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Private Demre, Myra and Kekova Tour - From Antalya

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Key Highlights

  • Find the origins of Father Christmas in deepest Anatolia
  • See the famous rock-cut tombs of ancient Myra
  • Discover a sunken city
  • Swim in sparkling turquoise waters
  • Activity Schedule
    When does it run?

    Daily

    Duration

    10 hours

    Start time

    Start time: 0800h (08:00am)
    Duration: 10 hours

    Meeting Point

    Your hotel in Antalya.
    (We would require your hotel details in order to arrange your pick up. If you do not have this information at the time of booking, please contact the local activity operator at least 48 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details)

    Ending Point

    Your hotel in Antalya

  • Overview & Itinerary

    Overview

    See the finest monuments of historic Lycia, find sunken cities and uncover the origins of Santa Claus on this enthralling tour.

    Travel to one of the most beautiful parts of Anatolia to visit the ruined city of Myra with its impressive Lycian rock-cut tombs. View the ancient amphitheater, and the Church of St Nicholas, dedicated to the saintly man who became the model for Father Christmas.

    Enjoy a boat trip across the sea to Kekova Island. Beneath the clear waters you can see the remains of Simena, a city ravaged by earthquakes around two thousand years ago.

    Swim in the turquoise waters, once a favored haunt of pirates, before exploring an ancient cemetery with many magnificent tombs.

    It's a day full of great natural beauty and fascinating history.

    Itinerary

    For your fascinating Tour of Demre, Myra and Kekova, you will be picked up from your hotel in Antalya in an air-conditioned coach.

    With your English-speaking guide you will travel to Demre, an important agricultural town on the Mediterranean coast of Anatolia. The journey takes around 2 hours. Demre is the modern counterpart of the ancient town of Myra, once part of the historic region of Lycia.

    Visit the ruins of Myra and see the famous Lycian monuments. These include a superb collection of rock-cut tombs, some of which were once brightly painted. Look carefully and you may spot log cabin features carved into the rock of the tombs, probably showing the domestic architecture of the time.

    Myra also has an impressive 2nd century theater, with many carvings and inscriptions still visible.

    You will also visit the Church of St. Nicholas. This ruined Byzantine church contains the tomb of Nicholas, Bishop of Myra who lived in the 5th century AD. This much-loved priest was famous for his powers of healing and the anonymous gifts he gave to those in need. He thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose English name comes from the German Sankt Niklaus.

    You will stop for lunch in a traditional Turkish restaurant in Demre. Vegetarian options will be available.

    After lunch you will take a boat to picturesque Kekova Island, once a notorious haunt of pirates.

    As you sail over the calm waters, you will see the remains of buildings and walls of an ancient town destroyed by earthquakes about 2000 years ago.

    There will be opportunities to swim and snorkel if you wish.

    Opposite Kekova island is the modern town of Kalekoy ( known as Simena in ancient Lycian times). It lies below the ramparts of a small Byzantine castle (Castle of Simena). You can visit the castle for a small entrance fee (payable direct). Inside the castle is a tiny amphitheater.

    Your tour also takes in the ancient city of Teimiussa near today's village of Üçagiz. You will see a necropolis (cemetery) with many sarcophagi, mainly from the Roman period.

    At the end of the excursion you will be dropped back at your hotel in Antalya.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions

    Inclusions

    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
    • Transportation in an air-conditioned coach
    • Boat to Sunken City, Kekova, Theissuma, Simena Castle + swimming break
    • English-speaking guide
    • Lunch (with vegetarian option)

    Exclusions

    • Entrance fee to Castle of Simena, approx 10 Turkish lira (4.6 euro)
    • Snorkeling equipment
  • Please note & Additional info

    Please note

    Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details.

    Additional info

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have