Kas : Mediterranean Delight in Turkey

Kas is everything that a typical Mediterranean seaside resort in Turkey should be.  White washed houses cascade down the winding mountain roads to show the way to beautiful beaches and a harbor that reminds you that  life is in fact quite good and while in Kas, the best thing to do is to adapt quickly to the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Many of the houses in Kas are surrounded with pink bougainvillea flowers that immediately make you notice the influence of Greek architecture in some of the older properties, typically the wooden shutters, narrow streets and large terraces for enjoying the mid-day sun.

Kas

Like many towns in this area, there used to be a huge Greek population until 1923 when there was an exchange of citizens between Greece and Turkey. That was a turbulent time for the area, when people were unsure of the future. I think they would be proud now, to know that Kas is making a name for itself as a “must visit” Mediterranean destination in Turkey.

The town was the third stop on my South Western tour and on my first day, I did feel weary of losing my way.  However once I found a map and discovered it is actually impossible to get lost in the tiny coastal resort; I started to ease up and did not have to be persuaded twice to sit on a terrace watching the sunset while drinking an ice cold beer. Having before, found myself lost in the resorts of Kemer and Cirali, I quickly established that in Kas, if I did find myself in unknown areas, all I had to do was head down to the hill and towards the sea.

Streets of Kas

A walk along the harbor of Kas while the fishing boats dock in and unload their catch will fill the air with the smell of fresh fish and naturally, the restaurants surrounding the harbor take advantage of this. Lobster, crab and all types of fish are on the menu. That is what makes Kas so great if you are a fish or seafood lover; all the restaurants produce excellent dishes and will be probably be one of the best fish dishes you ever taste.

Things to Do in Kas

While Kas is a laid back Mediterranean resort, it is also important to know that it is at the forefront of a trend that has started to become popular in recent years. I had the great opportunity to spend a week with Bougainville Travel who was the first company in the town to establish adventure activities for people of all ages.

Their activities range from trekking along the Lycian way to sea kayaking to giving your adrenaline glands a work-out by paragliding. Parents who are worried about keeping their kids from being bored can fill their days with canyoning, mountain bike riding or scuba diving in the clear seas surrounding Kas.

Paragliding in kas

Along with spending time with the staff of Bougainville travel, one of the great things I also loved about Kas and I decided to extend my stay because of it, is the local bus transport. Frequently buses will leave for the surroundings towns and historical sites making exploring so easy and practicable.

Beaches of Kas

Catch a bus to the surrounding resorts of Olympos or Kalkan. Head a little bit further to explore the church of St Nicholas and the ruins of Myra in Demre. Lycian tombs and the small ampitheatre within Kas will also attract the attention of history lovers. Basically, the town will suit many. The only people who may be disappointed are those who want the large nightclubs that are open till five in the morning. In that case, they should head to the resorts of Bodrum, Kemer, Antalya or Marmaris instead.

Strongly recommended

A trip to the Greek Island of Meis – Find out more here

Theatre in Kas

Is Budget Travel In Kas Possible?

Kas is a well-kept town and upon first appearance, you may think that it is not suitable for budget travelers. Some of the restaurants can be pricy along with the accommodation however you just have to look that little bit further to discover cheap Turkish pansions and Lokantas that make Kas an ideal destination for those traveling on a budget.  My only recommendation is to book accommodation as near to the harbor front as possible, as walking up those steep hills every day will certainly give your calf muscles a workout they have not seen the likes of before.

turkey kas

How to get to Kas

You can fly into Antalya airport which is a three hour transfer or Dalaman airport of which the transfer is two hours. If you are driving, Kas it is located just off the Antalya highway that runs parallel with the coast. Public transport to the town is frequent, cheap and it can be accessed from all the surrounding resorts of Kalkan, Fethiye, Cirali and Antalya.

Kas turkey

Sailing into Kas on a Blue Cruise

(Update from a return visit) Sometimes I feel that I am extremely blessed. I originally wrote this post while on a tour two years ago, but just last month, went back to Kas while on a four-day Blue Cruise of the Mediterranean coast. It was a delight to explore the streets that I had fond memories of. It also struck me, that out of all the holiday resorts in Turkey, I received the least amount of hassle in Kas.

