KAS: A GUIDE TO TURKEY'S MOST CHARMING COASTAL DESTINATION


I first visited Kas five years ago on a two-week road trip through Turkey. It was a pretty epic adventure packed with incredible destinations, but nowhere was as memorable as Kas, a small coastal town in the Antalya Province. Recently, I was lucky enough to return to Kas where I spent even more time exploring this stretch of Turkey's dazzling Turquoise Coast. Not surprising, Kas has become more touristed in recent years, but thankfully it's retained all of its charm. In fact, I loved it more this second time around. Below is my complete travel guide to all-things Kas including the best beaches, daytrips, restaurants and hotels, as well as itinerary ideas and sightseeing tips.


Küçük Çakıl is a charming little cove that is walking distance from Old Town.


HOW MANY DAYS IN KAS

Four to five full days is enough time to enjoy Kas and its surrounds at a relaxed pace, as well as fit in a daytrip or two (there's plenty to see in this part of Antalya). Strolls every evening before dinner are the best way to experience Old Town, while days can be spent enjoying the stunning coast, visiting the Greek island of Kastellorizo, hiking Turkey's deepest gorge or exploring the ancient Lycian ruins of Pinara.


The charm of Old Town.


This cat found the coziest shopfront in Kas.


THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND KAS


BUYUK CAKIL (BIG PEBBLE BEACH)

It's a 20-minute walk from Old Town to reach this lovely pebble beach where rocky outcrops plunge into the sea. Umbrellas and sunbeds are available to rent.


CINAR BEACH

Cinar Beach sits on the thinnest stretch of the Kas Peninsula, along the road out to the coastal hotels. Calm water and good vibes make this a popular spot for sunbathing. Umbrellas and sunbeds are available to rent.


KAPUTAS BEACH

One of the most famous beaches in Turkey is a 20-minute drive north of Kas. Arrive early to secure a parking spot, and to snap a photo from the famous viewpoint that attracts late morning crowds. The beach can be accessed by a staircase built into the cliff that leads down to the stunning turquoise water below - a great place to spend the day swimming and sunbathing. Umbrellas and sunbeds are available to rent.


OLD TOWN KAS

One of the cutest destinations on the Turquoise Coast, Old Town Kas is a charming cluster of pedestrian streets that will remind visitors of the Greek islands. Colorful facades line the cobbled lanes, home to funky boutiques, lovely cafes, al fresco dining and carpet shops.


KASTELLORIZO ISLAND

That's right, it's possible to daytrip to Greece from Kas! It takes a mere 20 minutes to reach Kastellorizo Island from the Old Town harbor, a ferry ride that some travelers even use as a gateway to island hopping in Greece. Also known as Meis, the little island is home to a charming waterfront lined with colorful restaurants and shops, as well as a surreal Blue Grotto that can be visited by boat and a truly stunning coastline where most visitors spend the day swimming and lounging. I booked our ferry tickets though Meis Express.


KUCUK CAKIL (LITTLE PEBBLE BEACH)

Küçük Çakıl is a second beach within walking distance from Old Town, and it's one of my favorite spots in Kas. The cove sits inside a narrow break in the rocks where beachgoers will find a small pebble cove and sparkling turquoise shallows. Stairways to the sea are carved into the surrounding rocks where dozens of white umbrellas and beach loungers are perched over the water.


PINARA RUINS

Explore the ancient Lycian city of Pinara, about an hour's drive from Kas located at the base of Mount Babadag. Incredible historic sights line a scenic trail including temples and rock-cut tombs built into the cliffs.


SAKLIKENT GORGE

Turkey's longest and deepest gorge sits an hour away from Kas - easy to reach for a full day's adventure. The flooded gorge is open for hiking during the warmer months of the year, April through September. It's best to explore the gorge in sturdy water shoes, as a good portion of the trail requires hiking in water. Arrive early to explore without crowds of tourists.


Kas has some of the best shopping in Turkey.


Old Town sits right on the waterfront, a hub for daytrips and tours.


WHERE TO EAT IN KAS

CAFE CORNER

A dozen outdoor tables occupy a charming corner in Kas where Cafe Corner serves up delicious fresh seafood including garlic butter shrimp, grilled fish and classic Turkish meat dishes. Owner is very sweet - I've dined here several times.


CINARLAR PIZZA GARDEN

This outdoor restaurant sits in the heart of Old Town, and boasts one of the cutest table backdrops in Kas (pictured below). It's worth eating here just for a photo, but food happens to be delicious too.


GYPSY KITCHENETTE

Popular breakfast spot with offerings that include a delicious selection of homemade sandwiches, toasts, salads, omlettes and egg creations.


DUDU MUTFAK

Another solid breakfast option that is also pretty adorable thanks to a lovely mix of pastel pillows, tables, chairs and plates.


LILY'S CORNER

For a Western fix, grab lunch or dinner at Lily's Corner. This tiny restaurant tucked away in a corner in Old Town serves up a variety of pizzas, a nice break from seafood and Turkish cuisine.


SEMPATI TURKISH CUISINE

Baby blue tables and white chairs make the up the al fresco dining at Sempati that located on a pedestrian lane in Old Town. Food is solid, but menu offerings are similar to most of the restaurants in town - a mix of fresh seafood and classic Turkish dishes.


ZULA MEYHANE

This is my favorite restaurant in Kas. The fresh seafood is absolutely delicious, but it's the ambiance that really makes dinner here special. Tables occupy an airy open courtyard surrounded by Greek-style stone walls accented with red and turquoise shutters and trim. Fairylights illuminate the courtyard in the evenings, and it's the dreamiest setting for dinner.


Definitely one of the cutest tables in Kas is here at Cinarlar Pizza Garden (thankfully, the food was pretty good too).


Fresh pomegranate juice is a must in this part of Turkey.


Take a daytrip to Greece! Kastellorizo is a small Greek island off the coast of Kas.


I ate gelato daily in Kas.


PLACES TO STAY IN KAS

ALLEY PRIME HOTEL

There are no lavish five-star resorts in Kas - that's part of the charm in staying here. For visitors looking for something a bit more luxurious, Alley Prime Hotel is one of two upscale options available. Situated on the Kas peninsula, rooms are spacious, clean and most have sea views. The hotel's infinity pool and loungers sit on the rocks overlooking the water.


AMPHORA HOTEL

Affordable boutique hotel located on the peninsula, a 10-minute drive to Old Town. Rooms are simple, and clean, but nothing special at all. Similar to most property's in the area, Amphora Hotel occupies a stunning stretch of rocky coast filled with colorful umbrellas and sunbeds.


LUKKA EXCLUSIVE HOTEL

Lukka Exclusive Hotel is a luxurious little gem located on a prime stretch of real estate on the Kas peninsula. Reminicent of the Greek islands, the boutique property is built up a cliff with white sun beds, luxury loungers and cabanas scattered along the rocks.


Taking the plunge from the dock of Lukka Exclusive Hotel.


Adriatic sunsets from the Lukka Exclusive Hotel's gorgeous stretch of coast.


Küçük Çakıl.


GETTING TO AND AROUND KAS

The closest airports to Kas are in Dalaman (two hours by car) and Antalya (three hours by car). I flew from Istanbul to Dalaman, where I rented a car, and Kas was my first stop on a roadtrip through western Turkey.


While everything within Old Town is walking distance, visiting Kas with a car is a much more complete experience. A rental car makes a slew of daytrip options possible, as well as access to outlying beaches and the hotels on the Kas Peninsula.


Kaputas Beach.


Summer vibes on the Turquoise Coast.


This viewpoint gets pretty busy by 10 AM.