Kaş on the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey

Cartoon map of Kaş

Cartoon map of Kaş

Kaş is on the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey, it is located nearly equidistant between Dalaman and Antalya airports, and usually has 300+ days of sunshine! Kaş is almost the farthest south you can get in Turkey and its location is an ideal place from where you can take hikes, explore the mountains, take a boat excursion, or a day trip to one of the many ancient city sites which are more numerous than in Italy and Greece.

Kaş is also a midway resting place for those trekkers who walk the famous Lycian Way, a 500 km trail from Fethiye to near Antalya.

Before you start your tour of things to do and places to see, you may wish to see this video about Kaş and the surrounding area:

NOTE: Links to outside sources open in a new window!!
(The links immediately below take you to places on this page.)
(Press the back arrow on your browser to return to this list of links.)

Size of Turkey as compared to…

Is Turkey Safe?…

Weather-Seasonal Dates…

Why Come to Kaş?…

Magazine or Newspaper Articles about Kaş…

Mediterranean Holiday Destinations-Things To Do…

Accommodation and Bargaining Tips…

Getting to Kaş…

Ferries…

Mediterranean Holiday Destinations-Other Places…

Lycian Way Trail & Ancient Sites…

Mediterranean Holiday Destinations-Articles, Stories or Day Trips…

Before you arrive in Turkey take a moment to read about Money Transfer and ATM Info.

A traveller in Turkey should also be aware of the social significance of drinking Turkish tea. You might take a look at this document called “Yes, I Would Love Another Glass of Tea.”
You are sure to be enchanted by Kaş and the other Mediterranean Holiday Destinations on the Turquoise Coast of Turkey when you visit.

Size DOES Matter: Turkey as compared to…

Turkey is larger than many people realize so use Google Maps or Earth for determining distances and the amount of time you will spend travelling.

Size/Area of Turkey

Compared to California USA

  • Area 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km 2)
  • 250 miles (400 km) Wide
  • 770 miles (1,240 km) Long

Compared to Texas USA

  • Area 268,581 sq mi (696,241 km 2)
  • 773 miles (1,244 km) Wide
  • 790 miles (1,270 km) Long

According to Countrysize.com Turkey is more than:

  • 2.5 times the size of Poland
  • 2.0 times the size of Germany
  • 1.2 times the size of France

Is Turkey Safe?

Women/Female Travelers in Turkey by Tom Brosnahan of Turkey Travel Planner says: “Most female visitors find Turks—both men and women—extremely welcoming, accommodating and helpful, and enjoy their trips immensely.”

Travel safety for solo ladies
Tips from sarıkanarya, a British female of long residence in Turkey.

In her article Turkish Men – Why Your Holiday Romance Is Doomed, Natalie Sayin says sends “a strong message to all women travelers or tourists. Do not get involved in a holiday romance with a Turkish man simply because you can not handle it.”

Also see her companion pieces:
Is it safe to travel to Turkey? and Travel Myths about Turkey Busted.

And if by now you need more encouragement read Seven Solo Female Travel Myths Debunked! by bootsnall.

Weather-Seasonal Dates

It is not unusual in Kaş to see swimmers and divers in the water during the fall and winter if it is a sunny day! The water temp will be cool until early summer as it takes the Med a while to warm up but the sun and air will dry and warm you quickly. Divers frequent the area until mid-November and can be found year round. For fall or winter scuba diving you can refer to this Wetsuit Temperature Guide and Chart (scroll down to Wetsuit Thickness)

February swimmers in Kaş, Turkey

February swimmers in Kaş, Turkey

Usually the tourist “season” for travellers runs from April 01 through the end of October but until late May the season usually starts slow. Prices are often higher after April 01 and reach their peak in mid or late July.

Late fall (Oct-Nov-Early Dec) and early spring (Feb-Mar-Apr)are great times to explore the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey. Most first time visitors to Kaş are astounded that the daytime temperatures, and the water, are so warm during what is winter many other places. Evening dinners are usually outdoors and Kaş is so quiet and relaxed. During the off-season, many of the restaurants will still be open, hotels will be cheaper and there are daily domestic flights to both Dalaman (preferred) and Antalya.

