Guide to SKOPJE

Alanya- a place where the sun smiles

Alanya relies on the the unique highlands of the Taurus Mountain. There are beautiful beaches with blue flag and in the same time it satisfies the wishes of those who are interested in the history. Those who love the nature are admiring its beauties. The people that live in Alanya has named their home city as the  “Place where the sun smiles“. Alanya today is already a city candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage list. I personally had the chance to live one year in that paradise.

Alaniya lives 24 hours. During the day  sea, sun, sand and shopping joy, disco from dusk till dawn, or if you want a description in just one sentence- If you are interested in a unstoppable fun by the bar, you’ve come to the right place. The accommodation will never be a problem. From the vary entrance of Alanya there are numerous hotels, apartments and hostels for every pocket.

The middle-aged tourists who do not want a big crowds and hellish sun holiday generally choose the months of May, June, October and September to visit Alanya. And when it’s sunny, the city can also face  sudden rain. If this happens, don’t think that your vacation has been ruined. The locals and regular visitors know that the sun will rise up again in just one hour.

Alanya is one of the few resorts that offers a six-month enjoyment in the sea and allows you to feel the warmth of the sun for 300 sunny days. Alanya is an ideal place for the jeep safari enthusiasts. However if you want sea, sun and sand, you have Cleopatra, the most popular beach in Alaniya.

According to one legend, while traveling across the Mediterranean, the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra entered the sea right in Alanya.The main characteristic of the Cleopatra Bay is that it has clean and shallow water. Certainly you should not forget the beach Indzhekum (fine sand), where the sand with golden-yellow colour does not stick to the body. The sea is not deep and the beach is especially suitable for kids who learn to swim for the first time. The Alara River which runs through the city is a nice place for the lovers of rafting.

Let us not forget the museums. The city has four museums. The most valuable work is the statue of Hercules, which is located in the Archaeological Museum.  Alanya may also be named as the city of caves. Whether or not you are interested in them, you will be amazed by the mysterious world of land and sea caves. Damlataş cave is famous for its enchanting beauty of stalactites and the fresh air that is pleasant for those who suffer from asthma. Under the mountain Jabal-i Reis, 12 km east of Alanya, at an altitude of 1649 meters is the Dim Cave, the second largest in Turkey. This pirate cave is known for the legend that there exist a secret path to the Alanya Castle and you can only reach it by boat. The Phosphoric cave, which shines at night from the reflection of the rays of the moon is a sea cave that should definitely be on your list of places for visit.

Here we have to mention the incredible panoramic view from the  in Alanya Castle, which is located on the Peninsula, and was built in 1221 by the Seljuk Sultan  Alaeddin Keykubad I. There are 16 endemic plants that grow there.On the road to the Castle and the port there are cafes and restaurants. The Castle is open for traffic. On foot you can reach it in just one hour, but that not an easy mission when there are  temperatures of 35-40 degrees, but still it is worth it because you can see the whole beauty along the way.

The symbol of the city Kızıl Kule (Red Tower) is located on the harbor. The octagonal tower was built in the 13th century by the Seljuk. After a certain height during the construction it became very difficult to raise the blocks and because of that the upper part is made of red bricks and that is the reason for the the name Red Tower. In 1979, the first floor was converted into Ethnographic Museum.

Alaniya is the only city in Turkey where there are bike machines (rental bikes). The Banana trees that grow in Alanya are known throughout all the country. From the entrance till the end of Alanya  you can see the glass gardens. I also have good news for shopping lovers. In the city center there are jewelers, boutiques, shoe-shops and handbags, leather shops offering an unlimited number of models, gift shops and carpet shops. Russian tourists are the most frequent visitors in the leather shops.

Those who can not stand the hellish heat, may find escape in the canyon Sapadere. It is  located 40 kilometers from Alanya and is 750 meters long. At the entrance there is a waterfall that flows into a natural pool.

Do not leave this natural beauty without a visit of the main mill in the village, the silk weaving workshop and certainly not before you taste the trout speciality. In the hotels and the restaurants it is very easy to find delicious dishes of the international cuisine. Of course I recommend you to try the unique local flavors of Alanya.

The city has access by air, land and sea. The airports in Antalya and Gazipaşa are open. In the center of the town there is a port for large ships and yachts.

Some 15,000 foreigners prefer to live in Alanya throughout the year and therefore besides the Turkish, the natives actively speak English, German and other languages. Alanya, the city with thousands of years old history, with a mixture of the cultures of the Mediterranean and Anatolia, attracts its guests with its architecture and of course we should not forget that there the sun smiles at you.

Gulşah Cengiz