Along Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast is the beautiful resort town of Alanya. Once a local secret (the first hotel was just built in 1958), it’s not hit the mainstream and one of the most popular beaches in all of the Mediterranean. The stone beaches are downright hot during the busy summer months of June, July, and August, but the deeper waters of the Mediterranean Sea are the perfect way to cool off while you work on that golden brown tan. There is a huge European population living in Alanya and many more (over 20,000) who visit every year. It is a very eclectic and multi-cultural place to plan a vacation and meet others from other parts of the world.

Alanya’s prime location, close to Antalya, many historical sites, and a quick trip to inner Anatolia and a day’s bus ride from Cappadocia, it’s one of the best places to base a summer vacation out of. Flights in and out of Antalya from many parts in Europe are quite frequent and it’s also easily accessible by cruise and ferry boat from the North Cypriot city of Girne.

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One place not to be missed when in Alanya is a tour of the cliffs on the edge of the peninsula which the beaches rest on. There you can go hiking and explore some of the old walls that were set up by ancient civilizations to protect what was an important point along major shipping and trading lanes. This entire area, easily visible from the beaches and a short walk from most points in Alanya, is safe and very accessible to tourists. There are also a few jogging and hiking trails for those of you who like to stay active while on vacation.

Alanya has a similar climate to the other Turkish riviera beach town of Oludeniz. It is hot during the summer months, about 34 degrees Centigrade which corresponds to roughly 93 Fahrenheit. Alanya and the beaches around it also tend to be more humid during the day, but due to its southerly location, stays warm for more of the year. For beach weather in Alanya, the months between late-April-May and October are usually the best times to visit. During the winter months it does get a bit chilly, but you can still explore all of the nearby historical sites without any of the crowds.

The beaches of Alanya themselves need little advertisement outside of beautiful pictures – they really don’t need many words to make the case for this extraordinary area. Do make sure to visit some of the Byzantine ruins just outside of the beach areas. Tours are cheap and can be done in a few hours. Most hotels will coordinate them for you and shuttles take off and come back throughout the day. The Kizil Kule or Red Castle, built in 1226 is the most popular tourist destination for those visiting Alanya. It was built during the reign of the Seljuk Turks, it is the best preserved ancient building in all of the Antalya province.

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