Kekova is not only known for its gorgeous turquoise sea but also its ancient and mysterious sunken city. Every summer, visitors arrive on Gullet tours to look out over the water to see the remains of a once flourishing city now completely underwater with only a few remnants on land to speak of its existence.
Kekova is a large region on Turkey’s Mediterranean coastline that includes the island of the same name as well as the Kalekoy and Ucagiz villages. Since its inclusion in the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forest’s specially protected areas beginning in 1990, the region has become quite popular with visitors due to its stunning natural and cultural beauty.
On the northern side of the island of Kekova, you’ll come across the underwater ruins of Dolchiste, an ancient Lycian settlement, which was partly overtaken by the sea due to an earthquake that occurred during the 2nd century. Even though Dolchiste was rebuilt and regained new life during the Byzantine era, the threat of Arabs in the region caused its inhabitants to abandon their town.
Only accessible by water, Gullet tours arrive here on a regular basis, another very popular seaside town where nature still reigns unspoiled. Even though swimming is forbidden around the sunken ruins, gazing upon them and shooting some photos are quite the experience.
However, in Tersane Bay, visitors can swim and take a closer look at the ruins of an ancient Byzantine church, while Aquarium Bay is also another perfect spot to take a dip in the clear waters.
Apart from the beautiful sunken city in the iridescent turquoise waters, Kekova is also famous for its countless coves and bays as well as the Kalekoy village with its historic fortress. The waterfront restaurants adorned with flowers, the small houses with terracotta roofs, and narrow streets are also standouts in this idyllic village by the water. As for the fortress, it sits on the remains of another Lycian structure built by the Knights of Rhodes.
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