Of Crusader Castles and Sunken Cities

The sail down to Kekova Roads is quite impressive. There are a couple of small gaps between islands and the mainland to squeeze through, the last of which pops you out into Kekova Roads, a superb sheltered cruising ground.

Our first order of business was to check out the partly sunken ruins of Dolchiste on Kekova Island, an ancient town, which was destroyed by an earthquake during the 2nd century. You do this by sailing close to the island and peering down into the water as well as peering out onto the island itself.

Then it was time to head to Kaleköy, known to the Turks as Simena, a delightful small village with the partly sunken ruins, underneath a very, very, very impressive Crusader castle. Its charm is further enhanced knowing that access to the village is possible only by the sea. It’s probably my most favourite place in Turkey.

DSC_0326We pulled up on one of several restaurant piers at the front of the village, right next to a Lycian tomb sitting in a metre of water. You get the berth for free on the basis that you eat in the restaurant. Fair deal.

Next day, we went up and explored the castle and all the little stalls selling the usual carpets, cushions and trinkets. Really nice village to wander through.

Next day we went around to Gokkaya Limani and anchored in 10m of water. Like a lot of the Turkish coast round these parts, you get cold water flowing into the sea making swimming interesting as you swim from a warm bit to a cold bit and back to a warm bit etc. etc.DSC_0304We did the obligatory dingy tour and checked out the disco that’s up a small river in the middle of nowhere (only open on Tuesdays evidently and it was one of the 6 other DOTW). We drove our dingy into a small cave – that was fun and up another small river.

With our wilderness experience over, we headed back up Kekova Roads. I dropped the dingy over the side and Randy drove Dee and Toma along Kekova Islands to get a much better view of the ruins, whilst I toddled along in La Mischief, picking them up at the other end.

Next stop was Üçağız, which means “three mouths”, referring to the three exits to open sea. We anchored right next to the Lycian Tombs of the ruins of ancient city of Teimioussa. Ucagiz is where all the gullets leave from to do their daily tours of Kekova Roads. Another cute little town to tick off.


The water isn’t the best in Ucagiz so we pulled anchor and headed back to anchor off Kalekoy amongst all the turtles and right next to the partially submerged Roman baths, where we attempted to get the money shot of La Mischief anchored in front of a beautiful castle.


Ah heaven!

For photos of Kekova Roads, please click here.