This prominent tourist destination has the largest number of diving schools in our country and is noted for its Blue flag beaches. It provides many diving options. The waters of Kemer teem withfish and marine life and one can also come across species that originate from the Red Sea. The Three Islands diving spot is especially wealthy in marine life where shoals of large stingrays, moray eels, crayfish and shoals of tuna and barracuda are found at certain times of the year. If you are lucky you may encounter the Mediterranean monk seal.
Kiriş Cave Bay
Kiris Cave Bay is 15 minutes by dive boat from the Kemer Yacht Harbour. The bay is sheltered from the wind and the waves. The bay starts quite shallow but reaches a depth of 18 metres, which makes it a convenient place for beginning and professional divers. The bay is enclosed with steep cliffs and derives its name from two small caves in the area. At the same time, there are many small caves and tunnels underwater worth visiting. Most importantly the possibility to reach Kabarcık Cave from beneath the surface of the water makes this diving point extremely interesting.
This bay is among Kemer’s best liked diving spots and is ideal for beginning divers. The Aquarium Bay is approximately 18 minutes from the Kemer Yacht Harbour. It can only be reached by sea. The bay is surrounded by steep cliffs and pine forests, which also has a beautiful pebble beach. The beach is sheltered from the wind and waves and is highly suitable for dives at all depths. It is possible to come across red mullets, bogues, sea breams, grey mullets, chromis, salema porgy, lapins, groupers, octopi, sea urchins, starfishes, as well as barracuda, calamari and stingrays. The deepest point of the bay is 12 metres. The sea floor consists of gravel and sand which varies from place to place. Also it is possible to swim between large rocks covered with colourfulsponges and corals, and even to feed the fish by hand. As the name implies, the bay will offerdivers immense satisfaction.
The Lighthouse diving spot appeals to divers of all levels and lies at a distance of 7 minutes from the Kemer Yacht Harbour. This location is covered with rocks and consists of many tunnels and caves. The name of this diving point comes from the reef and tunnel. The Reef starts from a depth of 3 metres and goes down to a depth of 18 metres. There is a wide tunnel from where the reef begins which has depth of 9 metres and a length of 5 metres. The tunnel serves as a habitat for many marine creatures. Divers will enjoy the display of such a rich underwater presence. There are corals and sea lilies in the tunnel covered by colourful sponges and oysters. Many species such as moray eels, octopus, crayfish, coral shrimps, crabs, sea cucumbers, nudibranches, dusky groupers and chromis are found in this place.
Paris II Wreck
This diving spot can be easily reached from the Kemer Yacht Harbour within about 7 minutes. It is the best known diving spot among foreigners in the region. The wreck lies at a depth of 21-31 metres on a sandy surface. The French wreck Paris II is said to appear as if it is almost floating on the surface of the ocean. It sank to the ground in September 1917 through artillery fire by a small Turkish battalion located at Koca Burun Hill that was under the command of Artillery Lieutenant Mustafa Ertuğrul Aker.
Before the war the Paris II was built as a fishing boat which was layer converted into a military ship. The length of the boat was 65 metres and its width was 14 metres. The wreck captures the sunlight and has become covered with colourful corals and sponges over time. It not only captures, but reflects the sunlight resulting in a splendid visual display. This is no doubt a highly enticing call for divers.
Recognised among the 50 best diving locations in the world, the Paris II wreck has a very interesting story. After the ship began to sink, 25 Turkish soldiers under the command of a young lieutenant came running to the help of the French sailors and saved their lives by taking them ashore. They shared their dry clothes, their food which was sparse because of the war conditions and treated the French sailors as their guests. The French sailors, who were far away from home and were going through one of the most difficult experiences of their lives, were highly moved by this gesture. The young lieutenant Mustafa Ertuğrul based his principles on universal human values and became very good friends with the captain of the French ship Ronnin. The French captain Major Ronnin gave his dog as a present to the Turkish lieutenant as a keepsake of their friendship and returned to his country. He would go on to report his experience to his superiors and spoke with praise about this Turkish lieutenant. This story of Paris II was verified by fairly recent documented evidence. This moving story could provide the perfect theme for a novel.
