How to Get to Kekova Island & Sunken City (Our Boat Trip!)

Simena Castle

Kas is a beautiful town to visit and our favorite place we traveled to on the Turkish Riviera! While there’s so much to do and see in town, a boat tour from Kas can not be missed. In addition to several amazing swimming spots, our boat trip went to the Sunken City of Kekova Island, the Simena Village & Castle, and much more! Here are some tips from our experience and what to know before your own Kas boat tour. 

How to Get to Kekova Island in Turkey

All along the harbor in Kas, you will see operators selling different boat tours. It’s important to know that almost all of them go to the very same places.

It’s really up to you to do your own research and find the best company. Our tour cost 400 Lira ($23 USD), went from 10am to 6pm, and included lunch. However, they do go up in the high season. 

The highlights are undoubtedly the Sunken City of Kekova Island and Simena Village. If you’re traveling with a large group it may be worth it to check the price for a private boat tour. The famous Gulet-style boats are perfect for families or groups of friends. 

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Kas Turkey Boat Trip

Our Kekova Island Boat Trip

So we actually have a strange story about our own Kas boat tour. Originally, we booked with a popular company directly from the marina the night before. Yet, when we showed up the next morning we were led off to another side of the harbor for a completely different tour.

As you could imagine, this was a pretty bizarre development! No one communicated anything to us but we are guessing our tour didn’t have enough people to go.

Although we were confused, we also didn’t want to miss out on Kekova Island completely. We decided to just go with the flow and board our new boat.

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Kekova Island Boat Trip

A Day with Captain Ergun

The company we ended up going on was with Captain Ergun Boat Tours. After a quick google search, we saw that he actually had the best reviews in Kas! Even after this discovery, we were still slightly annoyed that all of the seats on the 2nd deck were taken.

Where we ended up sitting on the first floor was at least very comfortable and spacious near the snack bar. The boat itself was one of the biggest in the harbor. Luckily, we were traveling in mid-June so it wasn’t full to capacity. 

The snack bar had a good assortment of drinks for purchase including coffee, beer, and wine. Before each stop, there are announcements over the loudspeaker in both English and Turkish explaining the area. I guess Captain Ergun had taken the day off, but we were told he usually leads the tours himself!

Boat Tour Kekova Island

Turkey Boat Trip Guide

Amazing Swimming Spots

The first stop of the day was one of many beautiful swimming spots we would experience on our Kas boat tour. It was so much fun jumping off the boat into the crystal clear Aegean Sea!

Each swimming stop was 30 to 45 minutes so we had plenty of time to enjoy the water. Snorkel gear was available from the cafe for rent, but we recommend bringing your own goggles if possible.

Most of the morning was spent cruising along the stunning Turkish coastline as we made our way to Kekova Island and Simena Village. We really loved the relaxing pace of this tour and the scenic views throughout. 

Kas Boat Tour Tips

Boat Kas Turkey

Sunken City of Kekova Island 

After a delicious lunch, we headed off toward Kekova Island. This was the part of the tour we were looking forward to most. We were so excited to see the ancient ruins and nearby Simena Castle!

So what exactly is the Sunken City of Kekova? Well, it’s important to know people have been living in this region for thousands of years.

Kekova Island itself was home to an ancient Lycian settlement called Dolchiste. Unfortunately, a humongous earthquake destroyed the city in in 2nd Century BC sending it into the sea.

While much of it lies underwater, it’s still very interesting to see what remains of the Sunken City of Kekova. Our Kas boat tour cruised right along the ruins for around 20 minutes so we could fully take it in.

This area is protected so you can’t swim at Kekova Island. Still, it’s quite the experience imagining what life was like over 2,000 years ago here.

Kekova Island Turkey

Exploring Simena Village

Directly across the water from Kekova Island is another historic settlement. Amazingly, this one is still inhabited! Simena Village dates back to 4th Century BC. The stone houses and fruit trees wind their way up a small hill which is topped by the incredible Simena Castle. 

Our Kas Boat Tour stopped in Simena Village for one hour which was enough time to see everything. We recommend trying to be the first off the boat and hiking directly up to the castle. Then you can relax down by the water for the rest of the allotted time. 

We were shocked to find out that you can actually stay in Simena Village. Just know there are limited accommodations available. When we go back we will definitely spend a night in this Turkish paradise at Sahil Pension.

Simena Village Tour

Simena Castle Hike & Homemade Ice Cream

You should know that the actual hike up to Simena Castle is one of the best parts of the tour. That’s because all along the stone trail, you will be offered delicious homemade ice cream by the local villagers!

When we first heard about this we honestly couldn’t believe it. I mean what kind of fairy tale world do you get offered $1 ice creams as you walk up to a 15th century castle?? All the cafes offer the same deal so we opted for one with a view.

Head up to the Simena Castle first and hit the ice cream spots on the way back down. This way you can beat other travelers and have a great photo opportunity. If you need flavor recommendations, we loved the pomegranate and chocolate mix.

The medieval Simena Castle is remarkably intact and worth the trip in itself. There is also a 300-seat amphitheater there which is known to be the smallest of the Lycians cities. The price to enter was 20 Lira each and they do take credit cards if you need to save your cash for ice cream.

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Kekova Island

Is Kekova Island Worth Visiting?

Not only was this a highlight of our time in Turkey, but it was one of the best boat tours we’ve EVER done. With all the fun swimming spots, ancient ruins, and tasty homemade ice cream to top it all off, there really was no beating it. Make sure you take a Kas boat tour to Kekova Island and the Sunken City on your Turkey trip! 

Book this Boat Tour on Get Your Guide

Kekova Island Tour

Have any questions about the Sunken City of Kekova Island or want to share your own Kas Boat Tour tips? Leave us a comment below! 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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Kekova Island

More Turkey Tips

Turkey Travel Planning 

 Flights: We always find deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Thailand to Siem Reap Cambodia for under $50 USD!

Rental Car: Discover Cars is our company of choice when abroad. It is especially popular to rent a car and explore the famous Turquoise Coast.

To pre-book long distance buses check Omio for the best routes all over the country. 

 Accommodation: Compare competitive sites for hotels such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for fun activities all over Turkey. You can book everything from a Hot Air Balloon ride in Cappadocia to a Turkish Dance show in Istanbul and even take a Full-Day Jeep Safari in Kusadasi to the National Park! 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel internationally without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Here’s all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists! Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials. 

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