Adana has important tourism assets of rich history with ancient cities, archaeological sites, museums, castles, bridges, historical bazaars, mansions, mosques and churches, national parks, nature conservation areas and wildlife development areas, recreation areas, plateaus, waterfalls, rivers and lakes, healing water resources, mountainous areas and coasts, in short, almost all the characteristics of cultural tourism and nature tourism. Adana is rich in culture and art activities, food culture, traditional handicrafts, festivals and fairs.
Anavarza Ancient City
Kozan is located 28 km south of the district center in Dilekkaya Village. In the 1st century B.C.E Romans left the charge of this region to Tarkondimotos whom they appointed as Vassal king. Ancient City became one of the most important metropolises of Anatolia in the year 17 BCE after coming under Roman rule by growing and developing. Columned street of the ancient city, bath, church ruins, theater, amphitheater, stadium, waterways and rock tombs, necropolis and ancient road in the west of the city, the pool mosaic belonging to sea goddess Thetis, triumphal arch with 3 entrances and the medieval castle on the hill rising like an island in the middle of the plain are important works. The castle, located on the Anavarza mountain and consisting of several complexes, the walls built on the plain at the foot of the mountain and surrounding it are the acropolis of the city.
The author of the oldest medical-pharmacy book in the world to date, Physician Dioscurides, lived in Anavarza. Anavarza Ancient City (Anavarza Antik Kenti) was registered in the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List in 2014.
The museum was founded in 1924. Since it is a regional museum the artifacts, unearthed in archaeological excavations in the cities of Adana and its surroundings and Kahramanmaraş, Tarsus, Mersin are exhibited. The area where the National Textile Factory is located is being organized as a new museum. In the new museum complex, in the first stage Archeology and Mosaic museums were opened; and in the second stage City and Ethnography, Agriculture, Industry Museums and conference halls, library, movie theaters, as well as with social facilities like cafeterias and playgrounds, it will be an example of a museum in Türkiye.
St Paul’s Church
Located in Seyhan Town Tepebağ Neighborhood Çakmak Caddesi, the Bebekli Church (Bebekli Kilise) is an Italian Catholic Church made in basilica plan in the name of Saint Paul between 1880-1890. On the roof of the entrance facade of the church, there is an acroter with a 2.5 m tall bronze statue of the Virgin Mary. It is called as “Bebekli Church” because the public resembles this statue to a baby.
Yağ Mosque and Complex
It is in Seyhan Town Ali Münif Yeğenağa Caddesi. It is a Crusader Church built in the name of Saint Jacque, according to the inscription, it was converted into a mosque by Ramazanoğlu Halil Bey in 1501. In the same courtyard adjacent to the mosque, it forms a complex, together with the old church and madrasah. Once known as the Eski Mosque because an oil market was established in front of the building hence later, it was named Eski mosque.
Ulu Mosque and Complex
It is in Seyhan Town Kızılay Street. It was built in Ramazanoğlu Principality Period by Ramazanoglu Halil Bey in the 16th century. In 1541 it was enlarged and repaired by Piri Mehmet Pasha. Ulu Mosque tomb, where the Seljuk, the Mameluke and the Ottoman architectural features are seen. The architectural features consists of three parts: the main place of worship, the courtyard and the old rectangular building in the west. A domed mausoleum was built to the east of the mosque in 1508. The madrasa built by Ramazanoğlu Piri Pasha in 1540 is in the classic Ottoman madrasas plan.
The mansion is located in Seyhan Town Kızılay Street in Ulu Cami Complex. The mansion was built in 1495 according to the epigraph at the entrance door. It was built by Ramazanoğlu Halil Bey. It is stated that it is a high and large building in the Foundation of Piri Pasha, that the building in the garden was built for winter and summer. It is known that Yavuz Sultan Selim stayed here for three nights on his way to Egypt and Murat the 4th on his Baghdad voyages. It is the oldest residential building in Adana.
Great Clock Tower
The Great Clock Tower (Büyük Saat Kulesi) is located in Seyhan Town Ali Münif Street. Its construction was started by Ziya Pasha in 1881 and was completed in 1882 during the time of Adana Governor Abidin Pasha.
