I recently got back from Alanya (Turkey) where I spent 10 days on holiday and I decided to write a text about this place which might serve as a guide to people who want to visit and spend some time here. Since I am a big fan of the work out of the office, if you are able to work from anywhere in the world, I will give an overview of how this place would suit for digital nomads.
Alanya is on the southern coast of Turkey, 138 kilometers (86 miles) east of the city of Antalya. It is located just about 250 km from Cyprus. The town is situated between the Taurus Mountains to the north and the Mediterranean Sea, which is very important to note because of the characteristic climate here.
Let's start with the weather. The waiter who works here told me that season last for almost 6 months, although from the beginning of September is emptier since the school starts in Turkey and all around the Europe. By the way, the waiter came to work here from Kyrgyzstan because, as I heard, they can earn a lot of money during the summer just working as waiters. I was here in the beginning of September and it was warm, not too much for my test, around 30 C. The problem (for many people, but not for me) is humidity. It is extremely high, so it might be 25 C outside but the feeling is like it is 35 C. I am fine with that but I heard from a lot of people that it can bother them. Like I mentioned, the city is located between the mountain and the sea so all warm air coming from the sea stays here and doesn't go up north.
The city is just beautiful, not too much big, but not small to be boring. You have one long main street with a lot of restaurants, bars, shops, supermarkets, hotels... In the city center you can find a lot of clubs so be careful when you chose your hotel since we had to walk every night 2 km just to get to city center where all the parties are located. It can be really hard to walk back to the hotel in the 3 am...
The beach stretches along the entire Alanya, with one important remark: the best beach is the Cleopatra beach. Again I have to mention that you should carefully choose your accommodation because our hotel was located 45 minutes walk from this beach. We had a nice beach just across the hotel (see next picture) but it wasn't so beautiful and well-organized as Cleopatra's.
Of course, since this is the main beach in the city, it is always full of people, I believe particularly in July and August, so if you do not like crowd then you might be more convenient to choose a hotel away from this beach and to swim at some more isolated place. You won't find shades anywhere on the beaches, so you can stay in the hotel and go to the beach when you want to take a swim, you can burn in the sun or you can rent a beach sunbed and/or sunshade. To rent a sunshade for a day will cost you about 4, 5 Turkish lira which is about one and a half euros (you can bargain).
Since lunch time in our hotel was in a bad time for us (from 12h till 14h), time until the lunch we spent at the hotel pool and after lunch we went to Cleopatra beach by public transport (15 minutes) where we rented only sunshades without sunbeds.
This is a secular Muslim country - so don't be afraid. It's like any other country in Europe, people watching TV, going out, having fun... The only difference here is that Turkish people don't drink (so much) alcohol as other nations in Europe so alcohol drinks are very expensive here. When you go into the supermarket, prices are reasonable so no need to worry about that. When you want to buy something in local shops like souvenirs, clothes - you can bargain with the owner and get some good price, it is very common around here.
Like I said - alcohol drinks are expensive. You can buy a beer in local supermarket for 5 lira which is around 2 euros. If you go out, beer in a club is around 7, 8 euros and if you are fancy for a cocktail you need to pay 25 to 30 liras, around 10 euros.
Food is more than ok, I really liked it. Since I am from Serbia, we have very similar dishes. Maybe a little more greasy for my taste but fine. Regarding meat, you can mainly find chicken meat around here. Fish also but you should definitely try Turkish kebab. It is similar to Greek gyros or the Middle Eastern shawarma. And of course - Turkish delights, all sorts of sweets... Try baklava, rahat lokum... If you want to bring something home to your friends or family, I highly recommend you to buy these delights - you can buy for example 2 kilos of these delights for 40 euros. You can put it in 4 boxes and you have 4 presents you can bring to someone.
About the hotel, we booked a room in Elysee hotel - I was not so much happy about our choice. Like I said, our hotel was 30 minutes from city center, 45 minutes from Cleopatra beach and we needed to walk or to take a bus every day. Besides that, the hotel was fine, it was clean, but not very new. We had all inclusive service - breakfast (7h-9h), late breakfast (9h-10h) - pretty much nothing good to eat except eggs in all sorts of form. Launch (12h-14h), dinner(19h-21h) and some snacks in the middle. You can have soups, main dishes, salads, sweets, drinks (beer, wine, vodka, whiskey, gin, Pepsi, Fanta, Sprite) all you can eat and drink. But be careful, on fourth day in Alanya I started having stomach problems and next 4 days I struggled with that. And I didn't drink local watter, just bottled and didn't eat anything outside the hotel!! I guess you can have stomach problems in any hotel in Alanya. My friends didn't have any trouble so I guess that fresh green salad was making problem to me...
Since we visited Alanya in September, it wasn't so crowded and clubs were pretty empty, but it was ok in general. If you want to drink some good cocktail I recommend you visit Crazy Horse bar. If you like clubbing I recommend you visit Havana or Robin Hood - the club on three floors, on the last one is Latino stage with great music. Besides that you can visit some local restaurants, but since we had all inclusive service we didn't try anything of that sort. The city center, on the other hand, is crowded all day and all night and you can find a dozens of clubs and bars in that small area around center. There is also a police station in the very center so I think that you can be more than safe to walk around in late hours if you are afraid of some drunk people.
Antalya is a very large city and there is an international airport with some great local carrier like Onurair. They are flying to Amsterdam for example and some other major cities so it's not a problem to get here. From the airport to Alanya you can take a bus which will cost you 10-15 euros. You can find buses everywhere in front of the airport. Regarding public transport, the main bus lines are 1 and 101 which can transport you through the main street. The ticket is 2 lira (little less than 1 euro) and you can pay it to the bus driver when you enter the bus on the front door. You won't get any receipt for paying ticket.
Overall, I think Alanya is a great place to visit and to be in for a couple of months. The weather is beautiful, with no rain, you have a great beach, night life is also fine. And it's not expensive. Regarding the Internet connection, we had it in the hotel lobby and by the pool and you can pay extra if you want to use it in your room. I don't know if there is any co-working places in the city so I am not sure where you can find some office to work in. You have also a cinema in the city (I don't know if there are movies on English, there are on Russian though). So if you are from Europe, USA, Canada and Thailand is too far away and exotic for you - try Turkey and give a chance to Alanya, I think you will enjoy staying here.
Software developer from Belgrade, founder of Warrantly.