12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Kas
With its postcard-perfect harbor, Kaş is a favored yacht mooring destination in the Antalya Province of Turkey and one of the best places for you to head out onto the sea for some laid-back sightseeing of the many secret coves and islands along the coastline. The town itself is crammed with cute boutiques and lovely cafés, where landlubber tourists can chill out and shop 'til they drop. While the sunken ruins around Kekova and Kaleköy are the top historical attraction, plenty more remnants from the Lycian, Greek, and Roman eras are hidden in the surrounding hilly hinterland if you're looking for more things to do.
Just offshore from Kaş is the geopolitical oddity of the island of Meis. Despite only being a 20-minute ferry hop away from shore, Meis actually belongs to Greece (and is known as Kastellorizo in Greek). A day trip here from town means you're actually crossing an international border. Meis has plenty to keep you occupied for the day, including boat trips to the island's coastal caves and some great hill hiking to abandoned church ruins. The harborside village is also gloriously cute with plenty of cafés and all its buildings decked out in pastel shades. Two ferries run daily from Kaş, and if you're heading to Greece, you can also continue on to Rhodes from here on weekly ferries.
2 Antiphellos Ruins
The modern town of Kaş occupies the site of ancient Antiphellos. Among its scattering of attractions from antiquity is a Lycian sarcophagus in the town center, a well-preserved theater on the west side of town with fine views over the bay, the remains of the ancient town walls near the harbor, and some Lycian rock tombs to the northeast. If you're feeling active, an afternoon spent exploring these remnants will give you a feeling for the history of this tourist town.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Kas
Kaş is all about the sun, sea, and sand. Along the surrounding coastline are plenty of perfect white strips of beach to lay down your towel. Kaputaş Beach (between Kaş and Kalkan) is one of the most popular, and during summer it can get busy with fellow sun-seeking tourists. If the crowds put you off, head to the lovely beaches of Liman Aǧzı, on the opposite peninsula. They can be easily reached by a water-taxi from Kaş harbor if you don't fancy a long stroll along the shore.
4 Kekova: Sunken City Ruins
The offshore island of Kekova is one of the most interesting attractions near Kaş. The island is famous for the underwater ruins just offshore known as the sunken city. The best way to get here is by a yacht or boat cruise from Kaş or Üçaǧız as the boat can take you right up to the ruins. Alternatively, kayaking trips to the sunken city are extremely popular and allow you to get an even better look below the surface, so you can peer down into the blue water spotting crumbled stone remnants. Almost all of the tour companies in town can organize boat trips and kayaking tours here.
Location: 35 kilometers east of Kaş
The absolutely charming village of Üçaǧız is just the place to spend a lazy day. This is a yachtie-haven and, unsurprisingly, all the action in town occurs harborside. Üçaǧız sits on the site of ancient Teimiussa, which was under the command of the Lycian ruler Pericles Limyra as early as the 4th century BC. Ruins are scattered about the village and surrounding area, including a few relics on the acropolis, two burial grounds with family tombs and sarcophagi belonging to citizens of Myra and Kyaneai, and a sunken section of the ancient walls just offshore. The real pleasure here, though, is sitting back in the sun at one of the harbor cafés and simply watching the world go by.
The medieval Kaleköy Castle has a stunning location on a peninsula hilltop across the water from Uçaǧız. This is the site of ancient Simena, which dates from the 4th century BC. The castle was built upon the foundations of the earlier Simena citadel and today, below the fortifications, you can still visit a seven-tiered 300-seat theater from this earlier settlement period. There's also a necropolis just to the west, which contains mostly Roman sarcophagi in Lycian style. Under the castle, upon the shoreline, is the itsy-bitsy hamlet of Kaleköy, with its boat jetty and café, while just offshore are the sunken ruins of the Titus Baths (AD 79-81). Most people visit Kaleköy as part of a yacht sightseeing trip from Kaş, which also usually includes a stop at Kekova.
Location: Hanefioǧlu Sokak
7 St Nicholas Church
Santa Claus comes from Turkey. Demre (ancient Myra) had grown into a prominent town by the 4th century, and St. Nicholas (who would later enter Christmas-lore as jolly St. Nick of presents and reindeer fame) was famously the bishop here. The medieval domed Basilica of St. Nicholas is an important pilgrimage destination for those of the Orthodox Christian faith and has been preserved in its original 11th-century form, with some remains of frescoes in the apse and on the walls. Demre is an easy day trip from Kaş.
Just inland from the center of Demre are the remains of ancient Myra. Some well-preserved Lycian rock tombs are hewn into the cliff face, and there's also a large Roman theater, which has been wonderfully restored. It's an atmospheric site, with sculpted masks chiseled into rock leading up to the theater and the rock tombs looming above. Combining St. Nicholas Church and Myra together in a trip is an excellent day out. You can easily walk to Myra from the church if it's not too hot, but remember to buy water before you set out from Demre center and slap on some sunscreen and a hat.
Location: 2 kilometers from Demre town center
This ancient, silted-up harbor sits in the marshlands area, six kilometers west of Demre, with the ruins of an impressive granary as well as a temple, marketplace, parts of the harbor walls, and a number of chapels still in good condition. The name of Antiochus III was linked to the town as early as 197 BC and it was an important Mediterranean port during the Roman era. Outside the walls, an extensive necropolis lies on the northern slopes behind the nymphaeum. In the southeast corner, two watchtowers stand on either side of a protective wall.
Location: 45 kilometers east of Kaş
A day trip to the Hellenistic ruin of Arykanda is well worth it. The site terraces dramatically down a slope of the Akdaǧ Mountain, with many well-preserved monuments to explore. The stadium on the highest terrace is comparatively small, dating from the Greek era but restored by the Romans. Below the stadium is a near-intact Greek theater with 20 rows of seating and some inscriptions still visible on the top row. The Odeon, on the lowest terrace, is 75 meters long with a mosaic floor. Stretching out in front is the galleried marketplace, while to the west lies the Bouleuterion. The Baths are situated to the south and are among the best-preserved buildings, with the frigidarium and caldarium still in fine condition. A semi-circular viewing room here provides a wonderful view over the Arykandos Valley.
Location: 72 kilometers northeast of Kaş
The ancient town of Limyra dates from the 5th century BC and is one of the oldest settlements in Lycia. On the hill to the north of the site, an upper and lower acropolis can be seen, with remains of a Byzantine church and Roman theater. On the crag to the south stands the Heroon of Perikles (c 370 BC), hewn out of the rock in the form of a temple. There are also three large Lycian rock tombs. All the ruins are severely weathered and not well preserved, but the lost-in-time atmosphere is hard to beat. It's a good stop on a road trip taking in the surrounding sights of Demre and Arykanda.
Location: 81 kilometers east of Kaş
This Lycian town was prosperous up to the 4th century AD. There are a number of sarcophagi and several rock tombs to scramble around, as well as the remains of a marketplace and the once enormous town walls. The large theater is the highlight of the site and has 25 rows of seating. Superb views are on offer if you climb to the top seating tier. Kyaneai only gets a smattering of tourists daily, which imbues the entire site with a lost-world feeling.
Location: 22 kilometers east of Kaş