Anamur is a city (population: about 60,000) in the very south of Turkey, only a few kilometres away from Turkey’s southernmost point (that is where ancient city of Anemurium is located), near 36° N. Anamur is also the central point of the entire length of Mediterranean coast of Turkey.
The city consists of two parts: The older town centre leaning against the mountain ranges and newer coastal neighbourhood with concrete blocks mainly used by families as summer houses and about two and a half kilometres separating each other.
This is one of Turkey’s two banana-producing (in a commercial scale) regions, the other being Alanya. This fact is also apparent in that Anamur is usually a synonym for domestically-produced banana in Turkey.
The Pentadactylos/Beşparmak mountain range of Cyprus, 40 miles off-shore, is visible from Anamur on clear days.
There is a reason why otherwise tropical banana plants flourish in Anamur—in summers, it's an extremely hot and sticky place, where you will indeed be hard pressed to do anything which would require you to get out of shady areas, or even your air-con enclosure.
The temperatures never go as low as freezing point in Anamur—in fact, Anamur experiences only one day annually when temperature ever goes below +5°C/41°F on the average—and as such, snowfall is virtually unknown in rainy winters.
Sunny and warm springs, especially around April, is by far the most comfortable time to visit Anamur. Although evenings around this time of the year tend to be windy (the very word of Anamur derives from a Greek expression meaning "windy cape" after all), it is perfectly possible to walk around with just a t-shirt day and night during this season, although locals may think you should be crazy for not wearing a coat in such "cold" (!) weather.
The town is served by D400, main highway between Antalya and Adana. Although these are two of Turkey’s biggest cities, and D400 is classified as a highway, the road to both directions is narrow (wide enough for two cars passing side by side though) and very winding.
There are minibuses connecting the town centre to the coast, but you may prefer walking. It takes no more than 30-40 minutes on foot.
- Mamure castle, also known as Anamur castle, 5 km SE of Anamur, situated by the shore, on the road to Mersin. Dating back to Roman times and later used by Crusaders and Seljuqs, it is reported that this is one of the most scenic castles in Turkey.
- Ancient city of Anemurium or Anemurion in Greek (also spelled as Anamuryum on road signs), name of which means “windy cape”, is located in a peninsula jutting out into Mediterranean Sea, which is the southernmost tip of Turkey. Anemurium was abandoned in about 7th century and features some partially ruined buildings—though still intact enough to give an idea about what they were like before they were abandoned—and high city walls on the side of a mountain, and is quite pleasant to walk around. Near Ören village, 5-10 km west of Anamur, near the road to Antalya (about 3 km towards the sea from the main road; no public transportation exists to the site from the main highway but it's an easy walk anyway). 3 TL/person.
- Beaches. There are great undeveloped sandy beaches almost totally deserted around the ruins of Anemurion, with a seawater temperature close to the levels of a hot tub. However, take care of not disturbing turtle eggs of an endangered species (Caretta caretta), which lay eggs to many beaches in the area. Especially discouraged (and sometimes, outright banned) are using beach umbrellas or other objects with sharp ends, building firepits, and leaving behind even the smallest piece of trash. Sometimes local military police (jandarma) shuts the entrance to the beaches in the evening and through the night, out of environmental concerns.
As this is Turkey’s main banana producing region, you may assume that you will have bunches of banana in exchange of a few cents. This is sometimes true and sometimes not. During summer, at the height of banana production, it is possible to buy a kilogram of bananas for the fair price of 1.50 TL (but make sure you are not cheated and given less than a kg), but in the spring, when the new growing season is just about to begin, a kg of banana is no cheaper than in Istanbul, a thousand kilometres north. However, Bozyazı, a town 15 km east, always offers banana cheaper than in Anamur.
There are two supermarkets (affiliated with the national chains Migros and BİM) in the coastal hood. Migros gets closed during winter and early spring months, though. There are one or two ATMs in the main street of coastal hood, and many others in the town centre (including one of HSBC), mostly along Bankacılar Caddesi. But it is not certain if they are connected to international network.
You’ll find a hotel or two and some guesthouses (pansiyon) near the coast.
Mesut'un Yeri Pansiyon (in the east of town, on the road to Bozyazı/Mersin. Inland from the sea and the camping on the beach, across the highway). Close to the beach, this family-run guesthouse has beautiful views of the castle. Rooms are clean and come with air-con and TV. It's very easy to hitchhike along the highway in front of the guesthouse. 30 TL, including breakfast.
The telephone code for Anamur is 324.
Depending on which direction you have arrived from, you're likely to either head west Alanya, and Manavgat on the road to Antalya; or east Aydincik, and Silifke on the road to Mersin. There is also a very winding and narrow mountain road, which can sufficiently satisfy most off-road driving enthusiasts, leading north to Ermenek, a small town over the Taurus Mountains, and the road eventually leads further north to Karaman and Konya in Central Anatolia. Ferries to Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus from town's harbour has been discountinued for some time now, and the nearest harbours with a connection to Cyprus are now Taşucu in the east and Alanya in the west.
|Routes through Anamur|
|Antalya ← Alanya ←||W E||→ Aydincik → Mersin|