Alanya

İNCEKUM / ALARAHAN

Twenty-two kilometres along the Alanya-Antalya road is the town of Avsallar. The area from Avsallar to the Alara Stream has a beach of golden sand with pine and cedar trees coming down to the shores.

The Incekum and Alara hoteliers try to stress these characteristics of the area as a distinctive part of their region in their promotions. Incekum and Alara Tourism Centres are ideal for travellers who dislike Alanya’s crowded conditions and want to have a sedate, quiet holiday. The region about 100 three-star to five-star hotels, which line the beach area 10 kilometres.

The forest camp and beach that give Incekum its name are located in the centre of the area, 24 km from Alanya.

The forest camp and picnic area is spread over a large area. Trekking trails, children’s playgrounds, picnic tables, camping grounds and beaches meet all needs. If you are staying in the neighbouring hotels, you can take early morning strolls in the park area. A morning ramble in the forest amidst the choir of chirping birds and sounds of crickets, followed by a healthy breakfast will fortify you for the day. If you have some time, walk along the rocks of the beach and you will see small fish and crabs and other marine life in the small pools and then plunge into the water to cool down or lie on the beach in the sun.

You can also stay in a tent in the park area by paying a small fee to the Forest Administration. Water, electricity and toilet facilities are available.

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ALARA HAN and ALARA CASTLE

About 30 km west of Alanya on the Antalya highway (about seven km from Incekum), you will see the signpost for Alarahan. Take the turnoff and follow the asphalt road for seven km. Alarahan is located next to the Alara River. For centuries, traders and travellers passed through this region. During the Seljuk period, the main commercial road followed the river connecting the two most important cities, Konya, in the south of central Anatolia and Alaiye, on the Mediterranean coast. The Alarahan Caravanserai served as the last inn on this trade route.

Traders and travellers spent their time resting at the inn, having meals, drinking and chatting with one another. Constructed in 1232 by Seljuk Sultan Alaattin Keykubat to provide a secure resting place for caravans and tradesmen, Alarahan has been restored as a restaurant and shopping centre complex.

Alara Castle too was built by Sultan Alaattin Keykubat to protect Alarahan. Dominating the Alara River and the trade route to Alarahan, the impressive cone-shaped castle stands on top of a hill surrounded by walls. If the weather isn’t too hot, we suggest you climb to the top of the hill. To reach the castle walls, you have to climb a dark 120-step enclosure. We suggest you take a guide from one of the nearby neighbourhoods and a flashlight. It takes about an hour to reach the top, following the walls and frequent steep paths. To catch a breath, you can rest and get a magnificent view of the scenic countryside and foothills. We suggest you keep climbing as the best view is from the top. You get a panoramic view of the Alara River winding through the plain, surrounded on one side by a pine forest and Alarahan on the other. While visiting the ruins of a mansion and a bathhouse, you view the striking scenery. But you can only wonder in amazement how this bathhouse was constructed and from where water was brought to the site.

You will decide it was worth coming up and tiring yourself out. However, keep some of your energy for the Alara River. After coming down the hill, plunge into its cool waters, though only if you are a good swimmer. The current will take you as far as you can stand the cold. Avoid going in if you don’t know how to swim. The ice-cold water can shock you and cause panic. After expending all this energy, you will probably feel hungry or thirsty. You can sit at one of the many tables across from the caravanserai and have a trout or chicken meal or grilled meats, washed down with a cold beer.

ALARA FALLS

Alara River rises from the highest peaks of the Toros Mountain Range, including Geyikdağ (2800 metres) and Akdağ (2500 metres). Because of the karstic characteristic of the Toros Mountains, numerous underground streams run down broken limestone ridges, eventually emerging above ground as rivers. The 25 metres high Alara Falls is one of the places where the underground waters come to the surface, and one of the Mediterranean’s undiscovered geographic wonders. To reach the falls, you must drive north from Konaklı on the Güzelbağ, Gündoğmuş road. It is about 70 km from Konaklı, with the last 20 km of the way being a dirt road. But it is worth travelling this distance to see this picturesque site.

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