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Published: November 5th 2015
From our hotel in Çirali we caught a dolmus to the bus stop to wait for the bus to Kaş which is about two and a half hours away. After about a 10 minute wait the bus turned up and all the passengers piled off for their cigarette break. We loaded our bags and then hopped into the bus to find a seat. Once everyone had climbed back on it became clear that there was only a single seat left right up the back, sandwiched between four Turkish men. Scott thought it was best he sat between the men so grabbed that seat whilst I settled in to my luxurious spot on a newspaper on the floor, right next to a rubbish bin.
After about 25 minutes we reached the next stop and enough passengers hopped off so that we were able to claim two seats next to each other. Scott set up ‘buscam’ on his screen (there is a camera on the front of the bus showing the view), and we settled in for the rest of the ride. After another hour or so there was another cigarette break, as well as a few random stops along the way
to pick up or drop off crazy old women from the local villages who yelled and carried big bags full of empty plastic bottles.
Upon arrival into Kaş we collected our bags and set off in search of our hotel. After about 2.5 minutes we arrived at the front door, checked in and set off to explore the town.
Kaş is a small town (population approx. 7600) on the gorgeous Mediterranean coast. The town was so cute and had such a nice feel about it that I decided we should investigate catching a bus direct from Kaş to Pamukkale instead of going via Fethiye. We scoped out the bus situation then headed back to our hotel to check whether we’d be able to extend our stay by a night. Fortunately we were able to so we cancelled our accommodation in Fethiye and rearranged our plans which gave us almost an extra two days in Kaş.
That night for dinner we headed to a restaurant which had been recommended to us by one of the owners of our accommodation in Çirali. We ordered a couple of mezze to start and shared a chicken casserole. The chicken casserole was
pretty simple and not my favourite dish so far, but still OK.
The following morning we set our reasonably early (for Kaş anyway) and set off towards the harbour to organise a boat trip for the following day. I had sussed out companies on Trip Advisor beforehand and after our first choice was far too expensive we headed over to the stall of our second choice. The captain (Captain Ali) was on his boat so we were able to chat with him about boat trips. He said “what are you doing today? We could go today if you like” and offered to take us on our own private tour for 600TL (approx. 300 AUD). It was a bit of a splurge but we figured why not so headed back to our hotel to grab our bathers, towels and books and met Ali back at the harbour at about 10.45.
Once we boarded our massive boat we set off towards a small island about 45 minutes from Kaş. We stopped in a sheltered spot near some goats which had been moved to the island by their owners (who knows why). We spent the next half an hour or so
snorkelling. There wasn’t a huge amount to see (rocks and fish) but it was nice to be swimming around. The water was warmer than Melbourne but a bit cooler than I would have liked. After we hopped out we set ourselves up on the sun lounges on the deck to warm up whilst travelling to our next stop.
Our next stop for the day was a small cove which we had to ourselves. The water here was cooler than our first stop so I probably only spent about 20 minutes snorkelling, whilst Scott lasted slightly longer. After warming up for a while it was time for lunch which consisted of chicken cooked on a little BBQ which hung off the side of the boat, numerous salads, broccoli and spinach all cooked with a very generous amount of garlic as well as some fresh bread. As per usual in Turkey, there was far too much food and it was all delicious. After lunch and a chat with the captain we returned to the sun lounges to admire the view and relax after our tough morning.
After sunning ourselves for a while we set off to our next stop which
we shared with a couple of dive boats. We saw more fish here than at any of the other places which was good given the water felt slightly warmer too. After swimming around for a while we hopped back on the boat to drink tea and eat cookies before heading to our final spot for the day.
Our final stop was a sheltered area which is a favourite hangout spot of the Loggerhead turtles; apparently in summer there can be up to 100 turtles there (though this time of year is much quieter). Ali spotted one coming up to breathe not long after we arrived so we grabbed our snorkels, the waterproof camera and hopped into the water. Apparently the turtles need to come up to breathe every 20 minutes or so which we figured meant we’d be around when it came up for air. We snorkelled above the turtle and watched him/her eat the sea grass for a while before it started to move a little quicker. We figured this meant the turtle was coming up for air, but no, he/she decided to head into the deep water beyond where we could see. We followed the turtle until
he/she was almost out of view, when we saw another turtle cross paths with the original turtle. As we lost sight of turtle 1 we switched to follow turtle 2 who was equally as cooperative and disappeared out of view not long after we first saw him/her. Eventually we climbed out of the water and ate fruit whilst drinking apple tea (which Turks don’t really drink but seems to be fairly popular with tourists – it tastes like hot super sweet apple juice...) and watching for turtles.
