Mersin, Tarsus, Adana

Mersin

One of the most modern cities in the province, with palm lined avenues, city park and modern hotels and a good base for visiting the nearby historical sites and beaches. Mersin is the largest port on the Turkish Mediterranean region. There is also a Free Trade Zone here and 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 abundant 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 extremely ancient site. At Mount Yumuktepe the excavations proved that there had been twelve successive settlements beginning from the Neolithic Period.

Icel has also hunting, fishing, picnicking, mountaineering and caving attractions for sports fans. 

Tarsus

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 to the Tarsus waterfalls 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 such as Cleopatra's Gate, the Gozlukule, Justinians Bridge, and the Tarsus Museum.

Adana

Situated in the middle of the Cukurova Plain (Cilician Plain), Adana is the fourth largest city of Turkey, nestled in the most fertile agricultural area of the whole country which is fed by the life-giving waters of the Seyhan river.

The city's name originates in mythology, where it was said to have been founded by Adanus, the son of Cronus (God of Weather, Zeus' father).

Due to its being in the heart of that fertile center Adana has been an important city for many civilizations for centuries dating back to the Hittites. The precious River Seyhan is spanned by the ancient Taskopru (Stone Bridge) which was built by Hadrian and then repaired by Justinian. It is worth noting that to built a 300 yards long stone bridge in Roman times was a real feat.

In the city, the 16th century Great Mosque (Ulu Camii), the Yag or Eski Mosque, the Hasan Aga Mosque, Saat Kulesi (the clock-tower) built in 1882, an old covered bazaar, Bedesten or Arasta are of interest. You can also see the Ethnographical Museum where Turkish carpets, swords, manuscript books and tombstones are exhibited. The building itself is interesting as well since it was built as a church by the Crusaders. The Adana Archaeological Museum merits visiting too. Adana is also famous for its delicious Adana Kebap and other meat dishes.

The tea houses and restaurants alongside the Seyhan Dam and Lake provide a cool and perfect view of the city and the river at sunsets.

Yumurtalik (84 kilometers from Adana) and Karatas (50 kilometers from Adana) are the nearest beaches with proper accommodation. In Yumurtalik there is an ancient harbor castle contributing much to this pretty fishing city. For fishing, there is Camlik Park 30 kilometers southwest of Adana.

There are some ancient cities on the road to Iskenderun which include Roman remnants. Misis is on the caravan route that came from China, India and Persia. Among the remains of Roman times, the most interesting is the elegant mosaic of the 4th century A.D. representing Noah's Ark. Yilanlikale has the ruins of a fortress set atop a peak dominating the River Ceyhan. Dilekkaya, the ancient Anavarza, was an important Roman Byzantine city which still preserves the outline of the old city including two particularly worthwhile mosaics. Karatepe National Park is the neoHittite site where you will find the remains of the summer residence of King Asitawada, tablets of Hittite and Phoenician inscriptions, and an open air museum holding many remnants. Castabala and Toprakkale are the other historical remains.

Karsan Forest, Burucek, Tekir, Horzum, Zorkum meadows are ideal for picnicking and resting.