Often holiday-makers complain that they get hassle by shop owners, bars and restaurants, who want their trade. As I re-traced my footsteps from two years ago, I wandered into a souvenir shop and browsed through at my leisure with no hassle or pressure from the saleman. It was wonderful to experience hassle-free shopping.

My stay was brief, since my overnight accommodation was the gulet boat, that we were staying on. However the rest of my time, was spent down at the harbour. Watching the fishermen, laughing at ducks, observing the scuba diving crews prepping up their gear and basically admiring the original view that so impressed me; the white washed houses promoting that typical Mediterranean coast feel.

A friend asked me a question the other day. She said…

“If someone asked you, where is the best place to live in Turkey, what would be your answer?”

I thought for a while and answered “Kas” It really is one of the best resorts in Turkey.

Photos from my return visit to Kas

kas mediterranean coast  turkey

kas turkey

kas mediterranean  turkey

kas mediterranean coast

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Natalie

Hi. My name is Natalie Sayin and I am the author of The Turkish Travel Blog. I am an eccentric,Internet addict with a passion for history. I really shouldn't travel because I can not read maps and always lose my way! But hey, that never stops me and it is part of the fun! Leave a comment below to join the discussions.
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Comments

  1. HobbitTR says

    Yup, Ka? is where I live and your article underscores most of the reasons why. Thank you for a nice “virtual” walk through the streets. :-)

  2. says

    @Jack – I too, fell in love with it Jack. So adorable.

    @Alan – Wish you had told me about that before

    @Julia. I too, tried putting in the Turkish spelling of Kas and WordPress would not accept it. That is why I put the pronouncation in at the beginning of the post. Stories of the adventure activities to come later!

    @Hobbit – Thank you for showing me the ropes. Made a difference to my trip.

    @Jeff – Another fan of Kas, we can all spread the word together.
    Natalie wrote about..Welcome to Cirali

  3. says

    Hi Natalie – Did you go paragliding? A few of my pilot friends ended up working in Kas after years in Oludeniz. I have always loved visiting Kas. It’s so pretty. Glad you enjoyed it. Did you get to Ucagiz and Kekova while you were there too? Beautiful places, gorgeous!
    Liv wrote about..Guide to Expat Living in Turkey

  4. says

    Hi Liv, I was with Bougainville travel to interview their instructor and pilot called Veske. He took me up to the top of the mountain and did offer, unfortunately though I preferred to be behind the camera. I could not pluck up the courage to do it. I love Ucagiz and Kekova as well. Went there on the sea Kayaking trip. I can understand your friends moving to Kas. Olu is nice but Kas definitely has a place in my heart now.
    Natalie wrote about..Venosa Beach Resort and Spa

  5. haniya tahir says

    hey natalie i read both your articles, one on kusadasi and the one on Kas. and now im really confused. im traveling to turkey with my parents and sisters and we were initially going to izmir and kusadasi but after reading your articles kudasi seems less appealing. is Kas a place to keep teenagers entertained and is antalya a good spot too? we are travelling on a budget so are there cheap hotels and entertainment? your help would be much appreciated thanks :)

    • says

      Hi Haniya, I prefer Kas and Antalya but they are a long way from Izmir whereas Kusadasi is not. If you do not want to go to Kusadasi look at some of the izmir resorts like Cesme or Alacatai

  6. says

    Hi Natalie – Good to see you are back in the saddle and in good health. I missed your blogs and am now working through the archive – love the new ‘More articles about Turkey slider panel bottom right. I have only been to Kas on my way to Meis and am surprised you do not mention it in this article. Most expats living here used to do a ‘visa run’ to Meis till they changed the rules. It is still a lovely experience to go over to the Greek island of Meis for a ‘duty-free’ trip but a friend and I went recentlyy and took our sketchpads to while away the time after lunch – we went there in order to get a stamp in her passport so she could register an English phone here (her son had sent her an iPhone as a gift but the rule is you have to register it within a month of ‘entering turkey’ and a day visit to Greece was the only way to get round this rule). It is a very pretty little place and I would recommend it to visitors to Kas (ferries leave from the harbour around 9.30 but you need to get there earlier to submit your passport and enjoy a chay or coffee whilst you wait to board for the half hour seatrip to the island – your passports are returned to you when you reboard for the return journey trip from Meis). Having just read this blog I resolved to take a dolmus back to Kas and explore the little town in its own right. Welcome back and keep informing educating and entertaining us with your writing about travels in Turkey xx

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