An idyllic getaway with stunning white pebble beaches, picturesque cobblestone streets, and adventurous scuba diving is waiting for you on the southern coast of Turkey! Make your way to the beautiful town of Kas to enjoy lazy days baking in the warm sun and refreshing dips in the Mediterranean Sea.
Take a break from the lounge chair by hiking the scenic trails of the Lycian Way, exploring the rock cut tombs in ancient Myra, or riding a ferry to the Greek island of Kastellorizo (Meis). Spend the evenings shopping in the artisan boutiques and trying delicious Turkish cuisine.
Brad and I visited Kas for 10 days to satisfy our yearning for an ocean escape. Having never been to the Mediterranean Sea, we jumped at the opportunity to check it out after our month-long stay in Izmir. Below I've put together our favorite activities and restaurants to help inspire a trip to this dazzling jewel!
Located in the province of Antalya, Kas offers travelers the right mix of things to do while holding true to its postcard character. The town doesn't see as many tourists as the cities of Antalya or Fethiye, which is perfect for those seeking a low-key vibe.
Hotels and apartments surround the harbor along the coast and up the hillside. Learn from our mistake and choose an accommodation close to the action. Our place was a steep 25-minute climb up at least 400 stairs, which left us sweaty, tired, and a tiny bit grumpy at the end of each day. We needed a shower after every return journey from the center of town!
Scooter rentals are available, just be sure to pick one with enough power to navigate the inclines. The one we rented for a few days couldn't handle the slopes with both of us on it.
Lush pink bougainvilleas drape over the sides of stone houses with adorable shutters and enclosed balconies on Uzun Çarsı Caddesi. The street has characteristics of Ottoman Greek architecture and is almost too pretty for words! The thoroughfare has a Lycian sarcophagus with carved lions, known as the King's Tomb, dating to the 4th Century BC.
The bazaar is overflowing with authentic and high-quality souvenirs. Purchase a piece of sterling silver jewelry, nazar (blue eye protection amulet) ornament, or Turkish towel for the beach. You'll also find antiques, canvas bags, pottery, clothing, and art. I was really impressed with the variety!
Wander the nearby nooks and crannies to discover hidden gems and cuddly cats. Boutiques, pop-up market stalls, bars, and restaurants line the side streets enticing customers with goods and menus. Bountiful lemon trees, colorful chairs, and glowing lights enhance the Mediterranean atmosphere.
Feeling hungry? Grab a traditional Turkish meal of handmade mantı (boiled meat or lentil dumplings) topped with caramelized tomato sauce, garlic yogurt, and brown butter at Kasık Mantı Ev Yemekleri. It's the ultimate comfort food packed with flavor and hearty ingredients.
I ate one of the best tacos of my life at Taco Box! The vegan mushroom taco has a made-to-order hand pressed tortilla with complex sauces and veggies. The cute restaurant is cash only and open for dinner. Savor your tacos on a nearby bench overlooking the main square.
Cumhuriyet Meydani (Republic Square) is the ideal place to rest your feet and people watch. Try a few fresh boiled mussels stuffed with rice (midye dolma) with a squirt of tangy lemon juice. Cool off with a Turkish ice cream (dondurma) made with goats milk, natural flavors, sugar, mastic (plant resin), whipped cream, and salep (flour made from an orchid tuber). The densely delicious dessert has a chewy consistency and resists melting!
Book a party boat with snorkeling, leisurely cruise, kayaking trip, or scuba diving excursion at the harbor adjacent to Republic Square. The ferry port to Kastellorizo is also here. Admire the fishing boats, check out the lighthouse, and watch a sunset from the jagged rocks.
One of the main historical icons of Kas is the restored Antiphellos Theater, built during the 1st Century BC. The limestone structure offers amazing views of the sea and can seat up to 4,000 spectators.
Beaches & Beach Clubs
Most of your time in Kas should be spent watching the cerulean waves with a cold cocktail in hand. The glistening water beckons a plunge. Whether you hang out at a beach club or find your own private cove along the coast, the day is sure to be relaxing!
