About 1900 years ago, an earthquake submerged under the sea the city of Simena, The bay that was left after the cataclysm is today one of the most fascinating landscapes of the Turkish Mediterranean. We can navigate its clear waters and see the ruins of old buildings from our boat while sailing over them. The Lycian and Roman sarcophagi hovering over the waters all around the Kekova Bay. A trip we will always remember.
The Greek name of the place is Tristomo, meaning “three mouths”. This name is due to the fact that the exit of the bay is opposite to an elongated island that only allows to go to open sea crossing the narrow steps that exist in each of his ends. This peculiar geography creates a calm sea by which you can navigate in small boats, we are even offered guided canoe trips that run along the Bay, visiting the most interesting places.
Currently, Ucagiz is the only town in Kekova Bay which is accessible by road. From there you can hire a boat that will to take you around the bay. The whole area was declared a specially protected area in 1990, but at some points it is allowed the bathroom and we can swim there.
During the tour we will also see some remains of the Byzantine era. This is because the city was rebuilt, but finally it was abandoned as a result of pirate attacks. After the tour over submerged ruins and among emerging sarcophagi, we will arrive to Kaleköy.
It is not possible to drive to this small village crowned by a castle. The fort was completed by the Knights of St. John and inside the smallest lycian amphitheater is conserved. Besides visiting the castle, Kalekoy have some small restaurants along the piers. Because of their isolation, prices are not cheap. The tour finishes returning to Üçağiz, during which we will see a new partially submerged necropolis.
To reach Ucagiz by car we should take the detour on the road from Kas to Demre, the junction is signposted and there are a 10 Km to Üçağiz. Another way to make the tour is taking a boat trip in Kas or in Demre, the latter being the closest to Kekova..
Precautions: although it is a general recommendation throughout Turkey, we should never take any memory from the archaeological sites we visited. It is considered a serious offense and the police are very diligent about finding them among the luggage of tourists leaving the country.