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 crenellated walls are still standing, and the small theatre carved into the rocks (reported to be the smallest theatre 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 sarcophagus in the village's natural harbour.
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 Cruises along the Lycian Coast to the Kekova region 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.
Additional information about Simena
Check out these resources for additional information about Simena:
- Wikipedia listing for Kaleköy
- Lycian Turkey - Discover the Beauty of Ancient Lycia
- All About Turkey - Kekova
Have you been to Simena in the Kekova region of Turkey? Have you got photos or information that you'd like included in this article? Please get in touch if you have something to share. We'd love to hear from you!
We hope you enjoyed these photos from our visit to the Simena - the Castle Village on Turkey's Lycian Coast!