A September 2009 trip
to Kas by Owen Lipsett
Quote: A pleasant resort town with a number of good restaurants, Kaş is a good place to break up the journey between Fethiye and Antalya. It’s also completely devoted to tourism, which may make it attractive or unattractive given your perspective…
A Little History and General TipsKaş’s restored and harmonious center and slightly rougher edges are typical of the more pleasant resort towns along the Turquoise Coast but they belie its longer history. It was once the Lycian port of Antiphellos, which served the town of Phellos which was much further inland. The city’s impressively preserved amphitheater dates to this period as do the Lycian tombs dotted around the town and in the hills above it. It’s the best place from which to watch the sun set while looking across the water to the Greek island of Kastellorizo (note that the sun doesn’t set over the water, but rather the land to the west). It’s also the town’s only sight of any note.It was later an important port during the Greek and Roman period, and an important port for exporting timber under Ottoman rule, when its name was Andifli and its population was mostly Greek. After the population exchange of 1923 between Greece and Turkey, its Greek inhabitants were replaced by Turkish farmers from the surrounding region, although it’s worth noting that the offshore islands you see from the town are part of Greece. While it has a long history as a fishing port, these days most boats at the harbor offer various kinds of tourist cruises or ferries along the coast. It’s also a convenient base for organized day trips to the archaeological sights of Kekova (to the east) and Xanthos and Patara (both to the west), as well as all sorts of adventure tourism (especially scuba diving). The agencies in town are open from about 8 am to 11 pm (seriously) in summer so it’s easy to book a tour at almost any time.Getting to and Around KaşKaş is connected by buses and dolmuses (which run along the same route and are often run by the same companies) with other towns along the Turquoise Coast. Theoretically it’s about three hours to either Fethiye (to the west) or Antalya (to the east) but depending on traffic and how fast your driver decides to go, expect anything between two and a half and four hours. There are ferries in the morning to the Greek island of Kastelorizo (mostly a part of day tours) which is also known as Meis, as well as some at night, approximately half an hour away. Dolmuses and boats (known as "water dolmuses") connect Kaş with various beaches, mostly to the west of town, none of which is particularly special compared with others on the Turquoise Coast.
Hotel | "Ates Pension - A Cheap Place to Stay in Kas"
Location: Although it’s on the edge of town (meaning about a 7 minute walk to the harbor), I thought the pension’s location was good, since this meant it was very quiet and I was able to get a good night’s sleep. It’s about two minutes from the Lycian amphitheater which was convenient for watching the sunset. There was also something nice about being able to stay in a part of Kaş that had the feeling of a Turkish town rather than a resort.
Rooms: The room was quite spartan but it was clean and climate-controlled. I received a pair of towels and clean sheets, but nothing else (no soap, shampoo etc.) The bed itself wasn’t notably comfortable or uncomfortable. The biggest problem was that the hot water took a while to get going in the shower and once it did, it was quite erratic.
Service: The couple who own the pension, Ahmet and Ayse, were reasonably helpful although they were initially a little pushy in trying to get me to book a tour with them. In general, they were reasonably friendly and hospitable, although they were often difficult to find when I needed something. Since the reception is on the top floor of the pension (and I was on the bottom floor, three flights below), this got a little annoying at times. They have frequent barbeques but don’t announce them in advance, which I was sorry about as judging by the excellent breakfast (the fresh juice is worth paying the extra for!) my guess is they’d be fairly tasty.
Please see http://www.atespension.com/ for further information.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 8, 2009
Yeni Camii Caddesi 3
+90 242 836 13 93
Restaurant | "Oba Restaurant - My Best Restaurant Meal in Turkey"
I’m including this preamble to help illustrate just how wonderful a place Oba Restaurant is, as the finest purveyor of another underrated dish, guvec (a Turkish casserole), I encountered in my six weeks in Turkey. Actually, to be completely honest, it was the tastiest restaurant meal I ate during my time in Turkey, or rather, since it returned the next days, the two tastiest restaurant meals. (A home-cooked meal at a Turkish friend’s house was better, but this came close). Guvec consists of a medley of chopped meat (I recommend beef, but you can also have it with lamb or chicken), chopped onions, and chopped peppers that are cooked together on a skilled and then topped with cheese. It isn’t strongly seasoned which makes having good ingredients essential. The guvec at Oba couldn’t have been fresher, in its ingredients or the speed with which it made its way from the stove to my table.
The rest of my experience at Oba was consistent with the quality of this main dish. In a country where too many restaurants in tourist locations thrust a menu in front of you (which I find quite off-putting), Nuran, the Oba’s delightful chef greeted me only after I stopped by and poked my head in the restaurant, even though she’d been sitting outside. "Are you hungry?" she asked, as though I might have been her son (who, as it happens, owns the restaurant.) She proceeded to show me around the kitchen and explain the menu, but having read about the guvec I already had my heart set on that. The guvec was preceded by a similarly fresh garden salad and good bread, in the Oba’s outdoor garden, all attentively served by Nuran herself. Unfortunately, when I returned the next day, things were busier, so the waiter who served me was not quite as kind, although the meal was nevertheless equally delicious.
I could not recommend Oba Restaurant more highly, in fact my mouth is watering just writing about it!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 8, 2009
New York, New York