Simena town, the castle, and the Lycian tombs are protected by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry. The area is naturally preserved thanks to the lack of land road. The only way to get to Simena and the other sunken dwellings of Kekova is by boat from Kale - Ucagiz town. As a result, Simena and Kekova are protected from mass tourism.
Where is Simena and Kekova?
To get to Simena and Kekova, you should use Kaleucagiz town as a milestone. The boats that will take you to Simena and Kekova Island depart from Kaleucagiz town. The boat companies are helping you to park your car as there is no parking in the port of Kaleucagiz. If you browse the internet, you will see that D300 is the most scenic road in the Republic of Turkey. The road starts by the Iranian border in the East and takes you to the westernmost point of Turkey. Especially the last 500 kilometers of this road deserves that fame as the views are phenomenal as you drive on the South Western Coastline through the winding roads. Kaleucagiz is located in the middle of this beautiful road. After a scenic three-hour drive from Antalya, you will arrive at Kaleucagiz where you will need to park your car, pick up your swim gear, towels; everything you need for a swim, and a historical tour.
History of Simena and Kekova
The earliest traces of civilization goes back to the 4th Century BCE. The Lycian people were trading in the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara, and Black Seas. The wealth and safety of the ports of Simena caught Roman attention like Olympos and the area was conquered by them at the end of the 1st Century BCE. During history, the area was inhabited by pirates as Kale - Ucagiz bays were very safe shelters of the windy South-Western Anatolian waters. Lycian communities, pirates, and Romans contributed to the area which can be seen during a boat trip in the area.
What to do in Simena - Kekova?
You will take a boat trip in the bay of Kekova as the attractions are inaccessible on foot. During the course of the boat trip, you cruise by Kekova Island where you can see the traces of a sunken civilization going 4 to 5 meters below sea level. An earthquake sank the South Western part of Anatolia which is the reason for these sunken tombs and cities in the southwest of our country. The walls of dwellings, narrow stairs carved on the natural rock are impressive to see from your boat. If you take the short trip, your boat will stop by Simena town where you will explore the castle of Simena. The Simena Castle is located on top of the peninsula across Kekova Island. It is accessible by a nice walk through Simena village. The views and rock-carved theater inside the castle are impressive to see. When you look to the south from the Castle, you are able to see many Lycian tombs nearby the ancient castle. During the boat trip in the bay, you are able to see a few Lycian tombs rising from the water which is seen in many photos about the Republic of Turkey. You can request a swim break in the bay, rent a kayak to get closer to the Lycian tombs or visit a bay that has a cave once the pirates used to shelter. Simena - Kekova is a nice escape in the South West of our country and one can easily explore the area in a day during the journey in between Antalya, Fethiye, Kas, or Kalkan.
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