Lazing on the Beach
Lots of things to do or not do down on the beach! Which beach to choose?
Football is played after sunset
Throughout the summer months a lot of sport is played in Alanya and, as in many other places, football is number one on the list. Although the greatest football teams in Turkey - Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas all belong to Istanbul, support for them is not lacking in Alanya.
It is particularly popular to play football at small artificial pitches, with the same goal size as handball, but the hours of the games are a little special.
During the day and the evening work is the priority and, in addition, the high temperatures in the daytime make it impossible to play. Football therefore is played after 10pm. In this way everybody can attend and the heat is bearable too.
In Alanya there are five pitches of this type. The most central is located in Damlatas Street near the cave of the same name.
One hours playing time costs approximately 15 euro and the pitch needs to be booked in advance. This should be done in person.
Mini-guide to the beaches of Alanya
For a newly arrived tourist there are many things that may seem different and confusing. This may also apply to the beaches of Alanya.
The two main beaches in the city are naturally separated into an eastern and western part by the 250 metre high promontory.
For inexplicable reasons the eastern beach has several names and is therefore normally only referred to as the Eastern beach.
The western beach of Alanya is named after Queen Cleopatra of Egypt.
Both the Eastern and Cleopatra beaches offer a large number of activities and are full of activity and happy people all day.
The cost of renting 2 sunbeds and 1 sunshade is the same at both beaches, around 4 euro. There is no need to reserve or order these in advance.
As a guest on the beach you just lie down on a sunbed and shortly after a beach-boy will come to collect your payment. It is also possible to buy food and drink.
The beaches of Alanya are divided into approximately 20 smaller areas that are controlled by a hotel or a local owner. Often each area will have a small sign that tells you what number their beach is.
As a tourist there is no need to worry about this.
Mountain biking in Alanya
There are lots of opportunities for having an active holiday in Alanya and to go mountain biking is certainly one of them as the Taurus Mountains, with 3,000 metre peaks, are so accessible. It does not matter if it is only to spend a few pleasant hours with the family at one of Alanyas beautiful rivers or in preparation for serious competitions like the European Mountain Bike tour, the terrain around Alanya has what it takes.
The quality of the roads varies from good asphalt along the coast to road conditions of all kinds. In the mountains you will find everything from dirt roads to small trails where good cycling technique is a must. For those wanting to go downhill only there are also possibilities but, since transport to the top is problematic, it could be difficult.
When you are mountain biking in the mountains the local people are always welcoming but do not expect them to understand what you are doing!
Remember that intense training in June, July and August cannot be recommended due to the high temperatures. Always carry with you two bottles of water and refill them at the mountain springs which you will see everywhere.
For normal cyclists less demanding trips in the beautiful countryside are recommended. For example it is possible to join trips to local Turkish villages where tourism has not yet affected everyday life. All you require is to be in reasonable physical condition!
As an ordinary means of transport the bicycle can also be recommended.
The highlight of the year is the annual Alanya International Mountain Bike Cup which usually takes place the second Sunday in October and has participants from all over the world.
The race is held in good spirit and follows a most beautiful route around Alanya castle. The prize money is US$10,000 in total.
The race however is not only for professionals, amateur riders can participate. A bicycle licence is required.
Turkish Oil Wrestling
Wrestling has been exercised in Turkey since 1640 and is a very popular sport. But Turkey has a unique traditional wrestling variation Oil Wrestling.
The name is a big give away, the wrestlers cover themselves from head to foot with oil before they compete, it even has a dress code wrestlers (Pehlivan) wear only a specially designed pair of pants (Kispet) made from water buffalo hide and often weighing more than 13kg. In oil wrestling the majority of points are scored when the opponents hands go through the other persons kispet, by doing this the wrestler can grab hold of his opponents kispet lower down (paca) and in doing so control him.A pehlivan is defeated as soon as his chest is facing upwards towards the sky, or as soon as an open fall occurs.
The largest and longest (since 650 years) oil wrestling tournament is held every year in Kirkpinar near Edirne between the months of June and July. The event lasts for 3 days, the sun can be hot and the fights can be long. At this event the winner is allowed to call himself the best oil wrestler in the country and takes home a belt made of 24 carat gold and weighs 1.5kg. This usually has to be returned every year.
During the fight if there is no winner after half an hour the match is decided with a sudden death overtime.
Turkish Oil Wrestling became established as a sport by the Ottoman Sultan, Orhan Gazi together with his brother and forty warriors while capturing fortresses. Where ever they camped to settle for the night the men would start to wrestle for pleasure, 2 of the men wrestled for hours but neither managed to win, they fought all day and night until eventually they both collapsed and died of exhaustion.Their friends buried them where they died and left and when they returned to the burial site years later they were amazed to see that forty springs had arisen at the burial site and so it was named Kirkpinar (forty springs).
Oil Wrestling is a sport that is passed from father to son. If its not already in the family theres little chance of taking the sport up.
While all wrestlers may come across as being tough guys there skin is always very soft.