Fodor's Expert Review Karatepe
The open-air museum of Karatepe, about 130 km (81 miles) northeast of Adana, makes a (long) day trip from Adana or a worthwhile detour if you're heading to Antakya. Karatepe was a fortress founded in the 8th century by Asatiwatas, the ruler of the post-Hittite state of Adana. A short walk from the parking lot are two ancient gateways, where dozens of well-preserved carved stones (once the foundation of mud-brick walls) have been left in place. There is also a small indoor museum behind the ticket office. The area around the site is a beautiful national park; you can picnic here or swim in the adjacent dam. It’s best visited from Osmaniye, passing ancient Hieropolis-Kastabala, but a secondary, longer road leads from Kozan past Kadirli, which has a well-preserved Byzantine church (later converted into a mosque).