Alanya is situated on a peninsula between the Taurus Mountains to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, approximately 100 kilometers (65 miles) east of Antalya. Known as a popular holiday destination in Turkey, the town boasts several beaches with a blue flag, catering to sun-sea-sand lovers.

Although it remains uncertain whether the area was inhabited prior to the Ice Age, excavations in several caverns nearby revealed evidence of human habitation since the Paleolithic period. The town was known as Coracesium around the 4th century BC and fell under the control of the Seleucids, who could not maintain their rule. Subsequently, it became a haven for pirates, especially during the rebellion of Diodotus Tryphon.


Pompey the Great captured Alanya in 65 BC, thus putting an end to piracy's reign. During the Roman period, Alanya thrived, minting its own coins in the 2nd century AD and symbolizing wealth and prosperity.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city was ruled by the Byzantines who renamed it Kalonorosa, meaning "beautiful mountain" in Greek. During this era, little is known about the city, but it was likely a Christian metropolis similar to Cilicia and Pamphylia.

In the 11th and 12th centuries, the city changed hands several times between the Seljuk Turks, Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, and the First Crusade. Finally, in 1221, Alaeddin Keykubad I of the Seljuks captured the city and renamed it Alaiye. During this period, the city experienced significant growth and became a significant trade center for the western Mediterranean. Major construction and repair initiatives were carried out by the sultans, resulting in the city's height. Throughout its history, the city was captured by the Karamanlids, other Anatolian princes, the Lusignans from Cyprus, and the Egyptians. During the Ottoman period after 1453, the city's importance declined, and it was renamed Alanya by Atatürk in 1933.

Alanya boasts a magnificent castle on a hilltop called Alanya Fortress, surrounded by a 6.5 kilometers (4 miles) long wall with 140 towers and approximately 400 cisterns. The fortification reaches a height of 250 meters (820 feet) above sea level in its highest section, located to the west of the hill. While the castle we see today was erected during the 13th century by Alaeddin Keykubad, Seljuk Sultan, its foundations date back to antiquity when it was known as Kemeros Hill or Ali Pasha Castle.

Alanya, a historic town, has multiple main and auxiliary gates, some of which are now destroyed. The castle is home to several ancient buildings, including brick storage tanks, Byzantine churches, and baths. Visitors can access the castle by car through a narrow road, or by trekking for about an hour to reach the top. On the sea side of the road, there are restaurants and cafes available for dining.


One of the most iconic Seljuk monuments in Alanya is the Great Red Tower, also known as the Alanyalı Kule (Alanya Castle). The tower, which was built in the 13th century, stands at 33 meters tall and served as a lookout for the port and dockyard. Its octagonal shape has made it an icon of Alanya today. The tower's summit was constructed using red bricks, while the base was built with local stone. A cistern lies beneath the tower's center, and visitors can climb the large stone steps to reach the top. The tower consists of five stories, with the lowest level being used for displays.

Located to the south of the Red Tower in Alanya, the shipyard was built during the Seljuk era by Alaaddin Keykubat, the ruler of Anatolia in the 13th century. It measures 56 x 44 meters and features five arched galleries connected to each other by the sea. The shipyard also houses offices and a modest mosque on the left side of the portal. Small boats can access the shipyard from the sea for free, and the structure is now brightly lit at night. Adjacent to the shipyard is a fortification on a rock where cannons for battleships were produced, along with a gun house that has guns for similar purposes.

Damlatas Cave, discovered accidentally during the construction of Alanya Harbor in 1948, quickly became one of the region's most popular destinations due to its claim that the air in the cave is beneficial to asthmatics. The cave features thousands of years old stalagmites and stalactites that attract a large number of visitors. According to local reports, Damlatas Cave is approximately 30 meters deep and 15 meters high, with over 90% humidity and a temperature of around 22 degrees Celsius. Other notable caves in the region include Dim Cave, Hasbahce Cave, and Sea Caves.

In 2000, the entire town of Alanya was inscribed on UNESCO's Tentative List.