SilifkeA geography with rich historical and cultural traces that is home to more than half of more than 20 ancient cities located within the borders of Mersin, established as a colonial city by the Ionians. Silifke, which is under the rule of almost all Anatolian civilizations, is one of the most established settlements of the Mediterranean dish.
With its turquoise sea, tiny islands, quiet tranquil bays and intimate multicultural people, either come for a sea and sun vacation, a cultural tour, or stop at sunset and sip your raki with fresh fish, a piece of paradise where you will leave a piece and return.
Places to Visit in Silifke
The most important breeding ground of Caretta Caretta and green turtle, Göksu Delta, located on the most important bird migration path in the world, the house of the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus and the blue crab and lagos fish, Silifke with the soil, water and air embracing dozens of endemic plant species, the most pure, cleanest form.
UzuncaburcIt was the place of worship of the Olba Kingdom in the Hellenistic era, home to the most important and best preserved historical ruins of Mersin. Uzuncaburç left Olba in 72 AD during the reign of Emperor Vespasianus and became an autonomous site that could print money for itself under the name Diocaesarea (God-Emperor City).
Temple of Zeus, mausoleum with horoscope and pyramid roof, located in Diocaesarea from the Selefkos period; From the Roman period, the colonnaded street, theater, ceremony gate, fountain, Temple of Chance and Victory Gate are among the structures that have survived in the city. The city takes its name from the high towers that are the symbol of the city.
Unc Uzuncaburç visiting hours summer period (April 1 – October 1) 08.00-19.00; winter period (1 October – 1 April) 08.00-16.45. The ancient city is open to visitors 7 days a week. Unc Uzuncaburç entrance fee is 10 TL. Museum Card is valid.
2. Devil's Creek Canyon and Adam Rocks
Adam RocksIn the Erdemli district of Mersin Devil's Creek CanyonLarge reliefs of human reliefs on the steep slopes of edilen, estimated to have been built between the 1st and 2nd centuries BC. 11 men in relief, one of Turkey's most important historic monuments, four women, two children, include a chamois and a Roman Eagle relief.
It has been determined that the reliefs in the region, which are related to each other and where multi-figured reliefs are seen side by side, are not completed at once, buried the dead of people for 500 consecutive years and came later for commemoration ceremonies. Adamkayalar has a magnificent view that sees Kızkalesi from above.
3. Heaven-Hell Caves
Heaven-Hell CavesTwo large pits located near Silifke-Narlıkuyu, which are formed by the collapse of the ceiling as a result of erosion caused by an underground stream. Heaven CollapseIt consists of an ellipse-shaped large cave entrance with a depth of 70 meters and a small church at the mouth of this cave. In the 5th century, the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary by Paulus descends with 450 steps.
Located in the north of Heaven Collapse Hell's CollapseThe rim diameter of the ring reaches 50 and 75 meters and its depth reaches 128 meters. Those who want to feel the feeling of adrenaline in the downfall, where it is not possible to get inside, is trying to stroke with special equipment. There is a large viewing terrace to watch the cave from above.
Ziyaret Paradise and Hell Caves visiting hours summer period (April 1-October 1) 08.00-16.45; winter period (1 October-1 April) 08.00-17.00. The caves are open to visitors 7 days a week. Giriş Paradise and Hell Caves entrance fee is 35TL. Museum Card Valid.
NarlıkuyuThe bay, which is cold and clear due to the fresh water coming out from the seabed, the turquoise sea where you can see the bottom no matter how deep, the delicious rock preserve pickles and logos fish and fish restaurants.
Narlıkuyu, whose middle name was Porto Calamie, was known for its bathhouse, which was a sea gate for those who came to worship the Paradise and Hell Potholes during antiquity and Christianity. To the north of Narlikuyu, there are the ruins of the Roman and Byzantine buildings, stone arches, cisterns, and a Temple of Zeus right next to the Paradise Pothole.
It belongs to Roman period (4th century) and is located on the sea shore of Narlıkuyu Bay. Poimenios BathIt was built by Poimenios. At the base of the bathing section of the bath, which is thought to have been built here by making use of the fresh water source where the underground creek in the paradise sink reaches the sea, Three Beauties Mosaic The half-goddess named Sister is depicted.
If it is Greek, konuk O guest friend! If you are wondering who found this miraculous water and who brought its hidden source to light, know that it is Poimenios, who is the friend of the emperors and honest ruler of the Holy Islands. Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia, the daughters of Zeus, are seen naked while dancing among doves and partridges.
⏰ Narlikuyu Mosaic Museum visiting hours are summer (April 1-October 1) 08.00-16.45; winter period (1 October-1 April) 08.00-17.00. The museum is open to visitors 7 days a week. Lık Narlıkuyu Mosaic Museum entrance fee is 10TL. Museum Card Valid.
