Alanya is one of the main seaside resort towns in Türkiye (new name for Turkey) lying on the Mediterranean coast. It caters for more package tour visitors especially from Russia and Germany. The main tourist areas can seem rather monotonous with an incredible number of almost identical cheap clothing outlets lining the streets as well as similar looking restaurants. However it still a pleasant place to wile away a few days especially after some time on the road. There are also some interesting places to visit away from the crowds that can be reached by the local bus service.
Alanya Transport Map
Note – The map only contains a small number of bus lines in Alanya due to the need for simplicity.
Getting in to Alanya
Unlike most cities in Türkiye the main bus station (otogar) is located in the town itself on the western side. Many hotels are within walking distance or a short ride by bus. The regular line 1 passes by the station and travels through the city centre ad the beaches going eastwards from the city. However this bus can be busy during peak periods.
Getting around Alanya by public transport
The main tourist areas of the town can be easily traversed by foot although in the very hot summer months this would be challenging.
The town has a reasonably efficient bus system which uses a smart card which can be purchased and recharged from a wide range of retail outlets around the city. Buses are comfortable with well placed stops all over. The price of a ride using the smart card is 4.40 lira (October 2021). The smart card itself costs 7.50 lira. Don’t forget to register your HES code.
Most bus routes are not regular with only a few buses running each route daily. The number 1 bus line is the most regular and very popular as it serves the centre of Alanya with the beach areas to the east. Route 101 is also frequent but does not go as far along the coast as the number 1 bus.
There are a number of routes that, although infrequent, can enable you to visit some interesting places that few foreign visitors will even know about. These are listed in the map above.
More information regarding routes, including interactive map can be found at Visit Alanya website.
The list is given below.
Interesting bus routes in Alanya
Bus route 1 - Mahmutlar
The most popular bus route in the town terminates in the seaside town of Mahmutlar about 12 kilometres away. The bus ride allows you see the mile upon mile of hotels and apartments that have sprung up to cater to both foreign and domestic visitors and summer residents.
There are a number of bus stops along the coast so, weather permitting, you can take a leisurely walk along the seafront and hop on the bus back on the way back to town.
There are of course many restaurants, bars and cafes to keep you refreshed during your time in Mahmutlar.
Bus route 10 - Dim Çayı valley
A really interesting half day or longer trip from Alanya using public transport is to the Dim Çayı valley where the bus snakes along the river culminating in an impressive dam and very scenic reservoir. The bus terminal is located by the dam and is around 14km from Alanya taking around 45 minutes. The number 10 bus runs every hour from just outside the centre of Alanya.
From the bus stop it is a half hour walk up a moderate incline to the dam and reservoir where visitors are rewarded with great views. It is possible to make a circuit around the reservoir but this would involve a long walk. This is popular with cyclists.
One suggestion is after walking to the reservoir and back to then walk along the river road and bus route perhaps stopping for lunch or dinner at one of therestaurants. It is easy to flag down a passing bus back to Alanya after.
Bus route 8 - Bektaş
While the hilltop castle is the main attraction (apart from the beaches) in the town, why not escape the crowds and head for the higher up mountain vista of Bektaş. The bus number 8 runs from the centre, weaving its way up the mountain finally (it seems forever) ending in the isolated village of Gedevet.
Buses from Alanya are at 7am, 12:30pm, 15:30 and 18:00 although they may not be too punctual. You can either take the return bus back or walk downhill back to town. This allows for great views of the surrounding mountains as well as Alanya itself. The downward incline is quite steep and the way back is mostly the same as the one the bus takes with very few shortcuts. It can take a couple of hours to get back to Alanya. The hillside contains a number of attractive villa developments.
Alanya tourist areas
The castle is by far the most visited attraction in the town and can therefore be crowded during the main tourist season. It is a pleasant enough place to visit with good views overlooking Alanya and its harbour. The castle is not in the same league as other historical landmarks in Turkey but that is not what Alanya is famous for. There is a bus number 4 that goes to the castle but only three times a day at 7am, 12 noon and 17.30.
The other option (apart from a uphill walk) is taking the cable car close to Kleopatra beach. The cost is 39 lira both ways or 32 lira one-way (October 2021). The ride takes around 10 minutes. Walking back down is easy and provides some more interesting perspectives of the castle and the harbour.
As a resort town the overall feel is pleasant but monotonous with the impression that once you have walked 100 metres you have seen the town. But the town’s function is to serve the needs of the significant tourist market especially from Russia and this it does well. Alanya also boasts a nice harbour and wide boulevards to amble about plus of course nice sandy beaches which is the main drawcard. Accept this and then enjoy what the town has to offer and it is well worth spending a few days here.