Kızkalesi, Turkey Guide

Last Updated on September 1, 2022

Kızkalesi means "Maiden's Castle," the romantic name for the crusader castle floating in the blue water 150 meters offshore from this eastern Mediterranean beach resort town (map).

On the shore at the eastern end of the fine beach is another castle, Korykos, making Kızkalesi (KUHZ kah-leh-see) a two-castle town.

Why stop here? To take photos of the castles and, if you're intrepid and a strong swimmer, to swim out to the Kız Kalesi on the island. If you're not intrepid, small cruise boats will take you out there, you can paddle yourself in a paddleboat, or you can even fly over it by parasail.

Dozens of hotelsvillas, flats to let and pensionsprovide beds, making this a charming place to spend the night if you're traveling along the coast. It's generally cheaper and far more relaxing than the cities (SilifkeMersinTarsusAdana). More...

I stayed quite happily at the Rain Hotel, a simple but pleasant and clean three-star only a half-block from the beach. More....

Kızkalesi also makes a good base for visits to the Roman ruins of Elaiussa-Sebaste, the Roman-Byzantine necropolis at Kanytelis, inland from the coastal village of Kumkuyu, the extensive Roman-Byzantine ruins at Kanlıdivane, and the impressive caverns of Heaven and Hell (Cennet ve Cehennem).

At Narlıkuyu, a few kilometers west of Kızkalesi, are numerous waterfront seafood restaurants just right for a pleasant evenings dining and conversation. Roman mosaics are preserved here in a small museum.

—by Tom Brosnahan

Heaven & Hell Caves




Kızkalesi Transport






Mediterranean Turkey

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