Cleopatra beach draws millions to Antalya
One of the symbols of the southern province of Antalya’s Alanya district, the Cleopatra beach hosts more than two million tourists every year.
With its historic peninsula, Alanya has traces of many ancient civilizations. The summer capital of the Anatolian Seljuk State, Alanya contributes to the region’s tourism thanks to the beach, which bears the name of the last Hellenistic queen of ancient Egypt, Cleopatra, who lived between 69-30 B.C. She is said to have sunbathed on the beach’s golden sands and to have swum in its crystal blue waters.
The beach in the city center is one of the most popular spots for tourists due to its golden sand, clean water, and attractive coast. The two-kilometer beach is a fine combination of “sea, sand, and sun.”
The beach has hosted millions of local and foreign tourists so far said Servet Şakiroğlu, the head of the Cleopatra Hoteliers Association, which hotels around the beach are members of.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Şakiroğlu said Cleopatra swam around the Kale peninsula.
“It is rumored that between 69 B.C. to 30 B.C., the Roman [Marcus] Antonios gifted the queen the Sedre village for the formation of the Egyptian fleet. The beach has gained importance because the queen swam here and fell in love with its sands,” he said.
Şakiroğlu said the beach has also drawn interest for its rice-sized grains of sand and crystal blue waters.
“It is one of the rare places in the world where people can swim in the city center. We also have Damlataş Inns in this region. Various activities are organized on the beach. The first beach organizations began to be organized here in the district,” he said.
The association head said Alanya welcomes 3.5 million tourists a year and 80 percent of those tourists swim at Cleopatra beach.
“Tourists mostly from central Europe, Germany, Baltic countries, Scandinavians, and Russians come to the beach. We expect an increase of 20 percent this year. We hope we will have a good season,” said Şakiroğlu, stating that European tourists were more interested in the beach.
The Turkish Travel Agencies Union (TÜRSAB) Alanya Regional Executive Board President Suat Çavuşoğlu said Cleopatra was one of the most important beaches in Turkey.
“This beach is known all around the world. It is promoted in international fairs. While sand is thin in other regions, this beach’s sand is a bit thicker and does not stick to the body. It is possible to lie down on the sand and vacationers can also use their own sunbeds to tan if they do not want to pay,” said Çavuşoğlu.