For pleasure-seekers and holidaymakers, there are plenty of things to do in Kas, a gorgeous Mediterranean coast resort of Turkey. Admiring magnificent scenery is just one. White houses cascading down the hillside to the harbour and costal line are everything a beautiful picture postcard scene should look like.
Sitting 170 miles from Antalya and close to the upmarket resort of Kalkan, Kas is known for Lycian rock tombs dotted throughout the main town centre, yet there is much more to the place. It has a certain charm and laid-back pace making it ideal for people who want to relax and soak up Turkey’s holiday ambience.
Like many villages along Turkey’s southern and western coasts, Kas portrays traces of its history through Greek architecture in the old part of town. Wooden balconies and pink bougainvillaea flowers flowing over them, are Kas’s typical feature points, as are narrow, cobbled paths.
Walking harbourside, visitors get an idea of its fishing importance, with small boats tied up and their fresh catch of the day smell drifting through the air. These combine with a modern twist that have prompted Kas to become a must visit destination of Turkey.
How many days should you spend in Kas?
Three days is enough to see the main highlights, but given the number of things to do, places to see and tourist attractions, it is easy to fill up two weeks of your time with activities every day.
Where to stay in Kas, Turkey
There are two main parts to Kas, the town centre and the peninsula. Both are gorgeous, and neither is better than the other. The bonus of being in the town centre is that it is the hub, with banks, transport, and more restaurants, shops choices. Hideaway, a popular hotel in Kas often receives raving reviews from holidaymakers who return year after year.
18 Things to do in Kas
1: Visit Kas Amphitheatre
Modern Kas is settled around Antiphellos ancient city, and a striking visible landmark is a small amphitheatre on the town edge. Sitting on the coastline with a gorgeous Mediterranean view, concerts held there provide a surreal feel to a Turkish musical experience. Otherwise, pop along any day when the sun is due to set, to witness one of Turkey’s magical sunsets.
2: Lazy Day Boat Cruises
A Mediterranean blue reflection makes everyone want to jump into the sea. However, there are two ways to do it. The first is on a lazy day boat cruise along the coastline to visit hidden coves and bays rarely featured in mainstream travel magazines. This day out including lunch and swimming breaks suits everyone whether family, couples, a group of friends or solo traveller.
3: Kaputas Beach: Swimming, Sunbathing and Relaxation
Another choice is to be a beach bum for the day. Kas’s main beach in the town centre is small and pebbly, but it makes a good swimming and sunbathing spot that is nearby. A must visit, even just for one day is Kaputas beach, the most photographed in Turkey. Stone steps lead to a sandy haven with crystal blue water emphasising everything great about Mediterranean Turkey.
4: Kekova City Sunken Ruins
The 4.5 uninhabited Kekova island boasts of sunken ruins of the old city destroyed hundreds of years ago. While diving is prohibited, sailing over them reveals an untold part of this region’s history. Local boat trips run the course before heading over to Ucagiz, otherwise many people opt for a sea-kayaking tour to get closer and up front.
5: Scuba Dive the Mediterranean
One thing Kas does well is scuba diving, and for newbies, calm Mediterranean waters are the ideal place to try it. Kas earned a name for itself because of its serene waters, but also because they are crystal blue, home to a perfect ecosystem and hold many treasures including ship and aircraft wrecks. Beginners sign up for a try dive and tour with a qualified instructor. Otherwise more experienced divers can also complete their international PADI certificate in Kas.
6: Visit Rustic Ucagiz, also known as Kalekoy
Ucagiz, a magical untouched place in Turkey is a rustic village stuck in time. Boats often dock in for passengers to walk to the top of the village where a Byzantine castle called Simena gives off amazing peninsula views. On the way down, stop by a local restaurant and taste a variety of home-made ice-cream that differs completely from any other flavours you’ve tasted. Visit at the end of the season, and you will also see endangered Caretta turtles swimming alongside boats.
7: Adrenaline Sports: Paragliding and Canyoning
Kas’s varied landscape makes it a perfect base to seek an adrenaline rush. Canyoning is big business thanks to many hidden canyons and gorges. Otherwise, any curious person with an urge to go high should sign up for para-gliding tours and their amazing bird's-eye view of the peninsula. You need not be experienced because a qualified instructor tandem rides with you. Mountain biking, zip lining and trekking are other popular choices.
8: Must Do: Visit Meis and the Blue Cave
An excellent excursion to book is ferry riding to Meis, a Greek island which on a clear day can be seen from Kas. The short ferry ride drops you off at the harbour in the village centre, and this is the perfect chance to indulge in a lazy village like ambience with Greek culture thrown in for a bonus. A must visit while there is to book a speed boat ride around the coastline to the Blue Cave, an amazing sign of Mother Nature’s power. Also, wander narrow streets to admire the colourful houses and indulge in some Greek food in harbour restaurants.