Republic Day Kaş, TurkeyIf you are lucky enough to be in Kaş on October 29, you are in for a treat. Cumhuriyet Bayramı or Republic Day is the nniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in 1923 and an official Turkish holiday. This is one of the biggest festivals on the Turkish calender and celebrates modern Turkey. October 29 is also the “official” closing day of the tourist season. Kaş has a unique (and famous) way of celebrating where all the restaurants lay out their tables in the main square. It is a party lasting until the early hours of the morning.

Here are some links to the Weather History in 2010 for Dalaman Airport Area and for Antalya Airport Area.

The Mediterranean Coast has over 300 sunshine days every year. The farther south toward the ocean you go, and as you approach Kaş, the climate becomes more classical Mediterranean with dry, hot summers and mild winters where snow is rare or non-existent all along the coast.

Why Come to Kaş?

Lonely Planet/TTP/TripAdvisor/WikiTravel (Links)

It is easy to get around in Kaş as you can see by this this whimsical map of hotels and other places of interest made by a local Kaş resident.

For example, here is what a Lonely Planet reviewer has to say about Kaş.

Tom Brosnahan, famous for his Turkey Travel Planner gives us his view of this small town on the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey.

Trip Advisor mentions several things about Kaş; the Kaş Forum where residents answer questions about Kaş, there is an article about Paragliding, and yet another about Scuba Diving in Kaş.

This Travel Wiki is full of good information about Kaş.

Magazine or Newspaper Articles about Kaş:

Uzun Çarşı (Long Market) Street, Kaş, Turkey

Uzun Çarşı (Long Market) Street, Kaş, Turkey

Natalie Sayin, in her Turkish Travel Blog, learned a lot about the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey and Kaş in particular. She writes about Kaş that it “is everything that a typical Mediterranean seaside resort in Turkey should be.”

or take a peek at what one travelling American has to say about Kaş.

Here is a humorous tale about one family’s adventures in Kaş called Does Kaş Have A Wilder Side? The thread goes on for four short pages, we hope you will enjoy following it.

A recent article in the Zaman newspaper called The Three Ks: Kaş, Kaleköy and Kastellorizo by Pat Yale from Antalya says “Ask Turks to name their favorite holiday resort and most will plump immediately for Bodrum…Ask an expat the same question and most will chorus Kaş. You won’t need to be in Kaş for long to fall for its charms.”

Lonely Planet/Thorntree traveller dougv made some nice comments about Turkey and Kaş which included “Next stop, Kas. I loved this place…The town is small, intimate and just beautiful and we changed our plans to stay 4 nights there. I loved wandering around the town and sitting in cafes in the evening.”

Terry Richardson tells us of the Attractions of the Turquoise Coast of Turkey where Kaş is on his short list. He also tells us that the “…seaside town of Kaş, at the southernmost reaches of Turkey’s beautiful Lycian coast, is one of the most charming resorts in the country.” in this article called Kaş: where the mountains meet the sea.

Planning a Turkish holiday on the western Mediterranean coast of Turkey
“Kaş: Everybody’s favorite medium-sized Turkish resort, Kaş is known not for its sands but for a pretty harbor backed with a great choice of restaurants and for the Çarşı (Long Market)”

Winter of content by the sea in Turkey “Most of us would love to escape the Irish winter to somewhere sunny, beautiful, culturally different and still not too far from home. Kaş in southern Turkey ticks all those boxes…”

Turkey’s Top 10 Delights
No. 4: “A fishing town of 6,000 people at the heart of the Lycian Way on the southwestern Mediterranean coast, Kaş is a jewel in terms of what Turkey has to offer.”

‘Kaş’ Heaven on the Earthly South Coast “Many people arrive in Kaş for a day and stay for a week.”

Turkey: The Gateway Between Europe and Asia “The Mediterranean coastline runs for 1,577 kilometres and here also, the mountain ranges are parallel to the coastline. The salinity level of the Mediterranean is about 35%.”

Tree Huggers Unite “Kaş is a beguiling Bohemian jewel, surrounded by a pristine hinterland that has been mercifully spared the worst excesses of mass tourism.”

Mediterranean Holiday Destinations-Things To Do

The Mediterranean (Turquoise) Coast of Turkey, where you will normally find 300+ days of sunshine every year, runs from Bodrum through Fethiye, Kalkan, Kaş, Kekova, Demre and on to Antalya and beyond. The area is semi arid and it seldom rains between the middle of March until late September or October.

