This post is the first in a series about our weekend adventure in Kaş. The series will include this post on the town of Kaş, three posts on sea kayaking, paragliding, and hiking along the Lycian Way. It will end with a post on how to get to Kaş, and information about the company that hosted our weekend, Bougainville Travel, who provides these adventures and others such as sea diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, canyoning, boat tours and more. BT also owns and operates two hotels in Kaş, the Oreo Hotel and the Arpia Hotel, which will make your visit even more convenient!
Kaş is a small coastal town west of Antalya on the Mediterranean Sea. With a population of about 7,000, surrounded by water and snow-covered mountains, Kaş is truly a hidden gem. It is a tourist town where the visitors are warmly greeted by the locals – a mix of both Turks and foreigners who have made Kaş their home.
After a long bus ride from Ankara (more on that later), we arrived in Kaş around noon on Saturday. A very short walking distance from the otogar (bus stop) sat the Oreo Hotel up on the hilltop. (Note, the folks at the hotel are happy to pick you up and deliver you to the hotel).
My first impressions were of pure amazement. The hotel was whitewashed and draped with a deep pink flowers – the only building in Kaş, to be covered so. We were warmly greeted by the hotel manager, Ayten. Ayten holds a degree in hotel management and has managed the Oreo Hotel since 2008. She speaks English as well as Turkish, which made it easy for us to communicate as she strove to meet our every need.
The rooms of the Oreo Hotel are plain, clean, and simple. If you are looking for luxury, this is not the place for you. The Oreo was perfect for us however! Our room overlooked the property which included a large swimming pool.
The pool, however, was not the most dramatic feature. The view from our balcony was simply awe-inspiring! As we gazed out, our mouths gaping, there she was! Akdeniz. The Mediterranean Sea, just meters away!
With a view like this, who would need a television in the room? No phone, no fridge, no telephone. None of these were missed.
Reservations at the Oreo include a simple and traditional Turkish breakfast. The Oreo provides a spacious indoor dining area.
However, we preferred the outdoor tables, nestled under lemon trees and Yeni Dünya trees – a small yellow Turkish fruit. I don’t know if there is an English word for it, but Yeni Dünya translates to “New World.” I like that.
After a short nap, we explored the town. Unless you are staying on the peninsula, everything in the main part of town is walking distance. Of course, we didn’t ask for directions and walked the less “touristy” route at first. This turned out to be quite lucky as we stumbled upon a pide restaurant along Atatürk Blvd. I have eaten in many pide places over the years, and this was simply the best I ever had!
Next, we found our way down to the harbour and back-tracked towards the cobble-stoned streets. There we found a host of traditional Turkish shops, boutiques restaurants, colorful store fronts, archaeological finds and so much more!
Whether shopping for trinkets or fine jewelry, a little souvenir to remember or a hand-woven rug, Kaş has it all!
We selected a fish restaurant for a late afternoon tea and sweets. The restaurant sat high on a hill overlooking the harbour. The view was tremendous!
I am told that the Oreo Hotel also serves a memorable dinner during the high season. We were a little too early for that. But we didn’t miss it.
On our first evening, we were treated to dinner by one of the owners of Bougainville Travel, Phil Buckley, at the Sultan Garden Restaurant with another gorgeous view of the harbour. We were joined by his wife, Alison, and two of their friends, Caroline and Gerry, who were also visiting. It was an incredible night – Brits, a Scot, an American and a Turk, enjoying a delicious meal, joking as if we were all old friends, and sharing stories of Adventures! Both Alison and Caroline were experienced adventure guides – so there were plenty of stories to tell! But we had to call it a night early – as we were all scheduled for a sea kayaking adventure the next morning. Check back soon for Day 2 of our adventure – kayaking!
For more information about Kaş, the hotels mentioned, and the seaside adventures, please visit Bouganville Travel’s website by clicking here.