Discover Simena (Kaleköy) with Arkadaslik Yachting

A Castle, Knights and Pirates: A Fairy Tale Destination on the Turquoise Coast

We enjoy introducing our guests to some of the most beautiful sites in the Mediterranean. With rich cultural and historic significance, intertwined with mythology and local lore, these sites provide visitors with vacation memories to last a lifetime!

About Simena

Every village, town and city in Turkey seems to have more than one name, and the hillside village of Simena is no different. Also known as Kaleköy (which is Turkish for Castle Village), this remote community is situated in a 260 km2 environmentally protected area of the Kekova region. The village is accessible only by foot or by boat.

What makes the tiny village so special?

Most would agree that it’s the ruins of the Byzantine castle built into the top of the hill during the Middle Ages, and the surrounding Lycian necropolis. Many of the castle’s crenelated walls are still standing, and the small theatre carved into the rocks (reported to be the smallest amphitheatre in the Lycian region) is in remarkably good condition. Ancient tombs (sarcophagi) dating back to the 4th century BC dot the landscape around the village, including an oft-photographed, partly submerged sarcophogus in the village’s natural harbor.

Like castles from fairy tale classics, Simena has links to pirates and knights. (It is believed that the castle was built by the Knights of Rhodes to protect the area from piracy.)

Arkadaslik Yachting's Blue Voyage cruises to the Kekova often include an overnight stop at Simena, allowing guests to appreciate the beauty of the castle by day and night! Guests can explore the village and surrounding area, visit the castle ruins (a nominal admission required), or enjoy some of the best home-made ice cream on the Turquoise coast while visiting Castle Village.

Have you been to Simena? Have you got photos or information that you'd like included in this article? Please get in touch if you have something to share.

Simena Slideshow

A view of Simena from Sunken City on Kekova Island

The Castle and Village of Simena

A view of the castle overlooking the village of Simena from Sunken City on Kekova Island.

View of the natural harbour at Simena from the top of the castle

A View from the Top of the Castle

From the top of the castle, you get a clear view of the natural harbour and Kekova Island across the channel. This unobstructed view made the castle a prime location for monitoring the region for pirates in ancient times.

Simena castle with its fortified walls

The Castle Walls

From a distance, it is easy to see the impressive layout of the castle with its fortified walls.

Gulets and yachts anchored in natural harbour at Simena from the top of the castle

A View from the Top of the Castle

The channel beween the mainland and Kekova Island provides a safe and protected harbour for boats, making it a popular anchorage for yachts and gulets.

View of the natural harbour at Simena from the top of the castle

Necropolis to the East of Simena

Hundreds of Lycian tombs dot the landscape in the Kekova region. The necropolis immediately east of Simena is packed with tombs and has the eerie atmosphere of a long-forgotten cemetery.

Night view of Simena castle

Night View of the Castle

Weather permitting, Captain Oktay anchors Arkadaslik in the middle of the natural harbour overnight so guests can enjoy the magnificent view of the brightly lit castle.

Close-up of one of the tombs near Simena

Lycian Tomb

A close-up view of the house-like rock structures the Lycians used to entomb their dead.

Additional information about Simena, Turkey

Check out these resources for additional information about Simena::

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Guests on Arkadaslik gulet enjoy a Blue Voyage Mediterranean cruise along the coast of Turkey and Greece