Journey by coach to the Manavgat River to see Alanya’s famous waterfall. It’s one of the most photographed spots in Turkey, thanks to its white foaming water that plunges over low rocks. The rocks are so low, in fact, the waterfall completely disappears during flooding. You’ll also to explore the ancient city of Side on this tour. Once a Roman port, it’s now a modern town that’s dotted with ruins. See the marketplace where slaves were once traded, and wander around what’s left of the public baths and the ancient amphitheatre. Don’t miss the Temple of Apollo, either – it dates back to the 2nd century AD and, legend has it, it was a gift from Anthony to Cleopatra as a token of his love for her. Once you’ve had time to explore the ruins, there’ll be some free time in the city. Pull up a chair and buy a sizzling kebab at one of the eateries, or haggle for bargains in the stalls of the backstreets.
This tour kicks off with a visit to the Medieval castle in Alanya. Most of it was built in the 13th century by the Sultan of Seljuk, on top of earlier Byzantine and Roman fortifications. It’s setting is pretty special to say the least. It sits 250 metres high on a rocky peninsular, with the Mediterranean Sea protecting it from three sides. The area was pacified under the Ottoman Empire, so the castle stopped being purely defensive. During the 19th century, lots of villas were built within its walls. Today, it’s an impressive open-air museum, reflecting Seljuk art at its best. After some time here, you’ll stop at Dalmatas Magarasi – a small cave with beautiful calcite formations. It was discovered in 1948 by engineers building Alanya harbour, and in the 1960s Turks started coming to the cave for its alleged healing properties. The humid air is supposed to be good for asthmatic problems, and doctors prescribe treatment here regularly. Leaving the cave behind, you’ll have some free time in Alanya city centre before returning to the ship.
Also known as the heart of ancient Pamphylia, Perge is where St Paul preached his first sermon when he began his missionary journeys. On this trip you’ll see examples of Pergian architecture and ruins that’ll give you a real insight into the importance of the city. Afterwards, make your way to Aspendos and admire what is probably the best-preserved theatre of antiquity. Big enough to hold thousands of spectators, it’s still used today for performances and festivals. The galleries, stage decorations and acoustics all testify to the architect's success. The second highlight of Aspendos is its aqueducts, left behind by the Romans. Once you’ve seen those, we head back to Alanya. Cameras at the ready…
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