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From Mersin to Anamur

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Ken Grubb
  • 06/06/17 06/06/17

From Mersin to Anamur

If you're in the Adana area, you'll find some not-so-visited places along the coast west of Mersin which are worth checking out. If you go west of Mersin on the coastal road and past Castle-by-the-Sea (or Kiz Kalesi), you'll be amazed to see beautiful little bays and beaches with crystal-clear water. And to your astonishment, most of them are as natural as they were when first created. Susanoglu Beach is one of the last inhabited beaches after Castle-by-the-Sea. You might notice that there are many newly-built beach houses, or homes still under construction here and there alongside the coastal road. In addition to very new and fancy hotels with swimming pools, you'll also notice homes with signs saying "Pansiyon" quite frequently. That means they have rooms for rent. Many families have turned their houses into small hostels. You have a bed and sometimes breakfast at the Pansiyons. The cost is inexpensive, normally 10 to 20 Euros per night. By the way, don't expect a big breakfast. It is mostly white cheese, black olives, jam, bread, tomatos, cucumbers, and Turkish tea. Pansiyons are quite common at small resort towns and villages.

The mausoleum of the Fearless King (Mezgit Kalesi) is 12 kilometers north of Susanoglu Beach and 2.5 kilometers east of Pasli village. The mausoleum facade is eight meters high with Corinthian columns and a one-meter-high relief of Priapos on the base. It is the largest mausoleum of its time and dates back to Roman times.

Silifke is 90 kilometers west of Mersin and is slightly inland. It is spread out at the foot of a hill. You will see a citadel at the top of the hill which was formerly the acropolis of ancient Cilician Selucia. A roman bridge dating to 77 A.D crosses over the ancient Calicadnos River. Ruins of a Roman temple and a 200 A.D. theater can also be seen in Silifke.

Drive up the mountains after Silifke to visit the magnificent ancient site of Diocaesarea (Uzuncaburc). The remains of the impressive Temple of Zeus Olbius from the Hellenistic Period, the Temple of Tyche, the God of luck, a monumental arch, a theater built in 180 A.D., a Byzantine church, and a tower are all outstanding things to see. Four kilometers to the east of that site is Olba (Ura), another ancient site with Roman aqueducts, a theater and a fountain. These two sites are not well known since they are inland and the road is quite mountainous.

Twelve miles west of Silifke is Tasucu. Tasucu is a resort town with sandy beaches, good hotels, and a harbor. A regular sea bus and ferry boat connect the town with Cyprus.

The coastal road between Tasucu and Anamur is picturesque, with many hair-pin turns. Anamur is located in the mountains with banana plantations surrounding it. The ruins of ancient Anamorium with double ramparts, theater, Odeon, bath, and necropolis are on a beautiful beach. The Mamure Castle, built in the 12th century on the shore between two curving beaches is the best-preserved castle and one of the largest castles in Turkey.

If you decide to camp at one of the small villages or resorts, make sure that the Jandarma (Turkish paramilitary police responsible for law enforcement in rural areas) knows you are camping in the area.


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