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Simena

boats anchored at SimenaFrom inscriptions that have been found, we know that the history of the ancient city of Simena goes back to the 4th century BC. If you go ashore via the jetty next to the sarcophagus on the seashore and climb the hill behind the village houses, you reach the castle of Simena. This castle was used during the Middle Ages by the Byzantines. In the medieval walls of the inner keep are a few blocks of all that remains of ancient temple. Inside the castle there is a small natural theater carved into the rock, with a capacity of about 300 people, a sign that this was a minor settlement in Roman times. This is the smallest of theaters among the cities of Lycia. West of the theater there are rock tombs here and there. Above the rock tombs is a Roman wall built of dressed stone and located on the wall are late-period embrasures thus giving one a glimpse of three eras simultaneously. On the shore are the ruins of public baths whose inscription is still legible and reads "A gift to the emperor Titus made by the people and council of Aperlai as well as by the other cities of the Lycian confederation that they were a member of."

Looking from the castle towards Ucagiz it becomes clear how beautiful and safe a natural harbor this really is. Simena (or Kaleköy, its present-day name) is only a temporary shelter however. The actual shelter for yachts was Teimiussa (Ucagiz), a landlocked bay surrounded by green hills. There is a road overland that leads here. The ruins of the ancient city of Teimiussa are located here. Very little is known about the history of the city however. One inscription indicates that its history goes back to the 4th century BC. One sees mostly the ruins of a necropolis here and no city walls or other major structures have been encountered. The oldest sarcophagus is from the 4th century BC and is shaped like a house. There is a nude portrait of a young man over it. The inscription tells us that it belongs to "Kluwanimiye".

You can reach Kekova overland from Demre or Kas, as well as in boats that you can rent at Cayagzi or Kas. From here you can also visit other Lycian cities such as Isinda at Belenli, Apollonia at Kilincli, Istlada at Kapakli, Kyaenai at Yavu, and Trysa and Sura at Gölbasi. The area is also filled with thousands of Lycian sarcophagi lying everywhere.

There are some restaurants and cafeterias by the seaside at the bottom of the village where you can try some Turkish food including locally caught fish, and a couple of small pensiyons. A lone Lycian sarcophagus standing in a few centimeters of water at the western side lures visitors to pose beside it for photographs.

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