Once a place to which political dissidents were sent, the seaside town of Kaş must have been a rather pleasant place of exile. Fishermen bring their catch into the harbour, the locals gather in the shady tea gardens to discuss politics, and wealthy retired Turks, along with the tourists, investigate the shops and boutiques. Watched over by a 500m-high mountain shaped like a human figure lying on its side (Yatan Adam, ‘Sleeping Man’), and with the geopolitical oddity of the Greek island of Meis (Kastellorizo) lying offshore, Kaş manages to cling to its distinctive character even today.
The town’s appeal doesn’t lie in its beaches – the local bays are small and pebbly – but in its excellent array of pensions, restaurants and bars, and its wonderfully mellow atmosphere. For such a relaxed place it is ironic that Kaş is now styling itself the ‘Adventure Capital of the Med’, but with paragliding, scuba diving and hiking all readily available, as well as fascinating coastal excursions, it makes an ideal base for a few days’ strenuous activity.
A well-preserved ancient theatre is about all that’s left of ancient Antiphellos, which was the Lycian town here. Above the town several Lycian rock tombs in the sheer rock mountain wall are illuminated at night.