Kaş (pronounced Kaash) is a "Turkish Delight" city in the very south (Mediterranean) of Turkey.
The town has many decent hotels and restaurants and is a bustling centre for adventure activity holidays. The main season is from April through the end of October. October 29th (Ekim yirmi dokuz) is Turkish Independence Day and the official end of the tourist season in Kaş. There is a huge celebration in the town square (meydan).
ClimateKaş is one of the southernmost points in Turkey—indeed, it lies on about the same latitude with North Africa city of Tunis—so be ready for very hot and sticky summers.
Kaş is halfway between Dalaman Airport (180 km) and Antalya Airport (192 km) and a fair distance from both, so it avoids excessive package trade. There are various ways to get to Kaş from these airports. The easiest way, and the most expensive, is by taxi. You can hire a taxi in the airport (generally more expensive - around 200 TL), or you can book a transfer from the hotel where you will be staying or from a local travel agency in Kaş (around 150 TL). You can take a bus or dolmuş(a shared/bus taxi of usually 12 passengers) however they stop in every small village along the way which takes more time.
There are also direct overnight bus services between Istanbul and Kaş, a rather inexpensive way of getting to and from the capital. Bus services in Turkey are very modern and generally excellent and, if you want to get to Istanbul, you may prefer spending the night in the bus and waking up in Istanbul the next morning rather than wasting a whole day traveling to the airports for a local flight. The bus station (otogar) is located right at the centre of town, on the side of main square.
Also, Meis Expres runs a ferry from the nearby Greek island Kastellorizo, Meis in Turkish.
National holidays can cause delays in travel, traffic congestion, booked-up accommodations, and crowded venues.
Minibuses run around the Peninsula of Çukurbağ, known in Turkish as Yarım Ada, which is a few kilometers away and where most hotels have their own terrace "beaches" open to the public (as long as beverages or food are consumed from their beach bars). Taxis to the peninsula can be costly, at least US$10 each way.
Transportation in Turkey is excellent. You can take a minibus (or dolmuş) up to the village of Çukurbağ, about 10 km directly above and behind Kaş and on to places such as Kekova or Kalkan on either side of Kaş.
- Lycian Way
- Ancient theatre and acropolis in Kas (Antiphellos: Habessos)
- Phellos ancient city
- Kekova Sound, where the sunken Lycian city is located
- Aperlai ruins
- Saklikent gorge
- Patara ruins & beach
- Kaputaş beach & Blue Cave
- Limanagzi(Sebeda-Bayindir) beach
- Big Pebble Beach
- Hidirellez Sinkhole
- Factoria Bay
- Cape Ulburun
- Cukurbag Village
- Saribelen Village
- Kyenai ruins
- Xanthos & Letoon ruins in Kınık
- Hoyran village and ruins
- Gedife Cliffs
- The long line of murals painted on the wall of town's harbour are quite interesting and are apparently inspired by the ancient local culture of Lycians and other civilizations which took place throughout the history in Turkey.
Within reasonable driving distance are locations for scuba diving, hiking, truck safaris, snorkeling, canyoning, gorge walking, coasteering, sea kayaking, cycling, walking and paragliding, as well as wonderful beaches. Local tour companies are happy to arrange any of these activities. Kaş is considered the "Diving capital of the Med."
The nearby "sunken city" of Kekova (which you are not allowed to stop over) is a great daytrip that usually includes a stop in the lovely village of Simena for lunch. Bougainville Travel also offers sea kayaking at Kekova (60 TL/person, including transfer from Kaş). Plenty of other companies offer a similar trip, usually starting at 65 TL but easily negotiated if you say another travel company is offering it for 60 TL and you look like you are about to leave. Dolce Vita Travel (located next to the tourism info center) and two other companies offer a joint trip every day in the high season, albeit a bit impersonally led, to Kekova and Simena. Fun, plenty of rest time, good buffet lunch (drinks extra, so bring water), but did have that cattle-herding feel even though group sizes are usually around 10-16 people.
Dragoman Travel offers a longer version - their Kekova West sea kayaking trip allows you to explore more silent parts of Kekova Sound and islands, and combines paddling, hiking to Aperlai, and kayak sailing (75 TL/person).
On Republic Day (October 29th), there is a huge celebration in the town square (meydan). Tourists, Kaş locals and outlying villagers all come together to celebrate. There is lots of Turkish music, dancing and drinking of alcohol, especially rakı (pronounced ra-kuh, also called "Lions milk"), the unofficial national drink.
You can buy tourist kitsch in Kaş but there are also excellent carpet shops and many quality jewelry shops. Some of the jewelry and fine ceramics are made by local artists in their own shops. Kaş has endless varieties of shopping experiences, often of higher quality than most tourist towns, but most importantly, strict regulations the local government has placed on its market mean the shop owners are simply not allowed to hassle you. Complaints about a shop owner can result in the loss of their operating license.
Uzun Çarşı (lit. "long market", also known as "slippery street" amongst the travellers to the town) is the most famous shopping street in Kaş and arguably one of the most famous on the "Turkish Riviera." Long on quality and short on kitsch, from late April until after the end of October, this is a bee hive of activity. There are a few restaurants and bars just off of Uzun Çarşı and at the bottom is the town square (meydan) and at the top, just beyond the Lycian Tomb are a fantastic group of restaurants.
Every Friday (behind bus station) and Tuesday (on hill west of the center), year round, there is an open air market which has almost anything you can think of from fresh fruits and vegetables, to clothes, village hardware tools, pirate DVDs and CDs, gozleme (erroneously called a Turkish "pancake") vendors and textiles. Plan to spend at least half a day there whether you are just a curious onlooker or serious shopper. Bargaining for all but the fruits and vegetables is common but at the end of the day, you may get a discount (indirim) if you ask for it.
