Demre – Antalya – Turkey
GPS : 36°12’38.4″N 29°53’28.2″E / 36.210667, 29.891167
Gökkaya Liman can be entered from S, SE or E. In the southern approach between Kisneli Adası and the mainland there are good depths of 10-15 metres, although a reef extends for some 100 metres NE of the islet you pass in the approach.
The approach from the SE between Kisneli and Ashil islets has depths of up to 30 metres and no dangers. When entering from either direction, however, beware of the reefs around the group of small rocky islets where the two approaches meet; there is an isolated underwater rock just west of this group with only 3.5 metres over it. The approach from E between Ashil islet and the mainland has depths of 8 – 20 metres and passes under overhead power lines with a clearance of at least 25 metres (unless your rig is exceptionally tall, it should not present problems.
Gökkaya Limanı is the largest bay in Kekova, providing all round shelter. There are three entrances into the bay. 1st one: When approaching from Ölüdeniz, the narrow passage between Kisneli Ada and the mainland – has considerable depths. 2nd one: The passage between Kisneli Ada and Asırlı Ada, And the 3rd one: The channel on the northern part of Aşırlı Ada.
There are several islets and rocks in the vicinity. Depth in the bay is 7 to 8 meters and the bottom is mud – good holding. The bay provides good shelter in prevailing winds and you can tuck yourself in wherever is convenient.
Once in the cove you can anchor anywhere there are suitable depths. The holding is good on mud and sand. Two of the most popular anchorages are in the narrow inlet running west from the centre of the cove, where you can anchor in 3 – 5 metres and take a line ashore, and in the NW corner where there are ruins ashore and a freshwater creek running into the anchorage. Anchor in 3 – 7 metres on mud and sand.
One disadvantage of this anchorage is that day tripper boats from Andraki two miles to the east occasionally moor up here overnight during the season and arrive in the dark amidst much revving of engines and shouting. It is thus absolutely essential to use a good anchor light here if staying overnight.
There are now restaurants in the cove, rustic bars, Smugglers Inn, at the head of the narrow inlet, which will pick you up from your yacht if your onboard beer supplies are exhausted. Other than just appreciating the beautiful surroundings, it is fun to potter up the creek in the NW corner (beware of the underwater rock in the middle of the entrance), where a steady flow of fresh water from an inland spring keeps the cove cool.
On the west side of Kisneli islet there are the ruins of what appears to have been a Byzantine church. Also, a section of the Lycian Way long-distance walking path runs along the west side of Gökkaya Liman and can be explored on foot if you take sensible shoes. Finally, it is possible to leave the boat here and visit Andraki, the harbour of Demre and Myra, just 2 nM E-NE.