Simena is a popular Lycian site, situated upon one of the most attractive spots of the Turkish coast. The name “Kekova” is Turkish for “plain of thyme” and describes the region encompassing the island of Kekova, the villages of Kaleköy and Üçağiz and the three ancient towns of Simena, Teimussa and Tersane (meaning “shipyard”, as its bay was the site of an ancient shipyard, with mostly Byzantine ruins). Both Simena and Teimussa have a large necropolis. Teimussa is now the village of Üçağiz, where boats set off for tours of the area.
The Kekova region was declared a Specially Protected Area in 1990 to protect the natural, cultural and geographic richness of Kekova Island and surrounding coast. The Kekova Specially Protected Area is 260 km² and is managed by the Ministry of Environment, Authority for the Protection of Special Areas.
Kekova-Simena is an enjoyable place to visit for its great beauty and charm. For this reason, it is popular with yachties (known to them as “Kekova Roads”) on their Blue Cruises along Lycia’s Turquoise Coast. In fact, cruising yachts often anchor here for several weeks at a time. It is a peaceful place of history, gorgeous turquoise water, sun, islands, unspoilt nature, blue skies and wonderful(!!) swimming.