“Adventure Capitol of the Med”

Eating Out:
Places to eat are as varied as your taste. Nearly every restaurant in Kaş is some variation of Turkish or “Mediterranean” cooking (Chez Evy excepted). All are easy to find if you do a bit of a “walk-about” of the streets and side streets of Kaş during the day before you decide to stop and eat.
Sultan Garden is good food, great service, and a wonderful view of the sundown if you get there early. If you come late make a reservation. Another very nice place with a cozy “living room” feel and a real fireplace in the dining room is Şaraphane (Wine House). Çinarlar Pide and Pizza is another highly recommended place to eat. For lunch or “home cooking” (ev yemekleri), try Kaş’im or Sofram and for a great breakfast (kahvaltı) try Cafe Dilan across from Sofram next to the city parking lot. Here is a list of Turkish restaurants in Kaş nearly all of which should be quite good. The list is a bit outdated but will “fuel” your needs assuredly. This whimsical map of Kaş hotels, bars, and restaurants should help you keep from getting lost.

Canyoning near Kaş, Turkey

Canyoning near Kaş, Turkey

In Kaş, you can go canyoning, boating, swimming, mountain biking and trekking/hiking (either alone or with a guided group on the Lycian Way), scuba diving (it’s the “Diving Capital of the Med”), sea kayaking (at Kekova/Üçağız), or paragliding from the cliffs immediately behind Kaş. You can visit a Turkish village family or spend a lazy afternoon on ZemZem boat cruising the waters of the Mediterranean.

Kaş is hot in July and August which is good for canyoning, diving, swimming or rafting but less desirable for hiking or mountain biking unless you go to the higher elevations. Winter conditions are colder and often quite wet. The Teke Peninsula juts down the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey between Antalya and Dalaman. Kaş is at the tip of the peninsula and almost equidistant between the two.
Weather History for Antalya Airport 2012

Weather History for Dalaman Airport 2012

Leaps of faith: Canyoning Above Kaş “All you need is a head for heights, the ability to swim and a taste for adventure.”

There are simply a great many adventure activities to keep you busy, along with a laid back restaurant and bar scene in a safe environment for children and teenagers (if you have young ones along). You can also just lounge around and do a lot of nothing. Kaş often has concerts both at the harbour and the renovated Ancient Hellenistic theatre.

Beaches in Kaş and surrounding areas:
A beach is defined as “A pebbly or sandy shore, esp. by the sea between high- and low-water marks.” The Mediterranean Coast has a lot of “beaches,” it is that most of them are NOT made of really tiny pebbles, commonly called sand.

Kaş has several beaches (plaj in Turkish). In Kaş most are either of the large pebble type or rock-type areas where swimmers and sun-worshippers go to lay both prone and supine. The really white swimmers and sun-worshippers will turn pink and eventually self-combust against all warnings to the contrary. To read a bit more about beaches in Turkey take a look at Beaches-Go To Turkey.

Some of the beaches in Kaş include Büyük Çakıl and Küçük Çakıl, both are within the town proper. There is a beach at the “throat” of the peninsula jutting out from Kaş and Akçagerme Beach which is less than 15 minute walk from the town center.

Between Fethiye and Kaş are two sandy beaches, Kaputaş and Patara. Patara is an ancient Lycian site and the largest sand beach on the Mediterranean Coast. It is also the birthplace of St. Nicholas. You can walk for long distances there away from the beach cafe and find yourself quite alone. Also see these photos of Patara taken from Kurşunlutepe at Patara. Patara is easily found on Google Maps. Patara is about 43 km from Kaş and about 75 km from Fethiye. The village you encounter before you arrive at the ruins and the beach is locally known as both Patara and Gelemiş village and it has several small tea gardens, restaurants and places to stay.

Kaputaş Beach is a very nice and small sand beach between Kalkan and Kaş. Kaputaş can also be found on Google Maps. Kaputaş is approximately 17 km from Kaş and small local buses run to and from there regularly all day long.

