Like many other examples, the sheer cliffs of Alanya were a shelter to a group of pirates in Roman times. The Roman Navy conducted an operation to the Anatolian pirates of the East Mediterranean during the end of the 1st Century BCE. On 64 BCE, Roman Navy conquered Alanya which was built by the pirate Thros in the 2nd Century BCE. Romans changed Korakesium's name to Kolonoros which meant the beautiful mountain. Kolonoros remained a small settlement until Turkish occupation in 1221 by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad. The city walls, Red Tower, majority of the cisterns, and the shipyard in the castle were built by them in the 13th Century. Alanya's name is coming from Alaiye which was given by the Seljuk Turks after the conquest.
Where is the castle of Alanya?
There are three ways to get to the Castle of Alanya. Our best alternative is the cable car saving time and protecting you from the traffic of Alanya. You can drive up to the castle of Alanya but parking is a problem during the high season. Another alternative is walking up to the castle from the bottom nearby the Red Tower and the ancient shipyard. That walk will take around 2 hours as the castle is established on sheer rocks reaching 250 meters above sea level.
How to explore the Castle of Alanya?
The attractions of Alanya Castle can be divided into three groups. The Red Tower and the Shipyard by the water, the inner castle on the top, and the lower part of the castle at the back of the mountain top. The cable car from the coast reaches the back of the inner castle which is still inhabited by the locals of Alanya. There is a nice walk among the narrow cobbled stone streets of the castle neighborhood which reaches the peak of the inner castle. The inner castle is a small museum with a few attractions to see on the inside like cisterns, remains of a Seljukian palace, and a Byzantium Church. The highlight of the trip will be the impressive views you get from the top of the inner castle. You can follow the same route back to the cable car and get to the coastline. You will need to drive to the other side of the castle to visit the Red Tower and the shipyards there. Walking down from the castle is an alternative as well but please kindly be advised that the walk will be 45 minutes and 3 kilometers downhill walk. There are restaurant alternatives on the top, on the way down, and by the port of Alanya. Red Tower stands by the water nearby the Shipyard built in the 13th Century by the Seljuks. The Red Tower was built by architect Ebu Ali Reha el Kettani from Aleppo in 1226. The tower is consisting of five floors and the last two were built out of red clay bricks which resulted in the well-deserved name Red Tower. A similar plan was used by the Ottomans in the White Tower of Thessaloniki in Greece. The first and the second floor of the Red Tower are used as an Ethnographical Museum today. The stairs reach to the top which has nice views of the port and the ancient shipyard. The city walls from the Red Tower will take you to the shipyards. Built-in 1227 by the Seljuks, the shipyard is 56 meters wide and 44 meters long. Ships were built underneath the five arches of the shipyard.
Not to miss…
Mediterranean Coastline of the Republic of Turkey is a fruit factory. Besides citrus, exotic fruits are produced in the area by courageous investors today. We highly recommend a visit to a local market to but the fresh produce of Alanya city. Besides, Alarahan on the way to Alanya can be an interesting spot to visit on the way to Alanya city which is a nice preserved Turkish Caravanserai. Sapadere Canyon will be a good way to cool down if you are traveling in the summer. It is a nice gorge with cold freshwater flowing on the natural rock which created numerous ponds to swim.
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