After you leave the Islands of Karacaören behind, you reach Gemiler island which is opposite a small inlet lying in the shadow of pine and olive trees. The space between the island and the shore is a natural shelter for the yachts. The yachts can be tied to the trees or rocks on the shore. On this island are the remains of a sizeable Byzantine settlement and though many of the buildings are in ruins, there is still sufficient to see, including some marvellous mosaic floors, to make a ramble ashore worthwhile. According to local folklore the island was a pirate stronghold at some time and given its location on this lonely bit of coast, where a look-out on the high hills above could signal the approach of ships going north or south, it would seem a likely location for the thinking pirate to base himself. The island is full of historical works of art and the church of St. Nicholas is here. Therefore, the island is also called the Island of St. Nicholas. Although it has been suggested recently that the tomb of Santa Claus might have been here, the accepted fact is that the tomb is in Myra.
All of the remains in the Island of Ships belong to the Late Age. Owing to the fact that an earthquake caused the island to sink a little into the water in the year 240 AD, some of the remains lie underwater today. There are the remains of a palace ornamented with mosaics, on top of the island. This palace is connected to the church on the shore, by means of a tunnel 500 m in length. There are also many other remains of houses on the island. Gemiler Island is filled with ruins. Among the medieval buildings on the island is a church and on the hill are the ruins of a palace decorated with mosaics. There are cisterns and wells on the island too. On the northern side are the remains of a quay and warehouse that are now partially submerged. The side of the island facing the mainland is suitable as an anchorage. Inland was the ancient city of Carmylessus. Between here and Fethiye is the village of Kaya. Formerly inhabited by Greeks, the village was abandoned during the population exchanges that took place in 1922 and is now empty. There are plans to turn it into a holiday village.