Narlıkuyu

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Narlıkuyu is a coastal town in Cilician Mountains region, southern Turkey.

Understand[edit]

Get in[edit]

  • Narlıkuyu is located on the highway D400, the major highway which traverses whole length of Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Narlıkuyu lies 65 km west of Mersin, the provincial capital, 27 km west of Erdemli and 20 km east of Silifke, other important cities of the region. The road to both directions are wide (2 lanes per direction) and in a very good condition.
  • Buses and minibuses from Mersin heading for Silifke, Gülnar, and other points west pass through and accept passengers for Narlıkuyu.

Get around[edit]

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.

Heaven and Hell chasms and the Asthma Cave is located about 3 km north of the (current) highway. There is no public transport to there from the town centre, or from the highway junction for that matter, but you can walk that gently-ascending slope or try hitchhiking. When coming in from out of town (from Mersin, for example) ask to be dropped off at Cennet-Cehennem (pronounced jayn nayt jay hayn naym) to get off at the junction of the road leading to the chasms instead of the town centre. There is also a carpark free of charge at the entrance of the site.

See[edit]

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.

A ticket valid for both Heaven and Hell costs 5 TL, but rock bottom budget travellers might consider viewing Heaven from the roadside above immediately on the edge of the cliff for free (it is not possible to go down inside the chasm without a ticket, though), and cross their fingers for having the ticket control in front of the viewing balcony of Hell unmanned — which sometimes is the case.

  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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. 3 TL.

Do[edit]

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

Narlıkuyu is known for its fish restaurants by the shore, visited by many people from Mersin during weekends to have a meal accompanied by a glass of rakı. Hacı Amca'nın Yeri is one of such restaurants, a very cool place with fresh fish and very tasteful arugula salad.

Along the road to Heaven-Hell, there are a number of open-air "restaurants" consisting of replicas of the tents of local nomadic Yörük tribes. Most offer Turkish cheese-pancake (gözleme) and ayran, the yoghurt drink.

Drink[edit]

Local foamy yayık ayranı, produced with the ancient way of churning, has some level of fame and is quite refreshing on a hot day. There is a road-side stall on the corner where the uphill road to Heaven-Hell branches off the main highway, which offers a pint of icy yayık ayranı for 3 TL.

Sleep[edit]

Connect[edit]

(+90) 324 is the telephone code of the town.

Go next[edit]

  • Kızkalesi (Maiden's Castle), a castle located on an islet off-shore, is only a few km east of Narlıkuyu.
Routes through Narlıkuyu
AntalyaSilifke  W TR-400.png E  MersinAdana


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