Kas, a charming coastal town nestled along the southwestern coast of Turkey, is a true gem. Kas is one of Turkey’s best-kept secrets, with breathtaking beauty and a warm Mediterranean ambience. As you arrive in Kas, you are immediately greeted by azure waters sparkling under the golden sun thanks to the town’s hillside location overlooking a picturesque harbour. This is, without a doubt, one of Turkey‘s most scenic towns and worth getting to know about because Kas has much to offer.
About the Kas Peninsula of Turkey
What Part of Turkey is the Kas Peninsula?
Kas sits on the south coast of Turkey, in the Antalya region. Nestled between the cities of Fethiye to the west and Kalkan town to the east, Kas belongs to the Mediterranean coastal area, the top destination for beach holidays and foreigners buying summer holiday homes.
How to Get to Kas in Turkey
Air: The closest airport to Kas, Dalaman Airport (DLM), is approximately 150 kilometres away. After arriving at Dalaman Airport, take private transfers, shared shuttles, or rent a car to reach Kas. The journey takes around 2-3 hours by road. Antalya airport is further away.
Bus: Turkey’s extensive network of intercity buses connects Kas to most destinations. If there is no direct bus heading to Kas, first head to Antalya otogar and catch connecting buses from there.
Car: If you prefer driving, rent a car from various cities or airports in Turkey and travel to Kas. The journey by car rides along scenic coastal roads gives the flexibility to explore other attractions. Kas is approximately three hours’ drive from Antalya, and the distance may vary depending on your starting location.
Ferry: Another way to reach Kas is to ferry from the Greek island of Meis (Kastellorizo). Meis is a few kilometres off the coast of Kas, and regular ferry services connect the two destinations. The ferry ride takes about 20-30 minutes.
Sea: The Kas Marina, also known as Kas Marina and Yacht Club is modern, well-equipped, and ideal for those arriving by sea.
Heart and Soul of Kas: The Charming Old Town Centre
The old town centre of Kas captivates and reflects the town’s traditional charm. This is where you catch glimpses of the old days through whitewashed houses with wooden shutters and trailing bougainvillaea. This is where it seems like time has stood still. As you explore, visit boutique shops, art galleries, handicraft stores, and local markets. The bustling streets are filled with locals and visitors, creating lively atmospheres.
One highlight is Kas Square, known as Ataturk Meydani. Surrounded by cafes with outdoor seating, relax and soak up atmospheres while sipping Turkish tea or enjoying delicious meals. The square bustles with activity, with street performers entertaining passersby and locals engaging in lively conversations.
The old town centre also takes on romantic and magical ambiences in the evening. The soft glow of lanterns and twinkling lights create enchanting atmospheres. As the sun sets over the sea, the old town centre comes alive with music and laughter to promote enjoyable nightlife experiences.
While wandering around, keep an eye out for the Lycian sarcophagus. The Lycians ruled this area when it was called Antiphellus. Traces of their existence are seen in tombs and sarcophagi. Near the town centre, the iconic Lion Tomb features prominent reliefs of a lion’s head carved into the facade, giving it its name. Additionally, a monumental sarcophagus is believed to have belonged to King Antiphellos and sits in the central square.
The Hellenistic Theatre in Kas
Sitting a short walk from the square, the Hellenistic theatre in Kas town testifies to the town’s ancient past and architectural grandeur. Dating back to the 1st century BCE, during the Hellenistic period, the design follows the typical layout of old Greek theatres, with rows of stone seats arranged tiered, offering excellent acoustics and unobstructed views.
The theatre staged theatrical performances but also hosted civic and cultural events in ancient times. The stage area, which has partly crumbled over the centuries, once hosted various forms of entertainment, including dramas, musical performances, and poetry recitations.
The Best Scuba Diving in Mediterranean Turkey
Scuba diving in Kas attracts divers from all around the world. With crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and fascinating underwater landscapes, Kas offers underwater paradises for both beginners and experienced divers in Turkey through coral reefs and aquatic ecosystems.
A famous diving site near Kas, the Blue Grotto, is known locally as “Mavi Magara.” Another popular diving site is the Gombe Cave, characterized by a large cavern that opens up underwater. Inside, divers encounter various marine life, including schools of fish. For those seeking more adventurous dives, Kas offers ancient shipwrecks. The Turkish coast boasts rich maritime history and several wrecks, like the Dakota and the Güvercin Island wreck.
Gateway to the Lycian Way of Turkey
Kas opens up to the Lycian Way, Turkey’s most famous long-distance hiking trail stretching approximately 540 kilometres from Fethiye to Antalya. Enjoy stunning coastal scenery, rugged cliffs, and panoramic views as you embark on the Lycian Way from Kas. The trail winds through diverse landscapes, including pine forests, olive groves, and rocky terrain.
Along the trail, encounter ancient Lycian ruins, like Letoon and Xanthos ancient city, which provide insights into the fascinating civilization that once thrived in this area. The Lycians were known for their distinctive tombs carved into rock formations, and you’ll come across many elaborate burial sites, including the iconic rock-cut tombs of Myra.
Glorious Views While Paragliding in Kas
Paragliding is an exhilarating adventure in Turkey to soar through the sky and witness breathtaking views. Paragliding experiences in Kas typically begin from nearby hills or mountains, where experienced pilots launch their wings and glide effortlessly into the sky. The views of Kas town nestled against the hillside, adorned with whitewashed buildings and bougainvillaea, create genuinely unforgettable sights. You may even catch glimpses of the neighbouring Greek islands adding to the enchantment on clear days.
There are flight options to suit different preferences and levels of expertise. Tandem flights are available for those new to paragliding or who prefer to fly with an experienced pilot. For more adventurous individuals in Turkey, there are also opportunities for solo flights or paragliding courses to learn the skills needed to pilot your own wing.
