Alanya is the most popular seaside resort on the 'Turkish Rivièra'. That is not surprising, because the city has a beautiful sandy beach, with various water sports facilities and a vibrant nightlife. In addition, there is much to see and do in Alanya. For example the large castle above the city, or the cave of Damlatas with its impressive stalagmites and stalactites that are millions of years old.
Due to tourism, the city has grown tremendously. Its population is now estimated at over 100,000, but that number is more than exceeded by the number of tourists that come to the city every year: about one and a half million.
Alanya is located in the south of Turkey. The city extends for some 20 kilometres along the Mediterranean coast. To the north of Alanya lies the Taurus mountain range. To the west lies the old port town of Side and Antalya, the capital of the province with the same name.
Tourism is the most important source of income. In the past, Alanya was a quiet fishing village and there are still fishermen who are active, but as an economic activity is takes a backseat to tourism. In the surrounding area there are many citrus plantations, and cotton is grown as well.
The international airport near Antalya is the gateway to the entire Turkish Rivièra. The airport is located 135 kilometres to the west of Alanya, 10 kilometres before Antalya. It is easy to reach via a well-maintained coastal road. There are bus connections between the airport and tourist locations along the coast, including Alanya.
It is a busy airport, especially during the summer when the number of chartered flights is enormous. There are also regular flights to Istanbul, Ankara, the Turkish part of Cyprus and various destinations in Europe and the Middle East.
There is an excellent public transport network, consisting of long distance buses (Otogar) and the so-called dolmus minivans.
The Otogar station is located near the famous Kleopatra beach. There are connections to all other locations along the Turkish Rivièra, as well as to Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul.
Dolmus minivans drive through the streets of Alanya. You can make them stop by simply raising your hand. You can also get off anywhere you like.
There are also many taxis. Make sure the meter is running!
In Alanya itself you do not need a car, but to explore the interior, a rental car is indispensable. Keep in mind the Turkish style of driving. Drive very carefully and expect the unexpected. People changes lanes all the time, and they will overtake you left and right, given half a chance. On rural roads cars may be parked in awkward locations, preferably after a blind curve. You can also run into herds that occupy the entire road. Avoid driving in the dark. In addition to the hazards mentioned above, many Turkish drivers drive with the lights off to save energy!
Observe the speed limit (in residential areas 50 km/h, in rural areas 90 km/h and on motorways 120 km/h). The Turkish police is very vigilant, especially at the edges of cities.
Alanya is fully geared towards tourists, which means there are plenty of hotels. Book your accommodation in advance. Not only because that way you will be sure you have a room in the hotel of your choice, but also because it is often cheaper than booking on arrival.
For more information about Alanya, we recommend Google, and the following sources: