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 hotels and pensions provide
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 (Silifke, Mersin, Tarsus, Adana).
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
the Roman-Byzantine necropolis
at Kanytelis, inland
from the coastal village of Kumkuyu,
the extensive Roman-Byzantine ruins
and the impressive caverns
of Heaven and Hell (Cennet
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.
Above, the Maiden's
and beach on the blue Mediterranean....
the other, onshore castle at
the eastern end of the beach.