Sovalye Island is a beautiful and historic island located off the coast of Fethiye, a popular tourist destination in Turkiye. This small island has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the time of the Knights of St. John, who once inhabited the island and left their mark on its culture and architecture.
The island was originally known as Megisti, and it was an important part of the Greek empire during ancient times. However, in the 14th century, it was conquered by the Knights of St. John, who established a stronghold on the island and began to transform it into a fortress. Over time, the Knights built a number of impressive buildings and structures on the island, including a castle, a church, and several watchtowers.
The Knights of St. John
Also known as the Knights Hospitaller, were a Christian military order that originated in Jerusalem in the 12th century. They were dedicated to caring for the sick and defending the Christian faith, and they played an important role in the Crusades.
In the 14th century, the Knights Hospitaller established a presence in Fethiye. They constructed a castle on a hill overlooking the town, which is now known as Fethiye Castle or Knights Castle.
The castle was strategically located and served as a defence against Ottoman raids. The Knights of St. John also used it as a base for their operations in the region, and it was an important stop on their trade routes between Europe and the Middle East.
Visitors to Fethiye can visit the castle and explore its ruins. The castle is perched on a hill overlooking the town and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and coastline. It is a popular tourist attraction and a testament to the enduring legacy of the Knights of St. John.
A popular destination for tourists who are interested in history and culture. Visitors can explore the island’s many ruins and relics, including the castle, the church, and the watchtowers, and learn about the island’s fascinating history. Additionally, the island is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a popular spot for swimming, snorkelling, and other water sports.
One of the most unique features of Sovalye Island is the fact that it is only accessible by boat. However, the journey is well worth it, as the island is truly a hidden gem that is well worth exploring.
Visiting Sovalye Island offers a serene and tranquil experience with its pristine beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and beautiful natural surroundings.
Access and Transportation:
To reach Sovalye Island, you typically take a short boat ride from Fethiye Harbor. The island is car-free, so you’ll need to rely on boats for transportation during your stay. This adds to the island’s peaceful atmosphere.
Sovalye Island is a picturesque gem, featuring unspoiled nature and stunning landscapes. The island is covered in lush greenery, pine forests, and colorful flowers, creating a relaxing and refreshing ambiance. You’ll find secluded coves, hidden beaches, and rocky cliffs where you can explore, swim, snorkel, and sunbathe.
Beaches and Water Activities:
The island boasts pristine beaches with soft sand and crystal-clear waters. You can spend your days lounging on the beach, swimming in the refreshing sea, or snorkeling to discover the vibrant marine life. There are also opportunities for paddleboarding, kayaking, and even diving in the surrounding waters.
Peace and Tranquility:
Sovalye Island is known for its tranquillity, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a quiet getaway. The absence of cars and the limited number of visitors ensure a serene atmosphere, allowing you to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Scenic Walks and Hiking:
The island offers scenic walking paths that lead you through its natural beauty. You can take leisurely strolls along the coastline, venture into the pine forests, or hike up to the island’s highest point for breath-taking panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Dining and Accommodation:
While Sovalye Island is predominantly residential, there are a few small hotels and restaurants where you can enjoy delicious meals featuring local Turkish cuisine. The island’s intimate atmosphere and personalized service provide a unique and memorable dining experience.
Day Trips and Excursions:
If you’re staying in Fethiye, you can plan a day trip to Sovalye Island to explore its charms. You can also embark on boat tours that include stops at the island, allowing you to enjoy the island’s beauty along with other nearby attractions.
Visiting Sovalye Island offers a chance to disconnect from the outside world, immerse yourself in nature, and indulge in a peaceful and idyllic setting. It’s a destination where you can relax, recharge, and appreciate the natural wonders of the Turkish coastline.