A PLACE FROM HEAVEN: KAŞ, Pınar Çetin | 22.06.2016

Antalya, with its population of 2.3 million making it the 5th largest city in Turkey, is one of the true tourism paradises of the world. Kaş is a district located at the westernmost part of this touristic region on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Imagine a place in a province that has an economy largely reliant on tourism in the Turkey of 2016 that is by the seaside and doesn’t have a single 5-star hotel; a place that is still relatively untouched. This is Kaş. The people who live in the area, which is becoming more and more popular year on year, make their living from tourism during the summer, and greenhouse agriculture and fishing during the winter.

The main reason that Kaş has stayed so untouched is its distance from the city of Antalya (189 km) and airports. This distance makes reaching Kaş a little difficult. You can get there by flying to Dalaman or Antalya with Turkish Airlines (approximately 1.5 hours from Istanbul) and then hiring a car (2 hour ride from Dalaman, 4 hours from Antalya). The bending and twisting nature of the roads to Kaş increases the average journey time. The challenging trip makes the holiday experience even more memorable and meaningful.

We decided to make our way over to this beautiful district on the weekend of April 23. I included this place, which I had not visited for quite a long while, on my route this time because the weather conditions in April are very favorable for diving and there is a lot to see under the water.

If you decide to go to Kaş in the months of April-May or September-October, the first thing that greets you will be its temperate weather.

When we reached the district in the early hours of the morning we found our hotel, Phellos. The hotel takes its name from Antiphellos, one of the ancient cities located in the Kaş area. The accommodation in Kaş mostly consists of boutique hotels and hostels. Many hotels, including ours, are on the hillside, and afford visitors wonderful views.

After getting settled in the hotel we went down to the sea. The pretty side streets lined with lemon trees and houses left from the Hellenistic era put us in a great mood. 

Kaş is one of the best diving spots in Turkey. Since our main goal was to dive at Kaş we left other options aside for another time and went straight to the boat.

Our first stop was Güvercinlik Bay before heading on to Hidayet Bay.

After seeing schools of fish and hunting for corals deep down, we got to see the sunset at the Dejavu Cafe.

There were many people out walking and shopping at the small, well-lit stores in the side streets in the evening. Uzun Çarşı is another popular spot in Kaş.

We chose Smiley’s Restaurant for dinner. The Nereid Pub or Mavi are also viable options.

Kaş Türk Kahvecisi is a great spot to enjoy some Turkish coffee.

There aren’t too many options for entertainment in Kaş but if you wish to listen to some music you can go to Hideaway.

We went out to dive again on the second day. Our first stop was Kanyon. We were lucky here as we encountered a loggerhead sea turtle.

Our second stop was Fenerburnu. Here we found a plane wreck 17-20 meters underwater. We of course spent as much time as possible in this fascinating area.

What else can you do in Kaş?

Firstly, you can relax in the marvelous bays. The sea is an aquarium, so to speak.

You can also visit the many beaches. Küçükçakıl, Büyükçakıl, Patara, Kaputaş, Akçagerme, and Limanağzı beaches are the most popular.

Küçükçakıl Beach is 5-10 minutes walking distance from the town center. Due to the spring water that is quite close to the sea, the water here is a bit cooler compared to at other beaches. Büyükçakıl Beach is 15 minutes walking distance from the road that leads to Küçükçakıl. Patara Beach is the beach that old Turkish movies’ desert scenes were shot at. It is also protected due to the fact that it is a breeding ground for loggerhead sea turtles. It is rated as one of the top 15 beaches in Turkey. Kaputaş Beach, located in the Kalkan district, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. To reach the beach you have to climb down 190 stairs. There are no facilities at the beach itself. Therefore, if you are going to come here you need to bring everything you need with you.

You could also see Kalkan at the same time as you go to Kaputaş Beach. The distance between the small district of Kalkan and Kaş is 25 km.

You can also take the Kekova tour. Kekova is the only sunken city of our country, which sunk due to earthquakes. Tours on glass-bottomed boats are available, allowing you to see the sunken city and take photos. Unfortunately, diving is forbidden here.

You can visit the Greek island of Meis which is located 2 km from Kaş. The island is reached by boat and you will need a Schengen visa to be able to visit the island.

It is said that mountain climbing and rafting have become quite popular within the region in the recent years.

If you wish to have a more tranquil vacation, Kaş will successfully fulfill your expectations. We left Kaş with amazing memories.

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Eda Işıkoğlu


Emir Can Kılıç