Cedar Island: Cedreae Ancient City and Cleopatra Beach

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Cedreae is an ancient Carian city famous for its Cleopatra Beach. It is located on the Sedir Island in the Gulf of Keramos. This island is famous for its sea and the golden sandy beach called Cleopatra Beach. The island is a 1st degree “archaeological site”, 1st degree “natural site” and also a “special environmental protection zone”.

Sedir Island, the largest of a triple island group full of ancient ruins, attracts both history and nature lovers with its amazing beauty.

The name Cedreae is named after the cedar tree; known to have been present in this area during the Ancient Period.  Because of the cedar trees said to have been found here centuries ago, the island has been known by that name ever since. However, nowadays there are no cedar tree on the island.

Location of Cedreae Ancient City 

This ancient city is located on the north of Marmaris District. Kedreai is an island settlement on the east of Keramos Gulf. 

History of Cedreae Ancient City

The first settlement in Cedreae was founded by the Dors in the 6th century BC. Cedreae was one of the most important cities of Caria region due to its location on the land and sea commercial routes of Datça and Bozburun peninsula in ancient times. According to some sources, Carian king families spent their summers on this island.

During the Athens-Sparta war in 405 BC, the city, which was on the side of the Athens Union, was looted by Spartan soldiers after the defeat of the Athenians in the war.

After this date, although the city continued to exist during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, it lost all its commercial function and became a small settlement.

Buildings in City

The settlement of the ancient city is on a small hill to the east of the island. There is no settlement in the western part of the city. There are important archaeological structures on this island.

City Plan and Buildings of Cedar Island and Cedreae Ancient City
City Plan and Buildings of Cedar Island and Cedreae Ancient City

The most important surviving remains of the Hellenistic period and before are the tower and fortification city walls made of smooth cut stone. The walls surrounding the north and south of the island completely surround the civil and religious structures.

There is a temple on the island which is thought to be dedicated to Apollo. This building is built on a terrace. The temple is in the middle of a sacred area surrounded by walls. Today, only the foundations of this temple remain and the doors of the temple are partially noticed. Snake relief motif is seen on a stone in this region. According to Snake mythology, it is thought that the temple was built for Apollo because it is an animal related to Apollo.

The most remarkable structure of the island is the theater, which can be considered as big according to the scale of the city. This building, one of the three big theaters on the opposite side of Rhodes Island, has a capacity of 2500 people. The stage building of the theater has been severely damaged, but the seats are still prominent and survived in most parts.

There are also church and chapel ruins on the island. The largest of these is the Great Basilica, which dates back to the 5th-6th centuries AD.

The necropolis of the city is on the main land opposite the island.

Kedrai had a commercial agora because it was located on the trade routes. Agora has various changes until the Byzantine period and has survived to the present day in its Byzantine form.

There are also water cisterns in the city where the water needs of its inhabitants are provided and filled with rain water.

Transportation

Sedir Island is located 62 km from Muğla and 23 km from Marmaris.

The island can be reached by regular boat trips from Çamlı Village of Marmaris. There are regular boat trips from Çamlı Pier to Sedir Island. It is necessary to arrive at Çamlı Village in order to reach Çamlı pier. To reach Çamlı Village, you see Çamlı sign on the 12th kilometer of Marmaris-Muğla road and after you find it, you reach Çamlık Pier by taking another 6 kilometers.

Daily tours from Marmaris to Sedir Island are the most preferred by holidaymakers. During the boat trips, you can see numerous beauties in the surrounding bays, you can take a swimming break and you can visit Sedir Island and Cleopatra Beach.

Opening/Closing Time and Entrance Fee

Summer Period (1 April – 1 October): Opening/Closing  Time: 08:30/19:00

Winter Period (1 October – 1 April): Opening/Closing  Time: 08:30/17:00

Box Office Summer / Winter Closing Hours 
Summer Period: 18:30
Winter Period: 16:30
Entrance Fee : 30 TL – State : Open

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