Your tour begins at the port in Demre, where you will meet your guide and depart to explore the city’s highlights.
Located on the Mediterranean coast of Anatolia, Demre lies on the ancient town of Myra, which once formed part of the historic region of Lycia. Spend time wandering between the ruins of Myra and admire its famous Lycian monuments, which include two groups of rock-hewn tombs. One lies above the theatre and the other in the River Necropolis. When foreign explorers first discovered them, the tombs were beautifully painted in red, yellow and blue, making for an incredible sight in the cliff face.
St. Nicholas Church
From Myra, we will continue to the Church of St. Nicholas, a ruined Byzantine church that contains the tomb of the 5th-century Bishop of Myra. Known as Nicholas, this priest was renowned for his healing powers and would become the figure we identify as Santa Claus today. While the present church dates from the 9th century, an early church was constructed on the site in the 6th century above the tomb of St. Nicholas. The current structure was extensively renovated in 1042 under the patronage of Constantine X and a monastery was added before Czar Alexander II purchased and restored the church in 1863. While visiting the church, take note of the wall paintings that were carefully restored during the early 2000s.
Museum of Lycian Civilizations
A path leading past the Andriake ruins will take you to a 2nd-century granary, which has been transformed into the Museum of Lycian Civilizations. It showcases artefacts that were excavated from nearby Lycian cities and details the fascinating history of the region.