Serving as a gate to the fertile Cukurova Plain (Cilician Plain), Adana is the fourth largest city of Turkey, nestled in the most fertile agricultural area of the whole country which is fed by the life-giving waters of River Seyhan. The city's name originates in the mythology, where it was mentioned to have been founded by Adanus, the son of Kronus (God of Weather). Due to its being in the heart of that fertile center, it has been an important city for many civilizations through the centuries, dating even back to the Hittites. The precious River Seyhan is spanned by the ancient Taskopru (Stone Bridge) which was built by Hadrian and then repaired by Justinian. It is worth noting that to build 300 yards long stone bridge in Roman times, it was a real feat. In the city, the 16th-century Great Mosque (Ulu Camisi), the Yag or Eski Mosque, the Hasan Aga Mosque, Saat Kulesi (the clock-tower) built in 1882, an old covered bazaar, Bedesten or Arasta are of some of the great interests. Also be sure to see the Ethnographical Museum where Turkish Carpets, swords, manuscript books and tombstones are exhibited. The building itself is interesting as well since it was built as a church by the Crusaders. The Archaeological Museum merits visiting too.
It is also famous for its delicious kebap. The tea houses and restaurants alongside the Seyhan Dam and Lake provide a cool and perfect view of the city and the river at sunsets. Yumurtalik (84 km away) and Karatas (50 km away) are the nearest beaches with proper accommodation. In Yumurtalik there is an ancient harbor castle contributing much to this pretty fishing city. For fishing, there is Camlik Park 30 km southwest of the city. There are some ancient cities on the road to Iskenderun which include Roman remnants. Misis is on the caravan route that came from China, India and Persia. Among the remains of Roman times, the most interesting is the elegant mosaic of the 4th century AD representing Noah's Ark. Yilanlikale has the ruins of a fortress set atop a peak dominating the River Ceyhan. Dilekkaya, the ancient Anavarza, was an important Roman-Byzantine city which still preserves the outline of the old city including two, particularly worthwhile mosaics. Karatepe National Park is the neo-Hittite site where you will find the remains of the summer residence of King Asitawada, tablets of Hittite and Phoenician inscriptions, and an open-air museum holding many remnants. Castabala and Toprakkale are the other historical remains. Karsan Forest, Burucek, Tekir, Horzum, Zorkum meadows are ideal for picnicking and resting.
Being the most important city for the Ancient Cilician religion, and the center of many civilizations from the Hittite to the Ottoman, it is the fourth largest city in Turkey. It was named after Adanus, the son of Uranus according to Anatolian mythology. The city is located by the Seyhan river, which winds the Toros (Taurus) Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea. The history of the Tepebag tumulus in the middle of the city dates to the Neolithic Period, 6000 BC, and the time of the first human settlements.
It was first the center of the Hatti Kingdom before it became a part of the Hittite Empire in 1350 BC, and later on, it became a part of the Persian Empire in the 7th century BC. Alexander the Great and after his army resided here in 333 BC. After the death of Alexander, it became a part of Selevkos. Rome acquired the city in the provincial government center in the 1st century BC during this period, it became an important trade center. It belonged to the Sasanid Empire in 260 AD, to the Byzantines in the 5th century AD, to the Abbasids in the 10th century, to the century, to the Seljuks in the 11th century, to the Armenians in the 12th century, at which time it became a Turkish city for the rest of its history.
The Turks who came to the area from the Middle East in the 14th century were rather attracted by the productive and irrigated land which was a great choice for a community living the nomad life. It was established as a new civilization under their leadership. The Sarus River was renamed the Ceyhan. The District Government of Ramazanoglu was established in 1352 and continued until 1517. In that year, the Ottoman Sultan Yavuz Selim, who went to war with Egypt, annexed the city to the Ottoman Empire. In 1535, it was the residence of the Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, at war in the east, and of the Ottoman Sultan Murat IV, who warred with Baghdad, the city was also occupied by the Egyptian provincial governor's son and his army, who opposed the Ottoman Empire.
Taskopru: The beautiful bridge was built by the Roman Empire architect Auxentius in the 4th century AD, over the Seyhan River. The bridge has 21 arches, 7 of which are underwater, and 14 of which can still be viewed. A model of the same bridge is presently in Rome.
The Adana Museum: in the center of the city on the E-5 highway, it was established in 1924. Antiques from Kahramanmaras, Gaziantep, Mersin Yumuktepe, Tarsus, Gozlukule, Misis and Cukurova excavations are exhibited, and religious artifacts are also displayed.
The Ethnographical Museum: This museum is in the center of Adana, in the Kurukopru district. There are antiques from the Cukurova Turkoman tribe and also Islamic stone antiques.
The Bebekli Church: Built between 1880 and 1890, its official name is the church of Saint Paul. At the top of the church is a 2.5 meter-high bronze statue of the Virgin Mary. There is a daily ceremony at 18:00 pm, attesting to the respect the Turkish people feel for other religions.
The Mosaic Museums: There are many mosaics in Cukurova dating from the early Roman period, including Misis mosaics, Imamoglu-Koyuevi, Kozan-Ferhatli, Osmaniye Cardak, Duzici-Yalamazli Village mosaics and Thetisli mosaics in Anavarza.
The Hierapolis - Kastabala: It was a great Roman city, established during the 1st century BC. Among the rocks are streets, places from the 6th century, a theater, a castle, and graves. Kastabala had great importance in antiquity because of its Temple of Artemis.
The last Hittite City - Karatepe - Aslantas: This border castle was built by Adana's King Asativatas in the 8th century BC. It contains a sphinx, reliefs, and antiques, and has great international importance because of its hieroglyphs.
The Anavarza Ruins: This ancient city's date of establishment isn't known for certain, but it was perhaps first established in 408 AD as the Cilician capital. Anavarza Castle of this city was the central Cilician castle. Remains in the ruins include walls, the castle, rows, street, and two pools in front of a house with mosaics.
The Ayas - Aegen ancient city: An important harbor city, Aegea was most populated during the 1st century BC. The city antiques include Ayas Castle, Suleyman Tower, and the Marco Polo Portside.
Trekking: Trekking in the Toros mountains is a lot of fun. Start your trek at Pozanti Hamidiye village, pass through Mazmulu-Karanfil Mountain en route, stop overnight at Mazmulu and complete your trek in Eyni Valley.
Rafting: The Adana Seyhan and Feke Goksu Rivers are lovely for rafting, and they will be opened to tourists as soon as possible.
Hunting: You can hunt hare, fox, and lynx in the Toros mountains, wild bear and moufflon in the Karanfil Mountains, game birds include the wood pigeon, quail, gray partridge, francolin, greylag goose, and the mallard.
Yayla (High Plateaus): The high plateaus of the Taurus Mountains of the city include: Zorkun, Olukbasi, Almanpinari, Horzum, Culluusagi, Goller, Catiroglu, Indersi, Catak, Kizildag, Meydan, Baspinar, Bici, Kosurga, Tekir, Burucek, Belemedik, Armutolugu, Findikli, Asar and Kamisli.
Beautiful Picnic Sites: The Dagilcak forest picnic area is 10 km away from Kozan and 90 km from Adana. Yerkopru, a chasm on the Cakit stream, has natural lakes at which there are picnic sites famous in that region. The Belemedik picnic site is 79 km from Adana and 10 km from Pozanti; there is a train service from Adana.