This petite resort on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey is fast becoming a holiday hotbed for those seeking sun, sand and great food and lodgings at affordable prices. Largely avoiding the package holidaymakers that so many of Turkeys other beach resorts attract, Kas still offers all of the water sports, shopping, nightlife and restaurants you could ask for.
History: Alexander the Great brought an end to Persian rule of the region in 546 BC, but his death saw the beginning of a period of instability until the Romans arrived. The Byzantine period saw the region participate in the Crusades; however, much of the population consisted of Muslim Arabs, as was the case throughout the Seljuk and Ottoman periods when Christian and Muslim communities were mainly divided. The Republic of Turkey was formed in 1921 and recent decades have seen the coast become a hugely popular tourist destination.
Sightseeing: the beach at Kas is small, yet there are pleasant rocky shelves ideal for sunbathing. Activities here are centred on the beach and include water sports as well as adventure sports such as canyoning, kayaking, cycling and walking, all of which can be arranged through local tour companies. Sightseeing within the town is limited but daytrips to the Sunken City of Kekova are popular - an offshore island with ruins of a partly sunken settlement destroyed by an earthquake in the 2nd century AD.
Shopping: there are plenty of souvenir shops in Kas selling tourist kitsch, and the market is more controlled than at some other Turkish resorts with strict regulations in place to prevent sellers hassling tourists. You can find high quality imitation designer goods, aromatic herbs, replicas of antiques, brass and copper items and intricately woven carpets, all of which you will be expected to barter for.
Eating and drinking: the food is a big highlight in Kas, with traditional Turkish cuisine available throughout the town. Prices here are steeper than at some of the regions other resorts, but the quality is high and the food is delicious. Not to be missed is a cup of Turkish coffee, with the town having a significant caf culture. You will find a good selection of restaurants along the beachfront, some of which provide free sun loungers for customers. Bars with DJs are also abundant and stay open until 03:00.
Where to stay: there is a good selection of hotels in Kas with options for backpackers, honeymooners and regular holidaymakers. There are a handful of bed-and-breakfasts and hostels, while most mid-range hotels offer stunning views, access to a private beach and modern amenities often including a swimming pool, internet access and room service.
Getting there: Kas is a relatively long drive from the nearest international airports, with Dalaman Airport 180kms away and Antalya Airport 190kms away. Both these airports offer charter flights from many European destinations. It is also possible to get a low-cost flight from Istanbul to either of these airports. From either airport, Kas can be accessed by hotel transfer, taxi or dolmus (shared taxi).