Simena Castle Turkey: 2024 Travel Guide

Find all you need to know before visiting Simena Castle and village in Turkey. Read our first-hand travel tips on how to visit and more.
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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Croatian-Slovenian full-time travel duo, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists for over 4 years. We write in-depth travel guides about destinations we have personally visited, providing practical travel tips and recommendations.

Simena Castle Turkey: 2024 Travel Guide

During our Turkey road trip, we spent a few days in Kas and took a boat trip to Simena Castle (Kalekoy Castle) and Sunken City, which was the highlight of our stay and one of our favorite experiences on the Turkish Riviera road trip.

So, here is everything you need to know before visiting Simena Castle yourself.

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Arijana on the top of Simena Castle

About

Simena, located in Turkey, is an ancient Lycian city with a rich history dating back to the 4th century BC. It is famous for its well-preserved rock-cut tombs, stunning amphitheater overlooking the sea, and picturesque views of the Mediterranean coast. 

Today, Simena is known for its charming fishing village vibe, with colorful houses lining the waterfront and small boats bobbing in the clear blue waters. 

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Simena Castle and Kalekoy seen from a boat

Things to see and do in Simena, Turkey

While the Simena Castle is the absolute highlight, there are a few other things to see and do at Simena, now better known as Kalekoy.

Simena Castle

Simena Castle, also known as Kalekoy Castle, is a historical site in the Antalya Province of Turkey. It is perched atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in the picturesque Kalekoy Village.

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Simena castle dates back to the 4th century BC when it served as a strategic military outpost. Over the centuries, it has witnessed the rule of various civilizations, including the Lycians, known for their advanced city planning and unique funerary practices; the Romans, who brought their architectural prowess; and the Byzantines, who left their mark with their religious influence.

At the castle of Simena, you can explore the remains of the castle walls, towers, and amphitheater while soaking in the panoramic vistas that stretch out over the turquoise waters below. The views are to die for!

Arijana Tkalčec on Kekova boat tour in Turkey

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Kalekoy Village

Right below Kalekoy Castle is the small, cute Kalekoy village. The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with quaint cafes and shops selling local handicrafts. However, expect the prices to be a bit higher than usual.

Tip: Try their handmade ice cream!

You need to pass through this part to climb to the top of the castle. While this area is charming, it can be a bit overwhelming to pass by, with everyone offering their products.

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Part of Kalekoy village seen from the boat

Sunken City

Simena experienced significant submergence due to earthquakes in the 2nd century AD and is now home to a remarkable, sunken ancient city. 

Join a boat tour to see the partially submerged ruins, including the remnants of buildings, walls, and paved streets once part of a thriving settlement. 

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Sunken City seen from Kekova boat tour

We visited Simena Castle on the Kekova boat tour from Kas, so we saw it while cruising on the way to the village of Kalekoy. It is absolutely stunning!

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Sea kayaking

Alternatively, you can visit the Sunken City ruins of Simena by joining a sea kayaking tour.

We highly recommend this option, as it allows you to observe the ruins more closely and at a slower pace than from a cruising boat. 

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The calm and turquoise waters provide an ideal environment for both beginners and experienced kayakers to enjoy this historical and scenic adventure. 

With breathtaking views and the chance to immerse yourself in history, sea kayaking at the sunken city of Simena is a must-try activity for those seeking a truly memorable experience in Turkey.

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How to visit Simena Castle?

Boat trip

One of the best ways to visit Simena Castle is by taking a boat tour from Kas, Demre, or Üçağız. These boat tours provide a scenic journey along the coast and offer a unique perspective of the castle perched on the hillside while approaching it from the sea.

It’s also possible to do a day trip from Fethiye or Antalya, but these are usually private tours.

We visited the castle of Simena on a boat tour from Kas, which also included a bunch of swimming stops, seeing Sunken City, and lunch. Read more about our experience here.

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Read next: Things To Do in Kas

Driving

However, you might also drive towards Simena Castle and then walk the last part (about 1 km or less, depending on where you manage to park). 

Upon exiting D400, the street narrows, and the road quality deteriorates, resulting in a longer travel time. It will take approximately 20-30 minutes to reach Ucagiz. Proceed through the village until you find a car parking area, and then hike from there. Note that the trail isn’t marked.

Car rental in Cappadocia

The easiest way to get around Turkey?

Rent a car! Turkey is very easy to navigate by car, which allows you to explore at your own pace.

We recommend using DiscoverCars, where you can easily compare prices from top car rental companies and book your dream car with just a few clicks. Say goodbye to long queues and hidden fees and hello to hassle-free car rentals.

Hiking

Another recommended way to visit Simena Castle is by hiking the Lycian Way trail, which offers stunning vistas along the way. Check the route here.

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Opening hours and tickets

The entrance fee to Simena Castle is around 3 USD.

The Castle of Simena is open daily from 10 am until 8 pm.

Where to stay?

For those seeking a traditional experience, staying in a local guesthouse or boutique hotel within the picturesque village of Kalekoy can provide an authentic taste of the area’s charm. 

Note: The village is tiny, and there are not many stays available, so you’ll need to book them well in advance for a chance to stay there!

We recommend Ankh Pension or Sahil Pension for your stay in Simena.

Alternatively, you may opt for hotels or resorts along the coast, such as Kas or Demre.

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Thank you for reading this article about Simena Castle Turkey. We hope we convinced you to visit and, above all, helped you plan your trip.

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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Full-time travelers, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists.

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We're Arijana and Matej, a couple and travel blogging duo from Croatia and Slovenia who thrive while slow-traveling. And we have been doing it for over 4 years.

During and after our travels, we love publishing in-depth, researched and above-all, useful travel guides, full of personal first-hand information on the places we personally visited.

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