Top choice in Eastern Mediterranean

Yılankale, an impressive castle rising boldly from a rocky ridge in the middle of modern-day corn fields, is a fantastic example of medieval Armenian architecture. Built in the mid-13th century, when this area was part of the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia, it took its name from a serpent once entwined in the coat of arms above the entrance. From the car park there's a well-laid path for 100m then a rough trail.

Reaching the castle's highest point requires a steep climb over the rocks, through two arches and a gatehouse with a relief of a rampant above it. Further on are cisterns, vaulted chambers and the remains of a small chapel. Standing high above the wheat fields, though, you'll feel on top of the world. Yılankale is 38km east of Adana and just over 2km south of the D400 highway.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Eastern Mediterranean attractions

1. Stone Bridge

22.93 MILES

This Roman-era stone bridge over the Seyhan River at the eastern end of Abidin Paşa Caddesi was probably built under Hadrian (r AD 117–138) and repaired…

2. Sabancı Central Mosque

22.96 MILES

The most imposing mosque in Adana is the six-minaret Sabancı Merkez Camii, rising gracefully from the left bank of the Seyhan River. The largest mosque…

3. Ulu Cami

23.15 MILES

The beautiful early 16th-century Ulu Cami is reminiscent of the Mamluk mosques of Cairo, with black-and-white banded marble and elaborate window surrounds…

4. Great Clock Tower

23.22 MILES

Near Adana's sprawling covered market (kapalı çarşı), the Great Clock Tower dates back to 1881.

5. Covered Market

23.24 MILES

The large covered market is just south of the Great Clock Tower.

6. Yağ Camii

23.38 MILES

The Yağ Camii, with its imposing portal and typical Seljuk-style architecture, started life as a Crusader church dedicated to St James but was converted…

7. Adana Belediyesi

23.4 MILES

Adana's vast and rather stern-looking belediye (municipality) council building is a useful landmark on Atatürk Caddesi.

8. St Paul's Catholic Church

23.43 MILES

Built in 1870 by the Armenian community, this church is still in service today as a Roman Catholic place of worship.