Strategically located with the mediterranean to the south and the Tarsus mountains to the north, Alanya is not only a modern city thriving with tourists, but was once an important part of the Pamphilian plain. Details of the city have been well preserved by travel writers such as Piri Reis, Evliye Celebi and Ibn Batutta as they passed through the city and it’s castle many centuries ago.
The beginnings of the notable castle dates back to the Hellenistic times when the city was known as Kalonoros. However, it was only in the 13th century when it was given its construction which we see today by the 13th century Seljuk Sultan Ala’al-Din Kay-Qubadh (Kaikobad). It was also in his time when the city was given the name, Alaiyye. This of course changed to Alanya in 1935 by Ataturk.
Throughout the city, visitors will find churches and ruins dating back to the 6th and 7th century and Mosques dating back to the 12th and 13th century.
Before entering the castle at the top of the hill (30TL), there is a lengthy walk (which is free) through ruins of former forts as well as Mosques which are still in service today. To get the panoramic views of Cleopatra beach, it’s not absolutely necessary to go into the castle as one can snap those beautiful pictures of the city and the beach on the walk up.
And yes, this castle once did become a winter residence for the Seljuks Sultans. As Alanya is located on the mediterranean region with very close proximity to Cyprus, it basks in sun all year round. Sure, there may be some rainfall. But sun is guaranteed for the most part of the year, making it an ideal sun destination in the winter.
There is a cable car which takes you from street level right up to the castle located 250 meters from the sea, which really is a great way to get a view of the houses around the castle. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the small forests around the walls which transport you back a millennia. The 2,953-foot-long Alanya cable car takes you from Damlatas at the eastern end of Cleopatra Beach to the Ehmedek Castle area.
The entire castle area is encircled by 4 miles (6 kilometers) of walls and the Inner Fortress houses the awesome remains of an 11th-century church.
Things to Know Before You Go
Whilst the larger castle area is free to enter, you will need tickets to explore the Inner Fortress as well as the Ehmedek Castle. We found the shops, food options at the castle to be closed, however the bathrooms were open.
Unfortunately, the Alanya Teleferik is not suitable for travelers who use wheelchairs.