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Have you ever arrived somewhere new and just immediately fallen head-over-heels in love?
Well, that’s how I felt about the enchanting little town of Kas on southern Turkey’s Lycian Coast.
It only took one short walk along the waterfront for me to know that this place would always hold a special place in my heart. And that feeling only grew during the 3 weeks I got to call this magical place home. It’s somewhere I know I’ll return to time and time again.
So on that note, it’s time for me to introduce you guys to this little slice of paradise with my ultimate guide to the best things to do in Kas, Turkey…
Take a Stroll Through Picturesque Kas Old Town
You can’t help but feel joyful when wandering around the cluster of pedestrian streets that make up Kas Old Town.
Walk down small cobblestone streets lined with colourful bougainvillaea-covered houses and overlooked by quaint wooden balconies reminiscent of times past. Pass by pristine white buildings that stand in perfect contrast to the vibrant orange and lemon trees below. And discover hidden alleyways that lead out to breathtaking views over the large harbour and turquoise waters that engulf the entire town.
In other words, a stroll around the old town is an absolute must-do when in Kas.
The town has a chilled, laid back atmosphere, with cafes, restaurants, bars, and ice-cream parlours galore. So once you’re done exploring, find one of the many large outdoor terraces, order a cold drink, and watch the world pass you by for a while.
And if you enjoy shopping, Kas has plenty of little touristy shops full of cute souvenirs and trinkets. There are also stores selling artisan clothing and handcrafted jewellery so you can pick up a new summer outfit for the beach.
Grab an Ice Cream in the Main Square
Kas’s main square is a spacious pedestrianised area centred around a statue of Atatürk Heykeli and overlooking the harbour and sea. It’s surrounded by restaurants, bars, and ice-cream parlours, with large terraces spilling out onto the street.
The main square is a popular meeting spot for both locals and tourists. You’ll find people enjoying meals on the lively terraces or catching up with friends on the public benches.
During the day, children and dogs run around enjoying the wide-open space. Then after dark, many of the restaurants and bars put on live music that continues into the early hours. It’s not unusual to find people dancing the night away in the square.
No matter when you pass through, there’s always a fun and social atmosphere that’s sure to draw you in.
Not sure where to eat? Check out my full post on the best restaurants in Kas.
Spend a Day at Kaputaş Beach – one of the prettiest beaches in Turkey
Kaputaş Beach can be found around 20km north of Kas, towards the neighbouring town of Kalkan.
Famous for its golden sand and turquoise waters, Kaputaş isn’t only one of the most beautiful beaches on the Lycian Coast, but it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Turkey.
The picturesque natural beach is sheltered by two steep cliffs to form a hidden bay. As you arrive via the coastal road, don’t forget to look down from the famous cliffside viewpoint. You then climb down a steep staircase to reach the beach.
While it’s a little further away than other beaches in Kas, a day sunbathing on the fine golden sand and swimming in the gorgeous Mediterranean waters of Kaputaş beach is an absolute must.
During the high season, umbrellas and sunbeds are available to use for a fee. Showers, toilets, and changing rooms are available all year round. There’s also a small cafe selling drinks, snacks, and ice cream.
How to get to Kaputaş Beach from Kas: If you have your own hire car, you can drive from Kas to Kaputas in around 20 minutes. However, there is limited parking on the roadside so you’ll have to arrive early to get a space. The most convenient way to get to the beach is to jump on the public minibus (dolmuş) between Kaş and Kalkan which stops at the bay.
Enjoy the Beautiful Beaches and Views around Kas Peninsula
Kas peninsula, or Çukurbağ Peninsula, stretches from the west of the Old Town and out into the sea. The peninsula is home to many of Kas’s most luxurious villas, hotels, and holiday resorts.
Even if you’re not staying on the peninsula, a walk around it is a great way to discover some of the best views back over Kas Old Town, the Marina, and the surrounding coastline.
At 5 kilometres in length, it’ll take you a couple of hours to walk the entire peninsula. Or stick to the first part – this is where the best views are anyway.
The peninsula is also where you’ll find some of the best beaches walkable from Kas town centre.
Kaş Belediyesi Halk Plajı is my favourite beach on the peninsula. The spacious blue flag beach is well-maintained, with lots of room for sunbathing on the pebbles and swimming in the sea. It has a nice cafe and bar with affordable prices, public toilets, and showers.
At the narrowest point of the peninsular, you’ll find İnceboğaz Çınar Plajı. Here there are two small pebble beaches sitting opposite each other, with calm water perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
Visiting Kas for its beautiful beaches? Check out my full post on the best beaches in Kas.
Watch the Sunset at Big Pebble Beach
Büyük Çakıl Plajı, or Big Pebble Beach, sits just to the south of Kas along the coastline and is the best beach in the area to watch the sunset from.
