Kekova: The Azure Heaven

Though I have been to many summer vacation spots, the one I’m going to share with you during the next few minutes is truly different. I spent the last few days in Üçağız, also known as Kekova. It’s a small Mediterranean village, with approximately 500 inhabitants. It’s a 3-hour drive from Antalya or Dalaman – whichever is more convenient. The village is almost 7000 years old. Also known as Theimussa in Lycian, it consists of a few pensions, lots of boats and a few fish restaurants. Yes that’s all. Far from everything that occupies your mind in a cosmopolitan city, all this town offers is tranquility – sun, sea and a gentle wind. You sleep with the sound of the sea, and wake up with the smell of sage, mint, oregano and basil.

Although the guest houses are pretty similar in terms of comfort and price, I chose to stay in Kekova Pansiyon, which was referred by my cousin. The pension has eight rooms and each has its own balcony. Once you wake up in the morning, each guest is served breakfast on the table overlooking the sea in front of their room. Though all pensions provide free boat service to different beaches, the best to do is to rent a boat. By boat I don’t mean luxury yatchs or gulets.. there’s a traditional type of boat all around Kekova. Local families operate them. You board right in front of the guesthouse, there is usually two to three crew member on it – usually all belonging to the same family. It takes you around until before dinner. They cook the fish they caught the day before and serve amazing local cuisine – all homemade and all organic. From home made rice to blue crab, from healthy greens to calamari, it is de-li-cious.

The first must-see is the Sunken City – which was destroyed by a major earthquake during the 2nd century. As you go around with the boat, through the windows specially made, you can see some really impressive pieces in the water. There are a few tombs remaining on the islands – in the shape of small houses – and even some church entrances. Among other bays I would suggest are Tersane, Akvaryum, Salyangoz and Koca Kadın. The color of the sea is beyond words and the landscape beyond spectacular.

Here are some other snaps from this side of heaven..

For anyone looking into a quick getaway around Turkey with some sun, sea and simple yet memorable local experience, give Kekova a try. You will not regret  it. And if you do so, do not forget to take a boat to go to the Kale island, and taste a scoop of the banana, nut and peach ice cream at Cafe Ankh.

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