What comes to your mind when you think about Turkey? Istanbul’s Galata Tower? The beautiful mosques and architecture around the country? Or perhaps the Hot Air Balloons of Cappadocia? I would bet, though, that beautiful beaches and perfect scuba diving spots wouldn’t be the first thoughts.
But, to your surprise (or maybe not): Turkey DOES have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and definitely some of the Top 10 sunset spots as well!
The Turkish Riviera (or Turquoise Coast) is composed of a coastline that stretches from Çeşme (in the Aegean Sea) to the southern areas of Alanya, with over a thousand kilometers of scenic mountains and incredible beaches.
By the southernmost sides of the Riviera, lies a small town named Kaş (pronounced “Kash”). Surrounded by rocky mountains and turquoise waters, its 7,000 inhabitants are frequently visited by tourists all year round, looking to enjoy the good weather and its amazing sights.
After spending 1 month in Kaş while living in Turkey, in this post I’ll share tips on how to arrive in Kaş, the best months to visit, where to stay, and, of course, the best things to do while there.
1.) Arriving in Kaş
Straight to the point, there are 2 main ways to get to Kaş.
a.) Flight to Antalya + 3h Drive: Flying to Antalya is easy, once its airport is an important hub in Turkey. Flights are available from lots of cities, including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. From there, a 3h30 hour drive is necessary, either renting a car or getting a shuttle service, such as DayTrip, Jayride or any of the available shuttles in the airport.
b.) Flight to Dalaman airport + 2h30 Drive: Once Dalaman is a smaller airport, when compared to Antalya, flight options tend to be less abundant, and the prices are usually higher. You can fly to Dalaman from Istanbul and Ankara, and from there, either rent a car or get a shuttle to Kaş. The ride takes, usually, from 2-3 hours.
c.) Road Trip: Driving to Kaş is also an option, from whatever part of Turkey. From Istanbul, the car ride takes from 12-14h, covering over 850 km of road. From Ankara, a 9h drive would suffice on covering the 700km between the cities.
2.) The best months to visit Kaş
a.) June – September: Summertime in Kaş means hot weather and low levels of rain precipitation. It also means busy streets, beaches, and parties in downtown Kaş. Temperatures range from 22°C to 34°C, with the hottest days between July and August.
b.) October – November: Chill temperatures, ranging from 18°C to 25°C, and also not much rain impact. This is a lovely period to visit Kaş, especially for the hiking and trail fans, as the friendlier temperatures will allow you to hike the lovely mountains without constant dehydration.
c.) December – May: Differently from other parts of Turkey (where you’ll see negative temperatures and snow), Kaş’ winter is a bit different. Between December-February, the low temperatures will reach 10°C or even lower, but overall, daily time temperatures vary between 15°C – 18°C, making it also a lovely time of the year to visit Kaş, despite its constant rains.
3.) Top 10 epic things to do in Kaş
Beaches, snorkeling, boat rides, island hopping, one-day trip to Greece, mountains, nightlife. You name it. Despite its small city dimensions, in Kaş you’ll be able to explore all kinds of activities, not to mention the history and legacy dating back to the Hellenistic period.
Büyükçakıl Beach (Büyükçakıl Plajı)
A hard-to-pronounce name is not this beach’s only feature. Crystal clear water, white rocky walking areas (no sand), a charming set of restaurants and cafes, beautiful mountains in the background, and a usual crowd by the beach chairs are a constant in Büyükçakıl.
Büyükçakıl is an amazing place for snorkeling, walking by the coast rocks, diving from small cliff spots and, of course, just chilling by the beach, grabbing a beer, and getting the sunset (honestly one of the finest sunsets in Turkey).
The parking area is nice and free, but on crowded days, you’ll need to park by the road and walk for 3-5 minutes, depending on the distance.
Kaputaş Beach (Kaputaş Plajı)
In the road between Kaş and Fethiye (22km from Kaş, or a 25 minutes car ride) lies the beautiful turquoise waters Kaputaş Beach. Pronounced “Kaputash”, this beach is considered, for some, one of the most beautiful beaches across the Turkish Riviera.
