Last updated on March 27, 2023 by Wandering our World
The Turkish Riviera, also known more seductively as the Turquoise Coast, covers the country’s gorgeous south-west coastline. It’s a favorite destination for tourists who travel from all over the world to enjoy the Turkish delights and vacation in iconic locations like Kas and Antalya.
But which of these two idyllic locations will best suit your vacation plans? That’s an important decision, as these destinations are more different than many people first realise…
For example, Kas is a charming town located in the center of the Turkish Riviera, known for its natural beauty, inviting waters, and historic sites.
It’s smaller and more laid-back than Antalya, and offers a range of tourist activities, such as hiking, swimming, diving, and visiting ancient ruins. Kas is also renowned for its picturesque harbor, vibrant local markets and lively nightlife scene. It’s a great spot for a relaxed and often peaceful vacation.
In contrast, Antalya is a bustling coastal city located at the eastern end of the Turkish Riviera. The city is a popular tourist destination due to its picturesque old town, vibrant nightlife, and stunning beaches.
But Antalya is also known for its wealth of ancient ruins and museums that attract history enthusiasts. The city’s many restaurants, cafes, and bars offer a diverse range of cuisines and entertainment options – more so than Kas – which makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a lively and fun-filled vacation experience.
However that’s just the beginning when it comes to how these two Turkish tourist towns differ…
That’s why right here we delve deeper into these two destinations to show you which has the best beaches, nightlife, which is best for families, and lots more. All so you can make the right vacation decision…
- Which Is Easier To Get To?
- Which Is Better For Beaches?
- Which Is Best For Culture?
- Which Is Best For Day Trips?
- Which Is Best For Families?
- Which Is Better For Nightlife?
- Which Is More Expensive?
- Where To Stay According To Your Budget
- What Time Of Year Is Best?
- Which Is The Better Choice?
Which Is Easier To Get To & Get Around?
Both Kas and Antalya are reasonably easy to get to.
Antalya, on the other hand, is a major city and is home to Antalya International Airport (AYT), which welcomes numerous flights from around the world.
Visitors can easily find direct flights from many European cities as well as major airports in the Middle East.
Alternatively, visitors from farther afield can source a flight into Istanbul International Airport (IST) and transfer down to the Turquoise Coast via a domestic flight.
Kas is the smaller destination, but it still offers plenty of flight options for travelers.
Visitors can fly into Dalaman Airport (DLM) or Antalya Airports, both of which are around 2-3 hours away from Kas by road. Kas is located approximately 190 kilometers southwest of Antalya and can be reached via a scenic coastal drive or by taking a shared or private transfer.
Private transfers and shuttle buses are available from both airports, making it pretty easy to reach your destination.
Ultimately, the ease of access to each destination depends on your starting location and preferred mode of travel. Visitors who prefer the convenience of a direct flight may find Antalya to be the more accessible option, while those seeking a more scenic journey may prefer the coastal road trip to Kas.
Once there, getting around in either Kas or Antalya is relatively easy, as both destinations have efficient and affordable public transportation options.
In Antalya, visitors can use the AntRay light rail system, buses, and taxis to navigate the city and reach popular tourist attractions.
Kas, on the other hand, is a smaller town that can be largely explored on foot or by bicycle, although there are also local buses and taxis available.
Both destinations also offer affordable car rental services for those who prefer to explore the surrounding areas at their own pace. Overall, transportation in both Kas and Antalya is convenient and accessible for tourists.
Which Is Better For Beaches?
When it comes to beaches, both Kas and Antalya have plenty to offer.
Kas boasts several stunning beaches, including Kaputas Beach with its turquoise waters and white sand, and Patara Beach, which is known for its impressive sand dunes and nesting sea turtles.
Antalya, on the other hand, is home to some of Turkey’s most popular and well-equipped beaches, such as Lara Beach and Konyaalti Beach.
So in general you can expect more rugged, rural and quieter beaches in Kas. Whereas Antalya’s beaches tend to be more built up, lively and have more amenities.
But which destination has the better beaches?
Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. So, we’re going to have a quick look at three of the top beaches in each location so you can decide which one will suit you best:
Kas: The Beaches
You will need to head out of town a little bit to reach Kaputas Beach, but the stunning little beach has one of the coolest beach vibes in Kas.
Located in a small cove between rugged mountains, Kaputas Beach is stunning, and its clear water is perfect for a dip or a snorkel.
While it may take a one-hour drive from downtown Kas to get to Patara Beach, once there you can enjoy its huge stretch of unspoiled sand.
This beach has limited amenities, so bring snacks and drinks, but it is a great beach for escaping city life and chilling with a good book.
While Akçagerme Beach is a family-friendly beach close to the town, and there are restaurants, sun loungers, umbrellas, and showers available.
The small pebble beach has a small aqua park with slides and a floating dock to keep the kids busy, and the sheltered bay ensures calm waters.
As a popular beach in a convenient location, it can get busy during high season, so it’s best to head out early to secure your spot in the sand.
Antalya: The Beaches
With easy access from the center of town, Lara Beach’s long stretch of golden sand is one of the most popular beach options in Anatalya.
It’s a convenient and top choice for soaking up the sun, with full resort facilities and easy access to central Antalya’s shops and restaurants.
The beach also offers plenty of beach activities, such as stand-up paddleboarding, parasailing, boating, and jet skiing – that’s no surprise as Antalya is a more lively beach destination than Kas.
Another beach with a superb central location is Konyaalti Beach which stretches for eight kilometers along the city’s southwest corner.
This beach features small pebbles rather than sand, and its waters are relatively calm. With the town just behind the beach, there are plenty of options for snacks and drinks, too.
And a visit to Çıralı Beach will take you out of the main town and out to a quieter beach town, about an hour’s drive along the coast.
The quieter beach is backed by an assortment of guesthouses, beach camps, and small boutique hotels and is perfect for escaping the madding crowds in high season. The Ancient City of Olympos Archaeological Site is close by, offering respite from the sun in a cultural setting.
Which Is Best For Culture?
For thousands of years, the Mediterranean Sea has been a place where important civilizations have met and where cultures and languages have intermingled and competed.
And both Kas and Antalya boast rich cultural offerings that are sure to satisfy history buffs and art aficionados alike.
Kas, the smaller of the two destinations, has managed to preserve much of its traditional charm, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an authentic cultural experience.
The town’s Greek, Lycian, and Roman heritage is evident in its ruins, such as the ancient theater and sarcophagi that are scattered throughout the town.
By contrast, Antalya is a larger city with a more cosmopolitan vibe, offering visitors an intriguing blend of old and new.
The city’s Old Town, known as Kaleici, is a maze of narrow streets lined with traditional Ottoman houses and ancient ruins. The Hadrian’s Gate, which dates back to 130 AD, and the Hidirlik Tower, a former Roman lighthouse, are just a few of the city’s notable historical landmarks.
In terms of museums, Antalya has a slight edge, with a wider range of options to choose from.
The Antalya Museum, one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in Turkey, showcases artifacts from the region’s ancient civilizations, including the Lycians, Romans, and Ottomans.
While the Suna Inan Kirac Kaleici Museum, housed in a restored 18th-century Ottoman mansion, offers a glimpse into the city’s Ottoman past through its collection of traditional costumes, furniture, and art.
If experiencing and learning about the history of this region features in your holiday plans, then you can rest assured that Turkey’s Turquoise Coast has plenty to offer in either of these towns.
Which Is Best For Day Trips?
While both locations are stunning within themselves, they are also both located along a stunning section of Turkey’s coastline, and there are plenty of excursions available to get you out of the town and immersed in the great outdoors to explore the region’s stunning natural beauty.
From Kas, one popular day trip destination is the nearby town of Kalkan, known for its charming old town, beautiful beaches, and lively marina.
Another option is the ancient Lycian city of Xanthos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features impressive ruins and a fascinating history.
Visitors can also take a boat tour to explore the stunning coastline and nearby islands, with options for snorkeling and swimming in crystal-clear waters along the way.
