Province: Mersin (İçel)

Making up about a quarter of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, the province of Mersin is a blend of coastlands and high mountains perfect for a seaside vacation or some real off the beaten path exploring. The coastal region is full of picturesque Medieval castles and the ruins of Greco-Roman cities. Further inland in the pine covered forests are waterfalls, caves, abandoned monasteries, and even more ruins.
The province or Mersin makes up much of the ancient territory known as Cilicia, a region often fought over by the powers of the day. From Assyrians to Hittites, Persians to Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Armenians, and Turks, this land has traded hands many times, and the remnants of these cultures can be found everywhere.
Mersin is home to one mountain pass that has often played a role in shaping of the history of the ancient world. The Cilician gates, as their known, is a narrow winding valley serving as the chief access point to the plains and Mediterranean from Central Turkey and has seen Roman generals, Alexander the Great, Crusaders, Hittites, Mongols, as well as Saint Paul the Apostle travel by this road.
Mersin is not nearly as developed for tourists as the neighboring province of Antalya. While there are still plenty of hotels, there are far less of the massive resorts that Antalya is known for. That being said Mersin is still a very traveler friendly province with plenty of good hotels to enjoy the coast and lots of room for adventure beyond the tourist centers.