Demre, formerly known as Kale, is a small agricultural town on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. It was also the ancient Lycian town of Myra. A community of Christian Greeks lived here until the 1920s when they were forced to relocate to Greece during the population exchange between Turkey and Greece. Abandoned Greek houses serve as a reminder of this time.
Though not as big as the areas closer to the Antalya airport, Demre's history, warm weather, and proximity to the sea make this town a pleasant and popular vacation spot. Many tourists, especially Christians, come here on a pilgrimage to visit the tomb of Saint Nicholas and his church. Saint Nicholas was the historical figure who eventually became Santa Claus. He lived in and was the bishop of Myra during the 4th century.
Other attractions in Demre include the ruins of Myra, such as a Roman theater and tombs cut into the rock walls. There are also boat trips to see the sunken ruins of the nearby island of Kekova. The well-known long distance hiking trail, the Lycian Way, also passes through Demre and the ancient town of Myra.
Demre is located along highway D400 about halfway between Antalya and Fethiye. It's approximately 90 miles from either city. Buses run along the coast from both Antalya and Fethiye, and the closest airports are Antalya and Dalaman.