Until about ten years ago Alanya was a sleepy coastal town, today it has grown to become a significant resort of the Mediterranean, although it has managed to hold on to much of its original character. Disembark at the harbour and see the old city with its castle walls and ancient remains set on a promontory jutting out into the sea. Close by the quay are the remains of the Tersane, the ancient shipyard with its five linked arches. For the more energetic take the long steep walk to the castle above, with its I3th century walls, barracks, cisterns and miniature Byzantine basilica. Alanya Museum has some interesting local archaelogical exhibits. There are also extensive beaches and caves accessible by boat - Damlatas ("Cave of Dripping Stones") is accessible from the land. From Alanya it possible to vist the ancient sites of Perge and Aspendos.
Little is known about Alanya's early history, although it is believed to have been founded by Greek colonists, who named it Kalonoros "Beautiful Mountain". It became a base for Cilician pirates in the second century BC and eventually the Romans put a stop to this in 67 BC when they destroyed the pirate fleet in a sea battle off Alanya. Mark Antony gave the city, then rich in timber-production, to Cleopatra in 44 BC. She used it to help build up her navy. Later in 1221, the city fell to Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad, who gave it its present name.
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