The clock tower, 32 meters high, made of brick and cut stone, is popularly known as the “Great Clock”.
Near the Great Clock Tower, you can visit one of Anatolia’s oldest traditional covered markets, Kazancılar Bazaar.
The bridge over Seyhan River connects Seyhan and Yüreğir counties. Belonging to the Roman Imperial Period the Taş Bridge is one of the most important symbols of Adana. According to the inscription in Adana Archeology Museum, the 1700-years-old bridge was built by an architect named “Auxentios” during the Roman Imperial Period.” It has the title of being the oldest bridge in the world still in use. After its repair in 2006, the bridge closed to vehicle traffic. The bridge is 319 m. length 11.4 m. wide. Today, 14 of the 21 round arches of the bridge can be seen.
Girls’ High School
(Military Secondary School)
It is located on Debboy Caddesi in Seyhan district, on the banks of Seyhan River, south of Taş Bridge. It was built as a Military High School (Military Secondary School) between 1881 and 1883 by Adana Governor Abidin Pasha during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamit. In 1885, the high school department was added and was named after Adana Civil Service School. The name of the school was changed to Mekteb‐i Sultani in 1908. In 1923, the school was named Adana High School. It served as a boarding Girls’ High School from 1934 to 1998. Restored between 2005 and 2006 the building opened as a Culture and Art Center.
It is located in the Seyhan district Tepebağ Mahallesi. Tepebağ Mound is Adana’s oldest settlement. In the mound in addition to the ancient ruins, it is possible to see Tepebağ Houses, examples of Ottoman civil architecture.
Exhibited in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York belonging to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom Period 12th Dynasty (1900 BCE), the nurse Sitsnefru (Satsneferu)’s statuette was found in Tepebağ Mound.
Sabancı Merkez Mosque
It is located in Seyhan town Reşatbey district on the west edge of Seyhan River.
It was built between 1988 ‐1998. Being one of the biggest mosques of Türkiye and the Middle East Sabancı Merkez Mosque has 6 minarets, 4 of which with three, two of which with two balconies. The dome system of the mosque, built with Classical Ottoman architecture, is unique. The tiles, stained glass and gold-leaf writings decorating the mosque worth seeing.
Seyhan River and Dam Reservoir
Seyhan Dam (Seyhan Barajı) is a landfill type dam built to save 850,000 acres of land 15 km above old Adana and Adana from flooding that may be caused by the Seyhan River. Since 2006 it has hosted the second leg of Türkiye Offshore Championship. Activities like hiking, sportive angling, water sports, paragliding, bicycle tours can be organized. By the dam reservoir on hot summer days of Adana you can cool off by eating bici bici, sip your tea in the tea gardens or taste delicious Adana meals in.
It is located within the borders of Karaisali district Kapıkaya Mahallesi. The canyon is 40 km from Adana. In the middle of the canyon, about 200 meters high, the Çakıt Stream, originating from Niğde ‐ Ulukışla, passes. 7 kilometers of the 20 km-long canyons has been made available for walking. The canyon is surrounded by oleander, plane and pine trees, the canyon is a must-see for hikers, slope climbers and photography enthusiasts.
In the direction of Adana ‐ Ankara, Varda Bridge located about 2 km. north of Karaisali town Hacıkırı Village, is referred to as Koca Bridge or Alman Bridge by the people. It was started in 1888 to complete the İstanbul-Baghdad-Hejaz Railway line with the contract signed by the Ottoman Ruler Abdulhamit II and the German Emperor Kaiser Wilhem and was built under the period of 15 years. The bridge is 99 m. height and 172 m. long and connects to a deep valley. During the construction of the bridge, also featured in various domestic and foreign films, 21 workers and a German engineer died for various reasons. Another important and interesting feature of the Varda Bridge is that it is not a straight bridge but bends.
It is reached by a stabilized road through Anbaş Village 10 kilometers to Pozantı.
There are plateau houses made of wood and stone on the plateau established on the Çakıt Creek coast. Rich in wildlife on the plateau, wild goats, wild boars and raptors can be watched. Belemedik train station and surrounding buildings were built during the Berlin‐Bagdad train line construction.
