Adventure Cruises in Kekova

The now uninhabited island of Kekova is one of the highlights of many cruises in the waters of southwestern Turkey. Adventure cruises to the Kekova region are a voyage into history, with lots of sites to take in. The island features the ruins of a city destroyed by an earthquake in the 2nd century, then rebuilt and flourished through Byzantine times. The pristine waters around the island are home to the sunken ruins of the ancient city. On top of the hill on Kekova, you can find a spot of medieval history, visiting the ruins of a castle constructed by the Knights Hospitaller.

Top Things to Do in Kekova

With a long history, there are many things to see and experience in the Kekova Region. Highlights of visiting Kekova include:

One of the most spectacular landmarks to visit on a trip to the Kekova region is a trip to the ruins of Simona Castle. While the castle has a rich history dating back to the 4th century BC, its modern form dates back to the medieval era. Today, ruins were constructed by the Knights of Rhodes (Knights Hospitaller), and the location was chosen to protect the coast and mainland from raiding pirate bands. Sitting atop a hill, the ruins offer a glimpse into a bygone era, including a theatre with the walls.

On the northern side of the island of Kekova, you can see the sunken ruins of the ancient city of Dolchiste. Many cruises come close so guests can see the underwater ruins from the boat deck. The site is only accessible from the sea. As the ruins are protected by law, swimming and scuba diving are forbidden. However, due to the water clarity and how close some cruises can get, there is still plenty to see from above the water.

The town of Ucagiz lies in the Kekove area and is the location of a host of Lycian tombs dating back to the fourth century. Near the eastern end of the Ucagiz harbor are the ruins of a small settlement with many stone sarcophagi dating back to the Roman period. The area also features an ancient dock carved from rock that measures 8m/24ft wide and 28m/91ft long.

Top Tips for Visiting Kekova (where applicable)

If you are planning on hiking up the hill to visit the ruins of Simena Castle, be aware the walk can be a little strenuous. It is always a great idea to bring a good pair of walking shoes. If you are planning on doing it in the summer, make sure to bring a hat and a bottle of water, and don’t forget to bring your sunscreen.

Best time to cruise Kekova

You can visit the Kekova region from early spring to late fall. However, you will need to plan ahead if you are planning on visiting during the peak summer months of June, July, and August. During those months, the weather is hot, averaging over 30C/86F, and the tourist season is at its peak. So, if you are planning, book your excursions and trips well ahead. If you prefer to visit when things are a little cooler and less crowded, then March through May and September through October are also great times to visit. The weather is still warm compared to Europe, and the sites are less busy.

Where do Kekova cruises depart from?

There are two main ports of departure in southern Turkey that feature itineraries that take in the Kekova region. The vast bulk of trips set off from the city of Kas. The other point of departure is from the city of Demre. If you depart from Kas, your best option is to fly to Dalaman International Airport, which is only 1.5 hours away. If your itinerary starts from Demre, you can fly into Dalaman or Antalya International, which are 2.5 hours away from Demre.

Southern Turkey is one of Europe's tourist hotspots, and getting there is straightforward. From Europe, you have many options for flying directly to the main tourist airports. Arriving from further afield, you can connect to Istanbul or many major European destinations.