Silifke, 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 of interest.

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.