Destination Guides Turkey.

Demre

See Myra for details of the history and archaeology of the city of Myra (todays Demre) and the history of Saint Nicholas of Myra (Santa Claus). Myra was one of the most important cities in antique Lycia. Coins have been found dating back to 300 BC but logically the city must have been founded centuries earlier. The city thrived as part of the Roman Empire and many public buildings were constructed.

Sunken City

Kekova Island is a large island that faces the village of Kale, and gives its name to the entire region. The name Kekova is Turkish for plain of thyme and describes the region encompassing the island of Kekova, the villages of Kalekoy and Ucagiz and the three ancient towns of Simena, Teimussa and Tersane. Kekova Island is also known as the Sunken City, as it is partially submerged. This is a result of earthquakes throughout history. Boats can dock at Tersane Bay which is at the end of the island. There is the apse of a Byzantine church here. As there have not been excavations in the area, the island is full of unexplained remains. To the right of Tersane Bay there are shops submerged below sea level and to the left lurk the remains of a sunken city. On the coast, houses are half sunken with stairs and the foundations of buildings running under the sea. The Kekova region was declared a Specially Protected Area in 1990 to protect the natural, cultural and geographic richness of Kekova Island and surrounding coast.

Kekoava

Kekova, also named Caravola (Lycian: Dolichiste), is a small Turkish island near Kas (ancient Antiphellos) district of Antalya province which faces the villages of Kalekoy (ancient Simena) and Ucagiz (ancient Teimioussa). Kekova has an area of 4.5 km² and is uninhabited. After the Italian occupation of Kastelorizo, Kekova — which at that time was temporarily inhabited during summer because of wood harvest — was disputed between Italy and Turkey. The 1932 Convention between Italy and Turkey assigned it to Turkey. On its northern side there are the partly sunken ruins of Dolchiste/Dolikisthe, an ancient town which was destroyed by an earthquake during the 2nd century. Rebuilt and still flourishing during the Byzantine Empire period, it was finally abandoned because of Arab incursions. Tersane (meaning "dockyard", as its bay was the site of an ancient city Xera and dockyard, with the ruins of a Byzantine church) is at the nortwest of the island. The Kekova region was declared a specially protected area on 18 January 1990 by Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forest. All kinds of diving and swimming were prohibited and subject to special permits from governmental offices. In later years the prohibition has been lifted except for the part where the sunken city is. The Kekova region is 260 km² and encompasses the island of Kekova, the villages of Kalekoy and Ucagiz and the four ancient towns of Simena, Aperlae, Dolchiste and Teimioussa. Kalekoy (locally just "Kale") (ancient Simena) is a Lycian site on the Turkish coast. It is a small village with the partly sunken ruins of Aperlae[1] and a castle. Access to the village is possible only by sea. Ucagiz (ancient name, Teimioussa) is a village one km from Kalekoy, north of a small bay by the same name, with the ruins of Teimioussa to the east. The name "Ucagiz" means "three mouths", referring to the three exits to open sea.

Myra

Myra is an ancient town in Lycia, where the small town of Kale (Demre) is situated today in present day Antalya Province of Turkey. It was located on the river Myros (Demre Cay), in the fertile alluvial plain between Alaca Dag, the Massikytos range and the Aegean Sea.

St. Nicholas Church

The Church of St. Nicholas in ancient Myra (modern Kale or Demre) is a ruined Byzantine church containing the tomb of St. Nicholas of Myra (the inspiration for Santa Claus), as well as many fine mosaics and murals.

Simena

A very beautiful place, with clear, deep water and tombs rising from the ground. The friendly locals would gather around the many tour boats as they stop to gaze at the enormous castle at the top of the mountain. The village lies amidst a Lycian necropolis, which is partially sunken underwater. Kalekoy is overlooked by a Byzantine castle, built in the Middle Ages to fight the pirates which nested in Kekova. The castle contains a small theatre. Kalekoy is a popular yachting destination.

Gokkaya Bay

Opposite the eastern part of the island of Kekova, sailors will find another fine shelter. Protected by two major islands forming three entrances to the bay, boats in the inner part are well protected against any wind. Entering via the south and the south-eastern channel should be done carefully only with appropiate charts (specially by night), as some reefs are might stop the fun... Inside there is a tavern (Lokanta) which offers in high season sometimes a type of disco, disturbing the charme of this place tremendously!

Pirates Cave

This once held the treasure of black eyed pete along with many dead bodies he would collect. The cave was only dyscovered again yn 2006 by a young new zealander on sailyng boat who promptly renamed yt shieldsys cave and claimed all the booty for himself.

Aperlai Bay

Aperlai, with its sarcophagi, sunken city, and spectacular Mediterranean landscape, is a must stop on a blue cruise. Aperlai is located on the Sicak Peninsula, near the Sicak jetty. A Lycian city, Aperlai s history is known from coins bearing its name that have been discovered and goes back to the 4th or 5th centuries BC Aperlai was the head of the Lycian Confederacy, of which Simena and Apollonia were also members. The city walls begin at the seashore and are fortified with towers at intervals. These walls, with their rectangular and polygonal construction, are from Roman times: Other remains at Aperlai are all from the Byzantine and later periods. The western reaches of the wall are of rectangular construction. There are three gates in this wall, two of which have a plain and the third a blind archway. The southern reaches of the walls are of polygonal construction and in a bad state of repair. This side is reinforced with two towers and it is here that the main gate was located. Outside the walls are typical Lycian sarcophagi from Roman times.

Andriace Harbour

Andriace - Known as the port of Myra, close to Cayagzi. Andriace was founded as a sister-town around the same time as Myra. It was taken in 197 B.C. by the fleet of Antiochus III along with the other Anatolian settlements in the hands of the Ptolemies at the time. Emperor Trajan had stated his plans to develop Myra as a port after visiting the area, but this plan was not realized until the reign of Hadrian. One of the most striking features of the site is the aqueduct system supplying the city with water. At the south side of the harbor stands the remains of a monumental fountain dating from the Roman period. The agora known as the placoma is the largest structure on the site. It is surrounded by shops on three sides, with a large cistern in the center. Traces of vernacular dwellings and the harbor road are near a granary and next to these are semi-roofed quays. A defense tower can be seen on the west of the slope, and the necropolis lies to the north of the settlement. In the necropolis there are Lycian-type tombs of the Roman period.

Uc Agiz

Sixteen kilometres after Kas is the turn for Ucagiz. Nine kilometres after the intersection is the village of Kilicli and a further 1.5 kilometres from the village is the ancient city of Apollonia. If you have the time, it would be worthwhile taking a look. Ucagiz is a fishing village on the shores of the Gulf of Kekova, six kilometres from Kilicli and 31 kilometres from Kas. Boats going on tours in the gulf use the wharf at Ucagiz. The wharf has small pensions and some fine restaurants with the freshest fish direct from the region. The village was built on the remains of the ancient city of Theimiussa. To get to Kalekoy (Simena) boats operate from this wharf or boats from Demre-Cayagzi. Larger boats operate daylong cruises from the Demre-Cayagzi wharf.

Aquarium

With the aquamarine waters and the rich variety of sea life just like its name, Aquarium Bay is an ideal place where you can swim and snorkel around to enjoy its beauty and discover many different kinds of fish in the area.

Kocakari Bay

Kocakari Bay is a lovely quiet place to relax, a peaceful haven for the night and the beautiful sunset. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent sunset views in this sheltered bay as it will be our mooring point for the night.