Kaleköy - Simena

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Simena - Turkey A visit to the small village of Kale (Kaleköy) concludes the Kekova boat tour and is another highlight of this excursion. Kaleköy - Simena is a delightful place to visit. The village was established on top of the ancient Lycian city of Simena and was named (Kale = Castle) after the ruined crusader castle of the Knights of St. John perched above the pretty hamlet. Kale is a lovely place, with a small harbor surrounded by waterside restaurants serving excellent locally caught fish. Aside is a picturesque lone Lycian sarcophagus popping up from the cerulean water and is waiting to take its picture. As Kaleköy is a protected archeological zone with no permanent new buildings permitted, it has developed into a kind of exclusive holiday resort for yachties with only a few pricey pensions.

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From the small harbor with its sunken Lycian tomb, it is a steep but short climb to the acropolis of ancient Simena and the crusader fortress that was built on top of it. The climb is certainly worthwhile, as it offers some spectacular breathtaking views on the surroundings. The castle was built as an outpost of the Knights of St. John also known as Knights Hospitaller when they operated from nearby Rhodes. The fortress is well-preserved with its walls still standing to their full height, topped with battlements. Inside the castle, there is a 15 m-wide charming Greek theater or odeon with 7 tiers of seats carved in the rock. The size of the little theater was limited to hold up a maximum 300 people, which indicates that in antiquity Simena must have been nothing more than a village as it is now.

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