The Turquoise Coast : Places to Explore



Adana is Turkey's fourth-largest city after Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir, but it's the least known to tourists because it's a commercial and industrial center, though there are a few first-rate attractions. The Ulu Camii, more Arabic in style than Turkish, is one of the prettiest in the country, and its patterned stonework has been well restored. There is also nice courtyard, and the main prayer alcove is filled with some of the best Iznik tiles in existence. Down by the river is the symbol of the city, the impressively long Taş Köprü or "stone bridge," built by the Emperor Hadrian in 125 AD and restored by a who's who of Byzantine and Muslim rulers ever since.

There are many castles in the area, mostly dating back to the Armenian rulers of the 12th to 14th centuries AD. The easiest to reach, Yılan Kalesi, the "Castle of the Snake," sits unmissably beside the main highway, 40 km (25 mi) east of town: take the marked turn off and drive up to the parking lot, beside the small restaurant and ticket booth. There isn't a lot to see, but the walls are well preserved and the views of the fertile Çukurova plain from the top are impressive.

Adana at a Glance