There are many, many places to eat in Kaş, restaurants are in abundance. Some restaurant prices are a bit steep in Kaş, but at most restaurants you'll get your money's worth as the food is usually excellent.
- Bahçe (Batche) Restaurant is one of the most famous and popular of the fine restaurants. It boasts an open air garden dining experience with quick but efficient service and very fresh and delightful dining. It is just above the Lycian tomb at the top of Uzun Çarşı (Long Market) street or "slippery sokak."
If you move away from the "most popular" restaurants, you will find good home cooking (ev yemekleri) using garden fresh produce and priced very economically. Hanemeli restaurant is of the home cooking variety but you have to ask around to find it. Soda pop prices can be expensive though, as most restaurants charge 3 TL for a can, compared to a bottle of water for a mere 2 TL. A beer is 4-5 TL. If you walk around and browse the menus and prices, you will probably find a place which is suitable for you at a price you can afford.
Just about any kind of music can be heard from commercial pop music to jazz and even foam parties are available. However do not expect too much since Kaş is a small town, things you can do are a bit limited if you are looking for a crazy night out. Still there is dancing to popular music and also quiet hideaways for simple gatherings of friends. Fights and rowdy behavior are seldom seen and not tolerated. The police and gendarme (jandarma) are present but unobtrusive.
phone: +90 242 836-17-91address: Yeni Cami Caddesi (Recep Bilgin Caddesi) 12A popular backpacker stop, with large rooms that come with a balcony (complete with laundry drying rack) and en-suite. The downsides are the roosters across the street, which go crazy at about 03:30, and the bed sheets are a bit small for a double. If you ask for it, you can get French toast with breakfast, for a bit of a change from the standard Turkish breakfast. The dinner (additional 12 TL) is a bit disappointing, and for a few extra lira you can get a much better meal elsewhere.
phone: +90 242 836-12-16address: Engin Caddesi, Zeytin SokakGuesthouse offering rooms with en suite bathrooms, air-con, and balcony with the views of sea and the Greek island of Kastellorizo.
phone: +90 242 836-37-37A boutique hotel located on the Çukurbağ Peninsula, 4 km from downtown Kaş. All the rooms have en-suite bathrooms, balconies and afford beautiful views of the sea. A very quiet place to relax with "hidden" private areas for sun bathing and close to the sea for swimming. There is also a swimming pool for those less adventurous or with small children.
phone: +90 242 836-13-93address: Yeni Camii Caddesi, no: 3For independent travellers, Ateş is the least expensive place in town, with the only dorm in Kaş. Despite this, their rooftop terrace views and generous buffet breakfast exceed those of more expensive pensions. The terrace also has a traditional-style cushioned seating area, perfect for lounging with a cool drink in the hottest part of the day. Ateş is run by a small friendly family, and they're happy to give free information on just about any activity in Kaş. Good home-cooked meals are a welcome change to kebabs and pide. Guests have access to the swimming pool in the hotel across the road, but most people are better off strolling the few extra metres down to the seafront, where free sun-loungers are available and the snorkelling is excellent.
phone: +90 242 836-23-68address: Hükümet Caddesi 41, Küçükçakıl MevkiiA popular spot for couples, especially for the ones on honeymoon. Rooms are large and extremely modern for a small town like Kas. Air-con, safebox, satellite TV, en-suite in every room. Walking distance from the town center, but far enough for a quiet evening. Amazing scenery looking towards the Greek island of Meis and bay of Kaş. Also a little tip, if you are traveling with kids, hotel does not accept children under 12.
phone: +90 242 836-14-40address: Küçükçakık Mevkii No:61A cute boutique place, the Medusa Hotel is located a short walk from the town center yet it is in a very quiet location. It is directly up from the beaches and has a fantastic westward view of the sea and the sunsets. It also has a large swimming pool, bar and terraced area. The managers are Peter & Nurçin who are Belgian and Turkish respectively. They are also archaeologists who have taken over a long running family business. They have 2 suites and several large and many standard rooms on three floors. well worth a look see.
phone: +90 242 836-22-20address: Yaka MahallesiLocated a short walk from the town centre and the Mediterranean seafront. A fun place for activity and adventure with a young, dynamic clientele and friendly, knowledgeable staff. The hotel is located in a peaceful setting amid a lush garden with a variety of trees and plants and a mountain backdrop. The hotel has great views from rooms, all of which has air-con and en suite bathrooms. The Oreo Hotel also has a large swimming pool, bar and terraced area.
phone: +90 242 836-12-10address: Küçükçakıl Mevkii 51Hotel on Küçükçakıl beach.
Kaş CampingWonderfully located among olive trees just to the west of town on the sea, 5-10 min walking to center, 15 min to bus station. Fridge to store food, sink to wash dishes. Restaurant isn't friendly about eating outside food at the tables. No internet available. Camping areas can get tight in the high season and on weekends when Turkish tourists come. If you wait until they turn the restaurant lights off around 23:00 you can go quietly down to the platforms by the sea, put down one of the pads used for sun bathing, and have a good night under stars.
- Dolmus (minibuses) run frequently connecting nearby towns like Oludeniz, Antalya, and Fethiye. Check at the bus station (otogar) for the current schedule.
- The Greek island of Kastellorizo, known in Turkish as Meis, is just opposite Kaş, almost literally a long stone's throw away (roughly 2000 m), and is served by frequent daily boat services from Kaş.