Alanya is best known for its beaches. The stretches of sand in the town itself and along the surrounding coastline are all about laid-back resort holidays and are usually crowded with a northern European clientele from June to August.
However, Alanya has more to offer than its coast. The peninsula’s high cliff contains an ancient castle district, all surrounded by well-preserved, sturdy stone walls. More historic ones appear to have survived down by the harbor, towering over a bay where yachts stand ready to take you out to sea.
Alanya is also just a day trip away from some of the famous ancient sites and tourist attractions of this Mediterranean region. If you also want to shed the sand for the day and set off to explore, there is plenty to do on the beach.
Besides the places mentioned on this list, you can also easily take day trips to Antalya to visit the museum and stroll around the old town, Aspendos (the most famous Roman theater in Turkey) and other important sites near Antalya like Perge.
Alanya is located in the center of the Turkish Riviera and offers a pleasant Mediterranean climate with long summers and mild winters. Alanya enjoys 310 sunny days every year with up to 14 hours of sunshine per day in June and July. Yes, you will most likely spend a sunny holiday here.
The best time to travel to Alanya is from June to December, when you can expect temperatures around 31°C. My visit took place in late May and early June, when the weather was already warm and the sea even cooler (it didn’t prevent me from swimming every day). If I were to travel to Alanya again I would choose June or September as July and August can be quite hot there.
If you want to focus on sightseeing and various excursions around Alanya, spring could be a great time to visit. The average spring temperature is around 20°C with overnight lows of 9°C. It may not be possible to swim in the sea, but there is still plenty of warm sunshine.
Alanya has something for everyone – you can sunbathe on Cleopatra Beach one day and take an adventure trip to the stunning Sapedere Gorge the other day . Of course there is much more!
Here are some suggested activities and some tips for you and your kids in Alanya to keep in mind.
When you visit Alanya you will be greeted by a city full of contrasts. Old meets new and Turkish culture is shaped by tourism. In fact, Alanya is so much more than just a seaside resort. So you can easily spend an active and eventful holiday. Here you will find everything your heart desires – without being bored .
So, if you are planning a trip to Alanya, I would like to recommend you the best things to do in Alanya. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Ideal for families with small children. Here we start with the best things to do in Alanya with kids!
With its cypress-clad cliffs shedding into jewel-colored waters and its evident ancient history, Antalya is the pearl of Turkey’s glittering Mediterranean coast. It’s Turkey’s largest beach destination and a huge crowd puller. No matter what kind of holiday you want – sitting on the beach, visiting historical ruins, doing extreme sports or going out in the evening – you can find all activities in Antalya. From the most demanding to the most relaxed.
Let’s explore our list of kid-friendly attractions in Alanya for perfect family trips and getaways.
The 6 kilometer long section of the ancient walls of Alanya Castle runs along the high promontory that shadows the modern sprawl of Alanya below.
Within the walls is Alanya’s Old Town district, the most interesting area of the city to explore.
The history of Alanya Castle dates back to the classical era when this rugged, cave-riddled peninsula was a popular spot for pirate warfare.
The fortifications built by the Greeks were expanded under Roman rule, but during the Byzantine era Alanya’s role as a Mediterranean seaport began to gain importance.
When the Seljuks took control of this region in the 13th century, they built on the foundations of previous rulers. Many of the surviving buildings in the castle area date back to when Alanya became a trading center.
The lower part of the castle closest to the entrance gate is known as the Ehmedek Quarter. Here, stroll the alleyways of red-roofed houses and historic buildings from the Ottoman era, then follow the winding lanes up to the Iç Kale (the castle’s inner fortress) for older Seljuk and Byzantine ruins, as well as views stretching out over the sea, the coastal plateau , and the peaks of the Taurus Mountains beyond.
Click Here to see Alanya City Tour.
On the port side, both the Red Tower (Kızılkule) and the Seljuk Shipyard (Tersane) are extensions of the Alanya Castle fortifications built in the 13th century.
The octagonal Red Tower, 30 meters high, served as a port defense tower during the Seljuk period. Climb onto the roof for great views over the harbor front.
From the tower, a pleasant footpath leads along the original harbor fortifications to the only remaining example of a Seljuk-era shipyard in Turkey. The vaulted halls here, built into the waterfront, are open to the sea, so the waves are constantly pounding against the stone.
The walkway from here leads a short distance along the coast to a small Seljuk – era watchtower building .
Click Here to see Alanya City Tour Page.
The most scenic way to reach Alanya Castle area is by cable car that connects Cleopatra Beach to the Lower Castle District of Ehmedek.
The cable car operates daily between 11:00am and 9:00pm, and the cliff top ride is great for catching views of the coast at sunset and as a mode of transport.
The 900 meter drive offers excellent views over the wooded cliff leading to the castle, the yawning strip of Cleopatra Beach and the Mediterranean Sea below, and the dark mountains in the distance.
