The Turquoise Coast: Places to Explore

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Simena and Kekova Sound

Simena (known in Turkish as Kaleköy), Kekova Island, and its surrounding coastline are among the most enchanting spots in Turkey—especially when the reflection of the full moon slowly traces its way across Kekova Sound. Kekova Island stands slightly off a shore notched with little bays, whose many inlets create a series of lagoons. This area is famed for its "sunken city" and although swimming around the fragments of the partly submerged buildings is now banned, it is still an interesting place to explore.

The village of Üçağız, which has small pansiyons and waterside restaurants, is the base for boat trips across the bay to the island. Simena-Kaleköy, a 10-minute boat ride or half-hour walk away, is a concrete-free village that resembles a Greek island before development. It's a pleasing jumble of boxy houses built up a steep rocky crag alongside layers of history: Lycian tombs, a tiny Greek theater, and the medieval ruins of Simena Castle atop the rocky hill. You’ll enjoy the place even more once the day-trippers have departed. There are now numerous basic pansiyons, which, while rather expensive for the quality of the rooms, have balconies with sublime views. All offer boat pickup from Üçağız. Reserve well in advance, in season.

Simena and Kekova Sound at a Glance

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