Uncovering the Secrets of the Underwater City: Exploring the Sunken Ruins of Kekova Island

Lost Underwater City: Kekova Sunken City and its Historical Significance

Lost Underwater City: Kekova Sunken City and its Historical Significance

The Mediterranean coast of Turkey holds a hidden gem: the Kekova Sunken City. This historical site is a group of underwater ruins scattered around the island of Kekova. The city was once above water and was called Dolichiste.

But in the 2nd century CE, an earthquake rocked the ancient city, causing it to sink beneath the waves. The sunken city is now an archaeological wonder that attracts people from all over the world.

It tells a story about ancient civilizations that lived on this land many centuries ago. The city’s location on trade routes between Greece, Rome, and Asia Minor made it a hotspot for cultural exchange and trade.

Today, visitors can witness an incredible mix of history and nature by taking a boat tour or diving to see the underwater ruins. The crystal-clear water makes it possible to view some sections without diving equipment.

It is hard not to be impressed by this unique attraction as it boasts not only historical significance but also breathtaking natural beauty. The area’s striking turquoise waters are teeming with colorful marine life that adds to the experience.

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Kekova Island Sunken Ruins

The Lost City of Kekova: A Mysterious Underwater World

Kekova Sunken City is located on the island of Kekova, a small, picturesque island located off the coast of Turkey. The city’s ruins are submerged in crystal clear waters and can be viewed by boat or kayak. The ancient city was built on the edge of a rocky hill and extended down to the seashore.

As you explore the sunken ruins, you’ll see that many structures have been preserved underwater for centuries. One of the most intriguing aspects of Kekova Sunken City is how it ended up underwater in the first place.

According to historians, several seismic events occurred over time, including earthquakes and floods, that led to its submersion. Some experts believe that an earthquake caused half of the town to sink into the sea while others say that a tsunami was responsible.

The ruins themselves are mysterious and captivating to explore. You’ll see walls that were once part of ancient buildings peeking out from beneath the water’s surface.

In some areas, you can swim over tombs or see them through snorkeling gear at a closer distance – these tombs were carved directly into rocks within a cove protected by hills all around it so it would be safe from pirates during ancient times. Another unique feature of Kekova Sunken City is its ancient walls submerged underwater, which also served as protection against pirates who could not climb them due to their sharp angles.

These walls stretch out over 150 meters long on both sides while reaching 1-2 meters high, making for an impressive spectacle even today. Exploring Kekova Island’s sunken ruins is truly an experience like no other!

History of Kekova Sunken City

History of Kekova Sunken City, castle on the hill

Kekova Sunken City is an ancient city that was once located on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The city has a rich history dating back to the Lycian period. It is believed to have been founded in the 5th century BC by a Lycian king named Pericles.

The city prospered under the rule of various empires, including the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottoman Turks. It was an important trading center and was known for its wealth and prosperity.

Notable Events in Kekova Sunken City

Throughout its long history, Kekova Sunken City experienced many notable events that shaped its fate. One such event was the invasion of Alexander the Great in 334 BC. The city came under his control and remained part of his empire until his death in 323 BC.

Another significant event occurred during the Roman period when a massive earthquake struck in AD 240. This earthquake caused widespread damage throughout Kekova Sunken City and led to its eventual decline.

The Decline and Submersion

As time went on, Kekova Sunken City began to decline due to various factors such as economic decline, political instability, and environmental changes. By the 4th century AD, it was no longer a thriving city but rather a small fishing village. In AD 554, another massive earthquake struck the region, causing even more destruction to what remained of Kekova Sunken City.

Over time, rising sea levels eventually submerged much of what remained of this once-great city beneath the water. Today, visitors can explore what remains of this ancient city by boat or by snorkeling above its sunken ruins – providing an unforgettable glimpse into Turkey’s rich history and culture.

Exploration and Preservation Efforts

Overview of efforts to explore and document the sunken ruins

For many years, ongoing exploration and documentation efforts have focused on Kekova Sunken City. Turkish archaeologists initially discovered the city in 1990 and began mapping the area in more comprehensive detail.

Over time, several other teams have joined the endeavor, contributing to our knowledge of this exceptional underwater city. In recent years, the utilization of underwater drones equipped with high-definition cameras has allowed for capturing footage of sunken ruins at even greater depths than previously possible.

Discussion of preservation efforts to protect the fragile underwater environment

Preservation efforts for Kekova Sunken City have become increasingly important over time due to high levels of tourist interest in the site. The Turkish Government has imposed strict regulations on diving and swimming around the ruins in order to protect them from any further damage or deterioration caused by human interaction. Additionally, there are educational programs targeting tourists that aim to promote responsible tourism and encourage visitors not to touch or disturb any ancient artifacts they may come across.