The lower station is just behind the beach, while the upper station drops you right in front of the main gate of Alanya Castle, from where you can continue hiking up the hillside to explore the historical buildings and ruins.
From around May to October many tour boats depart from Alanya port for day trips around the dramatic rocky headland, visiting the sea caves where pirates once hid and anchoring offshore for numerous swimming stops.
The main sea caves visited by the boats are the Pirates Cave and the Damlatas Cave, although several others can be visited depending on the boat, including the Fosforlu Cave and the Love Cave.
The quality of the trips varies greatly. Some boats are basically party rides, also find out about the operators before you go and get recommendations from your hotel. In general, if you don’t want a disco on board, the smaller boats are usually a better option.
For a shorter trip, opt for a sunset cruise around the harbour.
Just a stone’s throw from Alanya (in the direction of 11 kilometers inland), Dim Cave is hollowed out on the western slope of Mount Cebel-i Reis in the Taurus Mountains.
This cave is Turkey’s second largest cave open to visitors with walkway leading 360 meters into the cave and descending 17 meters below the surface entrance.
The limestone interior is dotted with stalactite and stalagmite formations, all the way down to the lagoon at the cave’s lowest level.
Bring a jacket or sweater as you will need it once inside the cave. Even in midsummer it is cool here.
The cave entrance area with its café offers a magnificent view of the coastal plateau below.
The ancient ruins scattered around the small town of Side are only 64 kilometers northwest of Alanya and can therefore easily be visited as a day trip.
Side is a small but busy seaside resort with a very touristy bazaar area meandering through the old town district leading down to a port area.
There are many cafes and restaurants along the coast. So if you plan to tick off Aspendos on your day trip, this is the best place to stop for lunch.
The main area of the ancient ruins is located just opposite the entrance to Side’s old town district. This is where you’ll find Side’s imposing 2nd-century Roman theater that can seat up to 20,000 spectators. This is one of Turkey’s best preserved Roman theaters and the city’s most dramatic tourist attraction.
Don’t forget to visit the Side Museum , housed in a Roman bathhouse across from the theater entrance.
Then, be sure to explore the vast area of ruins with the Agora and Tyche Temple just east of the theater.
Once you’ve wandered through this archeological site, head into the old town itself and stroll up to the port.
Right on the water stand the remaining pillars and columns of the Temples of Apollo and Athena overlooking the sea.
The Köprülü Canyon National Park is located about 120 kilometers north of Alanya. It’s primarily known as one of the best spots in the region for rafting trips that take place on the icy blue river that meanders through the gorge, but for more activities the area also offers Roman ruins and plenty of hiking opportunities.
Selge is the most important Roman archaeological site in the area. The awaits of this once thriving city of 20,000 people lies amidst the lonely village of Altinkaya, 11 kilometers northwest of the gorge. The great Roman theater, carved into the hillside and towering above the modern village houses, is worth a visit here, although the theater has been partially destroyed.
In the gorge itself, several tour operators offer rafting trips along the Köprü River. The trips traverse the most scenic stretch of the river, passing under the Roman-built Oluk Bridge, which dates back to the 2nd century.
The gorge is 14 kilometers long and its walls rise up to 400 meters in places.
If rafting isn’t your thing, there are several cafes and restaurants along the riverbank where you can relax and leaf through the canyon scenery.
For hikers, there are a number of trails in the canyon area, ranging from a hike up the 8,000-foot (2,504-meter) summit of Mount Bozburun to a two-hour hike along a Roman road.
Click Here to see Rafting Tour.
Swim in Sapadere Canyon
Sapadere Canyon on the outskirts of the small village of Sapadere is easily accessible from Alanya and is only 20 kilometers inland from the city.
From April to November we offer daily jeep tours to Sapadere Canyon in Alanya , good for travelers who want to sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Although small, measuring only 800 meters in length, Sapadere Canyon is sandwiched between high walls that reach 400 meters in height. This gives the canyon a cooler climate than along the coast and makes it an extremely attractive destination in midsummer.
A walkway leads through the gorge past some shaded cafes where you can relax and enjoy the gorge’s surroundings.
At the bottom of the gorge there is a small lagoon and a waterfall. Most come here to swim in the lagoon’s cold, blue-green waters and enjoy the cooler temperatures.
Click Here to see Sapadere Canyon Tour.
You might want to cook a whole day descending into the clear waters off Alanya.
Open to divers of all experience levels, this experience includes hotel pickup and boat trips from the port to two dive sites, with a cooked lunch aboard the yacht en route to the second dive site.
Beginners are well looked after, diving in groups of no more than two per instructor.
Non-divers can also join the trip and you can bring your own snorkel and mask or rent them from the boat and spend a carefree day swimming in the crystal clear sea and sunbathing.
Click Here to see Diving Tour.