Once no parking areas are available on top of the beach, arriving visitors park their cars by the roadside and further walk down the 170 steps stairway that leads to the beach. Down at the beach, restaurants and beach gear (chairs, sun cover) are available for rental.
Kaputaş is a beautiful and small beach, perfect for chilling by the ocean, gathering and meeting people, and swimming in its turquoise waters. Once this is one of the few sandy beaches in the area, the water has no clear visibility because of the sand, making it not an ideal place for snorkeling.
Roundtrip drive around the Çukurbağ Peninsula
At this point you might be thinking: Kaş is a very small city, right? There’s not much driving around? Enters Çukurbağ Peninsula (and, well, walking around all those hills will definitely be a bit tiring).
The peninsula is located on the west side of the city, with its access right next to the port area. Although the drive itself isn’t long (around 10km, or 6.5mi), it’ll definitely take you over an hour for the roundtrip, once a handful of beautiful spots fill its surroundings.
Plenty of tiny beach options, hidden in the bottom of the rocky coastal area, are available around the peninsula. If you’re into snorkeling, bring your gear. Diving spots, traditional houses, and legendary sights (especially during sunset time) are just some of the features provided by Çukurbağ!
Snorkeling: “Infinite” options
Open your Google Maps app, choose any (that’s right, ANY) part of Kaş’ coastline, bring your snorkeling mask, and hop in the water. That’s how good it is.
There’s a reason why Kaş is considered a gem in the Turquoise Coast. The crystal water is not an exclusive feature to a couple of beaches. It’s all around! Yes, there are professional and special boat packages for snorkeling (or scuba diving), but if you’re not that demanding, you’ll actually find quite an amazing menu of under water exploring.
İnceboğaz Çınar Beach is one of my preferred spots, but the list of spots goes on:
-Kaş Belediyesi Halk Beach
-Hidayet Koyu Beach
-Ottoman Goldens (walking down the trail)
-Seyrek Çakıl Beach
By the road between Kaş and Kaputaş Beach, the whole coastline is filled with snorkeling spots, where turtles and an infinity of fish are a constant. Some of those tiny beaches are seen by the road, some of them aren’t – though many small stairways (just by D400 road) lead you into hidden paradises, where you can just jump in the water and explore the open sea!
Antiphellos Theater (Ancient City)
There aren’t many places in the world where you can enjoy some beach time in the morning, enjoy some badass mountain hiking in the afternoon and, in the end of the day, enjoy the sunset from a very well preserved Ancient Greek Theater. Well, in Kaş that’s a reality.
The Ancient City is one of the remaining legacies from the Lycian Region. Able to receive over 4,000 spectators back in the day, the Hellenistic masterpiece was built in the 1st century BC. After surviving a couple of earthquakes over the past centuries, the Antiphellos Theater stands strong, facing the Mediterranean Ocean and holding an amazing energy during sunset time.
İnceboğaz Çınar Beach
İnceboğaz could definitely be considered one of the most low profile beaches in Kaş. This shy little peace of coast is located in the beginning of the peninsula, less than 5 minutes car ride away from Kaş’ city center (or a 20 minutes walk).
White rocky beach, turquoise and calm waters, direct sight to the Greek Islands, no crowds around (well, not considering high summer season). If you’re into just sunbathing or chilling, snorkeling, walking by the rocky coast. İnceboğaz is the place for that!
Kaş’ City Center
Heading to the “urban” area of the city, the lovely streets in downtown Kaş has a lot to offer! The Mediterranean/ Turkish cuisine is present all around, with options covering all budget types. Great bars and cafe options are also available.
The picturesque city center main square is an amazing opportunity to feel the city’s energy, try all types of coffee and deserts and check the souvenir options to gift your beloved ones back home.
