Gold Way Travel

DEMRE MYRA KEKOVA FROM ANTALYA

TOUR DURATION: 14 Hours
TOUR LANGUAGE: English
TOUR PERIOD: 1/1/2023 - 30/11/2030
TOUR DAYS: Everyday
PICK UP PLACE: Main entrance of accommodation place
DROP OFF PLACE: Main entrance of accommodation place
$ 70,00
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Demre Myra Kekova tour from Antalya : Current prices and excursion description

  • Discover three beautiful places in one day with the Demre Myra Kekova tour from Antalya. Visit St. Nicholas Church in Demre during the religious part of the tour. Admire unique Lycian rock tombs and a Roman theater in Myra during the historical part. Enjoy a boat ride to the sunken city of Kekova during the entertaining part of the trip, and swim in the blue waters where the Mediterranean meets the Aegean Sea.
  • Check the current price and detailed program on our website. Book the trip today and pay on the bus. We made sure our trips are not only interesting but also comfortable. The price includes transfers from hotels in Kundu, Lara, Kaleici, Antalya, Konyaalti. Enjoy your vacation with us.

Tour program

  • Tourists pick-up from hotels at 05:00 - 06:00 (After booking confirmation, the exact pick-up time will be added to your e-ticket.)
  • 10-minute stop
  • Visit an icon shop
  • Visit St. Nicholas Church
  • Guide's story about the church
  • Free time in the church for prayer and photos
  • Visit Lycian rock tombs and Roman theater in ancient Myra
  • Lunch at a restaurant
  • Boat trip to the sunken city of Kekova
  • Swim in the sea
  • Visit an onyx shop
  • Return to hotels at 19:30-20:30

More about the tour

  • Our tour starts at 05:00 - 06:00 in the morning. We'll pick you up at your hotel's security gate and head to Demre, which is 145 km from Antalya's center. You'll enjoy beautiful sea views and see cities along the way, like Kumluca, famous for its greenhouses and tomatoes, and Finike, the city of oranges.
  • Our first stop is in Demre, where St. Nicholas Church is located. After our guide's interesting talk about the place and St. Nicholas's life, you'll have free time to explore the church and see its ancient frescoes. You can pray, light a candle, and take photos (turn off your flash). You'll also visit an icon shop to buy a special gift.
  • After the church visit, you'll have lunch at a restaurant (included in the tour price). Then, we'll continue to the ancient city of Myra, where you'll see the well-preserved Roman theater and unique Lycian rock tombs carved into cliffs.
  • At the end of the tour, you'll take a boat ride to the sunken city of Kekova, also called the Turkish Atlantis. Through the boat's clear bottom, you'll see the ancient sunken city and hear the guide's story about its history. During the boat ride, there'll be a stop for swimming. After the exciting historical trip, you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear sea water.
  • After the swimming break, we'll start our return journey with a stop at an onyx shop, where you can buy souvenirs made of this stone. You'll be dropped off at your hotel around 19:30-20:30 in the evening.

Included in the price

  • We pick you up from your hotel.
  • We will drop you back to your hotel.
  • Lunch
  • Myra entrance fee of 13 Euros is included in the price.
  • St. Nicholas Church entrance fee of 17 Euros is included in the price.
  • Yacht tour of sunken city Kekova
  • Insurance
  • Guide services

Not included in the price

  • Personal expenses (photos, souvenirs, etc.)
  • Any drinks during the tour

Please bring

  • Camera, water
  • Towel, swimsuit
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses
  • Money for personal expenses

Distance

  • Distance from Konyaalti to Demre: 140 km - 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Distance from Lara to Demre: 160 km - 3 hours
  • Distance from the center of Antalya to Demre: 145 km - 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Distance from Kaleici to Demre: 145 km - 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Distance from Kundu to Demre: 160 km - 3 hours

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Important Information

Early booking discounts

  • Book early!
  • Book this tour at least 7 days before the trip starts and get a 4% discount.
  • Book this tour at least 30 days before the trip starts and get a 5% discount.

Extra Information

  • The guide has the right to change the tour order without changing the overall program.
  • Children who join the tour for free do not get separate seats on the bus. They share seats with adults (sit on their laps).
  • If you want your child to have a separate seat on the bus, book them as a paid child during the reservation.

Things to do

St. Nicholas Church in Demre

  • St. Nicholas Church in Demre was built in the 4th century. In the 6th century, the church was expanded, and in the 7th-8th centuries, it was damaged by Arab attacks. In the 11th century, Emperor Constantine IX and Empress Zoe restored the church and surrounded it with walls.
  • St. Nicholas' relics were moved to Bari, and the church was gradually forgotten. The church was discovered during excavations in the mid-19th century. The first restoration was led by Russian researchers. Excavations and restoration continue to this day.

Rock-cut tombs

  • The ancient city of Myra is a five-minute drive from St. Nicholas Church. Here you can see Lycian tombs from the 4th century BC. Precious items were placed inside the tombs with the deceased. The tombs were closed with stone or bronze doors. However, no doors or items remain inside. The tombs were looted in ancient times.

Theater

  • There are 206 Roman theaters in Turkey, and the theater in Demre-Myra was built in the 2nd century AD, accommodating 10,000 spectators. Demre's amphitheater is the fourth largest after Ephesus, Aspendos, and Pamukkale.

