As June rolled into July, we had our first trip out of Ankara since mid March when we squeezed in a trip to Bursa just before lockdowns went into effect. Turkey opened up early June and some people dashed out of Ankara as fast as they could, particularly those moving this summer who wanted to get one last trip in before leaving. We waited until later in the month to make sure we had a decent feel on how travel was going.
Kaş is a small town on the Mediterranean Sea in the province of Antalya. It is very popular with Turks, but less popular with foreign tourists. Of course, at the time we went (and even now), there are few flights into the country and so few foreign tourists except those who live here.
Kaş is known for its beautiful views and quaint downtown. It also has a peninsula sticking out from the town that is covered in houses, mostly rentals. We stayed on the peninsula. We knew at least 3 other families from the Embassy who were there on the peninsula that same week! And more who went before or after our trip!
Kaş is an 8.5 hour drive from Ankara, so we spent much of our first day on the road. Boy were we glad to roll up, eat a quick pizza dinner (which I had brought with us in our cooler for speed of dinner) and jump in the pool!
As you can see from the pictures above, we had a great view and a lovely outside area. Our rental was 2 stories with a master bedroom and second bedroom, both with queens and attached baths. The ground floor had a bedroom with twins, kitchen, dining table, living room and full bath. A fourth bedroom was accessed from outside by going around and under the pool, but we never used it. The living room opened to the pool deck where there were two tables under cover, the pool and plenty of pool chairs.
The pool was pretty deep–About 5′ on one end and about 6.5 on the other end. Small area with steps the kids could stand in, but otherwise it was swimming or using the noodles or DS4’s swim jacket. DD7 swims pretty well and was a little fish going around the pool. DS4 has no fear and decent swimming abilities for his age and kept begging me to take off his swim jacket (Puddle Jumper) so that he could jump in and swim. He loved for me to push him under the water so his feet could touch the bottom.
We spent a good bulk of our days at the pool, social distancing and enjoying the water and beauty.
One day we went to a beach about 15 minute drive away. It was not crowded (win) but the “compact pebbles” I read about online were much bigger than I expected–rocks were golf ball to double a man’s fist in size. This made walking very tricky and the kids did not enjoy it. The water was also VERY COLD. We hung out under our umbrellas and built castles with the rocks and DD7 read some. We left by noon as the crowds started to increase.
We did try a popular sandy beach, Kaputas, about 30 min drive away one morning but it was a fail. We arrived at 9:15 am and the parking lot was half full and quickly filling more. We looked down the stairs from the parking (the beach was down a steep set of stairs to get down the mountain to the shore) and it was pretty crowded and we weren’t convinced of any social distancing happening. The kids were pretty upset, but we decided to leave and not even go down to the sand. We’ll get there another time!
One day on the way to town, we stopped at an old Amphitheater for a quick look. The original theater is from the first quarter of the 1st century BC. It offered great views of the Med Sea and Kaş. Small parking area and free entry. Full sun, but a quick stop!
We went into Kaş our first day to get ice cream and check out the town. Parking is very challenging any time of day, so be prepared for a walk! We found it too crowded for Covid times, but I think it would be really fun other times. There is a small Migros and Carrefour (grocery stores) where we bought some items (though we brought most things with us). We did take out Turkish food two nights. On Fridays, Kaş does a Friday Market friends said was nice.
Our villa, like many others, had sea access. This is not to be mistaken for beach access! We went down a steep set of stairs way down to the water and then you’d climb a ladder down into the sea. We went down to check it out our first morning there and then later returned with suits and life jackets for the kids. It was cold, but fun. DS4 preferred to be on my back while I snorkeled, which was pretty hard work. DD7 floated near her daddy. Not a ton of fish to see, and the kids were content with just one time in the water, though DH went a few more times to swim.
A few shots from our drive to and from Kaş. We had everything from flat farmland to mountains. Not a whole lot of options for food or rest breaks except gas stations, so we were glad we brought our own food. I had to laugh at the wild pig sign. We also saw 3 different trucks hauling large wind turbine blades down the road. Talk about a long load!
Our car doesn’t have a DVD player and while we often have the kids just listen to music or play car games, for this drive we decided to rig up their tablets. I punched holes at the bottom of a gallon freezer bag and tied a ribbon through it to tie around the seat headrest in front of them. Then I punched a hole in the top of the bag for the headphones. Slide in the tablet, zip the bag, and watch away. The tablet was still touch screen accessible through the plastic. Only challenge was when the sun shown in their side of the car, there was glare. So part of each drive, one kid held their tablet instead of hanging it to help with sun.
This was our villa listing on AirBnb. We really enjoyed the place.