Alanya Castle sits perched on top of the small jutting peninsula in the middle of Alanya and stands as a symbol of the city’s strategic importance throughout history. Believed to be a point of defense since 3rd century BC, its historic walls, dating back to the Seljuk era, stretch for 6.5 km. Roaming around the area could be an all–day adventure. In and of itself, the spectacular view makes it worth a trip, but the kilometers of exploration and the discoveries that you find while climbing up to the peak of the castle are what make it really enjoyable.
You can reach the top of the castle on a somewhat steep, windy cobblestone road either by car or minibus; you may alternatively take the Alanya Teleferik from Kleopatra Beach, where you disembark and then hike up to the Open Air Museum. Paid parking at the top of the hill is situated adjacent to a paid portion of the castle. For a fee, you gain entrance into the Open Air Museum of the castle, which we honestly found a little underwhelming. The views of Kleopatra Beach and out into the sea are magnificent from within, but we aren’t sure it is worth the cost when you can get similar views outside the paid area.
We visited on a steaming day in August and walked through the unshaded Open Air Museum as quickly as we could because of the sweltering temperatures. At the entrance are a couple of souvenir shops with great prices and a café selling cold water. A good portion of the museum – all of the palace – was closed off. The part that is open has a somewhat smooth wooden path that would be easy to navigate with a stroller or wheel chair and there is even a lift a look-out, as well as ramps throughout that area. However, the area surrounding the Open Air Museum and leading from the teleferik area would not be accessible by wheelchair or even by stroller.
There is not really a good map of the entire area that we could find, so we decided to explore without a plan. After moving our car to free parking along the road, we enjoyed roaming around the rest of the area between the museum and teleferik surprisingly more than the museum. There are shops, cafes, beautiful homes, stunning views, a 13th century mosque, and lots of stairs leading down to the teleferik station. A walking path through trees, graves and old buildings leads from the hill to the back entrance of the Open Air Museum from the teleferik.
Exploring the Alanya Castle hill on a cooler day would be a lovely way to spend part of your time in the area. Visiting with young kids who can’t walk or climb on their own would be quite difficult. Unless you have a museum pass, we say skip the Open Air Museum and spend your time discovering the rest of the hill. Riding up the Alanya Teleferik with its views of Kleopatra Beach followed by dinner at a café looking out over the sea from above could be a romantic way to spend an evening.
Location: Hisariçi, 07400 Alanya/Antalya, Turkey
Hours: 1 April – 31 October: 10:00 – 20:00 Daily, 1 November – March 31: 8:30 – 17:30 Daily (Entrance closes 30 minutes before)
Entrance Fee: Museum Area: 30TL or Free with Museum Pass as of August 2020
From the Teleferik exit up to the Open Air Museum is free
Parking Fee: 5TL for cars; 10TL for vans