Kaş – Antalya – Turkey
Western Point Lighthouse
Light : Fl(2) 5s 55m 8M
GPS : 36°10’18.0″N 29°50’36.0″E / 36.171667, 29.843333
Kekova, also named Caravola (Lycian: Dolichiste), is a small Turkish island near Demre (Demre is the Lycian town of Myra) district of Antalya province which faces the villages of Kaleköy (ancient Simena) and Üçağız (ancient Teimioussa). Kekova has an area of 4.5 km2 (2 sq mi) and is uninhabited.
Kekova is the name of a region of fascinating islands, bays and ancient cities. Kekova has a rarely seen attraction: along the shore of the Island, a sunken city can be observed. The geological movements of the Island caused the city on the Island to submerge, creating a strange scene with half of the city under water and half above. Teimiussa and Simena are the main Lycian settlements in the area. Kekova is the only area where the flying fish can be watched in this region.
On its northern side there are the partly sunken ruins of Dolchiste / Dolikisthe, an ancient town which was destroyed by an earthquake during the 2nd century. Rebuilt and still flourishing during the Byzantine Empire period, it was finally abandoned because of Arab incursions. Tersane (meaning “dockyard”, as its bay was the site of an ancient city Xera and dockyard, with the ruins of a Byzantine church) is at the northwest of the island.
The Kekova region was declared a specially protected area on 18 January 1990 by Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forest. All kinds of diving and swimming were prohibited and subject to special permits from governmental offices. In later years the prohibition has been lifted except for the part where the sunken city is.
The Kekova region is 260 km2 (100 sq mi) and encompasses the island of Kekova, the villages of Kaleköy and Üçağız and the four ancient towns of Simena, Aperlae, Dolchiste and Teimioussa. Beyond its cultural features, Kekova shows very significant geological formations: an undulated coastal line, hydrobiological features and the sheer scenic beauty of the area.
Kekova Island is known as the sunken city; as you cruise along the island’s landward shore, you’ll look down through the crystal clear water at the ruins of houses and other buildings of the Byzantine city that ran along the slope. Victim to an earthquake, this city extends to and then beneath the shoreline.
An island of the type that everyone fantasises always, that’s Kekova. This area of the coast is dotted with uninhabited islands with ruins that are over 3000 years old. Most impressive is the Sunken City, a Lycian city submerged under water. Kekova is the largest island on the Lycian Coast and is an earthly paradise. It has a small harbor with wooden wharves, simple stone houses, vines, fig trees, a couple of bars by the sea, and incredible carpet shops. The island has a medieval fortress and and an amazing amount of Lycian sarcophagi are scattered across its arid slopes.
The remains of the settlement with the same name as the island are seen on the northern side which faces the mainland. The island sank a few metres during an earthquake in antiquity. The remains of buildings seen under the sea, along the northern shore of the island, confirm this. Following the earthquake, the survivors moved to the sister cities of Simena and Teimiussa on the shore across the island.
As one approaches by boat the side of the island of Kekova which faces the mainland, one sees the harbour walls, shops, sidewalks and stone steps of the Sunken City under the sea. Half-sunken houses are also seen. The remnants of the apse of a Byzantine church, built in the 5th century A.D. by Orthodox missionaries to spread Christianity in Lycia, of square plan and embellished with frescoes are seen on the shore of the Bay of Tersane.
The island that gives its name to the area is in front of the village of Kaleköy and it is accessible by boat. It is a long and narrow island measuring 7.4 km long by 500 metres wide, at its section closest to the shore. The deepest point between the island and the shore is 104 metres. The island is covered with maquis and red pine trees are found at certain places. Wild olive trees are the most abundant vegetation on the island where there is also a spring.
There are two good anchorages on the island :
GPS : 36°11’00.0″N 29°53’18.0″E / 36.183333, 29.888333
Karaloz Liman or Port Saint Stefano is a completely landlocked cove on the south of Kekova Adası. The cove is totally secluded and affords a wonderful anchorage, for several boats. The water is crystal-clear and the bottom is mud and weed with good holding. There can be, however, strong gusts so it is best to take a line ashore.
Karalos Liman lies on the SE side of Kekova Island. It affords good shelter from prevailing winds. The entry cannot be spotted from a distance. There are considerable depths at the entrance. A fjord like cove lies on the south. A cove at the entry is open to the east. There is 8 – 10 meters depth. The southern part affords all round shelter. The depths are 7 – 14 meters and then the bottom gently shelves to shore. You can drop your anchor here and definitely take a line ashore.
Located between Kaş and Demre, it is an ancient, submerged city, 500 m far from the Üçağız Village in the Mediterranean.