Introduction to Alanya, Turkey
Enjoy its warm sea, beautiful golden beaches and interesting history.
Sitting on a peninsula in the shadows of the Taurus Mountains, Alanya was prominent in medieval times and many of the town’s attractions date from this time. The Citadel, with 6.5m high walls, is still largely intact, as are the 140 towers. The inner castle was the main stronghold, standing 250m above sea level, dominating the peninsula. The Citadel’s wood and stone houses are still used for weaving silk and cot-ton.
The octagonal Red Tower at the end of the peninsula was built in 1226 to control the port area. It was difficult to lift massive stone blocks to the top, so terracotta bricks were used for the upper part – hence the name. Today, the lower floors hold a museum of ethnography. Dating from around the same time, the Dockyard was built by Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat, whose emblem adorns the entrance – he became known as the “Sultan of the two seas” as a result.
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Our tour begins with a drive to the classical town of Side. Once an ancient harbour, Side is now a pretty resort town steeped in history.
We shall visit the ancient theatre, once used for gladiator fights with a capacity of 15,000 – 20,000 spectators. Our walking tour will take us to the city gates, dating from the 2nd century BC, and onto the remains of Roman aqueducts, built to bring water to the city from the Manavgat river. We will pay a visit to the museum, displaying statues and sarcophagi from the Roman period.
Following our visit to Side, we continue on to Aspendos, which features one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in Turkey. Built in the second century BC by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, it provides seating for 7000 spectators and is known as to have some of the best acoustics for dramatic performances.
Continuing on our tour, we shall stop for a traditional lunch in the local countryside, being able to enjoy the views and refresh ourselves before moving onto our next stop.
After lunch, we travel on to the Manavgat Waterfalls. Cascading over a wide area, the water appears white as it falls powerfully onto the rocks. Here we have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the shady tea gardens after our busy day of sightseeing, providing us with a cool resting spot before re-boarding our coach and making the return journey to our awaiting ship.
TOUR NOTES: This tour involves approximately 2 hours of walking, and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This tour is not suitable for those with wheelchairs or mobility difficulties. Lunch is included in the price of the tour, however additional drinks are at the individual’s own cost. Due care and attention should be exercised at the waterfalls, as some of the paths may be slippery. Please note that in Side and Aspendos, our visits will be external only. Comfortable, loose clothing and sun protection is recommended.
DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2011 CANARIES & MEDITERRANEAN SEASON.
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