14 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Kas
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With its postcard-perfect harbor, Kas 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. Plan your sightseeing with our list of the top attractions in Kas.
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Just offshore from Kas 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. The most popular things to do include 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 Kas, 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 Kas 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
Kas 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. Kaputas Beach (between Kas 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 Agzi, on the opposite peninsula. They can be easily reached by a water-taxi from Kas 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 Kas. 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 Kas or Üçagiz, 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.
Departing Kas harbor, this private yachting trip in the Kekova area is a luxurious and relaxing way to sample the gorgeous coastal views on a full day cruising the turquoise waters with an itinerary mixing stops to swim and explore island trails. Lunch is included.
For something more active, the group sea-kayaking tour allows the closest views of Kekova's underwater ruins as you skim across the clear sea surface, spotting crumbled stone remnants below. These trips also include visits to the ruins of Kaleköy Castle onshore. Overland transport from Kas to Üçagiz (launching point for the kayaks) and lunch are included.
The absolutely charming village of Üçagiz is just the place to spend a lazy day. This is a yachtie-haven and, unsurprisingly, all the action in town occurs harborside. Üçagiz 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 Uçagiz. 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 Kas, which also usually includes a stop at Kekova.
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 Kas.
Just up the coast from Kas is the harbor town of Kalkan, which is thoroughly devoted to summer beach and boating holidays. The cobblestone alleys of the tiny old town here are crammed with restored wooden houses that are now home to atmospheric cafes, craft shops, and high-class restaurants that specialize is seafood and modern Turkish cuisine.
Like Kas, this is a main departure point for yacht day trips and multi-day boating up or down the coast, and the tiny beaches just out of town (particularly Kaputas Beach) are the other major attraction.
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.
10. Boat Trips
Boat trips are one of the main things to do in Kas. The rocky coastal scenery here with pine forests tumbling down to the shore is great for a lazy day of relaxing on board, just soaking up the views while you sunbathe with some swimming stops thrown in to cool off.
For something a little bit more active, this snorkeling boat trip heads to about four of the surrounding area's top snorkeling spots, with ruins and shipwrecks to be seen as you snorkel on the surface. Lunch onboard and snorkeling equipment are included, and the boat is also equipped with stand up paddleboards if you fancy trying out some other activities.
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.
A day trip to the Hellenistic ruin of Arykanda, 72 kilometers northeast of Kas, is well worth it. The site terraces dramatically down a slope of the Akdag 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.
The ancient town of Limyra, about 81 kilometers east of Kas, 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 (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.
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.
Where to Stay in Kas for Sightseeing
- Luxury Hotels: Many of Kas' more luxurious hotels are just out of town on the peninsula, providing unimpeded coastal views. In this area, you'll find the Lycia Hotel with its rooms, all with balconies overlooking the sea, tumbling down to the shore. It has a pool and ample terraces, both with more Mediterranean vistas, a restaurant, and included breakfast.
- Mid-Range Hotels: If you prefer to stay in town, 8 Pension is a hip and intimate boutique hotel right in the harborside old town district with plenty of arty, creative flair. There's a rooftop terrace, with great views across the Mediterranean to Meis, and breakfast is included.
Nur Hotel is just to the south of the town center (still within easy walking distance) and has a pool area with cabanas, a rocky seafront with steps straight down into the water, and big minimalist-style rooms with balconies facing the sea. Breakfast is included.
- Budget Hotels: Much of Kas' more budget accommodation is located up the hill from the harbor in the newer part of town. Kas Artimis Hotel is a friendly option with modern rooms and an included breakfast. All the rooms have balconies with panoramic views over town and out to the sea, and the hotel has a rooftop terrace and small pool.
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South from Kas: If you're traveling south down the coast, your next stop should be the crumbled ruins of Olympos, which sit beside a strip of lovely sand. Farther south is the busy city of Antalya, known for its beaches and its tiny, preserved old town district full of restored Ottoman mansions now home to boutique hotels, craft shops, and top restaurants. Just out of town is the famous Aspendos ruins, with the huge Roman theater, the biggest ever built in Turkey.
North from Kas: Fethiye, with its harbor crammed full of yachts waiting to whisk you away on a boat trip, is one of the Turkish Mediterranean region's most popular holiday stops with both great beaches and ruins within day-tripping distance. From here, carry on up the coast to Bodrum for more sand and sea holiday time, or farther north to Ephesus for Turkey's best preserved Roman city ruins.