Göcek - Antalya
Göcek - Antalya route is definitely worth cruising. It combines a very good and attractive variety of ancient sites, naturally beautiful and scenic places as well as small villages with local athmosphere and coastal towns.
The main places on this itinerary are :
Göcek : Formerly a small agricultural village has developed in recent years and turned into a little and sympathetic, picturesque yachting town. Ashore, there are good restaurants serving fresh fish and good shops selling authentic goods. Very close to Dalaman Airport (only 25 minutes away).
Fethiye : Very nice seaside town with typical Turkish atmosphere. A comparatively modern town with a rich agricultural land around and a touristic part with hotels, restaurants and yachts by the sea but still having the local traditional character. In ancient times, it was Telmessus. A newly excavated ancient theatre (Roman period), Royal Rock Tombs cut into the cliffs (8th century) and numerous sarcophagi around the town can be visited (within walking distance). You can enjoy accompanying your captain while he is shopping at the local market for fresh fruit and vegetables and at the covered fish market with more variety than elsewhere the cost. It is a nice place for shopping and to see the local life.
Turunç/Kızılada : This island takes its name (Red Island) from the sand and gravel on the beach which gets a reddish colour at sunset. The only building on the island is a lighthouse. It is very suitable for anchoring and swimming.
Gemiler Island : An isolated wild place with a number of small coves just right for swimming, snorkeling and relaxing in with very clear water. On the island, there are the remains of a sizable late Byzantine settlements, including some marvelous mosaic floors. Very nice place for walking among the ruins on the island.
Ölüdeniz : Ölüdeniz, one of the charming places in the surrounding, is a sheltered coastal lagoon. Ölüdeniz means “dead sea” and the bay is so enclosed and protected from the sea that no swell penetrates inside. The setting is spectacular with mountains rising from the sea and a narrow strip of white sand between the sea and the mountains. Entry to the bay with boat is prohibited.
Kalkan : A pleasant little resort town with a little harbour and offers some variety for eating out at some quite excellent restaurants and shopping at souvenir shops. Many of the old houses have been restored and some are very good examples of traditional architecture with wooden balconies, therefore the town is still keeping its own character. Bougainvillea and jasmine bloom in the gardens through the summer. From Kalkan you can make a land tour to Xanthos, Letoon and Patara.
Xanthos rediscovered in the 19th century. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Lycia, the city lies in the valley of the river Xanthos. The most notable monuments of this place is, its pillar tombs.
Letoon an important Lycian sanctuary excavated from 1962 onwards. The remains include temples of Leto, Artemis and Apollo and a theatre.
Patara, according to legend, is the birthplace of Santa Nicholas.
Kaş : Former Antiphellus, now a beautiful town with white-washed houses around the small harbour with a character. Watch the sunset over the sea and islands including Meis (the Greek island Kastellerizon). A number of rock tombs in the cliffs behind Kaş and a number of sarcophagi around and in the town. It is a good place to buy carpet and kilims and some antic souvenirs. The oldest known shipwreck, now displayed in Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum is excavated here, in a short distance from Kaş.
Aperlae : A wonderful place to snorkel. There is a fascinating ancient sunken city from 6th century BC where you'll snorkel and swim over the submerged Hellenistic ruins.
Kekova Island : Here you can see sunken ruins from Lycian and Byzantine times which have been remaining from ancient cities submerged probably due to earthquakes. The Tersane (shipyard) can still be seen on Kekova Island. The Tersane is also thought to be from either the Lycian or Byzantine period. No excavation work has been carried out on the island yet. The ruins of a Byzantine Church with its apse on the western side of the island are also still visible.
Üçağız : Another large and totally enclosed bay in Kekova area. There is a small village in the bay. Sarcophagi scattered around. You can make a tour to ancient Simena (dating from the 4th century BC) and Teimiussa. On the eastern peninsula of Tristomas Bay, a medieval castle looks down over the tiny village of Kaleköy. The castle was built on the foundations of an ancient citadel. Part of the village can be found inside the castle walls along side the remains of a temple. Teimiussa, which as early as 4th century BC was under the command of the Lycian ruler. As well as a few relics on the Acropolis, a settlement, there are also two burial grounds.
Kaleköy : Once in the calm waters between the Kekova Island and the mainland, the most conspicuous object is the Medieval castle above the little village of Kaleköy. Its castellated ramparts are silhouetted the small village houses and the castle effects you very much in this rocky wilderness. A mixture of ancient, Medieval and traditionally Turkish. The castle, a very small theatre, numerous sarcophagi scattered around the village and even in the shallow water very impressive. Along the waterfront there are small restaurants. The village girls sell their own make handy crafts.
Demre / Myra : A trip from Demre to Myra and Church of Santa Claus is well worth the effort. Lycian town of Myra was visited by the Apostle Paul on his first journey to Rome in 61 AD. In the 3rd century, St. Nicholas became Bishop of Myra. The early medieval domed Basilica of St. Nicholas still stands in Kale. Apart from minor restoration work, the church has been preserved in its original 11th century form. There is a well preserved theatre which is partially buried by alluvial soil and is an excellent example of just how a river not only silts up a harbour, but can bury a city. Close to the theatre, there are a group of remarkable house tombs, some the most remarkable rock tombs in Lycia. The area around is a sea of covered greenhouses growing early vegetables in the rich alluvial soil.
Finike : A lovely small commercial coastal town perfect blend of history, nature and sea. This place draws attention with the ruins of Limyra and Arykanda ancient cities. It is also famous for its oranges. There is a sandy beach at the east.
Çavuş Bay : Very nice place with tranquil waters and sandy beaches where you can swim and snorkel on calm waters, discover the colorful marine life or explore the incredible sea caves on the northern shore.
Porto Genoese : One of the most scenic and spectacular bays in the Mediterranean.
Olympos : Olympos was widely known as a cult site dedicated to the fire god Hephaistos.
Phaselis : Phaselis where, in 334-333 BC Alexander the Great set up his winter quarters. There are remains of a theatre, an aqueduct temples and a Hadrian’s Arch, erected in 114 AD.