Kas – end of winter wrap up.
I can hardly believe that this is our final day in Kas, Türkiye. We have called this lovely village “home” for nearly 6 months. Im sitting in our airbnb, staring out into the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, recalling the memories of our time spent here and I feel nothing but gratitude. Gratitude for the beautiful people we have been privileged to know. Gratitude for the amazing weather that has allowed us to thrive and exercise all winter long. Gratitude for the market and the people who spend their lives planting and nurturing the food that we have eaten. And Gratitude for the yoga classes held daily at this stunning amphitheater. I can think of no place on the planet more conducive to the peace and health to which yogi aspire.
We are Florida people and while there are many things we loved about Kas, the weather would have to be among the first mentions. Nearly as far as one can travel South before hitting Africa, it is comfortable and mild with most days in the winter, clear and sunny. We were able to be outside for most of the winter, though jackets and sweaters were a staple in our winter wardrobe. The hiking here is legendary with the Lycian Way trail extending for 760 km along the south Türkiye coast between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The footpath is rocky and the gradients steep but Kas sits nestled at the near ½ way point between the beginning and end of the trail. From Kas you can join the trail or, as we did, just enjoy some day trips noting the plentiful ruins and tombs from a civilization that existed around 400 BC.
Still a village, there are no cinema, theaters or malls. The shops and grocery stores are compact and hold locally made handicrafts and souvenirs primarily. The restaurants are family owned and operated and the food incredibly fresh though simple. Mezze are my favorite, tapas style meals which include a small taste of several tiny dishes. We found a wonderful Vet who made “boat calls” which was handy because we don’t have a car here and Pratt is a homebody who stresses anytime we force him to leave the boat. If in Kas and in need of a Vet, we highly recommend: Destina Veteriner Klinigi +90 543 683 19 87 on WhatsApp Andifli Mah. Eski Ant. Cad. No 150 Kas. We also found an amazing English speaking Dentist. We 3 all had cleanings and she came to the rescue on 2 occasions, once with Alec and once with me. On both occasions (as is typical in Europe but less typical in the US) she came up with the least intrusive and expensive option, repairing a crown which had fallen out for me and essentially rebuilding a tooth for Alec. I was certain it would involve a lengthy crown process when an old filling broke a tooth. This dentist, in one appointment, made him a new tooth essentially for the paltry sum of 50. US dollars. If you find yourself in need of a dentist in Kas, WhatsApp Nese Fettahligil +90 505 675 53 01.
In terms of medical procedures, we did not have any need for one though we had planned to get a complete physical while here, we never managed to get around to it. We have friends who have taken advantage of the very good and economical medical system in Türkiye and have had nothing but great things to say.
From a boater and ex-pat prospective I would have to give Türkiye very high marks all around. While prices are on the constant rise due to 65-80% inflation and the huge influx of Russians (particularly those wealthy and well connected enough to run from the current situation there) has resulted in costs rising exponentially. We found the costs of berthing still affordable but very quickly the prices will outpace the most expensive marina accommodations in the med. Getting a yearly contract remains the best defense against the extortionist prices of the short term or daily marina rates. The marina contract should allow the foreigner to secure temporary residency for the duration of the contract. This is not a guarantee but I have heard of nobody getting denied (although we had a heck of a problem with our sons residency and if you are considering this, reach out to me personally and Ill talk you through it if necessary). The Setur marina in Kas is beautiful and the grounds and maintenance staff do an amazing job of keeping it in pristine condition. The office staff is not the most friendly we have ever met, but the facilities themselves are in impeccable shape. The cost of utilities- water and electric is very high compared to other marinas in the Med.
The Schengen and EU restrictions on foreigners (Americans, Aussies and UK in particular) remain a real challenge for cruising in Europe. Türkiye remains one of the few places where one can stop and remain for greater than 90 days. We are grateful for the respite from the struggle of immigration challenges. Incidentally, there will be a presidential election in May 2023, and we will be gone before then – there may be significant changes after that point.
So, circling back to the comment in the first sentence about being in an Airbnb instead of aboard Gratitude and referencing the Schengen and EU restrictions on foreigners, the distance between Kas Türkiye and Southhampton England is roughly 3100 miles. Traveling at 8 knots as Gratitude does, is a nearly nonstop journey of roughly a month. Of course, we don’t travel for a month non-stop and we are far more restrictive in terms of weather comfort than are our delivery crew. If we tried to do this, it would probably take us all summer. Which is to say that the only way we could see Scandinavia this summer is if we had crew, who have no immigration worries, to move the boat for us. This is the first time since we have owned Gratitude that she has been taken off the dock without us and we hated to see her (and our cat, Pratt) leave, but it had to be. SD Captains is a company that has a solid reputation for handling this type of work and agreed to take our cat with them.
So, what is next for the 3 of us while Gratitude is making her way to Southhampton England? Well, primarily we need to stay out of Europe for as long as possible meaning we have a month long trip though the interior sections of Türkiye planned. Next stop for us is to continue our way East to Side tomorrow morning. Then Alanya, Cappadocia, Ankara (the capital), and finishing in Istanbul where we will meet back up with Kim and Steve, friends from Mimpi with whom we have been buddy boating for the past 2 years.
Ill detail our month long adventure into the interior of Türkiye in a future post for but now, this is the end of the winter portion of 2023.
3 thoughts on “End of Winter Wrap Up – Kas, Türkiye 2023”
Loved reading this post and boy did you truly grow to love Turkey this winter. I remember how trepidatious you felt when you arrived there and worried it wouldn’t be a good fit. So sad about the little yoga cat though 😢
Prayers for the next leg of your journeys and sending love and prayers. 🙏❤️
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Makes me want to add Kas to my bucket list. How nice that it is not on the tourist radar.
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I am glad things r going so well. For me , my eyes r done. Both cataract replacement and follow up laser work. Took 5 months. Total pain in the ASS. Getting use to new eyes will take time. Miss u guys.