As it was cooling down I decided to get out of my wet bathers; of course as soon as I disappeared into the cabins below deck the turtles all decided to come up to breathe. We chatted and waited until the sun was starting to set before leaving the very calm waters and the turtles and heading back to Kaş.
Unfortunately the sky was a bit cloudy so the sunset wasn’t as amazing as we had hoped, but it was still nice. Once we arrived back in the marina we said farewell and thanks to Ali before heading back to our hotel for a warm shower. We both really enjoyed the
day; it was nice to have the boat to ourselves so I think it was probably worth splurging on.
The following day we had a reasonably slow start which turned out to be quite fortunate as when we walked out of the door of our hotel and down the street a little it appeared that most shops and restaurants were closed for the election so the town was very quiet.
We walked towards the ruins of the Antiphellos Theatre which are about 500m from the main square in Kaş. The theatre is in fairly good condition and has an excellent view over the Mediterranean Sea and islands off the coast of Kaş (including the Greek Island of Meis).
From the theatre we wandered back to the hotel where we decided we’d have a lazy day as nothing much seemed to be happening. We spent the rest of the day reading our books and lazing around only venturing out for a late lunch and then dinner.
The following day we decided to hire a car to visit some of the sites around Kaş. After picking up our super cool car we headed towards the town of Demre
which is about 45km from Kaş.
Our first stop after we arrived were the ruins of Myra which are on the outskirts of the city. The city of Myra was another one of the six leading cities of the Lycian Union (along with Xanthos, Tlos, Pinara, Patara and Olympos (refer to previous blog)). Pretty much all that remains of the ancient city of Myra is the well preserved Roman theatre and the Lycian tombs which are carved into the cliffs behind it. Apparently when the tombs were discovered in 1840 by British archaeologist Charles Fellows they were painted red, yellow and blue so much have looked pretty awesome.
From Myra we headed off to the second attraction in the area, the Church of St. Nicholas (i.e. Santa Claus). The church was apparently built in the 6th
century AD over the top of St. Nicholas’ tomb, though his remains were taken to Italy in 1087 AD. We were put off actually entering the church by the large crowds, the 15TL entrance fee and reviews which made it sound like it’s an interesting building if you’re religious (or Russian), but otherwise not that impressive. I snapped a (bad) photo of
the Santa Claus statue outside the church before we set off for our next stop Uçağiz.
Uçağiz is a small village on the coast which is the jumping off point for visiting the sunken city of Kekova. Uçağiz is in a really pretty bay, and the views over the town during the drive down the mountain were really lovely. We parked our car in a small street and then headed towards the marina (saying no to a lot of offers for boat rides along the way). The marina was jam packed with boats as the season is pretty much over. Some of them were absolutely massive and would probably fit about 50 people.
After checking out the marina we headed back to our car and continued on our way, past all the greenhouses, towards Patara which is about 45kms from Kaş in the opposite direction to Demre. The section of road from Kaş to Patara was gorgeous; huge mountains dropping into clear blue water and perfect blue skies.
Patara is another one of the six leading cities of the Lycian Union; ruins are scattered either side of the road which leads towards the famous 18km sandy (!!)
beach. We drove to the carpark closest to the beach, parked and found a restaurant on the beach. The food was pretty basic and not that impressive, but the view was absolutely lovely.
After lunch we went for a walk along the beach (barefoot, sand is so much nicer than pebbles!). After about an hour we went back to the car and drove towards the ruins.
We checked out the 5000 seat theatre first, followed by the bouleuterion (assembly house / parliament) which has been completely restored quite recently. It is believed that this was where the members of the Lycian league met. From there we walked along the colonnaded street (columns had been re-erected), and then about 1km to the lighthouse on the coast. The ruins of Patara aren’t my favourite of the trip as their location is reasonably unremarkable (particularly in comparison to Teremessos), but they were nice nonetheless.
From the ruins we headed back to Kaş. We stopped along the way to take a few photos of the gorgeous views. We returned the car and then relaxed in the hotel for a bit before heading out for dinner. The town was pretty quiet again;
it seems that very tourists are around after the tourist season has ended which seemed a little strange given the weather was still really nice.
The following day we had a reasonably slow start again as we had to pack up and check out of our hotel. After checking out we walked to the second marina which is where all the super expensive boats are kept. It would be so horrible it would be to be on board one of the yachts sailing around the Mediterranean for a few months… If only…
From there we walked to the other marina to compare boats and admire the view over the town. We then walked back through the town and eventually chose somewhere to have lunch. I ordered a pide and Scott had doner meat on rice. Both meals were delicious.
After lunch we bought some baklava, picked up a few groceries and then sat in the sun (our life is tough) until it was time to go back to collect our bags and head to the bus station. At 4pm we boarded the bus to our next destination Pamukkale.
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