Alanya is a picturesque coastal town located on the southern coast of Turkey, specifically on the Turkish Riviera, often referred to as the "Pearl of the Mediterranean." This town, nestled between the Taurus Mountains and the azure waters of the Mediterranean, has a rich history that spans several civilizations, making it not only a popular tourist destination but also an archaeological treasure trove.
History: The history of Alanya dates back to the Hellenistic period, but it's known to have been inhabited even earlier. Over the millennia, the city was under the control of the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans, each leaving their mark on the region.
One of the most iconic symbols of Alanya's history is the Red Tower (Kızıl Kule) built in the 13th century during the reign of the Seljuk Sultan, Alaeddin Keykubad I, from whom the city gets its modern name.
Alanya Castle: Overlooking the town from a hilltop, this castle is surrounded by nearly 6.5 km of walls. Inside, there are numerous ruins, including Byzantine churches, making it a perfect spot for history enthusiasts.
Red Tower (Kızıl Kule): A well-preserved octagonal tower, this is one of the best examples of medieval military architecture.
Damlataş Cave: Discovered during construction work in the 1940s, this cave is known for its impressive stalactites and stalagmites. It's believed that the cave's air helps those suffering from asthma.
Cleopatra's Beach: Legend has it that the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra once swam here. Today, it's one of the most popular beaches in Alanya, boasting golden sands and clear waters.
Culture: Alanya's long history is evident in its architecture, cuisine, and customs. While many traditions are rooted in the past, the city is also modern and cosmopolitan, influenced by the thousands of tourists who visit every year. Alanya's annual International Culture and Art Festival and the Alanya International Jazz Days are a testament to the city's cultural diversity and vibrancy.
Economy: Traditionally, Alanya's economy was based on fishing, citrus farming, and loom weaving. With its sandy beaches, historic landmarks, and warm climate, tourism has, in the past few decades, emerged as a dominant industry. In addition to tourism, real estate and construction sectors have also seen significant growth, as the city has become a popular destination for retirees, especially from European countries.
Cuisine: Alanya's cuisine is a delightful fusion of Mediterranean and Anatolian flavors. Fresh seafood, citrus fruits, olives, and grains are staple ingredients. Dishes like "tavuk şiş" (chicken skewers), "kumpir" (baked potatoes filled with various toppings), and local pastries like "baklava" and "kadayıf" are must-tries for anyone visiting the city.
In conclusion, Alanya is a blend of the ancient and the modern. Its rich history, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture make it an ideal destination for travelers from all over the world. Whether you're a history buff, a beach lover, or a culinary enthusiast, Alanya has something to offer for everyone.
The website https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ now serves as a platform for tourists to apply for Turkish e-visa.
Tourist Visa Information
|Enter Type||Single enter only|
|Validity||180 days (starting from the date of issue)|
|Length of Stay||No more than 30 days|
|Processing Time||1 working day|
|Requirement||You need to have a travel document valid for at least 6 months from the date you intend to enter Turkey. Depending on your nationality, there may be additional requirements. You will be informed of these requirements after you select your country of travel document and travel dates.|
Here are some useful links for public transportation in Istanbul.
Click here for the Istanbul Metro network map.
Click here for the transportation fares and card.
Click here for general information on public transportation in Istanbul
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Places to Visit in Istanbul
Basilica Cistern: Built by Justinian I in the 6th century, this cistern, the largest in Istanbul was built to supply water to old Constantinople. The sunken palace as it is also known is held up by 336 marble columns. The cistern was later put to use to provide water to Topkapi Palace and its surrounding gardens.
Blue Mosque: Known in Turkey as Sultanahmet Cami, the Blue Mosque is named so due to its stunning array of blue tiles that decorate its interior. The Blue Mosque is certainly the most famous mosque throughout the world and was built to rival the Hagia Sofia between 1609-1616.
Bosphorus: The famous straight that forms the boundary between Asia and Europe and links the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, makes it one of the most important straights in the world. The Bosphorus is the narrowest straight that is navigated for trade routes and it is approximately 31km long. As Istanbul is situated on both sides of the straight it makes the city one of the most sought-after cities by Empires have gone by.
Chora Church: Is one of the world’s most impressive Byzantine structures. The name Chora refers to the church's location outside of the old city walls. The church was in operation until after the invasion of the Ottoman Empire and was converted to a mosque in 1453. In the year 1958, the building was made into a museum (Kariye Müzesi) and the magnificent mosaics and frescoes were once again uncovered and are on display to the public.
Grand Bazaar: First opened in 1461, Grand Bazaar or Kapaliçarsi as it is known in Turkish is one of the world’s largest souks. The covered market has 61 streets accessed via 4 main gates, over 3000 stores, 5 mosques and 6 fountains. After being destroyed and repaired numerous times the Grand Bazaar is one of Istanbul's most popular tourist attractions. Here you can find the streets filled with souvenirs, Turkish carpets, ceramics, leathers, and gold to name a few.
Hagia Sofia (Aya Sofya): Thought to have changed the history of architecture due to its dome roof, the Hagia Sofia was built in 537 and was the world’s largest cathedral for almost a thousand years. The cathedral was turned into a mosque under orders from the Ottoman Empire but was turned into a museum in 1935. The museum houses amazing mosaics, impressive marble pillars, and a famous domed roof.
Hippodrome: Famous from the time of Constantinople under Roman rule the Hippodrome actually dates back AD 203 during the Byzantine Era. The area was a large circus in the old city and was the center for many sporting events such as chariot racing. What remains of the Hippodrome are three large columns, The Serpent Column, the Obelisk of Theodosius and The Walled Obelisk.
Topkapi Palace: The royal palace of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire for 400 of their 624-year reign, Topkapi Palace is one to be admired. The Palace was not only the residence of the Sultan and his family but was an important center for the empire. Made up of four courtyards the Palace was also the headquarters for the government housing the mint, treasury, and archives. Topkapi Palace was also the best educational institution during the reign of the Ottoman Empire.
There are 2 airports in Istanbul, Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport.
1. Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport (IST) at YeSilyurt, 23 km (14 miles) west of Sultanahmet Square, is the busiest of Turkey's major airports. You can travel by economical private transfer, Metro and tram, airport bus, city bus, taxi, or shuttle van.
2. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (IATA: SAW, ICAO: LTFJ) located 35 km southeast of central Istanbul.
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