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Gülek Kalesi

Tarsus-Ankara Otoyolu
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Climbing up 1600 m to the castle that overlooks the Cilician Gates   Turkey

Climbing up 1600 m to the castle that overlooks the Cilician Gates

Setting atop the mountain that overlooks the pass, at 1600 meters, is Gülek Kalesi (Castle). It was built during the middle ages and was a strategic location for both defense of the pass, and for the collection of fees from those who would pass the gates, thus making it a very lucrative business for whoever might control the castle.
The castle’s entrance, and the walls leading to it, are still intact. Not much is left to be seen inside the castle, but the views from the top are not to be missed. You can look down to the Cilican Gates themselves, and on a clear day you can see quite a ways.
Warning: Please be aware that the road leading up to the castle turns from paved to very rocky and steep, and there are no guard rails. It is a long way down.
If you would like to visit Gülek Kalesi, the road is a bit tougher. You can pass through the Cilician Gates, then get off at the Tekir exit, and heading southwest to get to the village of Gülek. Or instead of going through the Cilician Gates first, you can get off of the Otoban at the çamalan exit, heading north (right). The castle road entrance is on the south side of Gülek. Look for the sign pictured above. The first half of the castle road is paved and smooth, even if narrow. The last half of the castle road is very rocky, narrow, and with steep fall offs. You can park at a widening in the road before you reach the castle entrance.