Kaleköy (Simena)

Rowing boat and Lycian sarcophagus popping up from the water

Kaleköy – Simena is a charming little place with a ruined crusader castle on the top of a hill and a small harbour surrounded by waterside restaurants. 

Sights & Photos of Kaleköy

Kaleköy - Simena is a delightful place to visit. The village was established on top of the ancient Lycian city of Simena and was named Kaleköy (Kale = Castle) after the ruined crusader castle of the Knights of St. John that is perched above the pretty hamlet. Kaleköy is truly a lovely place, with a small harbour surrounded by waterside restaurants serving excellent locally caught fish. Aside is a picturesque lone Lycian sarcophagus popping up from the cerulean water and waiting to take its picture. As Kaleköy is a protected archaeological zone with no permanent new buildings permitted, it has developed into a kind of exclusive holiday resort for yachties with only a few pricey pensions.

From the small harbour of Kaleköy with its sunken Lycian tomb, it is a steep but short climb to the acropolis of ancient Simena and the crusader fortress that was built on top of it. The climb is certainly worthwhile, as it offers some spectacular breathtaking views on the surroundings. The castle was built as an outpost of the Knights of St. John also known as Knights Hospitaller when they operated from nearby Rhodes. The fortress is well-preserved with its walls still standing to their full height, topped with battlements. Inside the castle, there is a 15 m-wide charming Greek theatre or odeon with 7 tiers of seats carved in the rock. The size of the little theatre was limited to hold up a maximum of 300 people, which indicates that in antiquity Simena must have been nothing more than a village as it is now.

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Travel Information & Travel Tips

The visit to Kaleköy concluded our Kekova boat tour and was one of the highlights of this excursion.

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