Not far from the ancient city of Tarsus and the Mediterranean, Adana Turkey is in the Cukurova Plain—the largest alluvial plain and most fertile agricultural region in the country. This fertile region is fed by the waters of the Seyhan River, and an Adana vacation will reveal the great Taskopru, a Roman stone bridge that is 300 yards long and dates to the reign of the Emperor Hadrian. The bridge played a vital role in the country’s history, as it was a link for the caravan routes to Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Persia (now Iran), and farther east to India and as far as China. Travel to Adana was crucial to the cultural and economic exchange and growth brought by these trade routes that also served as a highway for the armies of Europe traveling to the Holy Land during the Crusades.
The history of Adana Turkey dates back more than 1,000 years before the Christian Era to the Hittite Kingdom. Nearby is the ancient city of Tarsus, birthplace of the Apostle Paul and the place where Marc Antony and Cleopatra made their home in the first century B.C. It was part of the Byzantine Empire until it was captured in 1097 during the First Crusade. Later, it was captured and ruled by Armenia and even Egypt. It was part of the Ottoman Empire from the time of the Renaissance until the creation of the modern country of Turkey in 1918. This was a center of what is known today as the Armenian Genocide of 1919, resulting in the eradication of that ethnic community from the region.
Visitors who travel to Adana often visit the Mediterranean beaches of Yumurtalik and Karatas, as the sea is only about twenty miles away. These two towns are a bit farther away, but are the nearest towns with decent hotels. One of the prime reasons for an Adana vacation is to visit these beaches, which are much less crowded than those more to the north in the resorts of Marmaris, Kusadasi, Izmir, and Antalya.
Other things to do in Adana Turkey include visiting the tea houses and restaurants that line the banks of the lake formed by the Seyhan Dam. These are especially attractive during the summer heat, as cool breezes come off the water. They are also good spots for traditional Turkish dining, and you can find the famous regional specialty—Adana kebabs.
Sightseeing in Adana Turkey might include shopping in the bazaars. One is an old covered bazaar (Bedesten); the other is the “American” street market selling goods that have trickled out from the nearby Incirlik Air Base that is one of the United States strategic military bases. Those who travel to Adana will also undoubtedly want to take in the Ethnographical Museum, which is located in a church built in 1845. Here is a fascinating collection of tombstones engraved with calligraphy; ancient jewelry, carpets, and clothing; a furnished nomad Yoruk tent; and much more. Additionally, the Archeological Museum contains priceless ancient artifacts from sites around the region.
You will find some of the best Adana hotels in the area around these two museums. Complete your Adana vacation by visiting other attractions in the city center, including a number of mosques and the Saat Kulesi Clock Tower built in 1882. These are within walking distance of the main hotels and museums.