Timeless fun in the Turkish sun

This blessed spot on Turkey’s southern coast has attracted and bewitched visitors since the dawn of recorded history. Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Ottoman travellers have all laid claim to the town of Alanya at various points in time, and it’s not hard to see why, sandwiched as attractively as it is between the sparkling Mediterranean Sea and the magisterial Taurus Mountains.

A lot of the joy of Alanya holidays comes from exploring its history – fairy-tale castles, ancient shipyards, rustic architecture – but there’s a whole lot more than dry relics on offer here. Seemingly endless expanses of sandy beach, warm seas, fragrant citrus groves, heart-stoppingly beautiful caves, high-end shopping streets, cutting-edge cuisine and a lively nightlife scene combine to create a holiday destination that is much more than a fun escape – it’s actually a really special slice of Turkish life.

Your Alanya questions, answered

Kleopatra Beach, named for the noted Egyptian queen who (possibly) bathed here, strikes a nice balance between prettiness, good location and convenient access to amenities and refreshments.

For best results, head to the harbour area just after the sun goes down – you’ll find loads of places to go, from casual bars to full-on multistorey nightclubs.

Kids are very much welcome in the seaside resorts, and as Alanya is a big, busy town, you’ll never be short of activities to keep the little ones amused.

Best things to do in Alanya

Explore Damlatas Cave

A couple of kilometres from the city centre is a giant cave that boasts impressive rock formations and air that’s reputed to have respiratory health benefits.

Climb up Kizil Kule

Make your way to the observation deck of this 13th-century octagonal red tower to grab a knockout photo of Alanya, the Taurus Mountains and the sparkling sea beneath you.

Visit the Old Shipyard

Discover the waterside workshops where ancient shipwrights built their boats, get a feel for the tools and materials they used, then chill out on a secret beach.