5 historic sites to see in Turkey by sea

All Salamander charters begin from Bodrum, giving our guests an amazing selection of historic sites to see on the south coast of Turkey and around the Aegean Sea. In this post we’ve put together a list of 5 top historical sites to see along the coast of Turkey.

1.       Knidos

Knidos ruins

Just down the coast from Bodrum, sailing between Kos and mainland Turkey we can see the ancient Greek city of Knidos. Knidos was built by Greek settlers in the 5th century BC. It is believed that Knidos has strong connections with the goddess Aphrodite, of whom there was a statue in the city and a temple which still remains.

Arriving at Knidos by sea you’ll see the remains of an open air theatre looking out over the water. The area is extremely peaceful and boasts stunning views from the hilltops.

2.       Gemiler Island and Kayakoy

View of gulet

These two sites are situated close together and can be seen in the same trip. Gemiler is a tiny island, just 1km across but packed with points of interest. There are few Greek features but instead the island is home to several churches, built by Christian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. Inside the ruins are well preserved mosaics and frescos.

Village of Kayakoy

From the island you can head to the mainland and travel by land to Kayakoy, around 7km in. Kayakoy is a tightly packed village, built in the 1700s and so it’s not as old as some other Greek attractions. The Greeks and Turks lived peacefully beside each other for many years. However Kayakoy was eventually abandoned in 1923 at the end of Greco-Turkish war when the Greek population were resettled.

3.       Simena aka the Sunken City

Sunken sity

Simena shows the remains of a crusader castle and in the water close to the shore are the partially sunken remains of the town of Aperlae. The sunken remains can be easily seen with snorkels. It’s magical to imagine what the town might have been like at the height of the Byzantine Empire. The castle itself has a small theatre, carved into the rock and nearby are ancient sarcophagi that you are free to explore.

Visiting Simena will take us right around the southern coast of Turkey, past Rhodes and almost to Antalya. Simena is an environmentally protected area. Its beauty is truly breathtaking. Sailing in through crystal clear waters we’ll be welcomed in by pure white sands.

4.       Didyma


Head slightly north from Bodrum instead and there is an equal wealth of historical sites to see. Start with Didyma, a Greek sanctuary that is home to the Didymaion, a temple and oracle to the god Apollo. The site has weathered many invasions and items of special interest such as a stone carved head of Medusa have survived.

5.       Ephesus

Library of Celcus, Ephesus

Ephesus is considered the best preserved of all the ancient Greek and Roman cities in the Mediterranean or Aegean seas. The Library of Celsus, though partially collapsed, still stands tall, as do columns along the streets and at several temples and tombs in the area.

Although the city isn’t directly on the coast it is still worth mentioning as one of the most significant Greek ruins on the Turkish coast. You can travel by road, just 3 hours north of Bodrum to Ephesus. Pamucak beach, close to Ephesus, is a small haven of soft white sand, ideal for sunbathing and swimming off shore.