Underwater Lycian ruins highlight a tour of Turkey’s Southern Coast

During our five-day stay in Kas we did a day trip by boat from Kas harbour. The itinerary would take us to Kekova while passing the surrounding islands and coastline.

The route took us from Kas on the left around the coastline and the islands up to Kekova on the right
Leaving the harbour

With a dock full of similar-looking boats, there were many choices for the tour. I checked out the online reviews and went with one that was highly rated called Bermuda Boat. Odd name for an Antalyan tour boat, but we had no regrets as it was excellent. We headed down to the dock for the 10 a.m. departure and it left right on schedule. I believe the boat could carry up to 27 passengers, though it was not quite full during our tour.

We had no problem claiming a large space on the lower deck in the shade, while most passengers took the second deck up top
Morning Turkish coffee
The water was crystal clear at İnönü Koyu

Our first stop was in a cove called İnönü Bay. The boat stayed for about 30 minutes while we swam around. There were fish, sea urchins and coral to look at just below the surface and it was easy spotting them in the clear water. .

From there enjoyed views of the coastline and small islands as we continued west. After about 30 minutes we arrived at a busier spot called Aquarium Bay. We swam there for a half hour while the captain started preparing lunch.

The captain cooked the fish and chicken on the gangplank while we were at the next stop
Lunch was delicious

The captain did the grilling while his family (wife, son and daughter) prepared the side dishes and set things up. It was clearly a family operation and they did it well. We had the option of purchasing drinks during the trip (Turkish tea and coffee, beer, cola etc.) while lunch was included.

Lunch was fish or chicken accompanied by couscous and various homemade vegetable salads. The sides were self serve so we had a second go as they were delicious. Kim enjoyed the fish and my chicken was done perfectly so I asked for a second skewer. There was a choice of watermelon or cookies for dessert.

Approaching the ruins

The next stop on the tour was the highlight–the sunken city of Kekova. Destroyed by an earthquake in the 2nd century AD, the ruins looked eerie along the shore and just under the clear water. The town was rebuilt during Byzantine times but was eventually abandonned due to Arab raids. The underwater ruins are a protected area, so no one is allowed to swim over them.

Outline of part of the dockyard under the water
Steps to nowhere
More remains of the town of Kekova
Approaching Kalakoy

Located close to Kevova was the town of Kalakoy on the coast. Known as Simena in ancient times, there is no road access and it can only be reached by boat. Along with a calm swimming area out front and places to eat and drink, there was a fortress overlooking the town built by the Knights of St. John. We had to decide between a hot trek up to the fortress or enjoying the water next to the town–we chose the water.

Approaching the dock. We had a drink and an ice cream at one of the restaurants
There’s nothing like standing in the water next to an ancient Lycian sarcophagus with a medieval castle in the background
More tombs close by

After an hour in Kalakoy we boarded the boat and headed back west for one more destination on our way back to Kas.

Watching the varied coastline on the way back west
One last swim before heading back to Kas

Around 4:30 p.m. we stopped off for one more swim in Yaglica Bay, a quiet spot along the coast. From there the boat took us back to Kas. We arrived at the dock around 6:25 to end the excursion. The total cost of the eight hour tour including lunch was only 800 lira. This worked out to just under $60 and was a terrific value.

It was an excellent trip, and a very relaxing one too as we specifically chose a boat that didn’t have onboard music blasting during the trip. Hearing other boats from a distance confirmed our decision, and its one to consider depending on the style you prefer. It was one more reason Kas was a highlight of our time in Turkey.

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