9: Saklikent Gorge Natural Landmark
Just one hour drive from Kas, Saklikent Gorge, stretching for 18 kilometres is an ideal place to escape the summer heat. Tall, natural stone walls formed thousands of years ago by an earthquake shelters all visitors from the sun, and while people don’t walk the full length, it's worth visiting. The main section accessed by a bridge and pathway attached to the gorge wall leads to a small viewing platform. After seeing this marvellous natural landmark, relax and eat fresh fish in rustic riverside restaurants.
10: Hike the Lycian Way
Hikers will be in their element in Kas because it is part of the Lycian way, a 500-kilometre walking path of the Mediterranean coast that takes in ancient ruins and has amazing sea views to boot. To walk to full length would take many months so most people just walk sections, and for those who want to make it an overnight trip, camping sites along the way are perfect for completing the great outdoors experience.
11: Beautiful Patara and Turkey’s Longest Beach
Just a 45-minute drive away, Patara opens holidaymakers’ eyes to a beautiful, untouched part of Turkey. From the small village, a long road stretching past Lycian rock tombs leads to the ruins of the ancient city, that was a member of the Lycian league. Just a little further, small paths open to Turkey’s longest stretch of sand, with ample amounts of space for hundreds of people. Patara is also a windsurfing haven thanks to gentle breezes that wrap around from the west.
12: Visit Xanthos and Letoon
If you haven’t already guessed by now, ancient ruins are splattered across Turkey’s Mediterranean coast and Xanthos and Letoon, sitting 45 minutes’ drive from Kas, belong to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list and are popular with holidaymakers. As the ancient Lycian Federation’s capital city, its importance stemmed throughout the land and for archaeologists, is a goldmine of treasures, artefacts, and ancient texts. As well as the amphitheatre, other landmarks buildings include the old Roman street, shop arcade, Byzantine basilica and much more.
13: Explore the Mediterranean via Car
Kas is a great base from which to explore the Mediterranean coast. Many tours shops in Kas sell daily excursions to places near and far, but another choice is car hire so you can explore at your own pace, when and where you want. Daily car hire in Turkey is cheap, and to lessen the costs of petrol, diesel cars are another alternative. All the places we mentioned above are easily reached, and all you need is your driving licence. We love exploring parts of Turkey by hiring a car, and for independent spirits, it is often the best way to also get off the beaten touristic track.
14: Demre and The Church of Saint Nicholas
Heading 40 minutes east takes you to Demre, a working town untouched by tourism that makes you think no-one ever visits it. It is a major attraction of Mediterranean Turkey because its home to Saint Nicholas;s Church and he was a man who touched millions of hearts around the world, as the original Santa Claus. The version we see today was based on him, and the time he spent in Demre as the Mayor. Many pilgrims from around the world visit the town to see the church but it is also home to spectacular Lycian ruins called Myra including tombs and a large amphitheatre.
15: Upmarket Kalkan for Sophistication
Head to the main otogar station and catch a bus to nearby Kalkan, just 30 minutes’ drive away. The Kalkan real estate market of this plush resort features large, luxury villas with the best in Mediterranean architecture. Wandering cobbled streets of the old town is not for people with walking difficulties, but if you are able bodied, the different atmosphere to Kas makes for an added twist to your Turkish holiday.
16: Enjoy the Kas Marina Facilities
In 2011, Setur marinas opened in Kas and to date, have received raving reviews for their hospitality excellence. You don’t have to a boat owner because shops and restaurants make it an ideal place to ramble around and spend time. Sitting on the outskirts of Kas, it is known for a spectacular view, and to spend the night, an on-site hotel and swimming pool complete the experience. This is also an ideal place from which to tour the Turkish Riviera if you want to go sailing.
17: Local Farmers Market
Throughout every town, village and city in Turkey, local farmers markets are the highlight of social agendas. In Kas, this happens on a Friday, and while there are just a few clothing and souvenirs stalls, it is worth going if you are a first-time visitor to Turkey, just to soak up the atmosphere. Sample delicious cheese, juicy olives, and locally-grown fruit and vegetables that puts British versions to shame!
18: Traditional Turkish Things to Do
Last, on our list of things to do in Kas, Turkey is to go full out Turkish style. Turkish hammams, where you take a steam bath and enjoy a soap suds massage is the best Turkish experience but do it at the beginning of your holiday, so it doesn’t rub off all your suntan. To swap cuisine for a night, visit a local lokanta, which is the traditional Turkish style of restaurants. Tea gardens are family orientated places, while men should stop by the local barber for a fire-raising and close shave. To take Turkish souvenirs home, choose tea, coffee, Turkish delight or the all popular Nazar Bonjuk, also known as the evil eye.
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