Located on the southern coast of Turkey, this modest resort town is where you can meet with Mersin’s Mediterranean blue waters. Although Mersin is suitable for a quiet summer holiday, its blessings are not limited to this. Known as the “Cradle of Civilizations”. Mersin also has a lot of historical and natural beauties. Not only offering its visitors a visual but also a palatal feast with its famous flavours. Get ready to spend a weekend full of sea, history, fun and flavours in Mersin.
Mersin’s irresistible ‘can’t get enough’ delights Tantuni
Tantuni, which is a special delight for Mersin, is made with very small diced meat which is cooked using a special technique and wrapped in a very thin tortilla bread. This experience is a must. Add a twist and squeeze a little lemon on it, just like the locals!
Kerebiç or Ma'amoul is a dessert you can find almost exclusively in Mersin. It is made by frying a cylindrical semolina pastry casing, filled with pistachios or walnuts. What makes Kerebiç special is the white foam added while serving. This foam is called Tumulus Grass Cream. The cumin herb root is soaked and left for a day, after which it is boiled and whipped into a white foam sugar and served.
An average of 200 - 250 tons of blue crabs are produced annually in the Eastern Mediterranean where Mersin is located. The blue crabs in Mersin have a delicious taste and the crabs that are caught are exported all over the world. The locals of Mersin highly recommend that you try blue crab at a shabby fish restaurant in the Silifke region. Don’t forget to have an ice cold beer with it!
Must see places in Mersin
Kızkalesi: Maiden’s Castle
Maiden’s Castle, which is the most touristic place in Mersin, is a historical building located in the middle of the sea. Maiden’s Castle has a similar legend with the Maiden’s Tower in Istanbul. According to legend, a seer tells the king that his daughter will be bitten and killed by a snake. In order to save his daughter, the king built a castle in the middle of the sea and placed his daughter there. The snake, which is hidden in a basket of grapes, goes to the castle and kills the girl. A more realistic story of Maiden’s Castle is the Byzantines built this castle on the island to protect themselves from pirates. Since Maiden’s Castle is about 600 meters from the shore, you can reach the castle by swimming to it or on a pedalo.
Mersin has a walkway that stretches across the coast. Palm trees that you can see along the promenade will drag you into an exotic world. The parks on the coastline are unique relaxation points where you can watch the Mediterranean, enjoyed by both locals and tourists. The special bicycle and running track, created along the promenade, allows you to do sports without leaving the beauty of the city.
Heaven & Hell Caves:
How about entering Heaven and Hell on the same day? These fascinating caves are thought to have been formed in the Miocene period, which is approximately 23 to 5 million years ago. It is estimated that these natural pits were formed when the ceiling of the caves collapsed. You can descend down to these two caves, which are 30 floors below ground level, with a 450-step stairway into the cave called ‘Heaven’. The cave called ‘Hell’ can be reached only with mountaineering equipment because it is very narrow and deep. Due to its depth, there are viewing terraces where you can view the ‘Hell’ Cave.
Asthma Cave, located next to the ‘Heaven and Hell’ caves, is like a fortress consisting of magnificent stalactites of about 150 meters long. There is a staircase to go down to the deep cave. It is believed to be good for asthma because the humidity in the cave is over 80%, hence its name.