KIZKALESI | The Town of the Two Castles.
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KIZKALESI | The Town of the Two Castles.   


Kizkalesi means Maiden’s Castle which is a romantic name for the crusader Castle floating on clear water 150 offshore on the eastern Mediterranean resort town. And on the shore there is another castle named Korykos which makes Kizkalesi a town with two castles.

These castles were part of the ancient city of Korykos and it is about 60km west of Mersin on the way to Antalya. The castle can easily be seen if you are on the coastal road from Mersin to Antalya because it will very visible on your left as you go by it.

Today, the Maiden’s Castle gives its name to the town nearby.


Beside these two castles, you will have the opportunity to see the aqueducts, cistern, and basilicas during the Byzantine era and necropolis which is a graveyard of the ancient town. The city where the castles were located has lived through the era of the Roman and the Byzantine.

The castle on shore which is the Korykos was originally built by the Romans as an entrance to the sea. There are various accompaniments in the castle during the Byzantine era. The castle was rectangular in shape and is made up of an inner and outer wall. The way in to the castle can be achieved trough a mobile bridge which is not present anymore. The interior courtyard of the castle has a large hall, basilicas of different sizes, and a cistern.

The fortress on the sea which is known as The Maiden Castle was built in 1104 by the Byzantine admiral Eustathious. It is located on a small island at the entry of the old harbor. It is about 200 yards away from the shore and was initially connected to the mainland by a land bridge. Here, you can find watch towers on its walls, a reservoir and in the courtyard you will see a Byzantine basilica. The castle of Kizkalesi has an interesting tale just like most of the castles here in Turkey.

The tale of the castle started when a fortune teller told the king of Korykos that his only and most loved daughter would be killed through a bite of a snake. The king decided to built his castle in the sea and let his daughter live in the castle in order to prevent the dreadful fate of his daughter. But unfortunately even the king can’t change what is destined to happen. A snake was brought into the island through a basket filled with fruits bit his daughter and died. The same tale was also told for the Kizkalesi in Istanbul which was built on the Bosphorus which serve as a light house to guide ships.

Kizkalesi is a wonderful resort wherein you can spend your vacation. This place has fine sandy beaches with great motels and hotels that you stay during your visit. It also has seafood restaurants, bars and campsites.

If you decide to visit the castles, there is a minimal entrance fee and you can go to the castle in the sea by boat which also has a charge per person or if you are in a group trip you can rent a paddle boats to reach the castle.

Kizkalesi is the most popular area in Mersin which is ideal for families, couples and single travelers. The town is near in different attractions such as the Narlikiyu which homes fine seafood restaurants and a small museum that showcases the Roman mosaic of the Three Graces. And adjacent to this place are the chasms of Cennet- Cehennem which means heaven and hell, the Wishing Cave that is full with stalagmites and stalactites. You can visit the ruins of a 5th century chapel, in the cave named Heaven.

And up the hills beyond the Kizkalesi you can visit the Adamkayalar where you can find a well preserved tombs and a view of the Devil’s Valley of the Mediterranean Sea.

With all these beautiful attractions that Kizkalesi has to offer, this place is the perfect choice to spend your holiday together with your loved ones. Kizkalesi calls its visitors through the beautiful sea, sand and history. This place offers a fantastic moment with nature and a part of the ancient times of Turkey that is worth remembering.

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