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.