activities

If you can bear to be diverted from the tranquillity of Villa Isinda, there is a multitude of things to do catering for every taste.

As well as opportunities for chilling out in Kaş itself there are several "adventure tourism" companies which offer local-based activities on land, sea and air ranging from the gentle to the strenuous.

Kaş Town

Kaş really comes alive at night, but the harbour square restaurants still do a good midday trade under the shade of the ancient lime trees.

After lunch you can take a leisurely peek into the past civilisations of Kaş - the pretty little amphitheatre, the remains of the Hellenistic temple and the weathered old Lion Tomb.

The harbour itself slows in the midday heat, but never really stops. Elegant traditional wooden gülets stop by to take on fuel and provisions in mid-cruise. More serious yachties in their flotillas of brilliant white do the same. Dive boats and trip boats come and go throughout the day.

Fridays brings the colour and hurly burly of the weekly market, when villagers come down from the mountains both to buy provisions and to sell their wares at the numerous stalls.

Beaches

The sea around Kaş is comfortably warm, crystal clear and is superb for snorkelling and swimming. There are a couple of pebble beaches in Kaş; both public. The smaller of these is about ten minutes walk from Villa Isinda, the larger about twenty.

Most of the sea bathing in Kaş is done from platforms built on the rocky shore with steps for easy access to the water. These are operated by hotels, who will provide you with a sun lounger and umbrella so long as you buy a drink.

If sandy beaches are a must, the picture-perfect small beach at Kaputas is about fifteen minutes away by car or local bus. Twenty minutes further is the dramatic undeveloped fourteen kilometre expanse of Patara beach, which can be combined with a visit to the ruins of the ancient city.

Boat Trips/Gület Cruises

Dayboats from Kaş harbour will take you to the sunken city at Kekova, where you can also visit the achingly picturesque village of Simena with its landmark Crusader castle.

If overnighting on a traditional wooden Turkish gület (motorsailer) takes your fancy, then these can be chartered for 2-3 days trips, visiting secluded bays, creeks and isolated villages to give an authentic taste of the rugged Lycian coast.

There are daily boat excursions offered to the Greek island of Kastellorizo which has an attractive harbour with traditional whitewashed Greek houses.

Diving

Kas has a well deserved reputation as a diving mecca. The water is crystal clear, the underwater scenery dramatic, and the marine life abundant by Mediterranean standards. As well of a plethora of amphorae-littered wrecks, there are barracuda, octopus, moray eels, grouper, rays and occasionally turtles and dolphins.

The many diving centres cater for every ability level, and Kaş is a great place to learn to dive with comparatively inexpensive courses. Generally the quality of instruction, equipment and safety is very high. The owners of Villa Isinda have dived extensively and taken courses with www.kasexplorers.com and found them consistently satisfactory. As well as scuba this outfit offer training in "free" diving.

Ancient Sites

Numerous remains of old Lycian cities are within an easy drive or bus ride of Kaş.

Patara is mentioned in the New Testament, and a wealth of ruins has recently been reclaimed from the drifting sand. A highlight is a victory gate erected by Hadrian. This is a site to be combined with a few hours on the stunning undeveloped beach, and is a great outing for children. It is the birthplace of St Nicolas (Santa Claus), who went on to become Bishop of Myra.

Xantos can also be combined with a visit to Patara as they are in close proximity. Mentioned extensively in ancient literature, Xantos had a reputation as a proud independent Lycian city-state, twice preferring death at their own hands rather than surrender to Persian or Roman invaders. In the 19th century much of the funerary monument was taken away by Charles Fellowes for "safekeeping". This still forms a display at the British Museum.

Myra is an imposing Greco/Roman site with a large amphitheatre and a cluster of Lycian rock tombs. A short distance away is the basilica of St Nicolas (Santa Claus) who was Bishop of Myra in the 4th century.

Pinara was one of the six Lycian Federation cities with the most voting power. It became the centre of bishopric in the Byzantine era but declined in importance and was abandoned in the 9th century.

www.lycianturkey.com

Paragliding

Two companies in Kaş offer both solo and tandem paragliding. They drive into the high Toros mountains behind Kas, strap you in and glide you down 2000 metres to land on the harbour.

Sea Kayaking

Several adventure outfits offer sea kayaking around the heavily indented coastline. As well as an opportunity for an invigorating excursion, this allows you to get to coves, creeks and settlements unreachable by road or even on foot.

Full equipment, instruction and guide are provided, and these trips can include overnight camping on request.

Walking/Trekking on "The Lycian Way"

Following extensive coverage in UK lifestyle media, this part of Turkey has become a magnet for discerning hikers. A 509 kilometre footpath between Antalya and Fethiye was pioneered and waymarked in 1999 and has become known as the Lycian Way. The route passes right through Kas, making many spectacular sections accessible from the town. A degree of ruggedness and difficulty to suit every level of experience can be selected, and the trekking companies offer overnight packages as well as day and half-day outings.

Excursions

Local tour companies offer excursions by bus to the attractions of the region such as Salikent gorge, and the mountain lake near Gombe.

More distant attractions such as Pamukkale, Ephesus and Cappadocia are also available but, owing to the distances involved, invariably necessitate overnight hotel stays.

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