The majority of beach clubs in Kas have a minimum food/drink spending requirement, which typically includes a lounge chair and umbrella. Spots are first-come, first-served, so arrive early if you desire a prime view. Our favorite beach club, Ada Beach Restaurant, was at Büyükçakıl Plajı and walkable from town. The fast service, delicious food, clean beach, and spectacular scenery were perfect!
The majestic cliffs of Kaputas Plajı made my jaw drop! The cove is accessed by a steep staircase and entry is free. Brad and I arrived early to beat the crowds and claimed a shady spot on the smooth white pebbles. Umbrellas and loungers are available for rent during the peak summer season. A trip to Kas isn't complete without a visit to Kaputas Beach; one of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey!
Ready for a cardio workout? Challenge your legs with an invigorating hike along the glorious Lycian Way. The trail, created by Kate Clow, spans 470 mi (756 km) along the southern Mediterranean coast from Fethiye to Antalya. We completed Segment 17 due to its proximity to Kas and Lycian rock cut tombs. There are painted red/white markers along the way with a few signs, but download Maps.me or Google Maps offline to avoid getting lost.
Bring plenty of snacks, water, and sunscreen. Brad and I decided to pack homemade sandwiches to eat along the trail. The afternoon heat is brutal during the summer! Cool off with a swim at Limanagzı Plajı or rehydrate with a slushy. Please carry out what you carry in and leave no trace, including biodegradable food which can harm wildlife.
Kas is renowned as one of the best places to go scuba diving in the Mediterranean Sea. Descend beneath the surface to explore up to 30 dive sites including wrecks, caves, ancient artifacts, and canyons! We booked two dives with Nautilus Diving due to its stellar reviews and five-star PADI rating. I highly recommend the company for its knowledgeable instructors, equipment, and responsible no-touch marine practices.
One of my all-time favorite dive sites is the World War II C-47 Dakota Airplane Wreck. Purposely sunk at a depth of 22 m (72 ft), the airplane functions as an artificial reef for lionfish and sea urchins. Check out the cockpit and enter the fuselage if you're not claustrophobic!
The Mediterranean Sea has a lot of marine life despite its lack of colorful corals. At the Lighthouse Reef dive site, we observed starfish, triggerfish, schools of two-banded sea breams, and a tiny aeolid nudibranch crawling on a plant. Keep an eye out for broken amphorae along the rocky bottom!
Myra Archaeological Site
The ancient Lycian city of Myra is a splendid area to see grand rock cut tombs with angular façades and reliefs on vertical cliffs. Carved during the 4th Century BC, the inscribed tombs feature elaborate friezes with deities, flora, and fauna. Some sections of the necropolis have interior paintings made with blue, red, and yellow pigments.
You may feel as though you're being watched as you tour the open-air museum! There are sculpted faces with ornate hairstyles, exaggerated facial expressions, and hollow eyes in every direction. The beautiful craftsmanship is mesmerizing.
The largest theater in Lycia was built in Myra by the Romans during the 1st Century AD. Approximately 12,000 spectators could watch concerts, plays, and events. Visitors can explore the rows and passageways to glimpse other sections of rock cut tombs, barrel vaults, and decorated lintels.
TIP: The archaeological site is open every day, 8:00 AM-8:00 PM, and requires at least an hour to complete. Tickets cost 180 TL. Head to the Kas bus terminal to find a bus going to Demre. Tickets are affordable and cash only. Myra is walkable from the Demre bus terminal, but taxis are also readily available.
A 20-minute ferry ride from Kas is all it takes to visit the most eastern inhabited Greek island of Kastellorizo! Spend the day admiring pastel houses, swimming with sea turtles, and soaking up the wonderful culture.
Having never been to Greece, Brad and I seized the chance to experience the island for six hours. After roaming the narrow avenues and browsing a few souvenir shops, we enjoyed a glass of crisp white wine and early dinner along the waterfront. It was bittersweet to leave the friendly locals and charming scenery! Check out my Kastellorizo post for more details.
Kas blew my expectations out of the water with its unique attractions, delightful ambience, and fun excursions. The proximity to Greece was an added bonus! The radiating sunshine and blissful ocean recharged my spirit. I couldn't stop smiling with all of the surrounding natural beauty and positive energy.
Wrapping up our travels in Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea was a fantastic way to bid farewell. If you are searching for a dreamy beach getaway with history and culture, look no further!