Alanya Castle walls and coastline

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Alanya Castle

Top choice in Alanya

Surmounting Alanya's rocky peninsula is its awesome, Seljuk-era castle, girdled by 6km of walls and awaiting Unesco World Heritage listing. Climb to it through the steep streets of the Tophane district to get a sense of its scale, enjoying a wonderful viewpoint across the city and Cilician mountains. Right at the top is the İç Kale, within which are plentiful ruins including some 400 cisterns, the shell of a small 11th-century Byzantine church and a platform over a vertiginous drop to the sea.

If you're not up to the steep 3.5km climb, catch bus 4 from the dolmuş station behind the Grand Bazaar (₺2.50, hourly from 9am to 7pm, half-hourly in summer) or opposite the regional tourist office (10 minutes past the hour and, in summer, also 15 minutes before the hour). Taxis are around ₺25. Alternatively, catch the new Alanya Teleferik, a cable car that ferries passengers between the lower station near Cleopatra’s Beach and the upper station in the castle's Ehmedek section.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Alanya attractions

1. İç Kale

The İç Kale, or inner fortress, contains the remnants of a Byzantine church and the scattered ruins of cisterns. It's right at the top of the fortified…

2. Akşebe Türbesi

0.12 MILES

The Akşebe Türbesi is a distinctive mausoleum thought to have been built in about 1230 for a Seljuk commander of the castle, though this has not been…

3. Bedesten

0.13 MILES

This bedesten (vaulted covered market) with a rectangular courtyard in the centre dates from the Ottoman era. For many years it functioned as a hotel.

4. Pirates' Cave

0.14 MILES

According to local tradition, a secret tunnel once connected this cave with Alanya Castle, allowing pirates to secretly spirit their treasures away. Many…

5. Süleymaniye Camii

0.17 MILES

This fine 16th-century mosque, which replaced a Seljuk structure dating to the 13th century, is the oldest in Alanya.

6. Ömürlü Kemal Atli Cultural Centre

0.17 MILES

This carefully prepared ethnographic museum displays life as it would have been for Ottoman Turks in Alanya in the 19th century, over two floors…

7. Ehmedek

0.24 MILES

As you walk up to Alanya Castle, the road passes a turn-off for the village of Ehmedek, which was the Turkish quarter during Ottoman and Seljuk times…

8. Lovers' Cave

0.25 MILES

Reputed to be an old pirates' lair, Lovers' Cave is often visited by local boat excursions, with braver boat passengers opting to dive from its 8m-high…