Erdemli, with its historical values, nature, beaches and camping areas, is a district of Mersin that is rich in places to visit. Among the places to visit in Erdemli, there are ancient cities and historical ruins, as well as beaches for sea lovers and canyons for nature lovers. In short, we recommend you to see Erdemli, which has places to visit for all tastes. We recommend those who come to Erdemli to try the famous tantuni and local food sıkma for breakfast.
Kız Kalesi: (Maiden’s Castle): Kız Kalesi, known as one of the most important touristic values and symbol of Mersin, is a castle built on an island 600 meters off the coast. The ruins, which are the continuation of the castle, are still in good condition on land. The castle, formerly called Kyrkos, gave its name to the town where it was located over time.
Services such as parasols, sun loungers, WC and shower are provided for a fee at Kızkalesi beach. In order to reach Kızkalesi from the shore, visitors can rent a pedalo and canoe or go to the island by boat. The area around the island where Kızkalesi is located is very rich in terms of sea creatures, and we recommend tourists to bring sea goggles and snorkels. Since there is an entrance fee to the land part of the castle, the beach here is uncrowded, and we recommend that tourists who do not like crowds swim here.
Elaiussa Sebaste: Elaiussa is an ancient city built on a peninsula with bays on both sides in the form of an isthmus. Elaiussa means olive grove. The city of Sebaste, which means “magnificent, happy”, was founded on the land part of the peninsula, which the Roman Emperor Augustus gave as a gift to the governor of Cappadocia. Over time, these two cities merged and were named Elaiussa Sebaste. You should definitely see the ancient theater with a capacity of 2300 people, which has survived to the present day, especially in the northern part of the road (on the mountain side), and the aqueducts used by the Romans to carry water from the Lemas Stream. The basilica with 5 naves (corridors) built during the Byzantine period and the ancient bath with a central heating system are among the must-see works in the ancient city of Elaiussa Sebaste. Entrance is free.
Kanlıdivane: There are the ruins of the city built around a 60-meter deep sinkhole, which was believed to be sacred at ancient times. The tools found in the excavations in Kanlıdivane show that this place was an important olive oil production center in ancient times. Kanlıdivane's Observation Tower, basilicas and many structures have survived to the present day. Basilica number 5, which is considered the symbol of Kanlıdivane, is one of the works that should be seen especially. The rock tombs in the necropolis area are also visually impressive. Kanlıdivane hosts many concerts with its powerful acoustics.
There are many interesting stories about the origin of the name of Kanlıdivane. The most creepy is that former criminals were thrown into the sinkhole here and fed to the lions. (“kanlı” means “bloody” and “divane” means “mad” in Turkish.)
The best time to go to Kanlıdivane is afternoon to provide the lateral sun rays reveal the details in the historical structures.
Especially we recommend that you photograph the sinkhole together with the ruins of the city from the south. Kanlıdivane entrance fee is 12.5 TL and museum card is valid.
Kayacı Valley: The canyon, which is formed by the Lemas Stream originating from the Central Taurus Mountains by splitting the rocks before pouring into the Mediterranean, stands out with its natural beauty among the places to visit in Erdemli. This corner of paradise, where the sun can barely penetrate through the plane trees, makes visitors feel like they have gone to another world, as the temperature drops by 5-6 degrees and the humidity decreases after 8 km from the sea. Swimming in the natural ponds formed along the river is the quickest way to cool off here.
Along the Lemas Stream, there are many country restaurants and recreation areas throughout the Valley. You can eat and rest under the plane trees, with your feet in the water in the establishments here, or you can bring your own food and rent a camellia and have a picnic. The oldest and best known of the establishments on the Lemas Stream is the Doctor's place.
Talat Göktepe Pine House: It is a natural area, also known as Erdemli Pine, consisting of red pine trees at the seafront in Erdemli. It is especially preferred by picnic and tent and caravan campers. Having separate sections for picnickers and campers is the reason why it is preferred in terms of security.
You can set up your tent under the shade of a tree in this pine grove, where infrastructure facilities such as fountain, electricity, shower, dishwashing and parking are sufficient, and you can enjoy camping and the sea together. The sea, the first 5 meters of which is stony and then sandy from the shore, is very clean. Sand oleanders add a different pleasure to the sea view. There is an entrance fee.