Sailing from Göcek to Kekova
The secrets of the ancient gods of mythology still lie hidden in the secluded coves and bays around the Gulf of Fethiye. This is truly paradise for those who want to sail through history. The resort town of Fethiye has an important marina and overlooks a beautiful bay strewn with islands.
Above the town, called Telmessos in antiquity, numerous Lycian rock tombs, reproducing the facades of ancient buildings, were cut into the cliff face. Explore the Belcegiz Bay and the beautiful Blue Lagoon (Ölü Deniz), where the calm, crystal-clear water is ideal for swimming and other water sports. On Gemiler Island, Byzantine ruins lie tucked among the pines.
Go ashore at Kinik (65 km from Fethiye) where the ruins of Xanthos, the ancient Lycian capital, lie in a splendid natural setting. At the holy Lycian centre of Letoon, three temples dedicated to Leto, Apollo and Artemis, familiar gods of mythology, await the intrepid tourist. Mythology records that Apollo was born at Patara, a principal harbour of ancient Lycia, south of Letoon and Xanthos. The ruins are of course numerous and fascinating. Its 22 kilometer of pure white sand stretch as far as the eye can see, making it a natural choice for all types of beach sports.
A short sail to the east brings you to Kalkan, a lovely small hilltop town that overlooks a tiny bay. Narrow, winding streets lined with souvenir shops lead down to the charming marina. Every morning, boats busily take tourists to one of the nearby beaches or small bays. As the sun sets, it is Kalkan style to meet on the roof-terraces for a drink before dinner, and enjoy the comings and goings of the yachts, the business of the marina and the panoramic view.
Like most towns on the Lycian coast Kas lies wedged between mountains and sea. Kas, once ancient Antiphellus, still exhibits a few remains of the old settlement. An ancient theatre on Kas’s long peninsula is within walking distance of the town.
Kekova, “home of the sun”, is an island an hour from Dalyanagzi by sea, as well as the name of a whole ensemble of picturesque islands, numerous bays and ancient cities. These bays provide natural harbours in all seasons, and yachtsmen particularly enjoy exploring the unspoiled landscapes. Along the northern shore of Kekova Island, at Apollonia, earthquakes have disturbed the land causing some of the ancient houses to sink under the clear water, creating a sunken city. Kaleköy Castle (ancient Simena) offers a bird’s-eye view of the bays, inlets, islands and colorful yachts sailing peacefully on the glassy water. The colors in a Van Gogh painting, blue skies, orange sunsets, starry, starry nights, peace and tranquillity, playful dolphins, mythological mysteries, and the sparkling sea – Kekova provides all this and more.
At Demre (Kale), the ancient Myra, (25 km west of Finike), many splendidly carved rock tombs overlook the magnificent Roman theatre. St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) was the bishop of this Mediterranean city during the fourth century and died here in 342. An official entry-port, Finike is surrounded by citrus trees and gardens. Thirty-two kilometer from the Setur Finike Marina lie the remains of the beautiful and ancient Lycian city of Arikanda. This excursion inland, a mountain trek, rewards you with superb views, fabulous ruins and fresh mountain air.
Slipping around the Kirlangiç Peninsula brings you into the Gulf of Antalya. The first sight you come to is the ancient city of Olympos, on the southern side of Mt. Tahtali (Mt. Olympos). Oleander and laurel bushes shade the Olympos Valley, which you can approach by land as well as by sea. Nearby at Yanartas (at a height of 300 meters), according to mythology, the Lycian hero Bellerophon, mounted on his winged horse Pegasus slew the fire-breathing monster, Chimaera. Gas which seeps from the earth burns brightly at night. The Byzantines also considered this place a religious area.
Alexander the Great’s favourite winter resort was at Phaselis, the famous ancient commercial harbour north of Olympos. South of the harbour, look up at Mt. Tahtali for a spectacular view. Sail on to Kemer, a resort town carefully designed to blend in with the surrounding scenery, that offers an ideal environment for a wonderful holiday. The fully equipped Kemer Park Marina has facilities for all activities so that yachtsmen can enjoy the unspoiled bays and beaches south of the town. Shoppers will delight at the wonderful range of high quality souvenirs. April is the month of the colorful Kemer Carnival. Also in the spring are the yacht races between Kemer and Girne in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Sailing around this coast towards Antalya will give you a glimpse of some of Turkeys most modern and luxurious holiday villages. Antalya, Turkey’s principal holiday resort city on the Mediterranean, embodies the contrast between the majestic coastline of beaches and rocky coves, and the towering Taurus Mountains. The ancientAttaleia, named after King Attalus II of Pergamon, Antalya was founded in the 2nd century B.C.
Today palm-lined boulevards, beautiful parks, historical buildings, monuments, museums and the picturesque old quarter Kaleiçi, (with the Kaleiçi Turban Marina) blend together to create an ideal holiday atmosphere. TheAntalya Marina and Leisure Centre, which has won several awards, is considered one of the most beautiful marinas in Turkey; Antalya Setur Marina, the other marina in Antalya, is, on the other hand, quiet and peaceful; but both welcome you after your unforgettable voyage in the turquoise paradise of Turkey’s water.