Hidden Gems

Visit the home of Father Christmas with Turkey sailing trip

By Jenny Wilson
on  June 07, 2016

There are numerous towns to visit when you take a Turkey sailing trip along the Turquoise Coast, including the popular Kas, Fethiye and Kalkan; in addition, the surrounding region was populated by various ancient civilisations, including the Lycians, and there is much to see. If you are enjoying Turkey sailing, then Gemiler Island is well worth a visit.

Sailing in Turkey - Cultural sights to uncover

Also known as Saint Nicholas Island, this small island near Fethiye is widely thought to have been home to the Bishop of Myra, a man who became more popularly known as Father Christmas. He was also the patron saint of sailors, which may have contributed to this small but strategically located island’s significance. Although it is believed he was also buried here, his remains were reportedly later relocated to Myra.

The island was a popular stop-off with Christian pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. Various churches were constructed here, elaborately adorned with frescos and mosaics. The remains of these can still be seen today and are essential visiting for anyone interested in exploring Byzantine culture.

Some of the ruins are a few feet underwater, allowing visitors the unique opportunity to swim and see them from a different perspective. Admire the huge ancient public cisterns and walk up the processional pathway to the cathedral.

Climbing to the peak of the island ensures you will be rewarded with truly magical views, especially at sunset.

Planning a Turkish sailing holiday - Exciting island visits

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