Myra and Kekova (150 km south-west of Antalya) are one of the most popular tourist attractions at the resorts of the Anatolian coast. Myra is an ancient city where you can visit the Church of St. Nicholas, as well as a Lycian necropolis dating back to VI century B.C. and a Roman amphitheater. After a visit to Myra tourists are taken to the island of Kekova. On the way to Kekova they can see the flooded Lycian cities from the ship.

For about a thousand years before Christ the whole peninsula south of Antalya was occupied by Lycia. So, during a visit to Myra and Kekova you may also see the monuments of this ancient civilization. Xanthos (7 km from the sea) was the largest city of Lykia, and Myra, together with Andriake (an ancient city and the port of Myra), was the largest coastal city. The port was protected by Simena Castle and the city of Dolihiste located on the Kekova peninsula (now it is an island).

Later, Myra was sequentially under the rule of the Persians, Alexander the Great, the Seleucids, and the Romans. In II century Myra was heavily destroyed by an earthquake, and the cities of Kekova were flooded. After that, Myra was also badly damaged by mudflows of the Miros river.

The Church of St. Nicholas is a have-to-visit sight of Myra. In 300 Nicholas of Patara became the rector of the Christian church of the city. Five years later, in 345, he died and was buried in a sarcophagus in this temple. During his lifetime they began to call him the Wonderworker, and over time Nicholas of Myra became the most revered Christian saint. The Orthodox Christians call him Nikolaos the Wonderworker, and the Catholics – Santa Claus.

A Lycian necropolis (VI century B.C.) and a Roman amphitheater (III century A.D.) are not far from the church on the side of the mountain range. The necropolis is hollowed in the rock and is very similar to a multi-storey building.

After a visit to Myra tourists go to the flooded cities on the island of Kekova. There you should see at least 3 places: the flooded city of Dolihiste (it occupies a narrow strip along the island), the bay of Tersane (there are many ruined Lycian houses under water and on the coast) and Simena, a castle and a necropolis.

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The submerged Lycian sarcophagus (5 B.C.) in ancient Simena is a symbol of the island of Kekova and all ancient Lycia
Ancient Lycian necropolis in Myra (6th century BC) carved into the rock
The main nave of the Church of St. Nicholas in the World (8th century)
Italian merchants stole the relics of St. Nicholas from this marble sarcophagus and took them to Bari in 1067
Foundations of ancient Lycian houses in the Bay of Tersane, where all tourists can make snorkling
The Tersane Bay on Kekova island, where all excursion boats make a stop and tourists can swim
Preserved till our days the fortress of Simena was built by the Romans on the site of an ancient Lycian fortress
The olive trees near the Lycian sarcophagi in Simena are very similar to the olives in the garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem
Along the coast of Kekova island, you can see the ruins of the ancient city of Dolichiste, submerged during an earthquake in the 2nd century AD
Upper Lycian necropolis (5th century BC) on the mountain, near the walls of the Roman fortress of Simena
In the 4th century, the Abbot of this Church in Myra was Saint Nicholas. We see the temple of the 8th century, and from the 4th century the Foundation has been preserved
The Church of St. Nicholas in Myra of the 4th century was destroyed by an earthquake, but then restored
Byzantine frescoes of the 11th century in the side aisles Of the Church of St. Nicholas in Myra
The Roman amphitheatre in Myra (3rd century ad) is built on the side of a mountain
The Lycian necropolis (6 century BC) and the Roman amphitheatre (3 century AD) in Myra are located next to each other
Some tombs in the Lycian necropolis in Myra (6th century BC) are carved in the rock in form of houses
The Lycian necropolis of the ancient town of Theimussa, partially gone under water, on the island of Kekova
The ancient city of Dolichiste was located on a steep slope, so you can see a lot of stairs leading under the water
Lycian sarcophagi in Simene stand next to ancient olive trees, which are also about 2 thousand years old
View of the Upper Lycian necropolis in Simene from the top of the Roman fortress
Ruins of Lycian and later Roman houses in the Bay of Tersane that did not go under water
View of Kekova island from the top of the Roman fortress of Simena
The ruins of the houses of the ancient city of Dolichiste on the island of Kekova, which submerged during an earthquake in the 2nd century AD
Sarcophagi in Simena are typical of Lycians who were sailors - they are an inverted ships