Mersin is one of the most modern provinces of the
palmlined avenues, city park and modern hotels region and a good base for
visiting the nearby historical sites and beaches. Mersin which is the largest
port on the Turkish Mediterranean. There is also free zone here. It is a
business centre. In Mersin you may find all the comforts of a modern city and
all the characteristics of the Mediterranean cities. Fish is as well as most
delicious in this region and in the Mersin fish market you will find inexpensive
fish restaurants which are really enjoyable for those who love fish and "Raki"
or wine. Although Mersin dates only from the 19th century, it occupies an
extremly ancient site. At Mount Yumuktepe the excavations proved that there had
been twelve successive settlements beginning from the Neolithic Period.
Mersin also has hunting, fishing, picnicking,
mountaineering and caving attractions.
Two hours west of Mersin, Anamur is a lovely town
situated in the mountains and surrounded by banana plantations. There are the
ruins of ancient Anemorium, 10 kms to the west of the town on a fine beach.
Anamur Castle is well preserved and provides a fascinating view of the
landscape. The road between Anamur and Silifke passes through the pineclad
mountains which descend to the sea offering splendid views of cliffs, coves and
the brilliant turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Aydincik is a comely
village with pleasant beaches. After Aydmclk, to the east, is the most beautiful
coastline in Turkey.
Silifke, 90 kms from Mersin, is a little bit
inland, on the site of the acropolis of ancient Selcucia and Colycadnos. The old
bridge crossing the Goksu River, the theatre and the temple from Roman times are
To the north of Silifke there is an excellent
excursion opportunity, to Uzuncaburc. The road up to the magnificent ancient
site of Olba-Diocaeserela is lined with large tombs. In the ancient city there
are the ruins of the Temple of Zeus, Olbius and the Temple of Tychaion, and
numerous arches, theater, Byzantine church and tower.
Outside Silifke, on the road to Tasucu is the
archeological museum, while further on AyaTekla is the tomb and church of St.
Thecla who is the first female martyr.
Tasucu is a pleasant resort town with good
accommodations and fine sandy beaches, especially the Aphrodite Beach. The
harbour includes regular sea bus services to Girne in the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus. Between Silifke and Mersin there is the little fishing village
Narlikuyu which you should not pass by without tryirig the delicious fish by the
turquoise bay In Narlikuyu you can see a Roman mosaic depicting the Three
Graces. Around Narlikuyu an exciting excursion is to Cennet Cehennem, (Heaven
and Hell), and the Astim Dilek Caves which are deep chasms, one of which has a
chapel. They are really fascinating and you will understand why they carry these
names once you visit.
60 kms from Mersin, to the west is the ancient
city Korykos, which is now the resort town of Kizkalesi, with sandy beaches and
camping sites. There are important remains which are symbols of that region like
The Castle of Korykos on the beach faces the Kizkalesi (Maiden's Castle) which
stands on an islet 200 m offshore. The two castles once used to be joined by a
sea wall but now they are separated. The road from Silifke to Mersin is very
enjoyable along the coast; the ancient basilicas, tombs and ruins are on one
side of the road and lie beautiful coves with sandy beaches on the other.
Ancient Pompeiopolis, founded by Rhodians in 700 BC, provides many remarkable
ruins. The modern name of the city is Viransehir and it is 13 kms west of
Mersin. At Kanlidivane you will see the ruins of the ancient city Kanytelis
clinging on the sides of a deep chasm.
Tarsus is the birthplace of St. Paul. Situated on
the edge of the fertile Cukurova plain in the city is middle of cedar groves.
The city is also the meeting place of legendary loves Antony and Cleopatra, and
there is the commemorative Cleopatra Gate. To reach St. Paul's Cistern you pass
through narrow streets of the city; the old houses on the sides will prepare for
the things you will see . Then you may head for a rest by the Tarsus watedalls
and shady trees. The tombs of Prophet Daniel, Lokman Hekim, a famous legendary
medical doctor, are here. There are also many historical places to visit like,
Cleopatras Gate, the Gozlukule, Justinians Bridge, on the Tarsus Museum.