As the sun begins to fade, the restaurants surrounding the beach put their tables out onto the pebbles overlooking the sea. This makes it one of the most romantic spots in Kas for a sunset drink or meal. You can also bring along your own chairs and drinks to enjoy the sunset on the pebbles.
How to get to Big Pebble Beach: You can walk to Big Pebble from the town centre in around 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, you can drive (there’s parking) or jump in a taxi.
Visit Kas’s 2,000-Year-Old Amphitheatre
Antiphellos Amphitheatre is located at the base of the Kas peninsula. The well-preserved ruin is an important landmark belonging to the Lycian settlement of Antiphellos, which is now modern-day Kas. It dates back to 200-300BC, making it one of the oldest in Anatolia (the Asian portion of modern Turkey).
It is also the only amphitheatre in Anatolia facing the sea. From the top of the tiered seating, there are fantastic views back over Kas, across the coastline, and out to the island of Meis.
Today, the theatre is free to visit. It hosts regular events, including morning yoga classes, concerts, and performances. In the evening, people gather with drinks to watch the sunset from the upper tiers.
You can also find numerous other Lycian ruins scattered around Kas. As you leave the amphitheatre and head towards the town centre, keep an eye out for the ruins of the Temple of Antiphellos.
Discover the Lycian Rock Tombs
There are many Lycian Rock Tombs on the Lycian Coast. Many of which are far more impressive than those in Kas, such as the majestic cliffside tombs in Fethiye. But if you’re already exploring Kas, there’s no harm popping along to see these ancient burial sites.
These Lycian tombs date back over 2,000 years and are tucked away in the cliff face behind the Old Town.
The Lycians believed that mythical winged creatures came to transport the dead to the afterlife, which is why the tombs were built high into the cliffs and away from main living areas. The tombs were built to look like houses or palaces, emphasising the importance of family and kinship even after death.
You’ll also find some large Lycian rock sarcophagus displayed around Kas Old Town. These are pretty hard to miss!
Go Shopping at Kas’s Weekly Market
The Kas Pazar Market takes place in the town every Friday. It’s a genuine local Turkish market, with farmers from the surrounding villages selling fresh local produce. You’ll also find traders selling clothes, jewellery, shoes, household items, toys, and lots more.
The market is a great place to pick up some affordable local souvenirs or gifts to take back home with you. Don’t forget to haggle to get the best price.
Kas market also has a large food area. Many of the stalls serve homemade gözleme (savoury filled Turkish pancakes) and freshly squeezed juices. You can sit and watch the pancakes being made from scratch right in front of you. But make sure you turn up hungry – the portions are huge (if you’re not that hungry, you can always share a portion between two people).
The weekly market is open 8am to 7pm every Friday. It takes place close to the bus station and mosque. Search for Pazar Yeri on Google Maps.
Admire the Luxury Yachts at Kas Marina
While most visitors to Kas get to see the Old Town harbour, far fewer make it to the luxurious marina area. This makes it a great place to escape to during the crowds of high season.
Kas Marina sits to the west of the Old Town, just a short distance from the base of the peninsula. It’s filled with luxury yachts and sailboats, owned by wealthy Europeans making their way along the beautiful Mediterranean coastline.
The marina has several restaurants and bars lining the affluent stretch of waterfront, including Vati Restoran and Alp’s Wine House.
But my personal favourite has to be Oxygen Pub. The quirky British-themed bar has tasty pub grub (the burgers are 10/10), a great cocktail list, alfresco seating, and comfy beanbags on the grass outside. It hosts live bands every Wednesday and Saturday evening, so you can enjoy a drink and music as you watch the magical colours of the sunset engulf the rows of boats below you.
Hike up to the Sleeping Giant Viewpoint
The Sleeping Giant is a distinctive rock formation on top of the mountain that provides a dramatic backdrop to this little coastal town. The mountain gets its name from an ancient legend.
The legend says that there were once two giants who were madly in love with each other.
One lived on Phellus (now Turkish mainland) and the other on Megisti (now the Greek island of Meis/Kastellorizo). The only time they could meet was when the water level fell and connected these two pieces of land.
But, over time, the tides changed and the islands no longer met. So the two lovers went into a deep sleep until they could meet again.
From Kas Old Town, you can take a 30-40 minute hike to reach the Sleeping Giant Viewpoint. Here you’ll find some of the best views over Kas and the peninsula, and over to the island of Meis. The route up is steep, so make sure to take breaks and remember to bring water.
Go Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving is one of the most popular things to do in Kas during the hot summer months. The coastal town is said to be one of the best diving destinations in all of Turkey. On a dive in Kas, you’ll get to explore more of the region’s gorgeous coastline and maybe even find some of the many sea turtles.
There are multiple diving schools in Kas, open to new or experienced divers. Boats head out from the harbour every day during high season.