5. Aya Tekla Church
Aya Tekla ChurchIt is a cave church on the Taşucu road, also called Meryemlik. From the age of 17, he devoted himself to religion and set out to spread Christianity. Influenced by Paul's sermons, Aya Tekla fled to this cave when he realized that he would be killed.
The cave, where Aya Tekla, who is said to have healed patients with miracles while spreading the belief in Christianity, took shelter and was converted into a church by being considered sacred by Christians. In the 6th century, the church built by Emperor Zenon for Aya Tekla and the ruins of the bath, cistern, cemetery and city walls have survived.
⏰ Aya Tekla Church visiting hours summer period (April 1 – October 1) 08.00-19.00; winter period (1 October – 1 April) 08.00-16.45. The church is open to visitors 7 days a week. 🔐 There is no entrance fee for Aya Tekla Church.
6. Asthma Cave
Asthma CaveIt is located 300 meters from Heaven Collapse. Also known as the Dilek Cave, the cave is descended by a spiral iron staircase. Humidity rate reaches 85 percent in summer and 95 percent in winter in galleries connected to each other and reaching 200 meters in length. The temperature of its cave does not exceed 15 degrees.
The interior lighting of Asthma Cave, which is home to giant stalactites and stalagmites, which are formed with the accumulation of silica minerals, offers pleasant photo frames. It is believed that the water flowing through the walls of the cave is healing. Many people visiting the cave smear the water flowing through the walls to their face and skin.
⏰ Asthma Cave visit hours summer period (April 1 – October 1) 08.00-19.00; winter period (1 October – 1 April) 08.00-17.00. The cave is open to visitors 7 days a week. Giriş Asthma Cave entrance fee is 35TL. Museum Card Valid.
7. Silifke Castle and Tekirambar Bar Cistern
Silifke CastleIt is located on a hill overlooking Silifke, 185 meters high. Silifke can be viewed in panoramic view from the castle, which is thought to belong to the Hellenistic or early Roman period. Surrounded by a moat, the castle contains arched galleries, water cisterns, warehouses and other building remains.
Tekirambarı Water Cistern is located at the foot of Silifke Castle. In the Travel Book of Evliya Çelebi, the building with 23 bastions in the 17th century contains a mosque and 60 houses, but today the cistern has 10 bastions. Sarnıç was built in the Byzantine period. A magnificent building, 46 m long, 23 m wide and 14 m deep.
The cistern, which is descended with a spiral staircase, is a structure that is rarely seen in Anatolian cistern architecture. In order to prevent leakage of water and to give a monumental feature, all walls are supported with smooth cut stones and a round arched niche was created. It is completely neglected.
8. Jupiter Temple
Temple of JupiterLocated in Silifke district center, it is thought to be built in the 2nd century AD and converted into a church in the 5th century. Although the column bases on the east and south sides were preserved originally, only one of the 10-meter-tall corinthian columns remained standing.
The historian Zosimos thought that the temple was built in the name of Zeus even though the temple was built by the people who asked for help from Apollo, the God of Sun and Art, to get rid of the locusts that haunt their products in the plain, when it was destroyed by the flock of birds sent by Apollo.
⏰ Jupiter Temple visit hours summer period (April 1 – October 1) 08.00-19.00; winter period (1 October – 1 April) 08.00-17.00. The temple is open to visitors 7 days a week. 🔐 Jupiter Temple entrance fee is not charged.
Silifke TaşköprüIs located on the Göksu River in the center of Silifke. The bridge, which is one of the structures of Roman civilization, was built by Cilician Governor L. Octavius Memor in the name of Roman Emperor Vespasianus and his sons Titus and Domitianus in 77-78 AD.
All parts of the bridge, which have undergone numerous maintenance and repairs throughout history, have been recently rebuilt. The bridge, which was originally seven-eyed, became five-eyed after the restoration it saw. The width of the bridge, which is 120 meters long, is 5.40 meters. It also has a beautiful view from Silifke Castle on the hill.
10. Olba Ancient City
Olba Ancient CityTakes place on the ground 4 km east of Uzuncaburç. It was founded in the Hellenistic period as the center of the Olba Kingdom and an important commercial city. The excavation site includes the fountain building, aqueduct, houses, theater and necropolis dating from Septimus Severus between 193-211 BC.
Another important work in the ancient city is a 150 m long, 25 m high four-arched, two-storey aqueduct built on the valley where the necropolis is located. Towers were also built to protect the aqueduct and to watch the environment. The rock tombs and sarcophagi in the necropolis area must be seen, with the theater building next to the fountain and part of the stage that can survive until today.
⏰ Olba Ancient City visiting hours are summer (April 1 – October 1) 08.00-19.00; winter period (1 October – 1 April) 08.00-16.45. The ancient city is open to visitors 7 days a week. Giriş Olba Ancient City entrance fee is 10TL. Museum Card is valid.
