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Kaş

The bohemian town of Kaş (formerly known as Habesos or Habesa in Lycian times, and later given the name of Antiphellos) is situated in a sweeping curved bay (the name Kaş translates as ‘curved’ or eyebrow). Antiphellos was first mentioned in Lycian Times and the modern town is built on the ancient site, with the ruins of Antiphellos still scattered around the town. During the Roman era the town exported sponges and wood. Up until 1923 the population were predominantly Greek. Wandering the winding streets, you may stumble upon the ancient sarcophagus. Out of town, along from the harbour on the Hastane Caddesi Road, sits a small recently restored Hellenistic amphitheatre. Situated behind the amphitheatre on the top of a hill is a Doric tomb. At night you will see the illuminated house tombs dotted in the mountainside.

There are many restaurants in and around Kaş, offering everything from traditional Turkish food through to a more gourmet menu. Do try the traditional Piyaz, which is a speciality of the area — a salad of haricot beans and tahini. In the harbour are several Tea Gardens (Cay Bache) where you can while away a few hours.

The winding streets are full of lots of colourful shops selling all sorts of souvenirs and antiquities. On Fridays there is a market on the road towards Kalkan.

The night life in Kaş can become quite lively during the high season and at weekends, when many Turks will visit.

There is an abundance of banks and pharmacies in Kaş.

Buses and dolmuşes leave from the main bus station. You can travel to most other Turkish cities from here.

From the harbour you can take boat trips to local beaches, Kekova and the Greek Island of Meis (also known as Megisti or Kastellorizo). There are two main pebble beaches, with sunbeds and umbrellas available for hire. These are situated to the west of the main harbour, where all the hotels are located. Kaş is a good diving centre with underwater caves, reefs, amphora, together with a world war two plane & a copy of a ship wreak which have been sunk especially for divers to explore.

For sporting activities contact the Bougainville agency in the centre which operates various activities such as trekking, paragliding, sea kayaking and scuba diving.

If you are staying on the Çukurbağ peninsula there is a dolmuş service every 30 minutes, through until midnight — please check times. It is a round trip and will cost approximately £1. The return dolmuş leaves from near Smiley’s restaurant.

For walkers, Kaş is on the Lycian way so it is fairly easy to pick up the paths, only advised in the cooler months. The newly developed marina offers a selection of restaurants and shops.

Beaches

The main beaches in Kaş are big pebble (Kucukcakil) and little pebble (Buyukcakil). There are boats from the harbour to Limonagzi, these boats make 3-4 stops each at a beach club or restaurant where sunbeds are usually free if you use their restaurant. The return fare is approximately 20 lira. Kaputaş beach, towards Kalkan is also worth a visit.

Incebogaz: It is the narrowest part of the Peninsula. No platforms or ladders. There is a small cafe. The shower is 1 lira but the toilets are free of charge. The umbrellas and sunbeds are charged a small fee for. On the opposite side of the road is a narrow beach with no facilities, and therefore no charges! The approach is a bit more steep

Akçagerme: Mostly used by the locals, so can get busy during school holidays and at weekends. There are several water slides for the kids, floating platforms, sunbeds and umbrellas. The is also a small café. Prices are relatively cheap as it is run by the local tourism school. The beach is situated just outside of Kaş on the road towards Kalkan.

Places to visit from Kaş include Kekova. Either drive to Üçağız and take a boat from the harbour or take a boat from Kaş harbour. Myra and Demre are a good day’s trip. The fish farms at Islamlar are good for lunch and dinner, maybe teamed with the beach and ruins at Patara. Kalkan would be nice for dinner one evening, a contrast from Kaş. Kaputaş beach between Kalkan and Kaş is spectacular and not to be missed but be warned there is little shade and nearly 200 steps!

ISLAMLAR

Islamlar is situated in a cool green valley above Kalkan, with its thickly forested mountainsides dotted with natural springs. The village itself has a rambling collection of wonderful old houses, a beautiful mosque and an original water-powered flourmill. It also has a handful of trout farms, which serve delicious meals. A typical meal consists of fried cheese, meze, village bread and pan-fried trout. Also the breakfast are not to be missed as it is quite an irresistible feast of local produce. The village produces grapes which are usually harvested in late September. If you drive through the village you can come back through Bezirgan (making a loop) and you will pass the holes of two groups of mountain tombs.

Bezirgan Village

Taking the mountain road above Kalkan you will come to the traditional plateau village of Bezirgan. In the summer many of the locals move up here for the cooler climate. The village is nestled on an ancient lake bed of rich soil which supports a luxurious coat of fertile fields yielding grains and chickpeas, lush orchards and grazing land for sheep and goats.

You can stroll around the ruins of a Lycian Temple or enjoy a ‘cay’ in the tea garden by the mosque. Driving around you will see traditional life, the main past-time being farming