you leave the Islands of Karacaören behind, you reach the Island of Ships
which is opposite a small inlet lying in the shadow of pine and olive
trees. The space between the island and the shore is a natural shelter for
the yachts. The yachts can be tied to the trees or rocks on the shore. The
island is full of historical works of art and the church of St. Nicholas
is here. Therefore, the island is also called the Island of St. Nicholas.
Although it has been suggested recently that the tomb of Santa Claus might
have been here, the accepted fact is that the tomb is in Myra.
All of the remains in the Island of Ships belong to the Late Age. Owing to
the fact that an earthquake caused the island to sink a little into the
water in the year 240 AD, some of the remains lie underwater today. There
are the remains of a palace ornamented with mosaics, on top of the island.
This palace is connected to the church on the shore, by means of a tunnel
500 m in length. There are also many other remains of houses on the
Gemiler Island is filled with ruins. Among the medieval buildings on the
island is a church and on the hill are the ruins of a palace decorated
with mosaics. There are cisterns and wells on the island too. On the
northern side are the remains of a quay and warehouse that are now
partially submerged. The side of the island facing the mainland is
suitable as an anchorage. Immediately opposite this is a restaurant and
places where one may find accommodation. This place is also accessible by
highway from Fethiye. Inland was the ancient city of Carmylessus. Between
here and Fethiye is the village of Kaya. Formerly inhabited by Greeks, the
village was abandoned during the population exchanges that took place in
1922 and is now empty. There are plans to turn it into a holiday village.