Mersin Province enjoys a spectacular setting in the Mediterranean coast, between the lively resort of Antalya and the bustling city of Adana. Whether you’re looking for sun-drenched beaches, ancient ruins or fairy-tale castles, Mersin Province is a diverse pocket of Turkey with something for everyone.
Things to do in Mersin Province
Mersin Province is dotted with centuries-old cities like Tarsus. Get lost in the winding alleys of the Old Town and shop for trinkets at the colourful Kirkkasik Bedesten bazaar. St. Paul’s Church towers over the city and is decorated with beautiful ceiling frescoes. The Byzantine city of Anemurium is peppered with ancient ruins, including churches, aqueducts, bathhouses and an enormous necropolis studded with more than 300 tombs.
Lush banana plantations surround the laid-back coastal resort of Anamur. The beachfront Iskele district is fringed by a golden stretch of sand where you can bask in the sun and cool off in the crystalline water. More than 1,500 years old, Mamure Castle is one of Turkey’s oldest and best-preserved fortresses. It’s an easy day trip from Anamur and recalls the province’s ancient past. Climb up the towers for sweeping views over the sparkling Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding hillsides.
Mersin is the upbeat provincial capital and one of the largest port cities in Turkey. Stroll along the seafront promenade in Atatürk Park and discover ancient archaeological treasures at the Mersin Museum. The city is brimming with excellent seafood restaurants where you can enjoy freshly-caught octopus, shrimp, salmon and sardines.
Travelling through Mersin Province, you’ll have the chance to try provincial dishes such as “tantuni” rolls stuffed with thinly sliced beef and “kisir” salad made with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, garlic, mint and lemon juice. For dessert, enjoy a slab of “cezerye” made with caramelised carrot, nuts and shredded coconut.
Getting around Mersin Province
Major cities like Mersin and Tarsus are pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. The province is well-served by local and long-distance buses while rental cars can be a good way to explore Mersin Province at your own pace. Adana Şakirpaşa Airport is a one-hour drive from Mersin.