Iskenderun is a historic port town at the far end of the Turkish Mediterranean coast, in the Hatay Province. Today, it is a busy commercial center and an important port of Turkey. Originally the town was called Alexandretta and it was founded by Alexander the Great as a port, after his victory over the Persians. The town nestles among palm trees by the Mediterranean Sea, in a wonderful location on the shores of a deep bay and at the foot of Amanos Mountains.
Modern Iskenderun has fine buildings and avenues, and is well served by highways and a railway linking it with other Turkish towns.
A Little Bit of History
Iskenderun is the main port of Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea, founded by Alexander the Great in 333 BC. It has hosted many fights between the Romans and Persians.
It was developed as an outlet for overland trade from Iran, India and Eastern Asia.
Iskenderun Seaside Promenade
It became a part of the Ottoman Empire in 1515 and it became the chief port of Aleppo. It served as the capital of the autonomous Sancak of Alexandretta.
Later on with the return of the district to Turkey, Antalya replaced it as the provincial capital.
However, Iskenderun grew rapidly in its port facilities, its choice as a military center and Turkish naval base on the Mediterranean. Today, it is a producer of steel and fertilizer.
There are small shops in the narrow streets off the main boulevards selling local products, which include hand-made brass and copper ornaments, leather goods and clothing.
The International Folkdance and Folkmusic Festival is a popular event in Iskenderun.
Where is Iskenderun?
- 44.9 miles/ 72.3 km from Osmaniye, Turkey
- 82.6 miles/ 133 km from Adana, Turkey
- 94.4 miles/ 152 km from Aleppo, Syria
- 108.1 miles/ 174 km from Tarsus, Turkey
- 462.9 miles/ 745 km from Antalya, Turkey
- 27.7 miles/ 44.7 km from Hatay Airport, Turkey
- 85.1 miles/ 137 km from Adana Airport, Turkey
- 99.4 miles/ 160 km from Aleppo Airport, Syria
Things to See
- The Promenade
- Antakya Park
- St Pierre Kilisesi
- St Paul Orthodox Church
- Ulucmar (Arsuz) Beach
- Samandag Beach
- Sarigerme Beach
- Daphne (Harbiye)
Iskenderun is one among the few cities that were founded by Alexander the Great and that still exist today.
The town’s fame came with its cameo appearance in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Although it is an industrial city with petrochemical plants and steelworks, its lovely palm-lined promenade and the sea are still enjoyable.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!