West of Mersin city center about 45 minutes lies Kızkalesi, or Maiden's Castle, on a small island in the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, Kızkalesi is the modern day name of the small town, the ancient city ruins on the side of the highway (formerly Corycus), and also the island structure. The legend of Maiden's Castle (on the island) is similar to that of Maiden's Tower in Istanbul: a king was informed that his lovely daughter would die an early death caused by a snake bite, so he built a secluded structure to keep her in, safe from any snakes. However, one day a snake emerged from a basket of fruit, bit the maiden and took her life after all.
In the summertime, it is possible to paddle boat or even swim out to the castle, about 300 meters (almost 1,000 feet) from the shore. There are plenty of beaches in the area, some pretty crowded, some less populated, many hotels and pensions, and a variety of places to have a nice breakfast or fish dinner.