Some of my main favorite restaurants and Cafes (with 3 special highlights) are:
–Dejavu (my favorite cafe, bar, restaurant and sunset view from the Center)
–Oburus Momus (great mediterranean and vegetarian options)
–Pisekar Vegan Food (for the vegans and veg-friendly ones out there)
–Sardunya Restaurant (excellent fish menu)
–Linckia Roastery Cafe
Chilling by the Sunset (Golden Hours in Kaş)
For this section, I’ll let the pictures speak by themselves. Just a single comment: Kaş is perfectly positioned for amazing sunset sights. It’s as crazy as every other corner of the city being a sunset sight spot.
Night Life Scene
When compared to other small beach towns around the Turkish Riviera, Kaş holds the trophy of best night life scene across the coast. Starting 8pm, mainly throughout the summer season, the calm cobblestone streets transform into a variety of bars with live music and dancing areas.
If you’re a solo traveler, this is the best place and time for you to meet your fellow new mates! Main nightlife options would be (though not limited to):
-Dejavu Bar (yes, again)
-Echo Bar (for the Jazz/ Alternative music fans)
-Cafe Barcelona (for the couples and the ones in the drink and chill vibes)
-Red Point Bar (dancing area alert)
Well, if the items above wasn’t enough (which I’m sure it wasn’t, in the end, we’re all hungry for adventures), don’t you worry: the beautiful Kaş has much more to offer. Unfortunately, during my stay, some of the main activities (such as entering Greece to spend a day, in the island of Meis/ Kastellorizo) were not doable, due to the pandemic.
But I’ve summarised some of the top-rated touristic activities and what else do to in Kaş during your stay.
-Visiting Meis/ Kastellorizo (Greece, 2km from the coast of Kaş)
-Scuba Diving (visiting the sunken ruins)
-Visiting the Medieval city of Kaleköy
-Visiting the ancient rock tombs of Myra
-Boat trips (plenty of options offered in Kaş’ city center)
4.) How Many Days should I spend in Kaş?
The same way I’ve answered this question in the previous travel guideposts: it is REALLY up to you and how much time/ budget you’ve got.
If your time is limited just to a single day stop in Kaş, one thing for sure: you’ll have the hell of a good time in that one day. Though at the same time that I’ve spent a full month in the city, and I’ve met travelers spending months, just living the Riviera lifestyle, you could also do the same.
Personally, I like being in a place with no schedules – just going with the flow, living the city rhythm, meeting some locals, and, of course, working from there. But not everyone has that kind of work flexibility.
That being said, to explore a couple of nice beaches, maybe a boat trip, a sunset, and some good restaurants (perhaps a party in that plan), 3/4 days are enough for a good Kaş experience.
If you have the time, though, I’d highly recommend spending a good pair of weeks in Kaş. You definitely won’t miss out on things to do.
5.) Where to Stay in Kaş?
My personal preferences are usually Airbnbs or Hostels. Though in order to cover all kinds of tastes, I’ve listed below options in 4 different budget/ travel styles.
-Hostel Options (Budget Travelers):
a.) Can Mocamp Hostel: prices from USD 5 per night
b.) Caretta Pansiyon: prices from USD 10 per night
c.) Villa Dundar Kas Apartments: prices from USD 18 per night
a.) Cinar Boutique Hotel: prices from USD 43 per night
b.) Aqua Princess Hotel: prices from USD 60 per night
c.) Payam Hotel: prices from USD 42 per night
-Luxury Options: (not my personal preference, but met people who referred those)
a.) Mandalina Luxury Boutique Otel: prices from USD 289 per night
b.) Meis Exclusive Hotel: prices from USD 266 per night
-Airbnbs: (I’ve spent 2 weeks in each of the 2 airbnbs below, which I highly recommend)
a.) Kalloni Suites Garden: prices from USD 50 per night
b.) Teras Kas: prices from USD 20 per night
I hope this post/ guide could have shared enough information for you to get hyped and plan your trip to Kaş. Rest assured that this is a magical place, and a privileged area with history, culture, great cuisine, amazing people, lots of good energies, and the unique nature surrounding it.
Have you ever been to Kaş? Let us know in the comments, and share your experiences in Turkish Riviera’s gem.