Examination of how tourism has impacted preservation efforts

Depending on the management practices, tourism can have both positive and negative impacts on the preservation efforts at Kekova Sunken City. On one hand, tourism can raise awareness about the site’s historical significance, leading more people to support its preservation. On the other hand, too much foot traffic around fragile remains can cause erosion from wave action or coral breakage from fins or tanks.

As we know, the “take only photos, leave only bubbles” approach is crucial here so that future generations will still be able to see what we see today. It is essential that all stakeholders work together towards a sustainable approach to preserving this unique underwater city for future generations while still allowing access for visitors interested in experiencing its wonder firsthand without leaving their mark behind them as souvenirs.

Exploring Kekova Sunken City: Where to Stay and Camp

Exploring Kekova Sunken City: Where to Stay and Camp

When planning a visit to Kekova Sunken City, it’s essential to consider your accommodation options. Whether you prefer the comfort of a hotel or the adventurous spirit of camping, there are choices available to suit every traveler’s preference. Here, we present the best accommodation options near Kekova Sunken City, including hotel reviews and information on camping for a unique outdoor experience.

Hotel Reviews: Best Accommodation Options near Kekova Sunken City

Winecity Hotel

Rating: 10 – Exceptional

Location: Demre

Winecity Hotel is a modernly furnished hotel located in Demre, just 1640 feet from Caretta Beach. With a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi throughout the property, guests can enjoy a comfortable and convenient stay. The rooms feature parquet floors, a flat-screen TV, a mini-bar, and a balcony with some offering sea views.

Guests can start their day with a delicious buffet-style breakfast and savor à la carte options for lunch and dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. The location of Winecity Hotel is excellent, with popular attractions nearby including the Saint Nicholas Church (984 feet away), Myra Rock Tombs (2.1 kilometers away), and the historic Kekova Sunken City (14 kilometers away).

The hotel boasts great facilities such as an outdoor swimming pool, a beachfront area, and a restaurant. It also offers services like airport shuttle, room service, and free WiFi. The friendly staff, fluent in German, English, Russian, and Turkish, ensures a warm welcome and a pleasant stay for international guests.

Experience exceptional hospitality and modern comfort at Winecity Hotel, the perfect choice for travelers seeking a memorable stay in Demre.

Apart Demre Dufa Bungolow, Demre

Rating: 9.4 – Superb

Location: Demre

Apart Demre Dufa Bungalow is a charming beachfront property located in Demre, Turkey. Situated just 2 kilometers from the Saint Nicholas Church and 2.5 kilometers from Sülüklü Beach, this accommodation offers guests a peaceful and scenic setting.

Apart Demre Dufa Bungalow provides bungalows with a cozy atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable stay with all the necessary amenities. Each unit has a private bathroom with a shower and slippers, a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and a balcony with garden views. Some rooms also include a seating area.

Guests can start their day with a delicious halal breakfast that includes local specialties and cheese. The property also has a minimarket, and BBQ facilities are available for those who wish to enjoy outdoor dining.

Apart Demre Dufa Bungalow offers additional services such as room service, laundry facilities, and car rental. The friendly staff ensures that guests have a pleasant and enjoyable stay. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property.

With its great location near the beach and popular attractions, Apart Demre Dufa Bungalow is an excellent choice for travelers seeking a peaceful retreat in Demre.


Rating: 9.0 – Superb

Location: Beymelek Caddesi, Demre, Turkey

SORAL APART is a sustainable aparthotel located in Demre, Turkey. It offers a range of amenities and features, including a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a private beach area, and free WiFi. The property recently underwent renovations and now offers a 24-hour front desk, a lift, and currency exchange services.

Each unit at SORAL APART has a balcony with sea views, a flat-screen TV, a dining area, a well-fitted kitchenette, and a private bathroom with a shower, bathrobes, and slippers. Additional amenities include a fridge, a stovetop, kitchenware, and a kettle. Bed linen and towels are provided in the units.

Guests can enjoy a buffet-style or halal breakfast with warm dishes, local specialties, and fresh pastries at the Aparthotel’s restaurant. There is also an in-house bar and lounge where guests can relax.

For families traveling with children, SORAL APART offers an indoor play area. The accommodation also features a sun terrace and an outdoor fireplace for guests to enjoy.

Attractions such as the Saint Nicholas Church and the Myra Rock Tombs are located nearby, with the nearest airport being the Kastelorizo Island Public Airport.

Experience a superb stay at SORAL APART, a sustainable aparthotel that offers comfort, convenience, and beautiful sea views in Demre, Turkey.


