Alanya Turkey is a laid-back city along Turkish Riviera. Its relaxed atmosphere, happy-go-lucky people, and gorgeous weather completely altered my understanding of the country.
Like my solo trip around India, my decision to backpack Turkey was questioned by my parents since the beginning.
And to be honest, I can see why.
Online articles highlighted women’s safety issues, and news outlets stressed the need for female travelers to cover up. Be the people or the culture, my parents and friends all shared similar views Turkey’s conservative nature. Of course, I’m not saying that one should forgo all forms of safety measures while traveling. In fact, as a solo female traveler, I often take a number of precautions.
But the Turkey I experienced was just not that dangerous. In Alanya, many won’t even bat an eye to tourists wandering the streets in their two pieced bikinis!
As a beachside haven that sits in the province of Antalya, Alanya quickly became one of my favorites within the country. From its clear blue waters to caves and castles, below are some of my favorite things to do in this charming city!
Alanya Turkey Weather: When to Go
Alanya sits along the coast of the Mediterranean. Along with beautiful views, it enjoys pleasant weather consisting of sizzling summers and mild winters. However, Alanya’s cooler climate comes with rain and humidity, meaning that the best time to visit this city is between June and September.
Alanya Turkey: How to Get There
Depending on which city you are leaving from, there are a few options to get to Alanya Turkey. The bus ride is between US $5-10 from Antalya and approximately US $ 30 from Istanbul. From Antalya, the journey is around 2.5 hours and operators such as Akdeniz will depart from Antalya Otogarı. Flights and private transfers are also available.
Alanya Turkey: Red Tower (Kızıl Kule) Lookout Point
The Alanya beach had it all–breezy sea breeze, bikini tops, bars, clubs and happy,
often sometimes drunk, crowds. Although the city has a grand party reputation, I opted for night swims in the sea as opposed to nights out at clubs. Sounds of the city are muffled by the Mediterranean waves while a clear view of the golden Alayna castle is visible just above the cliffs.
One of the best viewpoints of this sight is at the Red Tower. The Kızıl Kule is not only a historical site in Alanya, but also a symbol of the city. There are a number of public buses that stop at the Red Tower. It is best to ask your hotel for the most optimal route. Alternatively, private cars and blablacars can be hired without much trouble.
The combined tickets for Red Tower and Shipyard cost 8TL and can be purchased from a booth at the base of the tower. There are a few levels to explore inside the structure. As the tower was built for defense purposes, most of the interiors were decorated with weaponry and artifacts.
The views on top were gorgeous and can be best enjoyed during the day time.
Alanya Castle, Turkey
Just a bit down the road from the actual castle gates, we found the most beautiful, secluded place by the walls. It overlooked the cliffs into the sunset.
Besides reaching the Alanya Castle with buses and taxis, the Alanya Teleferik is a new addition that’s added to the ease of accessing the top of the mountains. This cable car began operations in 2017 and is a great way to see the whole city. The ride begins at Damlatash beach and costs 18TL for a round-trip adult ticket, and 10TL for students.
Alanya Teleferik operates:
• Weekdays: 09:30 -18:00 in the winter and until 20:00 in the summer
• Weekends: 09:30 – 18:00 in the winter and until 21:30 in the summer
Kale Panorama Restaurant, Alanya, Turkey
After wandering around the castle for a few hours, we decided to have dinner at Kale Panorama Restaurant. The restaurant is definitely one of the best in Alanya. Halfway down the hill, it is a place most locals go for a night out. The price is very fair, with the chicken burger costing a mere 8TL. For US $2 we were feeding ourselves AND getting a view! I ended up going back three more times, for both the sunset and its night views.
I doubt many know of the place since it was rather quiet for a restaurant with such a sight.
We spent the next few days hitchhiking around Alanya, visiting places such as the Damlatas Caves (which I loved) and the Dim Cave. Hitch-hiking in the area was really easy. People gladly picked us up, even in secluded regions up in the mountains. Not everyone spoke English, but my friend spoke some Turkish, so we didn’t have a hard time getting to places we needed to go 🙂
Damlataş Cave & Dim Cave, Alanya, Turkey
Damlataş Cave and Dim Cave are both places worth visiting in Alanya. The former is close to the city and costs 5 TL for entrance. The latter is bigger but further away from the city center. To reach Dim cave, grab a taxi for 45 TL or hire a private car for the day. The return trip can be completed with bus #10, which runs hourly back into Alanya town center.
A walk around Dim cave lasted an hour, and the views outside are absolutely breathtaking!
While visiting the Damlataş cave, my friend began belting. His vocals, with all the echoes and whatnot was absolutely mesmerizing. We did get the security’s attention, but he was kind enough to just warn us against it. (Apparently, the vibration is terrible for the walls).
We stayed in Alanya for 3 days. The accommodation was free as we couchsurfed. However, hotels and hostels are generally pretty cheap in Turkey.
Since we hitchhiked almost everywhere, we spent little to nothing on transportation. I would assume around 20TL (US $6) were spent on buses around town. We opted for groceries and home cooking as opposed to eating out every day. In addition to the nights spent at Kale Panorama Restaurant, I paid around 40TL (US $11) on food and wine.
My host from Side, being the amazing person that he is, drove us to Antalya. In total, I spent no more than US $20 during my 3-day stay in Alanya. After this trip, my friend and I went separate ways. I began my solo trip around Turkey, with the first stop in Cappadocia to see the famous hot air balloons (for free).
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Happy Travels xx
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