Adana is located on the Cukurova (savanna) and is situated in the Mediterranean Region at the south of Turkey. With a history tracing back to 6000 B.C., the city with a coast of 160 km to the Mediterranean Sea is the cradle of countless civilisations, from the Hittite Empire to the Ottoman Empire.
One of the largest and most dynamic cities in Turkey and situated on the Seyhan River, thirty kilometres (nineteen miles) inland from the Mediterranean Sea, in south-central Anatolia. Adana is the gateway to the Çukurova plain (Cilician plain), the large stretch of flat and fertile land which lies to the south-east of the Taurus Mountains. This is possibly the most productive area in this part of the world.
The name of the city is believed to have come from a legend that Adanus and Sarus, two sons of Uranus, came to a place near the Seyhan River where they built Adana. Adana's name has had many different versions over the centuries: Adanos, Ta Adana, Uru Adaniya, Erdene, Edene, Ezene, Batana, Atana, Azana, Addane.
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 Adana, 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. Also be sure to 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.
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 kms from Adana) and Karatas (50 kms from Adana) are the nearest beaches with proper accommodation. In Yumurtalik there is an ancient harbour castle contributing much to this pretty fishing city. For fishing, there is Camlik Park 30 kms 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 worth while 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.