Kekova is not only known for its beautiful turquoise sea but also its biblical and secret sunken city. Every summer, guests arrive on Gulet tours to look out over the water to see the remains of a once thriving city now entirely underwater with only a few pieces on land to address its presence.
Kekova is a vast area on Turkey’s Mediterranean coastline right near Demre that covers the island of the same name as well as the Kaleköy and Üçağız settlements. Since its inclusion in the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forest’s specially preserved areas beginning in 1990, the region has become quite famous with guests due to its charming natural and cultural beauty. In fact, in the early 20th century, even the Italians were aware of Kekova’s worth when they worked for it; they finally lost it to the Turks after the 1932 Convention between Italy and Turkey.
On the northern side of the island of Kekova, you’ll come over the sunken ruins of Dolchiste, an early Lycian settlement, which was partly passed by the sea due to an earthquake that happened during the 2nd century. Even though Dolchiste was restored and recovered new life during the Byzantine era, the threat of Arabs in the region began its citizens to leave their town.
Only available by water, Gulet tours arrive here regularly from Demre, another famous seaside town where nature still rules unspoiled. Even though swimming is prohibited around the sunken ruins, looking upon them and shooting some photos are quite the event.