80° BY THE SEA
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Alanya is Turkey's hottest resort town—literally. Temperatures here are higher than almost anywhere else in Turkey, averaging 106°F (27°C) in July and August; the waves lapping the long Mediterranean beaches that sweep toward Alanya's great rock citadel are only a degree or two cooler. This makes high summer in Alanya heaven for sun-starved, disco-loving, hard-drinking northern Europeans
but rather hellish for anyone seeking a quiet holiday surrounded by nature. That said, Alanya is home to one of Turkey's biggest year-round expatriate communities, and in spring and autumn it's a pleasantly warm and inexpensive place to indulge in a few days of easily accessible swimming, historic sites, and good food.
Foreign influence has encouraged this city to clean up its act. Former wastelands of concrete-block apartments are now colorfully painted; Ottoman districts around the harbor are well on the way to being restored; and the eclectic jumble of houses inside the magnificent red-walled citadel contains an increasing number of handsome boutique hotels. Other improvements include the opening of a microbrewery (Red Tower, which serves what may be the best beer in Turkey) and the debut of touch-screen bike rentals around the city center.
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Anamur is an uninspiring agricultural town, known throughout Turkey for its bananas. The ruins of ancient Anemurium and the dramatic Marmure...