Experiences in Alanya - more than bazaars, bars and beaches is written by The editorial staff
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The best beach experiences in Alanya
Alanya has some of Turkey best beaches, and if you are going on holiday in Alanya during your summer vacation, a good bit of the holiday will probably go with lazing on the wide and kilometer-long Kleopatra beach west of the center - or on the more child-friendly East beach if you are on a family holiday with smaller children.
The Mediterranean here is fantastic and for beach lovers it is not difficult to spend the whole holiday here, where you may even be lucky enough to be joined by one of the great sea turtles on your swim (it was a great experience!).
But you can find good beaches in many places - the nearest is probably a maximum of 1 hour drive from your home.
When you think of Alanya, you think of bazaars with copy goods, bars with dancing waiters and restaurants with Danish menus. You can also experience all this in Alanya. But just as Copenhagen is also more than Strøget, so Alanya is much more than bazaars, bars and beaches.
It is all this and many more experiences in Alanya that make me return again and again and discover new sides of the city (in between my trips to the beaches and bars).
Local experiences at a fish restaurant in Alanya
Turkey is largely self-sufficient when it comes to food, and here is a huge production of fruit and vegetables, also in the area around Alanya.
Visit the food halls, Toptanci Hall, where the greengrocers lie side by side with small mountains of fruit, vegetables and spices as a fragrant palette of green, red, yellow and orange colors.
Several fishmongers present the day's catch of fish, shellfish and squid on ice, while the butchers' generous cuts of beef, veal, lamb and chicken fight for your attention.
I have several times filled bag after bag and dragged it all home to one of my Danish friends who had a large barbecue on the terrace.
If you do not have access to a barbecue, there are a few local fish restaurants in Toptanci Hall. Here you select your fresh fish from the display case, pay per. weight, and get it steamed or grilled as you wish.
In Turkey, fish is served somewhat differently than at home: fish in plentiful quantities. Side dishes: half a lemon and salt. Add a simple green salad. End. Nothing with potatoes, hollandaise, steamed vegetables or anything else that can take focus from the core and star of the meal: the fish.
You sit on crooked folding chairs at small plastic tables. Alcohol is not served here (admittedly, a good glass of white wine can lift a well-cooked fish to heavenly heights). You will live with that if you just surrender to the simple but near perfect meal for fish lovers. "Afiyet olsun" (welcome)!
Cable car in the ruins
Those interested in history can advantageously visit the ruins of the fortress at the top of the promontory, which juts out far into the sea and divides the city into east and west.
It takes 3 minutes with the new 830 m long cable car, which starts at Cleopatra Beach and ends at the fortress on the top of the promontory, 250 m above sea level.
The cable car opened in 2017 and was built to accommodate UNESCO, which is considering putting the castle on the World Heritage List - if Alanya in future preserves the ruins better and, for example, fails to let the big tour buses run at regular speeds all the way up there.
The road up there is steep and a little too long to walk in cliffs, so the cable car is a good initiative for both the city, the castle and the visitors. At the top of the promontory you have an excellent view of the city, the beaches, the Mediterranean and the green Taurus Mountains in the background.
Now the view is not particularly historic, so now that you have sucked it to you, you can take a walk along the ruins of the old fortress, which together with the later added red tower is the city's landmark.
It is said that the fortress was originally built by a pirate leader, but most of the walls and the red tower at the foot of the mountain were built by the Seljuks in the 13th century.
The trip down again I recommend taking a walk through the narrow paths and roads that go through the small, old houses in Alanya's original village.
If you have been to the castle since the morning, I can with great enthusiasm recommend that you stop at one of the local breakfast restaurants with panoramic views of the harbor, the city and the East Beach.
Here you can enjoy the large Turkish breakfast table, which works well as a brunch with fresh vegetables, fresh and dried fruit, cheese, olives, eggs and Turkish pastries.
The illuminated wall
In the evening, the entire 6 km long wall is illuminated in a warm, golden light, and it is a good end to the day to enjoy a Turkish dinner from one of the city's more local restaurants (where the menu is not in Danish).
Try the fish restaurant Rihtim Restaurant, which is located at the very beginning of the harbor, just below the Red Tower, "Kizil Kule".
Here I sat in the breeze on the terrace at one of the tables closest to the water and enjoyed countless "mezes" (small, Turkish appetizers), seafood and fish, while I enjoyed the view, the company and - not least - a good glass of white wine.
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