Alanya (aka Alaiye) is a port town and a popular beach resort area located on Turkey's southern coast (Mediterranean Sea). The port is approx 138 km (86 ml) east of Antalya. Alanya's population is around 100,000. The whole district (the city and the built-up resort region) has population around 250,000 and covers a total area of around 1600 km2 (617 ml2).
Because of its natural strategic position on a little peninsula into Mediterranean Sea below Taurus Mountains, Alanya has been the stronghold for a lot of Mediterranean-based empires, such as the Ptolemaic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Seleucid Empires. The greatest political importance of Alanya came during the Middle Ages, with Seljuk Sultanate of Rum under rule of Alaeddin Kayqubad I, from whom Alanya city derives its name. The building campaign of Alaeddin Kayqubad I resulted in many of the landmarks, including Alanya Castle, Kızıl Kule (Red Tower) and Tersane (Shipyard).
The natural attractions, historic heritage and Mediterranean climate make Alanya a popular tourism destination, and responsible for 9% of Turkey's tourism sector and 30% of foreign purchases of real estate in the country. Since 1958 tourism has risen to become city's dominant industry, resulting in a corresponding increase in population. Cultural festivals and warm-weather sporting events take place in Alanya every year.
Until about 10 years ago Alanya was just a sleepy coastal town, but today it has grown to a significant Mediterranean resort, although it has succeeded to hold on to its original character. Passengers disembark at the harbour and visit the old city with its ancient remains and castle walls.
Close by the quay are located the remains of Tersane, an ancient shipyard with five linked arches. More energetic tourists should take the long steep walk to Alanya's 13th century castle above, with its miniature Byzantine basilica. Intriguing local archaelogical exhibits are featured in the Alanya Museum. There are also nice beaches and caves that are accessible by boat, such as Damlatas ("Cave of Dripping Stones"). From Alanya it's possible to vist the sites of ancient Aspendos and Perge.