Written by Owen Lipsett on 08 Dec, 2009
Travel agencies advertise day trips to Kekova as the prime attraction near Kas. Personally, I found the trip hugely disappointing and would not recommend it.There are two ways to visit the Sunken City at Kekova, a collection of somewhat interesting Lycian Ruins that have…Read More
Travel agencies advertise day trips to Kekova as the prime attraction near Kas. Personally, I found the trip hugely disappointing and would not recommend it.There are two ways to visit the Sunken City at Kekova, a collection of somewhat interesting Lycian Ruins that have slid the sea’s surface. The first is on a tour boat, although there’s quite a bit of variety in terms of price and itinerary. If possible, try to go on a glass-bottomed boat that will give you a better view of the Sunken City as you pass over it (you’re not allowed to stop). Also, if you’re prone to seasickness, you may wish to take a tour that drives to Ucagiz and then sets off by boat from there, as this itinerary cuts a significant amount of relatively uninteresting water travel from the journey. The second, and in my view, more interesting way to visit is by sea kayak. It’s a bit more expensive (60 TL at most agencies vs. 30 to 50 for the boat) and more active, but it also gets you much closer to the water. I went with Xanthos Tours/, who were very helpful to me as a first time kayaker. However, they did push the tour to go faster than necessary (with the result that we arrived earlier than planned) which reduced my enjoyment of the experience. Also, it’s worth noting that it’s easiest to kayak in a tandem than alone, so you’ll be better off if you’re traveling with a friend or there are an even number of people in your tour. I was kayaking alone (everyone else on the tour was traveling in a couple). These caveats aside, I’d recommend seakayaking as the best way to see Kekova, although frankly I can’t recommend the trip in good conscience.Kayaks and boats alike take you first to a swimming spot near some Byzantine ruins on Kekova Island, which lies just offshore from the somewhat ramshackle town of Ucagiz (you could stay here rather than Kas but you’ll pay more for less satisfactory accommodation). After a half hour or so here, you pass by the ruins and it’s here that a kayak is most advantageous as it allows you to pass much closer to the shoreline (where the ruins are located) and also much closer to the underwater ruins themselves since you’re just above the waterline. You’re not strictly allowed to stop at the ruins themselves (nor are you allowed to snorkel or dive to them), ostensibly to prevent damaging them although this seems slightly excessive in this case, and if you’re lucky you’re treated the spectacle of seeing some underwater pots, stairs, house walls, and rubble. Afterwards, you stop for a very small-proportioned lunch at the village of Kale, overlooked by the Byzantine castle of Simena, which is a popular yacht harbor. It’s possible to climb to the castle on the lunch break, although it’s not worth spending the 12 TL entry fee (even according to the travel agency!) After lunch, if you’re kayaking you pass by a submerged Lycian necropolis, which includes the evocative sight (included on virtually every advertisement for the trip) of a sarcophagus perched just over the waterline. If you’re taking a boat, however, you just head straight back to Ucagiz (if you drove to the area) or Kaş (if you came directly by boat). As should be evident from my review, the trip is something of a disappointment, especially given the enthusiasm with which it’s advertised in Kaş, and while my introduction to sea-kayaking was enjoyable, the trip itself was hugely disappointing.Close
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…Read More
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! Close
What and Where Is Kaş?Kaş (pronounced "Kah-sh") is a resort town located approximately midway between Fethiye and Antalya, two of the largest towns on Turkey’s Western Mediterranean ("Turquoise") Coast. As it’s nowhere near the international airports at Dalaman (near Fethiye) or Antalya, as well…Read More
What and Where Is Kaş?Kaş (pronounced "Kah-sh") is a resort town located approximately midway between Fethiye and Antalya, two of the largest towns on Turkey’s Western Mediterranean ("Turquoise") Coast. As it’s nowhere near the international airports at Dalaman (near Fethiye) or Antalya, as well as being pressed between the Toros Mountains and the sea, it isn’t as convenient for mass tourism as resorts near either of the two aforementioned towns and thus is a good deal more pleasant, though it doesn’t exactly offer an authentic Turkish village experience (you have to go inland for that!) What it does offer is a relatively pleasant place to spend a day or two with good restaurants, although it’s worth noting there’s no beach or convenient place to swim in town, you’ll need to take a dolmus (shared taxi or minibus) to get to one of the places outside of town where you have to pay for the privilege.
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.
Written by dundarer on 24 Mar, 2012
Me and my parents had a fantastic day on Captain Ergun's boat around Kas. We arrived at the boat at 9.30 and then had a full day of laying in the sun, snorkelling and swimming!until 19.00 o'clock.The boat came equipped with a kayak, scuba bike,…Read More
Me and my parents had a fantastic day on Captain Ergun's boat around Kas. We arrived at the boat at 9.30 and then had a full day of laying in the sun, snorkelling and swimming!until 19.00 o'clock.The boat came equipped with a kayak, scuba bike, underwater camera, plus Ergun can take people out on the speedboat round Beehive Island if they want! We also got provided with refreshments, a beautiful lunch of BBQ'd fish and chicken kebabs with amazing meze cooked and prepared by the chef who also put together an amazing display of lovely fresh fruit. We had such a great day and this was definitely the highlight of our holiday!! Thanks again to the crew! Close