Alanya, a city thousands of years old, has undoubtedly a very colorful and fascinating history. It’s been ruled by the Persians, the Romans, the Syrians, the Egyptians and surprisingly, pirates, just to mention a few. From 1220’s it was called “Alaiye”, after Alaaddin Keykubat, who build the famous castle of Alanya. In 1933 the city was given the name Alanya with suggestion of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of The Republic of Turkey.
The town is divided by a rocky peninsula, which is the distinctive feature of the city. The harbor, city center, and Keykubat Beach, are on the east side of the peninsula as Damlataş Beach, and Cleopatra Beach are to the west. Atatürk Bulvari, the main boulevard, runs parallel to the sea, and divides the southern, more touristic side of Alanya from the northern, more native side, that extends north into the mountains.
The Mediterranean Basin ensures that most rain comes during the winter months (Dec-Feb), leaving the rest of the year mostly warm and dry. Summer months are hot and rain almost non-existent. The presence of the Taurus Mountains in close proximity to the sea causes humidity to the area creating rainbows over Alanya, usually visible in the mornings. The height of the mountains creates an memorable effect as snow can often be seen on them even on hot days from the city below.
The town has a population of 134,396, of which around 10,000 are European residents. Thirty percent of foreign purchases of real estate in Turkey occur in Alanya area, making the number of Europeans rise noticeably every year. The pleasurable Mediterranean climate, natural attractions, and historic heritage makes Alanya a popular tourist destination and attractive for European retirement and second-home owners.
The city’s seaside position is central to many annual festivals: The Tourism and Art Festival at the end of May, Alanya International Culture and Art Festival in the first week of October (a notable festival in Turkey), and the Alanya Jazz Days on September-October. The city is also a frequent host to national events, such as the annual beach handball tournament, and the finish of the seven-day Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey and the Alanya International Mountain Bike Race. In addition, some foreign holidays are celebrated in Alanya, such as Norwegian Constitution Day and the Persian New Year.
Other tourist activities include wind surfing, parasailing, banana boating, waterslide fun in Alanya’s waterpark and Turkey’s largest go-kart track for need for speed. Also hunting season attracts some tourist for wild goat, pig and partridge hunting in area nature reserves, and fishing on Alanya’s creeks and the Mediterranean.
Antalya Airport is 121 kilometres away from Alanya and Alanya-Gazipaşa International Airport only 30 kilometres from Alanya and Olive City.