South of the majestic Taurus Mountains lie on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea with its beaches of fine sand, vistas of rare & rugged beauty, many ancient ruins, hidden coves & alluring vacation getaways. The region is bathed in sunshine 300 days a year & is a paradise for swimming, sunbathing & watersports. You can also explore important historical sites dating back thousands of years, set in a landscape of pine forests & citrus groves & learn about the mythology that is intertwined with the area. The Mediterranean coast is as full of antique artefacts as the Aegean. In the ancient Lycian region, west of Antalya, you can experience the beauty of the mountain cities of Termessos & Arikand, as well as the coastal towns such as Olimpos, Kale, Kekova & Kas. The ancient cities of Perge, Aspendos & Side are located on the coastal plane east of Antalya, originally called Pamphylia.
Antalya is one of the Mediterranean’s most important cities & is Turkey’s hottest vacation spot, with the beaches of Konyaalti to the west & Lara to the east, lying at the foot of Antalya’s massive mountain range. It is an attractive holiday getaway with palm-lined streets, beautiful parks, an abundance of accommodation, restaurants, bars & nightclubs & a picturesque marina. The symbol of this city, founded in the 2nd century BC, is the Yivli Minaret, which dates back to the Seljukera. The Asagi Duden Waterfall to the east flows over huge boulders into the sea. West of Antalya is the attractive little holiday town of Kemer, famous for its sandy beaches surrounded by pine forests & mountains.The next big town east of Antalya is Alanya, a panoramic port city on the southern slopes of the majestic Taurus Mountains surrounded by orange, lemon & banana groves. Used by the Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat as a winter residence, Alanya’s shipyard dates back to the same era & was one of the most advanced in the world at that time. It is also famous for its 9th century castle & its popular beaches.Near Anamur is a castle from the Middle Ages, situated between two beaches & one of the most spectacular castles along the coast. The road from Anamur to Silifke, with its endless curves & bends, follows a route studded with breathtaking coastal vistas.The dilapidated caves near Narlikuyu are called Heaven, which has a small church inside, heaven & hell (Cennet ve Cehennem). The castle of Kizkalesi, which is situated in the water across from the medieval castle of Korykos, seems to rise out of the sea itself.
Two surprises on the road to Mersin, are the ancient Roman cities of Kanlidivane & Viransehir. With its charming parks, beach promenades, commercial port & free trade zone, Mersin is one of the most modern cities on the Mediterranean. East of Toros, the Cukurova plane is a fertile agricultural region known especially for its cotton fields. In the middle is the city of Adana with its rich textile industry & to the east is the Dortyol (Issos) Plane, where Alexander the Great defeated the Persian king Darius. As a result of his victory, a port city bearing his name was established which is now the modern day Iskenderun.The road leaves Iskenderun on the southeast & goes through the Belen Pass to Antakya (Antioch). This first Christian community founded by Saint Peter has given Antakya a special religious significance, & the first sermons were preached in nearby cave. It is considered a place of pilgrimage & the city also boasts a mosaic exhibition of rare beauty in its museum. Kahramanmaras is a relatively undiscovered province of the Mediterranean. One of its best-loved features is the cuisine, which has its own specialities like its special orchid drink (salep) & its world famous ice-cream made from goat & cows’ milk. The historical legacy of Kahramanmaras in the Ottoman Empire is still relevant today with its gilded silver, leather & copper works. Mersin Escort