Antalya also offers numerous day trip options, including a visit to the ancient city of Perge, one of the best-preserved historical sites in the region.
Another popular day trip is the stunning Düden Waterfalls, located just outside the city and surrounded by lush greenery.
For those looking for outdoor adventure, a day trip to the nearby Taurus Mountains offers opportunities for hiking, canyoning, and other outdoor activities in stunning surrounds.
All in all, both have plenty of day trip options, but Antalya probably edges it in terms of what’s available.
Which Is Best For Families?
As two of Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations, both Kas and Antalya have plenty to offer visiting families, with a variety of activities and attractions suitable for all ages to enjoy.
In Kas, families can enjoy the beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports.
The town also offers cultural experiences such as visiting ancient ruins and exploring traditional Turkish markets. The town’s relaxed and friendly atmosphere also makes it a great destination for families looking to escape the crowds.
However Antalya offers a wider range of family-friendly activities and attractions. For example, the city is home to several amusement parks, including the Antalya Aquarium and the Land of Legends Theme Park.
Families can also visit historical sites such as the Old Town and the Antalya Museum, which feature interesting exhibits on the region’s history and culture.
While both locations have child-friendly activities, which one is best for you will depend on what you enjoy as a family and, to a certain degree, on the age of your children.
But you should have no problem keeping the kids entertained in either Kas or Antalya, although Antalya has a few more options.
Which Is Better For Nightlife & Dining Out?
When the sun sets in Kas and Antalya, the fun is just beginning.
Both destinations offer a lively nightlife scene with plenty of options for dining, drinking, and dancing, but as the bigger destination, there’s a little more choice in Antalya…
When it comes to dining out, both Kas and Antalya have a wide variety of restaurants serving local and international cuisine.
Kas’ harbor area is a popular spot for dining, offering a range of seafood restaurants with fresh catches straight from the Mediterranean.
While in Antalya, the Old Town has a similar vibe, with many traditional Turkish eateries and restaurants serving a wide range of cuisines.
When it comes to bars, Kas has a more laid-back atmosphere, with many rooftop bars offering stunning views over the sea and the surrounding hills.
Antalya, on the other hand, has a more bustling party scene with many lively pubs and bars, particularly in the Kaleici district.
For those looking to dance the night away, both Kas and Antalya have nightclubs to suit all musical tastes.
In Kas, the Marina area has a few popular spots, while Antalya has a wider range of clubs, from outdoor beach clubs to large indoor megaclubs.
For a unique nightlife experience with a splash of culture, head to the ancient Roman amphitheater in Antalya, where concerts and cultural events are held throughout the year.
Overall, both Kas and Antalya offer plenty of options for a fun night out.
The choice between the two will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and the type of nightlife experience you are looking for. But if partying the night away is high on your list of vacation priorities, maybe Antalya’s dancefloors will be the best destination for you.
Which Is Cheaper?
When it comes to comparing the costs of traveling to Kas and Antalya, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. While both destinations offer a range of options to suit every budget, there are a few differences to consider.
Accommodation in Kas tends to be a bit pricier than in Antalya, especially if you’re looking for high-end resorts or boutique hotels.
However, there are also plenty of more affordable options, including guesthouses, hostels, and apartments, that can make a visit to Kas more affordable.
In Antalya, the range of accommodations is wider, with everything from budget hostels to five-star luxury resorts available.
So If you’re looking for a more extravagant experience, Antalya might be the way to go, as there are more options for high-end travelers.
Food and drink prices are generally quite reasonable in both destinations, with plenty of local restaurants offering affordable and delicious meals.
In Kas, seafood is a specialty and can be a bit pricier, but it’s definitely worth trying. Antalya also has a great food scene, with plenty of options for Turkish and international cuisine.
In terms of activities, both Kas and Antalya offer a range of options for every budget.
Exploring the historic sites in Antalya’s Old Town is free, but admission to the Antalya Aquarium can be a bit pricey, especially if you are a large family.
