Kaş is a small fishing village (ancient Antiphellos), now a laid-back holiday destination with a bohemian vibe. Still relatively unspoilt by mass tourism, Kaş lies on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, between the major tourist airports of Dalaman (2 hour drive) and Antalya (3 hour drive).
There is much to see and do in the environs of this relaxed little place. Tour companies organise adventure and cultural excursions to the surrounding sights, including the sunken city of Simena, the ruins of Xanthos and Patara, the rock tombs and church of St Nicholas at Myra, and the stunning gorge at Saklikent. Boat skippers also tout their trips every morning in the Old Harbour. World-class hiking trails are plentiful along the Lycian Way.
Kaş itself is a charming and pretty town, with traditional wooden houses lining cobbled streets, secluded shady squares and a small harbour. The main shopping street in the Old Town is Uzun Çarşı Sokak, nicknamed by locals as the slippery street (be warned!) … here you will find tour companies, artisan silver jewellers, carpet shops and art galleries. There is none of the hassle you may find in other Turkish towns, which leaves one to browse blissfully undisturbed. Everyday shopping and supermarkets can be found in the Ataturk Caddesi and a weekly Friday market happens in the bus station there.
Kaş and the surrounding areas are littered with ruins and you will walk past several. Of note are the King’s Tomb (4th Century BC Lycian sarcophagus) – you can’t miss it at the top of the main shopping street – and the excellently preserved Hellenic Antiphellos amphitheatre, lying west of Kaş main square. Lycian rock tombs nestle in the mountains above and town and are illuminated at night, making them particularly magical.
Getting There & Around
There are buses from Fethiye, Antalya and Istanbul, but if using an airport transfer, it is much cheaper to book directly with a local firm than to use one of the online booking companies. I used Tunahan Turism who have a good reputation and are very reliable and reasonably priced.
The local dolmas (collective minibus taxi) run very reliably from Kaş Town to nearby beaches, towns and sights.
Eating & Drinking
There are some lovely and picturesque restaurants in the Old Town, but don’t ignore the unassuming restaurants lining Ataturk Caddesi – these can offer cheap and good home-cooked Turkish food.
Kaş offers plenty of choice, from upmarket fish and seafood and traditional meyhanes, to fast food börek, pide and gözleme. For an early evening snack, buy iced almonds or midge dolmas (mussels stuffed with rice) from the street vendors on the seafront.
Three of The Best
Hideaway Cafe Bar
A very chilled place to have a fresh juice or a beer whilst reading your book. They have some amazing cocktails too.
Cumhuriyet Caddesi 16/A
Fabulous, quirky cuisine and some very nice organic Turkish wines. I only regret that I didn’t have time to go back for a second visit. I had mezze selection, followed by lamb shanks with pomegranate, quinoa and aubergine paste – one of those meals you remember for a long time.
Andifli Mah. Ibrahim Serin Cad. No:13/A
Unassuming place on the main road, usually full of locals. Unfussy traditional Turkish fare and friendly service at very reasonable prices.