Accommodation and Bargaining Tips:

Oreo Hotel at night Kaş, Turkey

Oreo Hotel at night in Kaş, Turkey

It should not be difficult to find accommodation almost anywhere you go except in July and August which are usually very busy months during which it is advisable to reserve both accommodation and transport.

Bargaining Tips
When you arrive at your destination, whether you have a reservation or not, it is always a good idea to ask around to see if there is less expensive or better accommodation available.

Try not to pay the first price that is asked. If there is competing accommodation close by, look around and check with them before you decide. Ask for their room rate, then ask for a discount. Nearly all hotels and pensions are open to price discounts if they are not full or it is not July or August. You have to be firm and be willing to walk away if the hotel does not budge. Ask for the manager if the clerk on duty cannot accommodate your request for a discount.

Always ask to see your room before you make your decision. A room with a view may be more expensive but you can sometimes bargain for one. You can also ask for a larger room, at the same price, if the one you see is not suitable. Always ask what kind of heat or A/C is in the rooms and if they have hot water, most hotels during the season have both but you should ask. Check the A/C before you take the room, does it heat/cool as you think it should, is it too noisy? If the room they show you is not suitable do not be shy in asking for another room. This is standard for most savvy Turkish travellers.

Places to Stay

There are an amazing variety of hotels and pensions in Kaş as this whimsical map of Kaş hotels, bars, and restaurants tells us. As examples; Kale and The Medusa hotels are priced slightly higher than mid-range, Oreo and Arpia are priced mid-range, and Sardunya is usually considered a budget hotel.

If you decide to visit Kaş during the “high” seasonal months of June-July-August or the “low” seasonal months between November therough April, you should call or write ahead. During the “high” season you should, by all means, make a reservation, these are very busy times in Kaş. During “low” season, many hotels and pensions are closed. You can contact Bougainville Travel for your accommodation suggestions and/or reservations. If you tell them the limits of your budget, your arrival and departure dates, if you need transportation from the airport, and something of what you want to see and do in Kaş, they can be a great “one-stop-shop” for travellers.

Other travel companies in Kaş include; Dragoman, Amber or Late Breaks who might recommend or book an accommodation for you.

You can also use Kaş Hotels on Booking.com for prices and reservations.

For the budget traveller or backpacker, there are several campgrounds. Kaş Kamping (on Google Maps) is located a short distance out of Kaş toward the peninsula. You will pass the small hospital on the left, then comes the antique theatre on the right and Kaş Kamping is another 100+ meters on the left in the bend in the road.

Getting to Kaş

Dalaman-Antalya Airports to Kaş, Turkey

(Go to Google for a larger map)

Airlines, Airports and Transfers

Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Air, SunExpress, and AtlasJet (which also operates free private airport shuttles in Antalya), all have both domestic and international flights in to, out of and around Turkey. “After arrivals and before departures at Adana, İzmir, Bodrum and Antalya, air conditioned private Atlasjet shuttles are available for transportation from and to the airport.”

From Antalya Airport:
It’s not difficult to travel between the airport, city center and the bus station (otogar) by airport shuttle bus and tram. NOTE: There is supposed to be a city bus which goes between the airport and city also, however this is scheduled to change so ask at the airport. The 202 bus did go from the otogar to the airport via the city centre from 06:00-21:00 every 30 min. The ICF Airport web site says “The public bus shuttle (number 600) runs every 30 minutes between Antalya Airport and Antalya bus terminal (otogar).“(Click on Bus to Antalya city centre)

From Dalaman Airport:
If you are coming to Fethiye or can plan ahead, it is usually easier to come to Kaş from Dalaman airport. The main bus terminal heading east from Dalaman is Fethiye. In Fethiye, there are regularly running small passenger buses to Kaş and other points along the Lycian Coast.

Havaş (Dalaman Airport):

You might be able to take a Havaş bus into Fethiye. Their schedules coordinate with Turkish Airlines flights. However, flights of other airlines may not be convenient to the Havaş schedule. If Havaş is not possible you will probably need to hire a taxi from the airport to the town of Dalaman or Fethiye or beyond.

Taxi

Taxis from Dalaman can be hired to take you directly to Fethiye or Kaş and for 3 or 4 people this may not be very expensive. This is the easiest and most convenient way, or may be the only way if you arrive very late at night or early morning. A taxi from Dalaman to Kaş will cost about 160 TL; from Antalya 180 TL.

