The Alanya Guide
After Istanbul and Ankara, Antalya comes in third place for expat and immigrant populations. Alanya remains one of the most famous towns in Antalya, with people from 120 countries calling it their home.
Although it is mostly known for its golden sandy beaches and azure waters, the resort town also has a rich history, having been home to numerous civilizations, including the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans.
The town is incredibly metropolitan, tranquil yet animated, and there is always an activity or nature sports to keep you entertained.
Is Alanya the right fit for you? Let's see.
Retiring in Alanya
If there is one thing Alanya is known for, its reputation as a sunny retirement haven. Most of the year, Alanya residents enjoy a slow(er)-paced, relaxed life, and in the summer, this tranquility leaves its place to lively crowds for a change of pace. However, unlike Bodrum, most shops and restaurants continue to operate year-round.
Owing to its favorable location on Turkey's golden coast by the Mediterranean, the weather is almost always sunny, and you will rarely see the mercury drop below 5 degrees Celsius. If you seek sun and warmth, look no further.
Compared to European retirement destinations, Alanya also offers a much more comfortable and affordable way of living, so it is the most preferred town by expats in Turkey.
Lifestyle in Alanya
Like all the other coastal towns along the Mediterranean coast, Alanya, too, is blessed with a warm and mild climate. Though it can get quite hot in the summer, it can be remedied by a trip to the beach or waterfalls in the region. Summer is when nightlife peaks, and crowds from Turkey and abroad rush to the town for a break.
If you ask any local, they will say - without skipping a beat – that fall is the best time to be in Alanya. The weather is still warm and bright, but the sun is not unbearable. Spring and fall are also the best times for some peace.
Cost of Living in Alanya
As with Antalya, Bodrum, and Fethiye, the average cost of living is higher than the national minimum wage (around $380). Compared to Antalya, rent prices are 20% more expensive in Alanya. Expect to pay around TL 2,000 for a 3-bedroom flat close to the city center. Buying a house depends on your budget, with options ranging from TL 250,000 to millions.
Public transportation is much more expensive than the Istanbul rates, and a monthly pass costs about TL 180. Prices of eating out or groceries are lower compared to historically popular locations such as Bodrum or Çeşme. Fruit and vegetable prices are lower than in many other cities, as Antalya and Alanya produce most of Turkey's agriculture.
5 Thing You'll Love About Alanya
- Dabble in every sport
Are you seeking some adrenaline? Try out mountain biking, paddle boarding, skiing, rafting, or mountain climbing. Want to look at the world from a different point of view? Try scuba diving or paragliding. Antalya, in general, is also a haven for golf. A lot of sports clubs also hold winter training sessions here.
- Mesmerizing caves
If you are in Alanya, you cannot skip a trip to the prehistoric Damlataş Cave, which houses mystical-looking stalactites and stalagmites that date back 15,000 years. The cave, fixed at around 22 degrees Celsius year-round, is suitable for asthma patients. The Yalan Dünya and Dim caves are also worth a visit.
- It's central
Alanya has everything and more you will ever need, without the chaos and overcrowdedness of city life. A lot of shops and facilities are within walking distance in the town center. Alanya also has a good transportation network and is close to many other seaside resort towns, making it easy to get away for a weekend.
- Beautiful beaches
Two words: Cleopatra Beach. Egypt's famed queen was rumored to have swum in the turquoise waters and sunbathed on its fine, golden sand. Portakal Beach, a sandy beach with a pebbly sea bottom, and Damlataş Beach, within walking distance to its namesake caves, are also popular choices.
- Panoramic views
To get a breathtaking view of the whole town, all you need to do is to go up the cable car up to Alanya Castle, where you can watch the sunset from the observation deck.
5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Moving to Alanya
- The humidity
Combined with the blazing heat, humidity levels in the summer can become unbearable — so much so that it can make it hard to breathe. By the time you get out of the shower and get dressed, you will likely feel moist/sweaty again; it is a vicious cycle.
- Wavy seas
Compared to the waters of the Aegean, the seas of Alanya, and hence the Mediterranean, are much wavier. The waves grow in height in the afternoon hours, and you may not be able to swim if they get too big. The water also gets hot in the summer.
- Electricity bills
In the summer, if you are not used to temperatures in the 40s, your air conditioning unit will likely be working non-stop. Even if the heat does not faze you, having the AC is essential to draw some of the humidity out. So, expect your bills to go up quite a bit in the summer.
- Summer scares
July and August are sweltering and humid, which is the leading cause of heart attacks in the elderly and the vulnerable, but the beaches and town center will be seething with people.
The vibrant nightlife does disappear in the winter, and instead, you will start seeing more people out and about in tea gardens (çay bahçesi) to while away the time.
5 Nearby Towns to Visit
- Antalya (city center)