The Turquoise Coast Sights

Kız Kalesi (Maiden's Castle)

  • Just off the coast of Akdeniz Map It
  • Silifke
  • Military Site

Published 07/06/2016

Fodor's Review

Just off the coast, an island—known to have been settled as early as the 4th century BC—is home to an evocative castle called Kız Kalesi. Several offshore castles in Turkey bear this same name, which is derived from a legend about a king, a princess, and a snake: the beautiful princess, apple of her father's eye, had her fortune read by a wandering soothsayer who declared she would die of a snakebite. The king therefore sent her to a castle on a snake-free island. Destiny, however, can never be avoided, and the offending serpent was accidentally delivered in a basket of grapes sent as a gift from her father's palace. More prosaically, this particular castle was an important part of the row of defenses built and rebuilt over the centuries to stop invaders from Syria entering Anatolia via the coast route to Antalya. What you see dates mostly from the 11th century and was constructed by Byzantines to keep out Antioch-based Crusaders. Boatmen will offer to take you here, but hiring a paddleboat is the most popular way to explore.

Sight Information


Just off the coast of Akdeniz, Silifke, Mersin, 33740, Turkey

Map It

Published 07/06/2016


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