11. Tisan Bay and Aphrodisias Mosaic
Tisan BayIs a historical region with ancient Aphrodisias settlement, also known as Cilician Aphrodisias. Tisan, which is chosen as the 13th most beautiful bay in the world with its turquoise sea and lush nature, also has many historical ruins due to its establishment as a Greek colony. Aphrodisias Region is a paradise bay famous for its mosaics as well as ruins such as churches and castles.
AphrodisiasMeans 'Aphrodite Dedicated' or 'Aphrodite Dormitory' in the Hellenic language. Aphrodisias Mosaic is located at the base of the 6th century Pantaleon Church, located on the east coast of the peninsula. Other ruins dating back to the 12th century BC are located in the southern and middle of the peninsula.
As it is today in the east of Aphrodisias Dana Island The ancient city of Pithyussa, known as the port city, was used by the French traders as a trading place. Among the ruins on the island are churches, tombs and sarcophagi. The bay and its surroundings are among the most preferred points of Mersin in sea, sand and sun tourism today.
12. Boğsak Bay and Island
Bogsak Islandis a calm and peaceful holiday center known as the breeding ground of caretta caretta, frequented by tent and caravan residents. The island, located on the Mersin-Antalya highway, 4-8 BC. It was an important settlement in centuries. The most important feature of Boğsak Bay, which acts as a natural breakwater, is that its natural structure is intact.
There are houses, tombs, cisterns and church ruins from the Roman and early Byzantine periods on Boğsak Island. Boğsak Island and Bay is a natural wonder, fascinated by the calm of the turquoise sea and the secluded beach.
TasucuSilifke is a charming resort town on the Mediterranean coast, founded by the Holmi colony in the 7th century BC. When the pirate started to weaken due to his attacks, local people were settled in the area where Silifke is located today in Taşucu, which was captured by Selefkos Nikator, one of the commanders of Alexander the Great.
On the southern slope of a hill 2 km west of Taşucu, there are ruins of buildings belonging to the late Roman and early Byzantine periods in the Ancient Mylai Ruins Site named by the locals as 'Monastery'. The most important sea port in terms of passenger traffic, which Tasucu between Turkey and Cyprus, the starting point of organized boat trips to nearby islands.
SusanoğluThe settlement in the 15th km of Silifke-Mersin Highway, whose name was Corasium in the ancient period. The city, founded by Flavius Uranius in the late Roman period, has a wide and fine sandy cove in the shape of an arc. Susanoğlu is the most popular region of Mersin in sea and sun tourism.
There are two necropolis, church, bath and cistern ruins in the ancient city around the bay. The inscription on the west main entrance door of the city, which is completely surrounded by walls, writes that Flavius Uranius built this region in accordance with his own taste.
KanlıdivaneLocated 3 km north of the Erdemli-Silifke road, from the Hellenistic period to the Late Antique period, it was a settlement used between the 2nd and 7th century BC. Around the pothole located in the center of the ancient city, there are basilicas made of cut stone, streets, rock tombs, cisterns.
The tower, which is thought to have been built in the 2nd century BC to the southwest of the settlement, features the oldest structure of Mersin. Kanlıdivane, where olive oil was produced, ruins from the Roman and Byzantine periods, and used by the Turkmen as winter, testifies to a living history.
⏰ Kanlıdivane visiting hours summer period (April 1 – October 1) 09.00-19.00; winter period (1 October – 1 April) 08.30-17.00. The city is open to visitors 7 days a week. Lı Kanlıdivane entrance fee is 10TL. Museum Card Valid.
Where is Silifke
How to get to Silifke
SilifkeIt is located on the Antalya-Mersin Highway along the Mediterranean coastline. It is very easy to reach the district, which is a crossroads connecting the west of the Mediterranean Region to the Central Anatolia Region, by land. The closest airport to Silifke is in Adana.
All intercity bus services going to Mersin from Antalya are made via Silifke. Silifke, 85 km (1 hour) to Mersin, 257 km (3 hours 40 minutes) to Konya, 413 km (5 hours) to Kayseri, 515 km (6 hours) to Ankara, 885 km to Istanbul ( 11 hours 20 minutes), 809 km (10 hours 40 minutes) from Izmir. For more detailed information on how to get to Silifke, check out how to get to Silifke.
Altinorfoz Hotel, which is one of the best hotels of the region located by the sea, may be the most suitable choice for those who want to stay in Silifke. Also, Ünlüselek Hotel in Anamur was one of the places I stayed. If you are staying in the center of Mersin, my hotel recommendation is Sultaşa Hotel and HostaPark Hotel.
SilifkeIt welcomes thousands of visitors every year with its rich cultural and historical potential in and around Mersin. Carrying traces of different cultures, Silifke has many hidden treasures to be discovered in Cilicia. In addition to its rich historical accumulation, the district is one of the popular holiday destinations of the region in summer, with its turquoise colored long beaches.