Adana, Turkey’s the fifth most populous city of Turkey, after Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Bursa, is a fast-growing agricultural and industrial boom town, the commercial capital of the eastern Mediterranean coast. Adana is hardly a tourist mecca: high heat and humidity in summer, swirling traffic, and limited sights keep it that way even though it has a good selection of hotels (mostly for business travelers).

Adana-Mersin metropolitan area, with a population of almost 3 million, is one of Turkey’s major business and cultural centres. The metropolitan area stretches over 100km. from east to west and 25km. from north to south and includes the cities of Mersin, Tarsus, Adana and Ceyhan. Adana lies in the heart of Çukurova, a geographical, economical and cultural region that covers the provinces of Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye and Hatay. As it is seperated with high mountains from other regions, Çukurova resembles more like a state of it’s own. It is economically independent in it’s nature, in which two seaports, variety of industries, and vast fertile land is good enough for it’s 5.5 million residents.
The history of Adana goes back more than 3000 years; archaeological finds in the region have revealed human settlements dating from the Paleolithic Age. Tepebag Tumulus, where archaeologists found a stone wall and a city center, was built in the Neolithic Age; it is considered to be the oldest city of the Cilicia region. A place called Adana is mentioned by name in a Sumerian epic, the Epic of Gilgamesh, but the geography of this work is too imprecise to identify its location. According to the Hittite inscription of Kava, found in Hattusa (Bogazkale), Kizzuwatna was the first kingdom that ruled Adana, under the protection of the Hittites by 1335 BC. At that time, the name of the city was Uru Adaniyya, and the inhabitants were called Danuna. Beginning with the collapse of the Hittite Empire, c. 1191-1189 BC, invasions from the west caused a number of small kingdoms to take control of the plain, as follows: Kue Assyrians, 9th century BC; Cilician Kingdom, Persians, 6th century BC; Alexander the Great in 333 BC; Seleucids; the pirates of Cilicia; and Roman statesman Pompey the Great.

In the city, the 16th century Great Mosque (Ulu Mosque), the Yag or Eski Mosque, the Hasan Aga Mosque, Saat Kulesi (the clock-tower) built in 1882, an old covered bazaar, Bedesten or Arasta are of interest. You can also see the Ethnographical Museum where Turkish carpets, swords, manuscript books and tombstones are exhibited. The building itself is interesting as well since it was built as a church by the Crusaders. The Adana Archaeological Museum merits visiting too. Adana is also famous for its delicious Adana Kebap and other meat dishes.

The tea houses and restaurants alongside the Seyhan Dam and Lake provide a cool and perfect view of the city and the river at sunsets.

Yumurtalik (84 kilometers from Adana) and Karatas (50 kilometers from Adana) are the nearest beaches with proper accommodation. In Yumurtalik there is an ancient harbor castle contributing much to this pretty fishing city. For fishing, there is Camlik Park 30 kilometers southwest of Adana.