In light of the magical atmosphere of this anecdote, the area offers a lively visual display of moray eels, black scorpionfish, crayfish and dusky groupers. In addition, a large steam boiler sits in the middle of the wreck in all its glory along with large amounts of coal briquettes scattered around the wreckage. Divers are likely to see a lot of shells. This diving location was only recently discovered and is suitable for certified and experienced divers.
During a heavy storm on January 1, 2001, a Georgian ship named Pati lost control and crashed on the cliffs near the Aquarium Bay in the area of Kiriş in Kemer. The ship split into two. The bow of the ship, which included illegal immigrants from Pakistan and Sri Lanka, immediately sank to the ground, while the stern got stuck in the cliffs and remained there until 2004. In the winter of that year the stern sank as well. The wreck of the 15 metre long ship is at a depth of 5-12 metres on a sandy surface. Since it sharply drops in depth only experienced divers are allowed to dive there. However, professional divers are available to guide beginners.
The masts, chains and anchors are scattered around the wreck and divers can find dusky groupers, moray eels, stingrays and numerous starfish and occasionally tuna fish.
The Three Islands or Üç Adalar in Turkish is one of the special diving centres across Tekirova in Kemer that is of a high standard. Divers, keen to discover the treasures of the sea, flock to this area. Three Islands offers a wealth of diving opportunities. There are four small islands known as Martı, Mağara, Piknik and Küçük Ada. What make them special are their unspoilt natural beauty and criteria that meet world standards. The Münfesih SG 120 was decommissioned by the Turkish Navy and recently sunk in the region to form an artificial reef.
Many species of fish and large stingrays can be found in the canyon. Three Islands is also ideal for divers wanting to explore subterranean caves. There, divers can encounter large shoals of tuna in August and September and even come across the endangered Mediterranean monk seals that are under protection. This area is also popular for night photography and larger shoots. Dolphins will greet you at any moment after you reach the end of your 30 minute trip.
Three Islands: X Reef
Among the diving spots of the Three Islands, this reef is among the most abundant. Apart fromthe reefs extending from the coast, another reef starts 15 meters below the surface and goes to a depth to 55 meters. But they do not have to dive until this depth, because there is a wall north-west of the reef, which descends to a depth of 30 meters. Divers can come across droves of white groupers and dusky groupers in some of the reef edges. Droves of bullet tuna, dentex andleerfish can be seen depending on the season.
Three Islands: Pyramid Stones
It is an ideal location for beginners and exploration dives. However, with the company of a good guide three large rocks can be explored on the bottom of the grounds. The upper parts lie between depths of 10-30 meters. If one looks carefully many species of fish can be found, especially a variety of tiny sea hares on the upper parts.
Three Islands: Adventure Reef
This reef is located 400 meters from Three Islands and usually has a current. It is only recommended for experienced divers. The upper part is quite shallow and has a depth of 5 meters, but the overall depth can reach 60-70 meters. The centre of the shoal resembles a plateau. On its surface many small migratory fish fall prey to groups of greater amberjack. Some sea hare species can only be found in this reef. Among the variety of fish that can be encountered are barracudas, leerfish, dusky groupers, loggerhead sea turtles, white groupers, stingrays, red porgies, dentex, eaglerays, moray eels, scorpionfish and swallowtail seaperches in lower depths.
Gelidonya Antique Shipwreck: 3200 year old mystery!
Gelidonya is located on the most westerly end of the Gulf of Antalya, today known as Cape Taşlık, and is the largest of five islands that are lined to the south of the cape. The region lies between the districts of Adrasan and Kumluca and the shipwreck was first discovered by a sponge diver from Bodrum in 1954. The area known for the Cape is also famous for a lighthouse that carries the same name.
The shipwreck lies at a depth of 28 metres and a research expedition made in 1960 by archaeologists revealed that the ship belonged to the Early Bronze Age. These expeditions were also the first academic underwater archaeology research trips ever conducted in our country. Through these findings it was established that the ship sank in the 13th century B.C. What makes the Gelidonya shipwreck even more significant is that the artefacts have uncovered glimpses of the past. The artefacts excavated from the wreck are displayed in the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. After the wreck was salvaged nothing of importance was left at this location. But those who still want to dive into 3200 years of history are free to do so. Fragments of the ship and the ship’s anchor are still at the site.
The lighthouse adds a distinct touch to Gelidonya and the surrounding area. It lies on a footpath that attracts many nature enthusiasts.