Lycia - Land of the Sun

  • Lycia translates to "Land of the Sun" from the Lycian language. The Lycians were native to Asia Minor, meaning the region's history goes back thousands of years to the 4th century BC. Lycia was a small country, covering the area of present-day Antalya. It was a very democratic country.
  • 2300 years ago, the first democratic parliament in human history was opened in Lycia. The Lycian Union consisted of 23 cities. Each city had a vote in the parliament. Larger cities had three votes instead of one. The head of parliament was chosen every year from different cities, and even women could hold this position.

Sunken City of Kekova

  • The island's name, Kekova, comes from the Lycian language. Lycians called it Kavakuva. Kekova Island used to be part of the mainland. It's seven and a half kilometers long. The deepest part between the shore and the island is 105 meters. The highest point of the island is 188 meters above sea level.
  • After an earthquake in ancient times, most of Kekova city went underwater. Nobody lives on Kekova Island now. You might only see goats brought by locals sometimes. No repairs are done on Kekova Island because it's impossible to restore. Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism forbids swimming and diving in the sunken city area.

Simena (Kaleköy)

  • Across from Kekova Island is the Simena fortress (Kaleköy). In Turkish, "kale" means fortress and "köy" means village. Kaleköy has a 13th-century fortress from the Ottoman Empire. Inside is the smallest Roman-era theater that held only 400 people. People in Simena village used to fish, but now they live off tourism. In Kaleköy, you'll see Lycian sarcophagi. Lycians made their sarcophagus lids look like upside-down boats. They fished, so each Lycian needed a boat, even in the afterlife.

Kumluca

  • Kumluca's population is 67,000. 95% work in farming, mostly growing tomatoes in greenhouses. Tomatoes are the town's symbol. There's a tomato festival in May with a tomato fight as the main event!

Finike

  • Finike has 47,000 people. Tourism isn't popular here; people fish and farm. They mostly grow oranges, which are the city's symbol. You might know that oranges grow all around Antalya, but the tastiest oranges (even in the world) come from this small town. In 1994, Finike won first place at an orange taste competition in California, USA.

Demre-Myra-Kekova

  • Modern Turkey is located where some of the greatest civilizations, states, and empires once formed, grew, and flourished. The Demre-Myra-Kekova tour is a journey into the world of ancient history, exploring unique architectural and cultural monuments from the Lycian, Hellenic, Roman, and Byzantine eras. This is a chance to walk on the land where one of the most revered saints in the world, St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker, protector of children, the poor, and sailors, once lived, preached, and was buried.
  • About 2-3 kilometers from the modern city of Demre are the ruins of Myra, once the largest and most important city in Lycia. St. Nicholas the Wonderworker arrived here with his enlightening mission. He was born in the ancient Lycian city of Patara (now in modern Turkey), which is now an open-air archaeological museum. At the age of 30, he arrived in Myra and lived there until his death on December 6, 343.
  • In his honor, a temple was built where his body rested in a sarcophagus until 1087. Then, sailors from the Italian city of Bari stole his relics and took them to their city. When the sarcophagus was opened, it was discovered that the saint's relics emitted a fragrant oil called myrrh. Myrrh oil is used in various church rituals. Some oils are believed to come from saints' relics and icons and are thought to have healing powers.
  • During the tour, you will visit this temple first, touch the sarcophagus, and experience the powerful healing energy of the sacred place, even though the relics are no longer there. Inside the temple, you can see preserved fresco fragments, including the famous "Last Supper" and images of saints, such as St. George.
  • You will have free time to look around, take photos (no flash allowed), and pray if you wish. You can also place your icons and light a candle. The temple of St. Nicholas is open year-round, but services are held only on December 6 and May 9. Anyone can attend, but women must cover their heads with a scarf during services; it is not required at other times.
  • Our second stop on the tour is the city of Myra. You'll walk through the city ruins, visit an ancient theater arena built around the 2nd century BC, and see 10,000-seat tombs carved in the rock. The Lycian rock tombs are unique in the world. Their exact date is unknown, but it's around the 4th century BC. People believed that the soul of the dead would turn into a winged creature and fly to heaven. The higher the person was buried, the easier it would be for the soul to reach the other world. Rich and important people were buried higher, while poor people were buried lower. Tombs were carved while still alive, sometimes taking years to finish.
  • The third part of the tour lets you rest and relax with a boat trip to the sunken city of Kekova Island, also called "Turkish Atlantis." After an earthquake, part of Kekova went underwater, and people left around 1850. It's a protected area, so tourists can't land there. A small channel separates Kekova Island from the ancient village of Simena (Kalaköy). The main attraction is a fortress with a tiny 150-seat amphitheater and houses carved in the rock.
  • It's interesting that the waters around the island are still not fully explored. Among the houses, columns, and items, a ship was found by French researcher Jacques-Yves Cousteau, which likely sank around 1300 BC. The Mediterranean Sea is crystal clear, so you can see part of the city through the glass-bottom yacht.
  • The Demre-Myra-Kekova tour takes a whole day, and the price includes lunch at a restaurant. Be sure to bring extra drinking water, a hat, and sunscreen. Wear comfortable and practical clothes and shoes.

Average Temperature in Demre:

  • January: +15
  • February: +16
  • March: +18
  • April: +21
  • May: +25
  • June: +30
  • July: +35
  • August: +35
  • September: +31
  • October: +26
  • November: +21
  • December: +16
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