Overland Large Bus

Large bus companies run cross-country buses throughout Turkey, and of course, to and from Istanbul. They are modern and very comfortable and run once a day directly into Kaş. Unfortunately, most bus companies will not allow you to book online outside of Turkey and only a maximum of 30 days in advance if you are within Turkey. If you want to book from home then you should contact a travel agency for booking assistance.
Turkey Travel Planner tells you about the Top Bus Firms in Turkey

BatiAntalya Local Bus

Here are several bus schedules to and from Antalya and Fethiye:
If you want to travel along the sea, then the Coastal Route (Sahil Yolu) is what you want:
Fethiye to Antalya OR Antalya to Fethiye .

If you prefer a more mountainous route and seeing some villages travel the Inland Road (Yayla Yolu).
Their web site also has their list of prices (fiyat listesi)
.

From Cappadocia to Kaş

If you are coming from Cappadocia, this Lonely Planet forum discussion tells you how to get from Cappadocia to Kaş along with some TripAdvisor comments on the Göreme Bus to Kaş. Turkey Travel Planner also suggests: From Antalya to Cappadocia.

Ferries

Greece to Turkey

There is a ferry to and from Rodos to Kastellorizo (the Greek names for these islands). There are also regular flights to Kastellorizo. The Turkish name for Kastellorizo island is Meis but it is also called Megisti and sometimes written with one “L” Kastelorizo.

Meis (Kastellorizo) Info

Here are some photos of the Greek island of Meis (Kastellorizo) that may give you a small idea of the flavor of the island. If you are already in Kaş you can take a ferry from Kaş to Meis for a day trip. Meis Express goes every weekday during the “season” and every other weekday out of season and you can stay one or two nights on Meis from Kaş. For Accommodation in Meis take a look at the web site of Monika and Damien who are a German/Greek couple. Damien was raised in Australia. They have a splendid garden restaurant and cute shop and can tell you things about Meis you might not otherwise know. If you wish, you can also ask them about spending the night on the island. If you come from Kaş, you should confirm with the ferry people that you plan to stay.

Mediterranean Holiday Destinations-Other Places:

Fethiye/Kayaköy

Dean Livesley in Kayaköy, Turkey

Dean Livesley in Kayaköy, Turkey

If you do go to Fethiye, go visit and stay in Kaya Village or Kayaköy which was a mostly Greek village abandoned after the 1923 exchange of population between Greek Muslims and Turkish (Greek) Orthodox Christians. The village was never re-inhabited. Kayaköy (photos) was the inspiration for Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres, the same author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

This Ayşe was written about in the book Birds without Wings…”Ayse kept in trust the wedding chest of her Greek childhood friend Maria in the belief that one day they would be reunited and it could be returned.” (Scroll down to “Compare this with the story of Ayşe…)

More narrative descriptions and photos of Kayaköy can be seen in Kayaköy in Springtime and Kayaköy:Turkey’s Greek “Ghost Town”.

Dean and Ayşe Livesley arrange activities in and around the Kayaköy and Ölu Deniz area and sea kayaking. Ayşe also teaches Turkish cuisine to travellers. (Also see Lycia.) Dean writes a regular column called LyciaScape in the Land Of Lights , a local Fethiye newspaper.

Kayaköy outside of Fethiye, Turkey

Kayaköy outside of Fethiye, Turkey

For an out of the way and quiet retreat, you can go visit Mel at Mountain Lodge up near Tlos the ancient Lycian site.

You will need a scooter or rental car but it is worth the drive. Mel can arrange to meet you at a dolmus stop, call or email her and ask.

Later you can visit Yakapark for an interesting lunch with ice cold water running water everywhere under where you sit in the shade of huge shade trees.

A nice “three for one” day trip or overnight stay; Mountain Lodge, Tlos and Yakapark.

While in Kayaköy, walk up to the top toward the east and down a bit and you can see Ölu Deniz, then you can have said you have seen it. There are less crowded and better places to have fun on the beach, Patara being one of them or Kaputaş close to Kaş.

For something different in the Fethiye area you might try this Organic Eco Farm called Pastoral Valley “which is in Yanıklar Village near Fethiye and occupies 42,000 sq.m. of land in the middle of a valley, surrounded by pine forest, with a river as one of its boundaries…”
(Photos of a recent visit to Pastoral Vadi.)

