Kekova Sunken City | Island of Kekova in Demre

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Enchanting Kekova Sunken City: Unveiling Turkey’s Submerged History

Discovering Kekova’s Captivating Underwater Ruins

Welcome to Kekova, Turkey’s hidden gem and a paradise for history enthusiasts, beach lovers, and adventure seekers alike. Nestled along the southwestern coast of Turkey, Kekova is renowned for its sunken city, ancient ruins, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque landscapes. In this comprehensive travel blog, we will delve into the fascinating history, mesmerizing scuba diving opportunities, must-see attractions, ideal places to stay, and how to get to this captivating destination.

Unraveling the Sunken City of Kekova

The captivating allure of Kekova lies in its sunken city, a remnant of Lycian civilization. The ancient town was submerged centuries ago due to a series of devastating earthquakes, leaving behind a hauntingly beautiful underwater archaeological site. You can witness the remains of houses, stairs, and other structures partially submerged in the clear waters of the Mediterranean. Kekova day trips are a popular choice for tourists to explore this mesmerizing underwater world.


Kekova Scuba Diving: Delving into the Depths of History

For adventurous souls and scuba diving enthusiasts, Kekova offers an extraordinary experience. The underwater ruins provide a unique opportunity to dive amidst history and witness ancient streets and buildings frozen in time. The clear visibility of the waters makes it an ideal spot for both experienced divers and beginners. Dive centers in the nearby towns offer guided tours, ensuring safety and knowledge about the submerged ruins.

Beyond the Underwater Ruins: Exploring Kekova’s Rich History

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Kekova is not just about its sunken city; it boasts a rich history that extends to its mainland as well. Explore the remnants of the Lycian civilization in the nearby villages and towns. Visit the Simena Castle, offering panoramic views of the sunken city and the surrounding turquoise waters. The ancient city of Myra, with its remarkable rock-cut tombs and the well-preserved Roman amphitheater, is also a must-visit.

Relaxation and Tranquility: Kekova’s Beautiful Beaches

Apart from its historical significance, Kekova also offers some of Turkey’s most picturesque beaches. Experience tranquility and soak up the sun at Kekova Island, Tersane Bay, and Ucagiz. These hidden gems are perfect for unwinding and enjoying the breathtaking scenery.


Accommodation Choices in Kekova

Kekova offers various accommodation options to suit all preferences and budgets. Whether you seek luxury hotels, cozy boutique stays, or charming guesthouses, the nearby towns of Demre and Kas have you covered. Experience the warm hospitality of the locals while indulging in delicious Turkish cuisine.

Getting to Kekova: Transportation Options

How do I get to Kekova?

Reaching Kekova is relatively easy, and you have multiple transportation options to choose from. If you’re arriving by air, the closest international airport is Antalya. From Antalya, you can hire a car, take a taxi, or use public buses to reach Kekova. For a more scenic journey, consider traveling along the coastline by renting a car or hiring a private transfer.

How did Kekova become a sunken city?

Kekova’s transformation into a sunken city is rooted in a series of natural disasters that occurred centuries ago. The ancient city of Kekova, known as Dolichiste in antiquity, was once a thriving Lycian settlement located on a small island just off the coast of Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea. ( click here to reach Lycian way blog )

The primary cause of the city’s submergence was a powerful earthquake that struck the region. The earthquake, believed to have occurred in the 2nd century AD, caused substantial destruction to the city and its structures. As a result, a significant portion of the city collapsed into the sea, dragging buildings and streets beneath the waves.

In addition to the initial earthquake, subsequent seismic activities and geological processes over the centuries further submerged the city. The gradual sinking of the landmass combined with rising sea levels contributed to Kekova’s complete submergence.


Today, the sunken city of Kekova lies just below the surface of the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The submerged ruins, which include stone walls, staircases, and other structures, are visible to those exploring the area by boat or participating in scuba diving tours.

The sunken city of Kekova ( you can read about it on Unesco Website ) has since become a unique archaeological site and a fascinating attraction for tourists and history enthusiasts, offering a glimpse into the past and a chance to witness the legacy of the ancient Lycian civilization that once thrived in the region. However, due to the delicate nature of the site, strict regulations are in place to preserve and protect this underwater treasure for future generations to admire and learn from.

Unforgettable Charm

A visit to Kekova is a journey through time, where the ancient and modern worlds converge, leaving you in awe of Turkey’s historical and natural wonders. Dive into the depths of history, relax on pristine beaches, and soak up the enchanting ambiance of this sunken city. Whether you’re a history buff, an adventure enthusiast, or simply seeking a serene getaway, Kekova will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on your heart and soul.

So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in Kekova, Turkey!

Before leaving the page, You should check other attractions in Antalya:
Kas Town
Kaputas Beach
Antalya Zoo
Hop on Bus in Antalya
Ancient city of Perge
Hadrian’s Gate 
And many more!

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