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Lycian Tombs and Sunken Cities

Kas (pronounced Kash) is a small fishing village and tourist town located 170 kms west of Antalya. Built on a hill running down to the Mediterranean Sea, it has hot dry summers and mild winters which makes it ideal for growing fruit and vegetables. Although it is still a source of agriculture, tourism now provides its main income.


The Greek island of Kastelorizo or Meis in Turkish, is located just 6 kms offshore and can be easily be visited by ferry.

Although the peninsula has been occupied since the stone age, it appears that Kas was founded by the Lycians. It was a member of the Lycian League and the importance of the town is confirmed by the presence of one of the best examples of Lycian necropolis.

In ancient Greek times it was named Antiphilos and during Roman times it was famous for sponges and timber. After 395, Antiphilos became part of the Byzantine Empıre and in the middle ages it was a titular see. It suffered from Arabic incursions until like other towns it was annexed to Sultanate of Rum under the Seljuks and then later the Ottomans.

In 1923 following the war between Turkey and Greece, most of the Greek population left the town. Examples of abandoned Greek houses can still be seen here.

The tourism boom came during the 1990s and unfortunately this meant an explosion of apartment building and luxury hotels in scenic Cukurbag area west of the town which has somewhat spoiled it’s beauty. However Kas itself remains a pleasant small town with the Tauras Mountains as it’s backdrop.

What to See and Do

Kas is one of the main scuba diving centres in Turkey and there are over 50 submerged wrecks, one a Douglas DC3, which have created artificial reefs and tourist diving spots.

The most popular excusion from Kas is to the Sunken Lycian city of Selimne near Kekova. Columns, staircases and details of buildings are clearly visible as you pass over on clear waters. Kaleköy, another site that can reached by boat has a castle offering great views.

Other popular activities are trekking the nearby Lycian Way (a 7 day hike but you can just walk a day section) where Lycian Tombs are visible. There is also sea kayaking in Kekova and canyoning in Kibris Canyon.

Nearby ancient sites worthy of a visit are Patara with its hillside theatre and site located on Patara Beach. Xanthos, Komba, Nisa and Kandyba are other sites where visitors can enjoy ancient history coupled with lovely surroundings.


What to Buy

Friday is market day in Kas just 2 minutes from the centre of the town. Locals go there as well as tourists to buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season from the local villages.

Handmade trinkets and clothing, shoes and local handicrafts. The freshly made pancakes are delicious! There are some specialist jewellery shops with one off pieces made by local artisans.

The Friday market brings visitors from local villages and nearby Mies.

What to Eat

With it’s narrow streets and overhanging sweet smelling flowers , it’s enchanting harbour where fishing boats and gulets are moored, Kas is a very pleasant place to stay.

There are plenty of small restaurants overlooking the towns harbour and just off slippery street. Different cuisines are on offer, not just Turkish. The seafood is excellent and there are quite a number of bars to relax at. Kas has an annual art festival and jazz concerts.

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