Kemer to Kekova: Best bays to visit on gulets

It was not until the middle of the last century that a road was constructed to provide access to Kemer on land. All its visitors came by boat and today those that choose the option of the sea are unlikely to forget the wonderful setting and the warm blue sea. Kemer was once just a tiny fishing village; its population now approaches 20,000 and it has developed a tourist infrastructure to cater for everything a holidaymaker might want; accommodation, bars and restaurants as well as shopping. As a starting point for a holiday on the seas, there are few better choices.

Launch at Kemer
Kemer is just under an hour from Antalya International Airport with the road rising out of the city and hugging the coastline. Setting sail on Kemer Blue Voyages and heading west it can be tempting to stop every few minutes such are the lovely bays and coves along this stretch of the Turkish Coast. Your captain will have stocked up with fresh produce, herbs and olive oil and after a morning departure, the first decision may be a location for lunch. It will be prepared for you as you take in the sun or perhaps go for a swim?

The History and Culture of Olympos
The coastline heads south-west from Kemer with Olympos being a significant place to put down anchor. It is thought that the city of Olympos was founded in the 4th Century BC by the Lycians. The National Park of the same name includes ruins from two other settlements, Phaselis and Idyros and they lie just south of the modern town of Cirali. The Romans, including a young Julius Caesar to the region while in the Middle Ages it was an important port for the Venetians and Genoese who traded along this coastline. It was eventually abandoned but has become a popular tourist attraction in recent times. That said you are unlikely to find huge crowds in this unspoilt area; anyone wanting to stay in the area has to live in wooden buildings because permanent stone buildings are not allowed.

Kekova and the Sunken City
While your Blue Cruise is not permitted to anchor above the famous sunken city on the island of Kekova that does not mean that you cannot get wonderful views of the buildings which were once above the waves. Kekova is further west near the town of Demre. An earthquake struck in the 2nd Century and although the town was rebuilt by the Byzantines, it was always under threat from Arab incursions and was finally abandoned. The area is a national treasure and well worth exploring during a relaxing cruise down this coastline.

Your captain will know the area well and guide you to the best bays with beaches and warm seas. By now you will have a suntan and a host of great memories. A cruise along this coastline is likely to be on your shortlist when you begin to think about what to do next year.