Mersin ili is a province in southern Turkey on the Mediterranean coast between Antalya and Adana. The city Mersin is the capital of the province and where I currently live. If you are looking at visiting Mersin (or perhaps moving here) remember that Mersin is a huge area of some 15,853 km² so its kind of a big area.
Many people have complained to me that Mersin does not have decent information for the tourist and so, in order to be a helpful kind of soul, I’ve put together information on a few of my favourite spots. Hope it helps.
Kizkalesi. The castle on the sea. A definite stop during your time in Mersin. Read my posts here and here.
Drive time from Mersin? 2 hours west of Mersin but there are many spots to stop along the way so enjoy yourself. The road (D400) is much safer now as well with separate carriageway for a large portion of the drive.
Heaven and Hell Feel like exerting yourself? Then a trip to Cennet ve Cehennem is for you.
Located at Narlikuyu it is about 10 minutes past Kizkalesi. There are no buses to the sinkholes so you either will need a car or a hellish walk to begin your hellish walk.
Yaprakli Koy Susanoğlu Again just past Kizkalesi is another little piece of paradise. The beaches along here are all wonderful. They are clean, easy to get to and cheap to visit. One of my favourite little spots is Yaprakli Koy Susanoğlu and, depending on the time of year you go, you with either be surrounded by locals or have the whole place to yourself. Check it out.
Alahan Monastery: A good drive at 3 hours this Monastery is an excellent example of Byzantine architecture.
Tarsus If you find yourself travelling east through to Adana and want a stop along the way, a morning spent in Tarsus is a morning well spent. Very historical, many Christian artefacts. Lots to see.
Soli Pompeiopolis Not far from the centre of Mersin city is Soli Pompeiopolis. It is only small and is in the middle of a residential area but it gives a good example of Roman ruins here in Mersin. Getting to the site is easy with two buses servicing the area and a pleasant beach is only moments away. Walk back up to Viransehir where there are some great little restaurants. Well worth a visit.
Silifke Kalesi Looking for a day trip from Mersin. Perhaps visiting Silifke Kalesi and learning about its gruesome history will keep you interested and the kids occupied.
Shopping Mersin has many small shops filled with local merchandise however for the tourist the only real shopping centre would be Forum. It has many internationally known brands including Polo Garage, Bershka, and Zara. Definitely reasonably priced (compared to European prices) and safe to visit (security guards abound). There is also Mersin Marina for shopping and, although not as many choices for those desperate to spend their lira, what it does have is a great choice of Turkish and International restaurants. Try Big Chefs, Blush or Wo-Wo for international cuisine or Gönül Kahvesi, İskele Balık Restoran for a taste of Turkey. Oh and yes there is Starbucks and Burger King for those who can’t survive without it.
If you want to have a more Turkish shopping experience then the small markets in Carsi would be worth a visit. The Saturday vegetable markets are Carsi are a bit of a must see and you will walk out of there with more fruit and vegetables than you can carry from the change in your pocket.
Visiting in Winter? We’ve got you sorted. Sure we can get the occasional “Mersinaggedon” but for the other 364 days of the year Mersin is pretty pleasant.
Moving to Mersin? Hoşgeldiniz and welcome. I have added a little information about making the big move to Mersin. But this is only my personal opinions and you should rely upon your own research.
Mersin Chamber of Commerce & Industry – make of that what you will. It’s pretty unhelpful.
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Love Turkey. Stayed at the Bogsak Hotel in the late 60s/early 70s and would move there for good if our pensions were enough. As a 66 year old (34 between the ears!) I would love to get out of the UK and live by the Med. Like your blog thingy lots
I’m coming this summer to Mersin because I have been following your blog for years. I live in China but am an expat Australian who has been to Turkey about 8 times – honestly Ive lost count.
Hi, thanks for this blog, we are family of five with one child age 8 would like to visit Mersin, the trip would be like, fly from UK to Adana then spend 3 days in Mesrin 4 days in Kayseri/ Nevsehir then fly back to UK via Istanbul from kayseri, would it be doable with an 8 years old and interesting enough for teenagers too? Please reply as planning this trip will depend on your advise.
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Hi Ayzed, that sounds like a great trip! The younger child will have lots of options. There’s zip lining, the aquapark in Mezitli should also be open. Teenagers are a little difficult but there are ATV Quad safaris they can do, as well as parasailing and paragliding (if they are into things like that). Of course you will hit the beaches and what teenager doesn’t love the beach. There is an amazing cave called Gildiere which is about 2 hours from Mersin which is spectacular as well. I’m actually just doing a blog post for kids atm so check back in a few days if you like