Silifke – Mersin – Turkey

GPS : 36°26’37.6″N 34°06’51.0″E / 36.443793, 34.114162

Narlıkuyu is a small coastal town in Mersin Province, Turkey. It is a part of Silifke district which is in turn a part of Mersin Province. It is on the Mersin Antalya highway between two districts of Mersin; Erdemli and Silifke. Narlıkuyu is situated on the Mediterranean coast, located 65 km (40 mi) south west of Mersin, 27 km west of Erdemli and 20 km east of Silifke.

The town has many popular fishing restaurants, located around a small bay famous for its unusually cool and fresh water, fed by underground freshwater streams. The town centre lies on the former winding and narrow highway closely following the coast, about 1 km south of the current highway. Many side streets link each other.

The name of Narlıkuyu was Porto Calamie during Roman Empire. A small 4th century building, once part of a bath and baptism complex financed by Poimenios of Corycus, survives to the present. Corycus, now called Kızkalesi, is 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) east of Porto Calamie.

An inscription at the building’s entrance reads : Dear Visitor, if you wonder who has discovered this miraculous water, know that he is Poimenios, the friend of the emperors and the honest administrator of the holy islands… Probably the said emprerors were Arcadius (378-408) and Honorius (384-423). The holy islands are the Princes’ Islands of Marmara.

The building is now a museum. The floor mosaic depicts three Graces; Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia, and a couple of partridges and doves. The local name of the mosaic is Üç Güzeller (English: Three beauites) The mosaic refers to the mitological story of baptism of Aphrodite.

Repairing & Maintenance Workshops : Erdemli, Taşucu
Technical Equipment Shops : Erdemli, Taşucu
Accommodation : Pensions, Hotels, Motels, Rental Houses, Picnic Areas
Beach : Narlıkuyu
Dining : Restaurants, Buffets, Cafes, Bakeries
Weekly Market
Health : Health Center – Hospital, Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacies, Dentists
Hair dresser
Shopping : Super Markets, Stores, Shops, Markets
Entertainment : Cafes, Bars, Tea Gardens
Special Shopping : Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Apricots, Beans, Citrus

The main attraction of the town is Heaven and Hell chasms (Cennet-Cehennem) and the Asthma Cave, all located very near each other. The cliff of Heaven will welcome you to this area which overlooks the sea from a distance.

Heaven (Cennet)
Of the two chasms which were formed when ceilings of two underground caves collapsed, this bigger one resembles a green, peaceful heaven with evergreen shrubs and trees growing on its bottom. It is possible to reach the bottom, which also has ruins of a monastery, by climbing down ancient stairs (452 of them, and as every descent has an ascend, it is not advisable for those having heart and respiration problems, especially in summer). You can buy a ticket to go down inside the chasm, though you can view it from above on the road immediately on the edge of the cliff of the chasm for free.

Top opening of Cennet is 250 x 110 m2 ( 820 x 360 ft2 ) and its average dept is 70 metres (230 ft). It is possible to reach the bottom of Cennet by a primitive staircase composed of 300 steps. At the bottom towards south, there is a smaller and 150 steps deeper cave. In this cave are the ruins of a monastery built in the 5th century by a certain Paulus and dedicated to Virgin Mary. In this monastery one can hear the sound of a small underground stream from the monastery to the gulf of Narlıkuyu.

Hell (Cehennem)
200 mt north of Heaven; follow the path starting from next to the gates of the stairs to Heaven’s bottom. A post-apocalyptic abyss full of sharp stalagmites when compared with Heaven, the bottom of this 78-metre deep pit is, however, full of deep green -even emerald green- plants which look even more peaceful and exotic than Heaven’s. This was where Zeus was believed to imprison Typhon in ancient times. Unlike Heaven, it is not possible to go down into the Hell, with only a balcony-like viewing area hanging over the cliff of the pit.

Cehennem is a deeper sinkhole with a depth of 128 metres (420 ft). But its top opening is smaller with dimensions 70 x 50 m2 ( 210 x 150 ft2 ) . More over, the upper edge of the opening is concave. So, it is impossible to reach the bottom of Cehennem.

Asthma Cave (Astım Mağarası)
About 500 mt west of Heaven; walk on the tarmac road to the opposite direction of Hell. Entrance is from the basement of one of the shops in the area.

They are clean and have pleasant services. Fishes available due to seasons.


Minibus : Narlıkuyu – Atakent, Kızkalesi, Ayaş, Kumkuyu
Bus : Narlıkuyu – Silifke, Erdemli, Mersin
Airport : Adana Şakirpaşa International Airport, Konya International Airport, Dalaman International Airport, Antalya International Airport, Gazipaşa International Airport

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Silifke, Mersin Province, Turkey

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