Alanya Castle: a lively, stunning slice of history

Alanya Castle isn’t just your average Castle in Turkey. This place is a buzzing oasis of lush sea view gardens, Ottoman-era houses & striking historical remains. Trust us, this historical heart of Alanya doesn’t classify as ‘just another ancient site or castle’; Alanya Castle is eye-candy and a brilliant day out for every type of traveler. How else can you describe a place where people have lived uninterruptedly since the Middle Ages, where natural beauty, quaint streets, and century-old buildings go hand in hand with a swim in the sea in the shadow of an old shipyard? If you’re not convinced yet, read on to see what else Alanya Castle has to offer.

Old And New In A Single Frame

Old And New In A Single Frame

A bit of history

As a visitor, you’ll love the many information boards explaining the history of Alanya Castle and its landmarks. There’s little documentation on the early existence of Alanya. Research indicates that the history of the area dates back to the Upper Paleolithic Period. First known as Korakesium, Alanya was named Kalonoros in the Byzantine Era, to be renamed as Alaiyye after being conquered by the Seljuks led by Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I in the 13th century. Finally, it was Atatürk who gave Alanya its current name during his visit to the city in 1935.

Picture Perfect Tersane

Picture Perfect Tersane

After the Seljuks took Alanya from the Christians in 1221, Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I built a palace here, and Alanya became the second capital after Konya and the Sultan’s winter residence. There were subsequently invasions from the Mongols and the Mamluks of Egypt, and the Seljuk administration collapsed. Ruled by the Karamanid dynasty in 1300, followed by the Mamluks who bought it for 5.000 gold coins, it became under the Ottoman rule in 1471.

One Of The Gates

One Of The Gates

A century later, Alanya was added to the administrative rule of the Ottoman province of Cyprus, only to become a sub-province of Konya again in 1864. Later, in 1868, it was attached to Antalya, and it gained its status as a sub-province of Antalya in 1871. It wasn’t until during the 19th century that private houses were built on the Alanya Castle peninsula.

Part Of The Over 6km Of Fortification Walls

Part Of The Over 6km Of Fortification Walls

Today, the Castle in Alanya is a major tourist attraction of exceptional beauty. Many of the structures are restored. The entire area inside the 6km-long fortification walls is a series of old-era houses, hidden tea-gardens, mesmerizing sea views, intriguing ruins, and modern-day tourist amenities, restaurants, shops, and cafés.

For another unique seaside castle, click here to read our post about Mamure Castle

Beautiful Alanya Castle

Beautiful Alanya Castle

Alanya Castle: the landmarks

Of course, you can just go with the flow and see where it takes you, but below we have highlighted a few of Alanya Castle’s landmarks to help you cherry-pick the ones that appeal the most to you.

Heading Towards The Shipyard

Heading Towards The Shipyard

Kızılkule – The Red Tower

You can’t miss it, Alanya Castle’s Red Tower or Kızılkule in Turkish is visible from afar. Constructed as a watchtower in 1226, this octagonal tower is 33 meters high and has a diameter of 29 meters. The interior of the Red Tower consists of five levels, the upper two being open terraces offering spectacular views. It got its name from the red bricks that were used during the construction. Kızılkule could shelter up to 2.000 people, guarded continuously by 40 watchmen and their commander. Inscriptions on the tower’s northern and southern façades mention its architect, Ebu Ali of Aleppo, and the Sultan who had it built, Alaeddin Keykubad I. Kızılkule was restored between 1951 and 1953.

Atop The Red Tower The 360° Views Are Spectacular

Atop The Red Tower, The 360° Views Are Spectacular

Looking Back Towards The Red Tower

Looking Back Towards The Red Tower

Tersane – The Shipyard

The Seljuk era Shipyard has five vaulted docks constructed with ashlar walls and brick vaults. The Shipyard or Tersane in Turkish was used to build and repair ships and as a storage for ships. The navy permanently supervised the Shipyard to protect it from enemy invasions or pirate attacks. It is interesting to know that the Shipyard at Alanya Castle was still in use until 1960, after which it became a museum.

The Unique Shipyard And Some Authentic Houses

The Unique Shipyard And Some Authentic Houses

Inside The Seljuk Era Shipyard

Inside The Seljuk Era Shipyard

Inner Castle

The Inner Castle at Alanya Castle is nestled at the top of the peninsula, surrounded by fortification walls. Archaeological research has revealed that the Inner Castle was in use from the 3rd century BC, but the buildings and structures evolved over time. The early church was demolished at the latest in the 10th century and replaced by a cemetery. A newer church was built around the 12th century, using structural elements of the former building. Many of the significant remaining structures in the Inner Castle today date back to the Seljukian period. The cisterns, vaulted galleries, and the palace for Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I, to name a few.

The Church of St. George dates back to the Byzantine period and still carries traces of frescoes on the church dome and other elements. A three-leaf clover plan with a central dome complemented the abscissa belonging to the earlier church.

Church Of St. George In The Inner Castle

Church Of St. George In The Inner Castle

Practical tips for your Alanya Castle visit

Most areas of Alanya Castle are freely accessible, but you do need a ticket to access Kızılkule, The Shipyard, and the Inner Castle. The opening times are different in winter and summer.