Misis Mound and Bridge
It is located within the borders of Yüreğir district Yakapınar Town 27 km east from the Adana provincial center.
Mopsos, one of the Trojan heroes, is said to have founded the Mopsuhestia Ancient City. Since Mopsos came here after the war and completely repaired the city, it was started to be called Miopsusestia, meaning the homeland of Mopsos, this name changed over time and took the name Misis.
With the excavations carried out in Misis Mound, it has been documented that the settlement date goes back to 7,000s BCE. The mound was inhabited in the Chalcolithic, Old Bronze Age, Hittite, Iron Age, Hellenistic Period, Roman Period and the Middle Ages. The City became an important center during Roman and Byzantium Period. The City was established on the limestone ridge facing Ceyhan River and on the east and west sides of Ceyhan River. The bridge was built in the 4th century AD by the Roman Emperor Flavius Julius Constantius with nine eyes to cross the Ceyhan River, and was repaired by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century CE. In Misis, the nine-eyed stone bridge connecting the city in the east-west direction, the walls on the acropolis, aqueducts, bath, rock tombs, the stadion in the north of the city, the ruins of the theater in the south and the Havraniye Caravanserai belonging to the Seljuk Period are the important surviving works.
According to a legend about the bridge, it is rumored that while crossing the bridge Lokman Physician who found the medicine of immortality, dropped the paper with the formula of the medicine of immortality into the river and lost it.
It is an important castle 40 km east of Adana, 13 km to Ceyhan and on the banks of Ceyhan River. It was built on a hill in Byzantium period in Çukurova Plain. Although it is not known whom the building was built by, it is obvious that it is a medieval work. It can control important commercial axes on the Aleppo trade route and the connection route to the Silk Road. It is one of the Crusader castles built in the 11th century in Middle Age. While the name of the castle, which was abandoned since 1357 during the Ramazanoğlu Principality Period, was Kovara, the famous Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi, who passed here in 1671, introduced the castle as Şahmeran Castle. Shahmaran, mentioned in legends, is a creature whose head is a snake and is the master of snakes.
It is in Kurtkulağı Village, 12 km southeast of Ceyhan. It was built by Hüseyin Pasha on the Aleppo Kervan Road in the early 17th century. It was repaired by architect Mehmet Ağa in 1659. Kurtkulağı Caravanserai is also known as Menzil Inn.
Aigeai Ancient City
Located in the town center of Yumurtalık, Aigeai was an important port city in the ancient period of Cilicia Pedias (Bottomland Cilicia), east of Ceyhan River and west of İskenderun Bay. The city was named Aigeai in the Hellenistic Period, Aegeae in the Roman Period, Ajazzo in the Middle Ages, and Ayas in the later periods. According to the city coins, the history of the city dates to the 2nd century BCE. The ancient authors Pausanias, Tacitus and Strabon mentioned the ancient city of Aigeai in their works. Aegeae was free during the Roman empire and was used as a strategically important naval base. One of the three biggest Asclepius Temples of the ancient world is in this city. Asclepion, the health center of the city, is famous. It is written that Emperor Caracalla, who visited the city in the summer of 215 CE, got rid of his troubles in this Asclepion. This is one of the temple-hospitals called Asklepion where the first medical education was given in history. The visible ruins of the city Ayas Harbor Castle, Deniz Castle, Süleyman Tower, wall ruins, bath ruins, colonnaded street, rock tombs and sarcophagi, votive stones, round altars, pipes, sculpture pieces, millstones, inscriptions and architectural building elements. A group of mosaics were found during the excavations. Eros (cupid), hippocampos (seahorses) and fish are depicted in the mosaics and are now exhibited in the Adana Museum.
That the tower was built in 1536 during the reign of Ottoman Emperor Kununi Sultan Süleyman, which is understood from the inscription on it, was called “Yarakha-i Kala-i Ayas”, that is, the “Armed Ayas Castle” at that time shows it was used for military purposes. There are historical rock tombs on the cliffs below the restored tower.
