Kızkalesi, which means Maiden's Castle in English, is a town in Mersin Province, Turkey. The town was known in antiquity as Corycus or Korykos and is named after the ancient castle built on a small island just facing the town.
Kızkalesi is a Mediterranean coastal town. Taurus mountains are at north of the town and in fact some quarters of the town are situated on the lower slopes of the mountain. The surrounding area is mostly covered by macquis groves.
Kızkalesi is a part of Erdemli District which in turn is a part of Mersin Province. Kızkalesi is west of Erdemli and Mersin. It is on the D 400 Highway, the highway distances being 23 kilometers or 14 miles to Erdemli and 60 kilometers or 37 miles to Mersin. The winter population is only about 1,850 residents, but during the summer a much higher population resides there due to tourism.
Ancient Corycus was a big city. It became part of the Seleucid Empire, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Seljuks, Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Oghuz Turks of Karaman Beylik, and finally the Ottoman Empire. In Turkish history, it is known as Prince Cem's departing point from Turkey in 1482 after his defeat in civil war on his way to Rome. After Cem’s departure, Kızkalesi became the winter settlement of nomadic Turkmen tribes known as Ayaş. It was declared as the seat of township in 1992.
The most important economic activities are agriculture and tourism. Tomatoes, cucumbers, apricots, beans and citrus are the most prominent crops. With widespread historical ruins and wide beaches the tourism potential of the town is excellent. But, tourism is a relatively new phenomena and it needs to be further developed to reach international standards.