These courses provide comprehensive instruction and safety guidelines to ensure safe experiences. The paragliding season runs from spring to autumn, during the high season when weather conditions are most suitable for flying.
From Kas to Kekova Island and the Sunken Ancient City
Many tourists head from Kas on day trips to Kekova Island. This unique island offers glimpses into a submerged ancient city. The sunken city of Kekova island is the remnants of the old Lycian town of Dolchiste. Centuries ago, a series of earthquakes caused parts of the city to collapse into the sea, creating captivating underwater landscapes.
Today, visitors explore partially submerged island ruins on boat tours witnessing the fascinating interplay between human history and nature. As you cruise along the tranquil waters of this tiny island, marvel at partially submerged walls, staircases, and doorways lying beneath crystal-clear waters. After boats head to Simena and during the sea turtles’ breeding season, you will also see them in the water.
From Kas to Meis Greek island on the Ferry Day Trip
The ferry from the Kas peninsula to Meis, a small Greek island known as Kastellorizo, is popular with travellers who wish to explore Greek islands off the coast of Turkey. The ferry service operates regularly from the Kas peninsula to Meis, with multiple departures daily during the peak season. The journey takes around 20 to 30 minutes, depending on weather conditions and the specific ferry you choose. The ferry companies that operate this route provide comfortable and well-equipped vessels, ensuring pleasant crossings.
Upon reaching Meis, you’ll step onto Greek soil and enter the charming harbour town. Meis boasts vibrant colours, traditional architecture, and a laid-back island vibe. As you explore narrow streets and alleys, you’ll encounter quaint shops, waterfront cafes, and tavernas serving delicious Greek cuisine. The island’s relaxed ambience and friendly locals create a welcoming environment.
Explore historical sites and the Blue Cave, relax on beautiful beaches and swim in crystal-clear waters. Snorkelling and diving enthusiasts have many opportunities to discover the island’s underwater treasures. When ready to return to Kas, catch scheduled ferries back to the Turkish mainland.
Beaches and Swimming
Kas offers several beautiful beaches where visitors to relax, swim, and soak up the sun.
- Kaputas Beach: Approximately 20 kilometres west, Kaputas Beach nestles between towering cliffs.
- Big Pebble Beach (Buyukcakil Plaji): In the heart of Kas, Big Pebble Beach is famous for locals and tourists. As its name suggests, the beach is adorned with smooth pebbles.
- Small Pebble Beach (Kucukcakil Plaji): Adjacent to Big Pebble Beach, Kucukcakil Plaji offers more minor and secluded settings.
- Limanagzi Beach: Approximately 10 kilometres east, rocky cliffs surround Limanagzi Beach and Cove.
- Incebogaz Beach: Near Patara’s ancient ruins, Incebogaz Beach is a 30-minute drive from Kas.
- Smaller secluded bays: These hidden gems, like Akcagerme Bay, Aspat Bay, and Tersane Bay, offer privacy, pristine waters, and tranquil ambiences.
Shopping in Kas Bazaar
Uzun Çarşı Caddesi stretches for a considerable distance, hence the name “Long Bazaar Street.” Lined with shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants offering products and services, these stores often showcase the work of local artisans. Kas Bazaar is a central hub for shopping, and its location makes it easily accessible to visitors exploring the town. It’s an excellent place to find gifts and souvenirs or indulge in retail therapy.
Nightlife in Kas
Although tranquil and laid-back during the day, Kas also offers nightlife scenes with various entertainment options. While it may not have the bustling nightlife of larger cities, Kas has many bars, restaurants, and venues where visitors enjoy evenings out. Bars and pubs scattered throughout the town, particularly along the waterfront and the main square, offer relaxed atmospheres to enjoy drinks, socialize, and listen to music. Kas also boasts several rooftop bars with breathtaking views.
At the same time, some beachfront establishments transform into lively beach clubs in the evening. Kas offers restaurants catering for different tastes and cuisines. Many establishments have outdoor seating areas to enjoy leisurely dinners under the stars. Some restaurants also offer live music or entertainment to enhance the dining experience.
Kas and the Larger Antalya Region
Kas belongs to the Antalya region of Turkey. Antalya’s Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters, makes it an ideal destination year-round. Hence the area is number one for beach tourism but also attracts many people looking to buy holiday homes or live in Turkey all year round. Antalya offers excellent road trip options, ancient cities, accommodations, dining options, and entertainment venues to suit various preferences and budgets.
The historical quarter of Antalya called Kaleici features narrow, winding streets, Ottoman-era houses, and charming cafes and shops. The old town also features landmarks like Hadrian’s Gate, the Clock Tower, and the Kesik Minaret. Konyaalti Beach and Lara Beach are famous for sunbathing, swimming, and various sports. While a short distance from the city centre, Duden Waterfalls cascade into the Mediterranean Sea. Read more about the Larger Antalya region here.
Kas on the Turkish Riviera Mediterranean coast
The Turkish Riviera, also called the Turquoise Coast, stretches along the coastline of southwestern Turkey, bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Kas sits right in the middle. Renowned for picturesque beauty, crystal-clear turquoise waters, sandy beaches, and a rich historical and cultural heritage, take daily boat trips from Kas to explore the surrounding coastline. Alternatively, sign up for a three-night or four-day trip.
The boat will head to nearby towns like Kalkan, Fethiye and Antalya. The Turkish Riviera is also famous for its pristine beaches, which range from long stretches of golden sand to secluded coves and bays. Some famous beaches include Patara Beach, Oludeniz Beach, Iztuzu Beach, Cleopatra Beach, and Kaputas Beach. Dock into Myra’s ancient city to see Lycian rock tombs but Fethiye town centre and Dalyan also have them. More about the Turquoise coast of Turkey here.