Rating: 9.4 – Superb

Location: Kömürlük Caddesi NO: 29/1, 07570 Demre, Turkey – Excellent location – show map

MARTI BUNGALOW is a charming accommodation located in Demre, offering an excellent location and a top-rated beach nearby. Situated 2.5 kilometers from Sülüklü Beach, this bungalow provides a serene and relaxing atmosphere. The property features a garden, free private parking, a terrace, and a restaurant for guests’ convenience. It is also conveniently close to popular attractions such as the Saint Nicholas Church (3.6 kilometers away) and the Myra Rock Tombs (5 kilometers away).

The bungalow team has thoughtfully designed and equipped each room with modern amenities. Guests can expect air conditioning, a wardrobe, a balcony with a sea view, a private bathroom, a flat-screen TV, and comfortable bedding. The bungalow also offers a seating area for added comfort.

Start your day with a delightful breakfast experience, with options ranging from continental to full English/Irish or halal. The property provides a range of facilities and activities, including table tennis and cycling. A private beach area is available for guests to enjoy, and the surrounding area is perfect for exploring.

MARTI BUNGALOW is located just 23 kilometers away from the Kekova Sunken City and 27 kilometers away from the Setur Finike Marine. For added convenience, the nearest airport is the Kastelorizo Island Public Airport, located 60 kilometers from the hotel.

This property offers free WiFi throughout and is committed to sustainability, taking extra measures to ensure the health and safety of guests. It has received excellent reviews for its staff, facilities, cleanliness, comfort, value for money, and location.

Experience a superb stay at MARTI BUNGALOW, where you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings and exceptional hospitality in Demre.

Camping Near Kekova Sunken City: A Unique Outdoor Experience

For those seeking a more adventurous and close-to-nature experience, camping near Kekova Sunken City is an excellent option. While there are no established campgrounds on the island itself, there are nearby locations where camping is permitted. One such location is Demre Camping Area, which offers a tranquil setting surrounded by nature. Visitors can pitch their tents, enjoy the starry night skies, and wake up to the serene beauty of the coastal landscape.

Camping near Kekova Sunken City allows you to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the region and create unforgettable memories under the open sky. Just make sure to adhere to any guidelines or regulations in place to protect the environment and preserve the area’s natural beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the significance of Kekova Sunken City?

Kekova Sunken City is a unique underwater archaeological site that offers insights into the ancient Lycian civilization. It showcases well-preserved ruins and submerged structures, providing a fascinating glimpse into the past.

When was Kekova Sunken City discovered?

Kekova Sunken City was initially discovered by Turkish archaeologists in 1990.

What efforts have been made to document the site?

Since its discovery, ongoing exploration and documentation efforts have been conducted by various teams. These efforts have involved mapping the area in greater detail and utilizing underwater drones with high-definition cameras to capture footage of the sunken ruins.

How has tourism impacted the preservation of Kekova Sunken City?

Tourism can have both positive and negative impacts on the preservation of Kekova Sunken City, depending on how it is managed. Responsible and sustainable tourism practices can contribute to raising awareness and funding for conservation efforts, while uncontrolled tourism can pose threats to the site’s integrity.

Can visitors explore the underwater ruins of Kekova Sunken City?

No, direct exploration of the underwater ruins is not permitted to preserve the site’s integrity. However, visitors can enjoy boat tours and observe the submerged city from the surface, guided by knowledgeable local guides.

Are there any visitor facilities available near Kekova Sunken City?

Yes, there are visitor facilities available near Kekova Sunken City, including boat tours, local guides, and nearby accommodations. Visitors can also find restaurants and cafes in the surrounding area.

Can I dive or snorkel in the waters around Kekova Sunken City?

While diving and snorkeling are popular activities in the region, direct access to the sunken city itself is restricted to protect the site. However, there are designated diving spots and snorkeling areas nearby where you can explore the beautiful underwater scenery and marine life.

Is Kekova Sunken City accessible to people with disabilities?

Due to the nature of the site and its underwater location, accessibility for people with disabilities is limited. However, there may be viewing points and facilities available that cater to accessibility needs. It is recommended to inquire with tour operators or local authorities for specific accessibility information.

Final Thoughts

Kekova Sunken City is a truly unique and fascinating destination that offers a combination of history, culture, and natural beauty. Exploring the sunken ruins and learning about the city’s rich past provides an unforgettable experience.

Whether you choose to view the ruins from a boat, snorkel above them, or dive deeper to explore the underwater structures up close, Kekova Sunken City offers a glimpse into a bygone era and showcases the enduring legacy of ancient civilizations.

As you plan your visit, consider the accommodation options available, such as the highly-rated Winecity Hotel in Demre or the adventurous experience of camping near the sunken city.

Remember to be respectful of the fragile underwater environment and follow any regulations in place to preserve this historical treasure for future generations. Enjoy your journey into the lost underwater city of Kekova!

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