Çandır Kalesi was once a majestic behemoth of a castle sitting atop a cliff, nestled among the Toros Mountains overlooking the Cilcian Plain below. During its heyday in the early middle ages, the grandeur of the smooth stoned castle sitting 250 meters above the valley, rising into the sky above would have been quite a site to the peasants passing by on the road on their way to Yümüktepe or Soli. What remains of the castle construct today is part of the castle proper, as well as a church building that still has a few crosses and the apse with three domes. The bottom floor of the castle is covered in most places by undergrowth and accumulated land, but the second floor can be accessed by a small stairwell to the left of one of the rooms in the castle proper. Note: Visiting this castle is dangerous for children and adults, as there are no rails keeping one from falling to the valley floor below. Do be careful! There is a modern, two-floor building on top of the mountain. There doesn’t seem to be anyone living there permanently, but someone does seem to stay there from time to time. Keep your eyes open, and do not bother them!
Getting to the castle is a fairly easy 45-60 minute trip, once you know the way! Be sure you have a sturdy car with good tires, as the last roads you’ll take are quite rocky! Take the Gözne Yolu out of Mersin past Gözne (and the castle!) to the village of Aygediği. (In this village, you will find some markets and çay houses if you wish to rest before completing your journey. This will be the best place to fill up with snacks before heading out to the castle.) Once in this village, turn right at the giant pear statue (you’ll know it when you see it). Follow the signs for Çandır Kalesi or Kale Yolu (as Çandır Köyü, i.e. Village, and the Castle, i.e. Kale, are reached by different roads). Once you reach the lake, take the road that veers to the left, as it is the smoother drive than the road that veers to the right. From the lake, once can see the castle on the cliff in the distance straight ahead. Take the roads that get you to that cliff! Or just follow the map below. Note: As you are climbing the road going up the mountainside to the castle, do be careful! There are no guard rails, and the fall is long! To reach the castle, drive up the road going up and around the mountain to the back of the cliff. There is a dead end, and the hidden entrance stairwell is to your right.