Alanya is famous for its beautiful Mediterranean climate and fabulous beaches. But for those who like to sample local cuisine when they travel, Alanya has lots of delicious surprises.
Turkish cuisine is one of the most varied in the world of gastronomy and when you consider that it is defined by the most incredible fusion of European, Asian and African dishes, you would expect nothing less. While the intricate and turbulent history has influenced Turkish gastronomy, so too has the fact that there is an abundance of fresh, seasonal and quality ingredients available, perfect for creating some simply stunning dishes.
Here are our favourite culinary delights to look out for when in Alanya.
You can’t avoid this favourite amongst locals and tourists alike, but unlike the often poor replicas you can buy in the UK, the Turkish kebab is something special. There are many types of kebab and it is important to know what they are so that you know what you are ordering. The doner kebab comes from meat that is baked on a rotating stick and then served in thin slices either on a plate or in a pita bread. The Şiş kebab, on the other hand, is served on a skewer with rice or grilled vegetables and can be made with chicken or meat. If you want something a little different, then go for the Adana kebab that is minced meat combined with spices and grilled on a skewer. Koyum Gaziantep Baspinar Lokantasi on Hükümet Caddesi is the place in town to try this one.
Food in Alanya is generally very light and based on vegetables and seafood. The most common salad is the ‘Spoon salad’, which is a mix of vegetables chopped into little pieces and served in lemon, oil, parsley and a pomegranate vinegar. This salad is typically eaten with a spoon so that every last bit of the marinade can be enjoyed. Try the spoon salad with delicious seafood at Iskele Sofrası.
Tophane Caddesi 2/b
The idea of eating mezze style is fantastic for food lovers, as it means you get to try lots of different dishes in one meal. In Alanya there are many restaurants that serve authentic mezze, where you can enjoy the kofte (meatballs with spice and parsley), lahmacun (a thin Turkish pizza), kumpir (a big baked potato served with butter and cheese and filled with any number of ingredients) and dolma (vine leaves, peppers, tomatoes or cabbage leaves stuffed with rice, spices and meat or peanuts and raisins). Yoresel Alanya Ev Mutfagi is one of our favourite mezze haunts.
Yoresel Alanya Ev Mutfagi
Galatasaray Cad. Uysal Apt
And the Turkish love their sweet treats after a meal. You really have to taste the delectable pastries soaked in sugar syrup and laced with walnuts or pistachios to appreciate how wonderful they are. This delicious delicacy, known as baklava, is fabulous with ice cream! In Alanya we love the baklava at Turkiyem Baklava & Dondurma.
Turkiyem Baklava & Dondurma
Ali Haydar Sok 2/A
You should also look out for the Sütlaç, the milk and rice pudding, or the aşure, which is also known as Noah’s pudding. Apparently it was on Noah’s Ark after the rain that this delicious treat, which is a mixture of rice, beans, cinnamon, corn, walnuts, grain, almonds, chickpeas, wheat and raisins was made. Legend has it that after the rains stopped, the people made this soup out of all the ingredients that remained.
Alanya is a place with plenty of opportunity to tickle the taste buds so make sure you try as many local delights as possible while you are there.
How to Get to Alanya
British visitors to Alanya may arrive into Alanya or Antalya Airport, both of which are close to the resort. While easyJet offers non-stop flights from London to Antalya, Alanya Airport is more difficult to reach, requiring you to change in Istanbul, Helsinki, Dalaman or other European cities.
From either airport, an Alanya transfer can easily be organised through our team at Shuttle Direct, although we recommend you take the easy option and fly into Antalya. Our range of transport options can take you straight from the airport to all of the hotels in the resort.
Where to Stay
Sun Hotel – If you want to save your money to spend on dining out and are looking for budget beachfront accommodation in Alanya, Sun Hotel is a good option. It might be less expensive than many other hotels, but it has its own private beach area and a restaurant serving both international and local cuisine: perfect if you are into dining Turkish style! A buffet breakfast is served every day, but of course, as the hotel is close to lots of other bars and cafés, you can choose to dine out too. Staff are also on hand 24 hours a day should you need any information, recommendations or tips.
Kleopatra Fatih Hotel – This delightful hotel is ideal if you want to splash out a little more on your accommodation. Close to the Cleopatra Beach, the Kleopatra Fatih Hotel has its own private beach area, complete with sun loungers and sunshades. You can indulge in one of the delicious cocktails at the revolving cocktail bar or relax in the magical atmosphere of the Turkish Bath. The hotel can be booked on an all-inclusive basis and breakfast, lunch, snacks, buffet dinner and late night soup, as well as drinks by the pool are included. A fitness centre, massage rooms and sauna top off the facilities here.
White Gold Hotel – Right on the beach, this stunning hotel is a real treat. Only 4km from Alanya and 60km from Side, it is also perfectly located for exploring the region or simply relaxing on the beach. A private beach area with parasols and loungers are par for the course at the White Gold Hotel, as are five star facilities such as a hammam, massage treatments and entertainment staff. You really don’t even have to leave this hotel at all if you don’t want to. Excellent buffet style breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served and there is a bar where you can buy refreshing drinks. For five star accommodations in Alanya, this is a fantastic choice.