Things to do
Below are some suggestions of the many things you can do in the area:
A boat trip of the area: There are truly some wonders to experience which lie on the doorstep of Azur villa. See the remarkable “Sunken City”, a Roman town which was destroyed by an earthquake leaving many the town’s buildings and possessions still visible under the sea. Make a lunch stop at Simena village where you can explore the castle built by the Knights of St John during the Crusades. And remember all of this with as much swimming as you like in a part of the Mediterranean which is truly spectacular.
Make your way down to Andriake harbour (1km from the house) and charter one of the many boats there. Expect to pay 80-150TL for a half day trip and 200-250TL for a full day. The variation in price reflects the size of the boat you end up chartering. Remember to haggle with the locals to achieve these prices.
A visit to the ruins of Myra and St Nicholas church with lunch: With all of this only a couple of miles from Azur villa, it is an ideal half or full day trip. Start by visiting ancient Myra. The Lycian civilisation prospered in this area in 500 – 200BC. Lycian nobles were buried in elaborate tombs carved out of the side of a hill or mountain. The effect is quite remarkable and the tombs at Myra are the best in all of Turkey. In later times the ancient Greeks built an impressive theatre next to these tombs which the Romans would then expand. Take a break for lunch at this point in my favourite Demre restaurant called Ipek where you can have a hearty meal with drinks for about £6. Then, down the street, finish your day at the church of St Nicholas, precursor to the modern day Santa Claus.
A day at the beach: this suggestion may seem obvious, but the coastline and sea is so good in this part of the world that it needs to be mentioned. There are two spots I love around Azur villa. The first is “the rock”, a small concreted platform belonging to Azur villa and the other houses on the site. It takes just a minute to stroll to, you dive straight into the open Mediterranean and is ideal for snorkelling. It is perfect for adults. For families, a 5min car ride takes you to Tashtibi beach, a 5 mile long deserted pebble beach with crystal clear water. Just before Tashtibi is a sandy beach which shelves very gently into the sea making it ideal and safe for younger children or toddlers. Click here to see where the beaches are in relation to Azur villa.
Scuba-diving: scuba-diving excursions are opening up in Demre and it is not a moment too soon in my opinion as the world underwater in the area is magnificent. Dives happen all year round, usually between Fri-Sun in the summer months, less so before and after. The dives are in the Kekova area. You should be an open-water qualified diver. A full day with two dives costs TL80 including lunch. For beginners, Discover Diving is available. This also costs TL80 and will include one dive. You can also do a scuba-diving course. This lasts appx 5 days and consists of 6 or 7 dives. Dive depth 18 metres. Available all year round. Minimum 2 people required. YTL500 per person. Full details in the Welcome Booklet at Azur villa.
A day at Kas town: a popular tourist town which thankfully has still been able to retain its charm. About 30 miles from Azur villa, Kas is good for souvenir shopping, eating and adventure sports such as scuba diving or parasailing.
The Chimaera flames with fish lunch: The Chimaera flames date back to ancient times where sailors used to navigate by them and where today they are used to brew tea. Combine your visit with a meal at the fish restaurant in nearby Ulupinar. Set alongside a waterfall in a lush green forest, your fish will be taken fresh from the river. A 3 course meal with drink set me back about £5-6. Make a full day out of this trip by going swimming at Olimpos in the morning, having lunch and taking in the flames in late afternoon or early evening. A car is essential for this trip. Journey time from Azur villa is approximately 1-1.5 hours.
A day at Saklikent gorge: Saklikent gorge is about a 2 hour drive from Azur villa. Combine your visit with a meal on one of the platform restaurants which bridge the rapids.
Worth a go:
The Lycian Way: The Lycian Way is, according to the Sunday Times, one of the top ten best walks in the world. In full, it is about 500km long and takes two months to complete. Thankfully, it runs straight through Demre, so you might be tempted to take a few days or a week to walk a part of it. The authoritative book on the subject is called The Lycian Way by Kate Clow. A copy is at Azur villa.
Paragliding at Kas town: This and other adventure sports are available at the well-established and reputable Bougainville travel agency in Kas.
A night at the Gokkaya sea disco: This is a disco which can only be accessed by sea making it popular with passing gulet cruises. It is only a 30min boat ride from Azur villa so you could arrange with Adnan to take you there and back. Definitely a good night out for a price that will leave you plenty extra for your drinks.