It seems odd to say, but my favorite experience while staying in Kaş for me was being able to visit this Greek island, located a couple of miles offshore. Any number of boats at Kaş’s harbor offer this trip, usually leaving at 10 am and getting back to Kaş at 3 pm, allowing for 4 hours on the island. The trip takes 30 minutes each way and generally costs a hefty 40 TL (about US $27 or Eur 18), about the same as a daylong boat tour (with lunch) to the Sunken City at Kekova. You may be able (as I was) to haggle a captain down to 30 TL. Whatever you pay, be sure to buy water and other provisions you’ll need in Kaş as they’re 2-3 times as expensive in Kastelorizo. A good rule of thumb is that prices in Kastelorizo are the same as those in Kaş, except in euros rather than Turkish lira… keep in mind that one euro is worth approximately 2.25 TL. Also, bring a bathing suit, as, unlike Kaş, you can swim near the harbor, although there are no beaches here either!
Interestingly, with only two major exceptions (Gokceada and Bozcaada), the islands off Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts are part of Greece, rather than Turkey. Some of this has to do with the fact that the Turkish War of Independence only captured land in mainland Turkey, but in the case of Kastelorizo (better known in Kaş by its Greek name of Meis or Megisti), this is because the Dodecanese Islands (of which it is one)were ruled by Italy at the time the Turkish Republic was founded in 1923. Kastelorizo’s name is probably a corruption of the Italian words for "Red Castle", although there’s some debate about this. Megisti (of which Meis is a corruption) means "largest" in Greek, since even though it’s the smallest of the inhabited Dodecanese islands, it’s the largest of its own sub-archipelgo of rocks.
In all honesty, much of Kastelorizo’s popularity has to do with its anomalous status as the easternmost inhabited part of Greece. It’s a popular place for ex-patriots (especially those who are EU citizens) who don’t have official Turkish residency (which is expensive to obtain) to visit before their 90-day Turkish visas expire after which they return to Turkey and acquire a new visa to restart the process. They also use it as an opportunity to purchase pork products, which are fairly difficult to come by in majority-Muslim Turkey. According to a sign on board the boat I took from Kaş, visitors aren’t supposed to bring food between Kastelorizo and Turkey, but as no customs officers greet the boats at either end and the crew freely allowed ex-patriots to store bacon in the boat’s freezer, it appears this restriction isn’t taken too seriously.
Three much worthier reasons for visiting this pleasant little island are to see its attractive buildings, the local landscape, and to visit the locations used for filming the cult (and Oscar-winning) Italian film Mediterraneo which is set on a supposedly isolated Greek island. Kastelorizo’s main harbor is ringed by various attractively painted houses and shops, and with its many restaurants and travel agencies almost feels like a smaller Greek version of Kaş. In terms of specific sights, there are a few churches (usually closes), and the hilltop castle that gives the island its Italian name with a small museum nearby. Both are free and the castle offers lovely views of the harbor. As with Kaş, Kastelorizo town is backed by hills, it’s possible to climb one and hike to the center of the island, the trip takes an hour or so all told and offers a surprisingly wide variety of scenery. Unless you’ve seen Mediterraneo, the locations used won’t impress you much, but if you have it’s funny to note that the harbor used in the film is Mandhraki Harbor – Kastelorizo’s secondary harbor. Altogether, it’s just enough to keep you occupied for four hours, assumingly you have lunch at one of the tavernas along the shore, perhaps at the one owned by the chef who attracts sea turtles by gutting a cleaning a fish on the dock and throwing the scraps to them!