There is a fine mix of history and cultural, heathy fresh cuisine, sun, sea and sand. The choices are varied and for those wanting activity and adventure there is more than enough to bring them time and again. Whether it is flying in the skies or diving in the seas, there is surely a convincing case to consider cruising these seas and doing both?
KasThis small town between Fethiye and Antalya sits below the Taurus Mountains that in some parts rise far beyond 2,000 metres and in many places reach right to the coast, dropping steeply to the sea. Kas has a small harbour before it rises out of the town in its outskirts. The views across the sea looking south are stunning.
Its population swells dramatically once tourists start to arrive. Some come to walk the Lycian Way over a few days but for real excitement enthusiasts find that paragliding off the mountains down to the sea is a real treat.
There is no experience necessary and teenagers are welcome to try; the whole point is that the experience is safe in a calm environment where gliders can soar down from over 600 metres. Paragliding Kas experiences are unforgettable with pre-flight instruction and tandem flights are certainly a good way to introduction new fliers to the pleasure of flying.
Down below the mountains, the clear blue seas have resulted in Kas becoming one of the main diving areas on the southern coast of Turkey; indeed the whole of Turkey. There are several diving centre and schools in the port area. There may be as many as 50 different sites that divers can visit.
In terms of the sea there are regular sightings of turtles and octopuses as well as a number of reefs that have grown on the sites of wrecks. Perhaps the highlights are a World War II airplane, a cargo ship that sank in the 1950s and an underwater sculpture park? If you want more details then see here.
It certainly makes sense to spend a little time in Kas because the bars and restaurants around the harbour and berths are plentiful. There is the small original harbour but a totally new marina just to the west.
DemreCruises head east and west along this coast. There are no restrictions on where yachts and gulets can anchor other than over the sunken ancient ruins of Kekova on the small island of the same named. It is eastwards near Demre, the old Lycian City of Myra. It is now uninhabited and on the north of the island the ruins are a result of an earthquake in the 2nd Century. They were rebuilt by the Byzantines by finally abandoned because of attached by Arabs.
The Church of St. Nicholas remains a popular site for pilgrims. It is a piece of Byzantine architecture and St. Nicholas’ tomb, though not containing his remains, has significance for Western Europeans as well as Russians whose orthodox religion has several icons of the Saint, who in modern times is seen as the festival origin of Santa Claus.
One of the popular cruises that takes in such delights sails between Olympos and Fethiye to the west. There is a mixture of experiences that has something for everyone. History and culture is not ignored and those interested in activities cam paraglide, dive but also kayak or hike. None of these things are compulsory of course. There is absolutely nothing with an occasional swim, relaxing while getting a suntan on deck or perhaps helping to catch dinner from the sea?
Some families or groups of friends get ‘hooked’ as soon as they take to the seas of the Turquoise Coast and return year after year. The alternatives head all the way west and into the Greek Islands such as Samos and Santorini. Take your pick!