The ancient Lycian city of Myra and this theater (later converted by the Romans into a stadium for gladiator fights), is a short 20 minute walk from Santa Claus’s church. I visited both on Christmas Day (December 25th) expecting to see large crowds at either site, only to find one or two tour groups meandering around. Many will be drawn to see Santa, but ancient Myra is really what makes the trip to the Turkish town of Demre worth a visit (and 10 Turkish lira entrance).
You’ll notice this area was clearly Lycian, an ancient group of peoples with a knack for carving rock tombs (like those in Fethiye). Depending on your fondness of ancient ruins however, it can be a relatively short trip, unless you’re the sort like me who likes climbing in and through ancient ruins. Ancient Myra had more of an impact on me than St. Nicholas’ (very hyped) church in Demre though. Perhaps following in his footsteps is simply more interesting than looking at where he rested his legs.
You can see a bit more of Myra’s ruins that are cut right into the rock in my gallery here.