A boat tour along the offshore island of Kekova (Kekova Adası) with its coastline littered with the remains of Lycian and Byzantine settlements is certainly a highlight of a visit to the Lycian Coast.
Sights & Photos of Kekova
While most popular boat excursions start from Kalkan or Kaş, we decided to take a private boat trip that departed from nearby Demre's small harbour Çayağzı, at about 5 km from the centre of Demre. The manager of Hotel Kıyak in Demre, was most helpful in organizing this Kekova boat tour.
Early in the morning, the boat captain picked us up at our hotel and drove us to Çayağzı where we embarked on his small boat. After leaving Çayağzı we passed the ruins of ancient Andriake and left the mouth of the Androkos river, after which we headed for Pirates' Cave, the obligatory blue cave. Then we sailed to Burç Bay, which means tower in Turkish, a kind of pirates' nest with a medieval castle dominating the bay.
The highlight of our tour came when the glass-bottomed boat sailed over the partly submerged ruins of the World Heritage site of the Sunken City (in Turkish Batık Şehir or Batık Kent), located along the shore of Kekova island. These ruins were formed by a series of earthquakes in the 2nc century CE. The remains of buildings, staircases, amphoras can all be seen through the calm translucent waters that cover them. It is a view that evokes visions of the legendary Atlantis. Since the Sunken City area is an archaeological site, swimming and diving are strictly forbidden.
After the visit to Kekova, we sailed through Üçağız Bay. Üçağız is a literal translation of its original Greek name Tristomon meaning three mouths. The rocky shores of Üçağız Bay are really littered with sarcophagi and other remains of the Lycian civilization.
Our trip continued to Simena/Kaleköy, where we climbed to the castle and had some late lunch.