Yumurtalık Nature Protection Area and RAMSAR Area
The main features of the Yumurtalık lagoons are salt marshes, freshwater marshes, mud flats, reeds, sand dunes and a huge wetland system consisting of a pine forest. Major wetlands are Yumurtalık Lagoon, Yelkoma Lake, Ömer Lake, Yapı Lake and Darboğaz Lake. It gains the status of important bird areas with its frankolin, maple pecker and small populations. Status that adds value to the field; It is a Nature Protection Area, Ramsar Area, Important Bird Area and Important Plant Area. Bird watching and plant watching activities can be performed in Yumurtalık lagoons.
Magarsus Ancient City
Magarsus Ancient City is in the Dört Direkli locality, 4 km west of Karataş district, 49 km from Adana. The city, which has been inhabited continuously since the 5th century BCE, is mentioned as Mallos in the inscriptions and coins and other official documents belonging to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. According to Strabon after Troia War Cilician Mopsos and Greek Amphilokhos coming to the region founded the city.
It is known for its Magarsus temples, the religious center of Mallos, one of the most important cities of Ancient Cilicia, and is especially famous for the Temple of Athena where Alexander the Great prayed. In Magarsus, surrounded by walls and has a grid-planned city design, structures whose ruins have survived from the Ancient Age; city wall, Medieval Castle, Athena Magarsia Temple, theater, stadion, cistern, Byzantine and Ottoman baths.
The city was an important settlement during Ancient Greek, Rome and Byzantium time. Unearthed in recent years The Ancient Theater is important ruins worth seeing.
Akyatan Wildlife Development Area and RAMSAR Area
Located within the boundaries of Karataş district Akyatan Lagoon was declared a Wildlife Protection and Production Area by General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks in 1987, in 2005 it was transformed into a Wildlife Development Area with the decision of the Council of Ministers. It is the largest lagoon in Adana. It has a suitable living environment especially for water birds. This area is covered by Ramsar convention, which is the agreement on the protection of wetlands of international importance. Bird species such as Francolin, Purple Gallinule, Thick-Knee, Marbled Teal, Snowy Plover, Vanellus Spinosus, Little Tern, Flamingo, Shelduck, Wigeon, White-Headed Duck, Coot are housed here.
It is located within the boundaries of Kızıltahta Village in Karataş District. The mill is claimed to be built on a bridge from the Roman Period. Akdeğirmen consists of a half bridge with 6 arches of stone and a mill structure built on it, extending into the river in one of the narrowest sections of Ceyhan River. There are 7 windows on the east and west walls of the mill building.
Kozan (Sis) Castle
Located in the center of the Kozan district, the castle is on a steep limestone hill overlooking the plain. One of the oldest castles in the region Kozan Castle (Kozan Kalesi) has 44 towers and bastions built in two groups. It has become an important center for the Christian world due to the baptismal oil extraction ceremonies held here every 3 years.
Menengiç Coffee made in Kozan Castle has a unique taste.
Küp Waterfalls (Küp Şelaleleri), consisting of 10 waterfalls, 37 km away from Aladağ district, with its forests covered in different colors in every season, the view of ice flowing water and the enchanting atmosphere where bird sounds are mixed, attract nature lovers.
It is in Akören town of Aladağ District. There are two settlements named Akören 1 and Akören 2. It is understood from the many surviving church remains that the region was used as a religious center. The apse of the church and some of its outer walls are standing.
Located on a steep hill 6 km northeast of Feke town center, the castle was built by the Byzantines in the 12th century. Having a rectangular plan the castle has eight bastions and a watchtower. There are building remains inside the castle. The entrance gate of the castle is in the south direction.
The Obruk Waterfall (Obruk Şelalesi), which is a branch of Seyhan River in Saimbeyli district and pours into Göksu, flowing from the rocks shaded by pine and plane trees the waters flowing from the waterfall appealing to the eyes of those coming to the facilities make the visitors happy.
Şar Komana Ancient City
It is within the borders of Şar Village, 20 km. away from Adana’s Tufanbeyli district. It is a settlement belonging to the Hittite, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. It was an important religious center in Kizzuwatna and Hittite Period. Roman monuments have survived in the region. Theater, Heroon (Kırık Church), Corinthian Temple (Ala Kapı) are among the important historical remains.