The name of Kekova can be found several times on the map. This is an island, and a bay, and the village of Uchagiz-Kekova. Of course, this creates some confusion, which is exacerbated by the popularity of the place. Below will be only about the island.
So, this is a piece of land, washed on all sides by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Located between the cities of Kas and Demre, and relatively not far from the coast. Kekova, Caravola, Dolichiste. Turkish Atlantis, Goat Island - all these names are associated with this place.
History of Kekova
There is an opinion that earlier it was a peninsula, and there was an overland communication with the city. It is believed that the city of Dolichiste, whose ruins we see on the north side, was founded by the Lycians, about a thousand years BC. But! Found by the team of Jacques Yves Cousteau, sunk in the depths of the island, the ancient ship dates back to the 13th century BC. And this suggests that it is possible that people lived here before. There was the Lycian period, then the Roman, Byzantine, Arabic, in the 13th century AD the island became Seljuk, and finally Ottoman. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was a disputed (with Italy) territory .. And only in 1932 the island was completely ceded to the Turkish Republic.
What to do and see
For a long time, since 1990, it has been forbidden for any watercraft to moor and go ashore, it is forbidden to swim and dive in the area of the island. There is a fine for this. True, this ban has recently been somewhat weakened, and now and then you can see some kind of swimmers. But it is not recommended to take risks, especially since in the relatively small village of Uchagiz there is a whole commandant's office of the coast guard service of the Republic of Turkey, with its own boats, which controls the coast. It remains only to look and take pictures!
And there are plenty of plots for this, the ruins of the ancient city on the northern coast of the island stretch for several kilometers. Residential and outbuildings, water storage tanks, ancient harbors and moorings that have gone under water, streets and stairs, foundations of Christian churches - all this is at your disposal, albeit remotely! The best time to shoot… The ruins on the shore look most impressive at dawn and sunset – there is a play of light and shadow, but the underwater relief when the sun penetrates the deepest under the water is astronomical noon!
How to get to Kekova
Since we are dealing with an island, this interesting place can only be reached by sea. And here there are several options. The most common is with a group, on a small sightseeing boat, which usually also includes a tour of Simena, its fortress and other attractions of the area. It’s good if an “glass boat” comes across as a vessel. These vessels have "windows" in the bottom, through which you can observe and photograph the bottom. The visit program includes, as a rule, a stop for swimming and lunch. Another option is to rent a small boat or even a boat on your own. Then you can discuss the route with the captain in advance, and what you would like to see on it!
Well, in my opinion, the most interesting option is to rent a sea kayak and sail to the island on your own. This makes it possible to "go where the eyes look!" Inspect almost point-blank as the ruins on the shore, and what is under the surface of the water. Excursion ships, boats and boats go from Uchagiz. This village is closest to the island. Here, right on the pier, you can negotiate for a boat, or join a group. There is also a kayak rental.
From the yacht club Andriake, which is near the city of Demre, relatively large excursion boats, including "eyeboats", go to the Kekova area. The same from the city of Kas. Here you can also rent a kayak, but since Kash is far enough away, it is better to deliver it and you on a trailer to Uchagyz, and then launch it. I must say that you can sign up for a comprehensive tour to the Kekova area at any tourist office in Antalya, Kemer or Fethiye.
Where to stay and eat
On the island this is out of the question! The nearest campsites, boarding houses and cafes are located on the mainland, under the fortress Simena and/or in the village of Uchagyz.
Konstantin Klinov, 2022