I didn’t dive during my stay in Kas. But for more details, check out my good friend Christanne of Backpacking Banana’s video about her experience diving in Kas.
You can book a discovery dive in Kas here or a more advanced dive here. And if you have enough time in Kas, how about taking your PADI Open Water Course?
Take a Boat Tour to the Turquoise Waters of Kekova
Another of the most popular things to do in Kas is to take a boat trip to nearby Kekova for the day.
Kekova is located just along the coast from Kas (close to the city of Demre). It is the name for the region encompassing uninhabited Kekova Island, as well as the villages of Kaleköy and Üçağiz on the mainland.
On a boat trip to the area, you’ll explore the mysterious Sunken City of Kekova. The Sunken City is the ruins of an ancient Lycian settlement which is now underwater due to an earthquake in the 2nd century. With some of the clearest water in all of Turkey, you can easily see down to the preserved stone buildings and the ancient port.
Along the way, you’ll also stop in the idyllic coastal village of Simena (now called Kaleköy). Here you can get off the boat to stretch your legs for a while. You can sit and enjoy an ice cream at a waterside cafe, search for Lycian sarcophagi, or climb up to Simena Castle for some amazing views over the area.
Most boats also include a delicious BBQ on board and have a paid bar. You’ll dock up in a bay for lunch where you’ll have the chance to eat, drink, and go for a swim in the stunning turquoise waters.
The boat trips last around 7-8 hours. Price varies depending on the company and season. In general, you should be looking at €25pp off-season and up to €40pp in high-season. You can book a shared Kekova boat trip in advance here or a private boat for up to 10 people here.
Or a Sea Kayaking Tour Instead
An alternative option is to take a sea kayaking tour of Kekova. The route is similar to the boat tour and you’ll get to see the Sunken City and Simena. But on a kayak tour, you’ll eat lunch on land and have the chance to swim just off the coast.
Sea kayaking tours of Kekova are generally a little more expensive than boat tours as the group is much smaller. You can expect to pay around €40-€50pp for the day.
Book your sea kayaking tour of Kekova here.
Enjoy Kas’s Nightlife Scene
Like many places in Turkey, Kas really comes to life at night.
The town has plenty of gorgeous restaurants with large terraces and sea views if you want a more chilled night. Or for those looking to party, there are several lively bars with regular live music and parties going on into the early hours.
LOOP is my favourite bar in Kas. The outdoor beach bar hosts live DJs and parties every night of the week during high season and on weekends in low season. There’s a spacious dance floor, comfy couches, and bar games such as table football. During the day, LOOP is also open for food (once again, great burgers!) with fantastic views over the harbour.
Take a Day Trip to Greece
The Island of Meis (or Kastellorizo in Greek) is a tiny Greek Island sitting just across the water from Kas. The peaceful little island is known for its pretty houses and colourful facades.
On a day trip from Kas, you can take a stroll through its narrow streets, visit the small museum, eat seafood on the waterfront, and swim in the famous Blue Cave.
There’s not a huge amount to do in Meis, so you’ll only need a few hours there. But it’s fun to say that you popped over to Greece for the day.
How to get from Kas to Meis: The shuttle boat from Kas to Meis takes around 20-30 minutes. Boats run daily during high season, and less regularly in low season. You can find a boat at the harbour or prebook a boat tour to the island here. Don’t forget your passport and euros for Meis.
How to get to Kas, Turkey
The nearest airports to Kas are Dalaman Airport (96km) and Antalya Airport (200km).
From Dalaman Airport, get a taxi or bus to Dalaman, where you can jump on a bus to Kas. The bus takes around 3 hours.
From Antalya Airport, jump in a taxi or the Havas shuttle bus to Antalya bus station, where you can catch the bus to Kas. The bus takes around 4 hours.
If it’s within your budget, you can also book a private transfer from either of these airports. Book your transfer from/to Dalaman Airport here or from/to Antalya Airport here.
Where to stay in Kas, Turkey
During my time in Kas, I stayed at the amazing Can Mocamp and I couldn’t recommend it more highly!
Owned by a lovely local couple, the popular hostel has camping spots, shared dorm rooms, and cosy private cabins. There’s a social and friendly atmosphere, with lots of communal areas, an on-site bar hosting live music, and campfires each evening. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as at home as quickly as I did at Can Mocamp.
The homecooked Turkish breakfast is the best I had during my entire trip and there’s a great pizza restaurant on-site too. The hostel is located a little outside of the Old Town, but the short walk along the marina is very safe and scenic.
Full post on where to stay in Kas coming soon.
How long to stay in Kas, Turkey
To really appreciate Kas, you’ll want at least 3-4 days. More if possible. Kas is the kind of place you want to relax and take life at a slower pace. Take a day to just unwind on the beach. Spend another day wandering through the streets of Old Town. And don’t forget to save a day for your Kekova boat trip.
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