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St Nicholas Church
St Nicholas Church

St Nicholas Church

star-3.5
45 Reviews
Merkez, Antalya, Turkey, 07570

The Basics

Most day tours to St. Nicholas Church set out from Antalya, but it’s also possible to visit on a day trip from other resort towns such as Alanya, Side, or Kemer. A popular choice is to combine a stop at the church with nearby sights such as the ancient Lycian rock tombs of Myra or a cruise out to Kekova Island, where the sunken remains of an ancient city can be viewed from a glass-bottom boat.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • There is an entrance fee to visit St. Nicholas Church.

  • Visitor facilities include restrooms, a café-restaurant, and gift shops.

  • The church is wheelchair-accessible.

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How to Get There

St. Nicholas Church is located in Demre, 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Antalya, about a 2.5-hour drive. Public buses run from Antalya to Demre, from which it’s possible to walk to the church.

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When to Get There

The church can get busy in peak season (July and August), when choosing an early morning or late afternoon visit will help you avoid getting caught in the tour-group crowds. The most atmospheric time of year to visit is St. Nicholas Day, December 6, when pilgrims descend en masse to celebrate the life of the saint.

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The Remains of St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas Church houses his sarcophagus, but the remains of St. Nicholas are no longer interred there. For a long time they were believed to have been stolen by Italian merchants, who smashed the sarcophagus in 1087 and allegedly took the bones to Bari. However, in 2017, Turkish archaeologists discovered a cavity beneath the church believed to contain the tomb of St. Nicholas and his bones. Other St. Nicholas relics are on display in the Antalya Archaeological Museum.

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