Sunken City

In the middle of the stunning Gokkaya Bay, in the Kekova region lies the famous Sunken City, known as Dolchiste during Lycian times. It was once a prominent port city to both Lycian and Byzantine civilizations, the ancient city was mostly abandoned after being repeatedly raided by Arab forces and the last few inhabitants were forced to move their homes elsewhere when an earthquake in the 2nd century AD shook the city from the rocky cliff face and into the turquoise sea. Already partially submerged, the city continued to crumble and disappear over the centuries and what remains now hides beneath the crystal clear waters of Gokkaya bay. In some places, you can still see brick walls poking above the water and a large tomb stands alone close to the bay.

When rediscovered, the Sunken City became a popular snorkeling and diving spot but water sports have been prohibited since 1990, in order to preserve the archaeological site as well as the nature and culture of the region, the Kekova area was made a Specially Protected Area. Due to the incredible transparency of the sea in this bay it is still possible to see the ancient city from above, you can even rent a small boat or kayak and paddle over the ancient site. Most Blue Cruise itineraries include a visit to the Sunken City as well as Simena Castle, which stands upon a hill in the same bay, and the traditional fishing town of Ucagiz, which is renowned for its fish restaurants.  

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