out of while staying in the vicinity. Most notable amongst them are the almost hidden gems like ‘Belediye Cay Bahcesi’, or the Tea Garden of the Municipality. Most tourists don’t know about this garden and therefore often miss the chance at savouring great tea at a good price. For those hoping to immerse themselves in even more of the local culture, the Hotel Hamburg offers the chance to take in a belly dancing show.