Click here for current price information and opening times of Alanya Castle.

Alanya Castle is easy to reach both by car or using public transportation. The road up to the Inner Castle is well signposted. If you’re going by bus, Line 4 is your ride, and these are the current timetables for the Alanya Castle bus. Of course, you can also walk up to the Castle, but – especially in the height of summer – this might look like a virtual suicide attempt.

Our tip? Take the bus up, and walk back down. You’ll notice that that walk down offers plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the views. Also, try to pop in at the lighthouse that has been standing there proudly since 1720. It was closed during our visit, but we promise that it’s worth it, especially if you have a bit of a soft spot for lighthouses, as we do!

The Impressive Fortification Walls Of Alanya Castle Count 140 Watchtowers

The Impressive Fortification Walls Of Alanya Castle Count 140 Watchtowers

Bring plenty of sunscreen and your swimming gear to finish the day with a dip in the sea, in the shadow of the iconic Red Tower and the Shipyard. It is the perfect end to a perfect day of exploring Alanya Castle: sea, sun, beach, and history. (And yes, you can throw in some wining and dining and shopping too!)

Or, even better, enhance your Alanya Castle experience by staying in one of the fabulously restored authentic houses in the Castle.

Click here to access our personal selection of great Alanya Castle stays.

Swimming In The Shadow Of Alanya Castle

Swimming In The Shadow Of Alanya Castle

✔️ Have you been to Alanya Castle? Then please head over to our Turkey Trip Planner to leave a review. Alternatively, if you plan on visiting, you can add the place to your bucket list.
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Remember that Kızılkule, The Shipyard, and the Inner Castle are a museum where you need to pay a small entrance fee. Also check the opening times, as they vary according to the season.

Alanya Castle is popular, you’ll see that these reviews on TripAdvisor confirm that. To get an answer to your questions, send us a message through our contact page, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Take your time, explore the streets and alleys, and do bring your swimming gear! 😉

You must have guessed it already, we’re independent travelers. Joining groups for excursions or activities isn’t really our cup of tea. But we fully understand that not everyone is keen on exploring Turkey on their own. That’s when Get Your Guide comes in handy. They offer plenty of activities and sightseeing tours that you can pre-book online.

If you’re more into a personalized experience while enjoying the services of a guide, Tours by Locals may be what you’re looking for! We just love them! You get the knowledge and assistance of a local, and the experience of independent traveling. Best of both worlds, really.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Check out our hand-picked selection of ultimate Alanya Castle stays.

We still love to use Booking.com when searching for the perfect hotel or vacation rental in Turkey. Unfortunately, the website isn’t accessible from within Turkey without the use of a VPN. Here’s a great VPN deal if you need one. If you don’t have a VPN, and you’re already in Turkey, Hotels.com is a good alternative.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Alanya Castle is easy to reach both by car or using public transportation. The road up to the Inner Castle is well signposted. If you’re going by bus, Line 4 is your ride, and these are the current timetables for the Alanya Castle bus

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Remember that Kızılkule, The Shipyard, and the Inner Castle are a museum where you need to pay a small entrance fee. Also check the opening times, as they vary according to the season.

Alanya Castle is popular, you’ll see that these reviews on TripAdvisor confirm that. To get an answer to your questions, send us a message through our contact page, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Take your time, explore the streets and alleys, and do bring your swimming gear! 😉

You must have guessed it already, we’re independent travelers. Joining groups for excursions or activities isn’t really our cup of tea. But we fully understand that not everyone is keen on exploring Turkey on their own. That’s when Get Your Guide comes in handy. They offer plenty of activities and sightseeing tours that you can pre-book online.

If you’re more into a personalized experience while enjoying the services of a guide, Tours by Locals may be what you’re looking for! We just love them! You get the knowledge and assistance of a local, and the experience of independent traveling. Best of both worlds, really.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Check out our hand-picked selection of ultimate Alanya Castle stays.

We still love to use Booking.com when searching for the perfect hotel or vacation rental in Turkey. Unfortunately, the website isn’t accessible from within Turkey without the use of a VPN. Here’s a great VPN deal if you need one. If you don’t have a VPN, and you’re already in Turkey, Hotels.com is a good alternative.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Alanya Castle is easy to reach both by car or using public transportation. The road up to the Inner Castle is well signposted. If you’re going by bus, Line 4 is your ride, and these are the current timetables for the Alanya Castle bus

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

Alanya Castle: A Lively, Stunning Slice Of History
Alanya Castle: A Lively, Stunning Slice Of History
Alanya Castle: A Lively, Stunning Slice Of History
Alanya Castle: A Lively, Stunning Slice Of History
Alanya Castle: A Lively, Stunning Slice Of History

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Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

LISTS & REVIEWS

Bookmark your favorite places, find other destinations nearby, get directions from your location, and read or leave reviews.

Our Turkey Trip Planner wad designed to do just that. You'll find all our favorite spots in one place, including scenic road stops.

Map of Turkey

Do you like to see things on a map? On our interactive tourist map of Turkey, you'll spot nearby points of interest right away. We've done the heavy lifting for you. Just click on the icons to go to each post.

Enjoy our practical and inspirational map of Turkey!

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Alanya Castle: a lively, stunning slice of history