Volunteer work in Pastoral Vadi, an organic farm in Turkey by Kate Fennell
“Popular around the world, WWOOF organic farming opportunities are now available in Turkey, especially in the southwest”

WWOOF: World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Founded in the United Kingdom in 1971, WWOOFing now involves more than 6,000 hosts in 88 countries.

Fethiye

Fethiye is a medium-sized tourist/working city with many “English Breakfast” signs and sunburn pink, half-naked foreign tourists (as noted by the Old Groaner, a local Fethiye resident). You might find this Lonely Planet commentary about Fethiye [(No. 12) - 13-Mar-2011] interesting and the following guide could be helpful: Out and About in Fethiye.

Patara Beach

Or, you may wish to move on to Patara, Kaş, Kekova, or Çirali/Olympos.
Patara is an ancient Lycian site and the largest sand beach on the Mediterranean Coast. You can walk for long distances there away from the beach cafe and find yourself quite alone. Also take a look at these photos taken from Kurşunlutepe at Patara.
(Patara on Google Maps)
The village you encounter before you arrive at the ruins and the beach is locally known as both Patara and Gelemiş and it has several small tea gardens, restaurants and places to stay.

Kaputaş Beach

Kaputaş is a very nice and small sand beach between Kalkan and Kaş. (Kaputaş on Google Maps)

Lycian Way Trail & Ancient Sites

Trekking the entire length of the famous Lycian Way on the Med Coast of Turkey may take up to a month, more or less. It is over 500 km and some of it is easy and some parts are quite difficult. The article titled, “Lycian Way Trail on the Med Coast of Turkey” is a good start and will tell you a lot of helpful bits about the Ancient Lycian League and the Lycian Way hiking trail in Turkey.

Ancient Lycian Sites:

You can start with this Google Map of many Ancient Lycian Sites in the regional area around Kaş.

Ancient Phellos of the Lycian League (Photos)

Kyaneai of the Lycian League

Patara, capital of the Lycian League

Hoyran of the Lycian League

Demre: Ancient Myra and Andriake

Med Coast: Articles, Stories or Day Trips

Turkey Travel Planner, the Thorntree Forum on Lonely Planet, and a word from a visitor on Trip Advisor all have great comments about the Mediterranean Region of Turkey.

Coasting the Mediterranean in the footsteps of the Lycians: “Like the rest of the Mediterranean, Turkey was once a part of the sprawling Roman Empire, and reminders of such Latin refinements can be found at its many archeological sites.”

The Complete Guide to: Turkish shores: “A dream location for explorers and history lovers, the coastal areas of Turkey are packed with ruins and idyllic beaches. Ben Crichton offers advice on making the most of your trip”

North of Kaş about 80 kilometres is the high country and a town call Elmalı. Elma means apple in Turkey and along with cherries and grape vines, apples are widely grown in the area. This brief article about Elmalı, Turkey and the Likya Winery should whet your appetite for a wine tasting. This story of the founder, In pursuit of a dream: the story of Likya Wines shows us how one person can make his dreams come true.

Likya Winery Wine Tasting Tour: “A trip into the mountains to Gombe and Elmalı can be done in a day and is worth the trip, or stay overnight and return the next. Even in August the nights could be jacket weather!”

Recharge your batteries during Bayram:“We went west from Antalya to Tekirova, then Çıralı and onto İslamlar and Sarıbelen near Kalkan and then returned to Antalya through the mountains, all by bus.”

From Antakya to Troy with Lord Kinross
“Oxford-educated Patrick Kinross is best known for his definitive, highly readable biography of the founder of the Turkish Republic…Kinross makes a series of journeys, spread between 1947 and 1954, from the eastern Mediterranean seaboard to the mouth of the Dardanelles…”

[Turkey Through a Traveler’s Eyes] Along Turkey’s southern shores with Francis Beaufort in 1811
“…it is hard to imagine just how remote and unsettled the southern coast of Ottoman Anatolia was during the 19th century travels of Francis Beaufort.”

Hope this helps and that you have a great holiday in Turkey. Hoşgeldiniz (Welcome)