The Kekova Roads
Kekova Roads is a nearly enclosed bay protected by the 4 mile long Kekova Island. The Bay has several wonderful anchorages and an inner, almost landlocked cove, Uçagiz Liman, which is always calm.
There are several submerged ruins of a sunken city (an ancient town which was destroyed by an earthquake during the 2nd century) on the NW side of Kekova Island near Tersane, in Kale Köy, and at Asar Bay, a 30 minute walk from Polemos Bükü.
At the NE there is the beautiful Gökkaya Liman with many places to anchor. From there you could visit with your dinghy Demre and Myra, home of Saint Nicholas church, just 2nm away.
On the south side of Kekova Island there is the lovely and secluded Karaloz Liman.
During the day all of the anchorages at Kekova Roads are crowded with gulets and day-trip boats but in the evening things quiet down. In the absence of a major weather system bringing its own winds, the usual winds are light SE, which turn around at night to blow from NW. It is important to bear this in mind when selecting an anchoring spot, especially in Uçagiz Liman, as yachts may well not be lying to their anchor when you arrive.
The Kekova region has been declared a specially protected area by Turkish Environmental authorities. All kinds of diving and swimming around the submerged ruins are prohibited but you may take a dinghy or kayak to see the sunken city. Kekova Roads is a peaceful place of history, gorgeous turquoise water, sun, islands, unspoilt nature, blue skies and wonderful swimming.
There are two approaches to Kekova Roads. One is from the east around Geyikova Burnu at the east end of the island and the other from the west between the island and the mainland.
The eastern entrance presents few problems as long as you give the various islets in the approach a good clearance. However, there are dangerous reefs 200 metres SE of the village of Kale Köy. The reefs are marked with a south cardinal.
For the western approach, yachts may pass either side of a small group of rocky islets in the entrance, Karagol Adalari. The safer passage, is to the west of these islets since there are dangerous, unmarked reefs 200 metres north of the eastern passage. A white-painted light structure on the northern shore bearing 356 degrees gives you safe entrance through the western passage.
The entrance to the inner cove and anchorages of Uçağiz is hard to spot, being surrounded by small rocky islets. The village of Uçağiz is on the north shore and on a bearing of 340 degrees gives you safe passage into the anchorage. Once on the approach, a small inner islet will be seen, which should be left at least 100 metres to starboard as there are extensive shallow reefs all round it.
Warning: Care must be taken when entering Kekova Roads from the western Karaölor Adalari entrance, especially under sail. Because there can be very violent, unexpected gusts, it is wise to motor in to avoid the many rocks near Karaölor. Entering at nights also very risky.