Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Turkey  /  Turkish Aegean Coast  /  Mugla Province  /  Fethiye  /  Nature  /  Gemiler Island

Gemiler Island, Fethiye

(120+ reviews on the web)
Island
Gemiler Island is an island located off the coast of Turkey near the city of Fethiye. On the island are the remains of several churches built between the fourth and sixth centuries AD, along with a variety of associated buildings. Archaeologists believe it was the location of the original tomb of Saint Nicholas.HistoryThe Byzantine ruins of five churches built between the fourth and sixth centuries AD remain on the island, along with a 350m processional walkway. Other remains from the same period include around forty other ecclesiastical buildings and over fifty Christian tombs. One of the churches was cut directly from the rock at the island's highest point, and is located at the far western end of the processional walkway. It is possible that the Island was used by Christian pilgrims en route to the Holy Lands.Modern archaeologists believe that the island may be the location of St. Nicholas' original tomb. The traditional Turkish name for the island is Gemiler Adası, meaning "Island of Boats", which may be a reference to St. Nicholas's role as the patron saint of sailors; the island was also referred to as St. Nicholas Island by seafarers in the medieval period. Archaeologists believe he was interred in the rock-hewn church following his death in 326. His relics remained there until the 650s, when the island was abandoned as it was threatened by an Arab fleet. They were then moved to the town of Myra some 25mi to the east.EconomyThe island is currently a popular destination for large Turkish gulets, bringing many tourists to the island as well as many smaller private boats since the crescent-shaped bay can be used as a safe anchorage. The Byzantine ruins can be seen from the sea. A small makeshift restaurant stands in the bay for the summer sailors. The owners do not live on the island, but return to the mainland when there are no boats around. A charge of 8TL is currently levied upon visitors to the ruins.
Take a look at our Fethiye family vacation planner to schedule your visit to Gemiler Island and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
Source
Create a full Fethiye itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Fethiye

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Fethiye by other users

11 days in The Balkans BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 16 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM TUNISIA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 21 days in Turkey & Kastellorizo BY A USER FROM CANADA October, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 21 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM CANADA October, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 10 days in Fethiye BY A USER FROM TURKEY June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM PAKISTAN July, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 53 days in Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM BRAZIL September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 12 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA August, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Turkey BY A USER FROM NAMIBIA October, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • sated, the sea water through the eyes of a beauty like to drink at the source you'll see and you're little you will envy of living to live in the city, while for here live like
    View original
  • Great place to go, just off the tourist trail. Can get there with Dolmus or hire a car. Head out to Kayakoy from Hisaronu and take a left turn on roundabout after The Ruins. Follow on for a few miles ...  more »
  • Gemiler Island (Turkish: Gemiler Adası) is an island located off the coast of Turkey near the city ofFethiye. On the island are the remains of several churches built between the fourth and sixth centu...  more »