Similarly, a day trip to the nearby Düden Waterfalls is affordable, but chartering a private boat in Kas for a day of island-hopping can be quite expensive. There are always options, though…
Overall, both destinations offer good value for money, with affordable options available for those on a budget and more luxurious experiences for those who want to splurge. It’s all about finding the right balance for your own travel style and preferences.
If you’re traveling on a tight budget, we recommend considering Kas as it will be easier to find more affordable options. However, if you’re willing to spend a bit more for a more lavish experience, Antalya might be the way to go…
Where To Stay According To Your Budget
Budget: Adalya Port Hotel overlooks Antalya’s Old Harbour, and is set on an old cobbled street, so you’ll get a real taste of Turkey when staying here, but still with modern amenities. The panoramic rooftop bar and restaurant with stunning views is, of course, the real highlight. See photos and rates!
Luxury: Lara Barut Collection-Ultra is one of the most luxurious resorts in Turkey, but it’s still not one of the most expensive. The resort sits right on the beach, has gorgeous outdoor pools, 6 restaurants and even a Turkish spa. It’s the ultimate Turkish Rivera experience. See photos and rates!
Budget: Kuytu Terrace Bed and Breakfast is an exceptional property that tends to get booked up fast. The accommodation is classy, the views of the town and sea are gorgeous, the location excellent and service fantastic. See photos and rates!
Luxury: Located in the center of Kas, Hotel Aysima has a fantastic outdoor pool, a kids pool and a sun terrace with lovely ocean views. The staff are known for being brilliant ambassadors of the hotel, and considering the very reasonably price, it’s no surprise this hotel is so highly rated. See photos and rates!
What Time Of Year Is Best?
Kas and Antalya are both among the more popular tourist destinations in Turkey, attracting visitors year-round. However, the best time to visit largely depends on your personal preferences and interests…
Summer is undoubtedly the peak season for both Kas and Antalya, with hot temperatures and plenty of sunshine making it the perfect time for beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts. However, be prepared for larger crowds and higher prices during this time.
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons, which run from April to June and from September to November.
During the should season months, you’ll still enjoy pleasant weather and fewer tourists, making it the ideal time for cultural sightseeing and outdoor activities. Shoulder seasons also see lower prices than high season, with flights and accommodation in particular being cheaper.
Winter is the off-peak season, and while temperatures can be cooler, it’s still a great time to visit for budget-conscious travelers.
Plus, the cooler weather means you can enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities without the summer heat and crowds.
One thing to keep in mind is that some attractions and accommodations may have limited operating hours or be closed during the off-peak season, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Overall, the best time to visit Kas or Antalya depends on your travel preferences and interests. Whether you’re looking for a beach vacation or cultural immersion, there’s no shortage of things to see and do year-round in either of these beautiful destinations.
Which Is The Better Choice?
As you consider your options for your next Turkish vacation, we hope that our guide has provided you with valuable insights into the unique qualities of both Kas and Antalya.
Both destinations offer a wealth of opportunities to explore and indulge in the natural beauty, history, and culture of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast.
In Kas, you’ll find a more laid-back and intimate atmosphere, which is perfect for travelers seeking relaxation and tranquility. The town’s pristine beaches, charming streets, and friendly locals make it a wonderful place to unwind and soak up the sun.
On the other hand, Antalya is a bustling hub of activity and energy, where the excitement never stops. The city boasts a wide range of cultural and historical attractions, as well as a vibrant nightlife scene that will keep you entertained well into the early hours.
Ultimately, the decision about which destination to choose depends on your personal preferences and travel needs.
If you’re looking for a quieter and more secluded getaway, Kas may be the ideal choice; but if you’re seeking a more dynamic and cosmopolitan experience, Antalya may be the perfect fit.
No matter which destination you choose, embrace the spirit of adventure and exploration that is at the heart of travel.
Whether you’re discovering ancient ruins, sampling delicious Turkish cuisine, or simply relaxing on a beautiful beach, we are sure that your journey to either Kas or Antalya will be a memorable and enjoyable one.
And if you really can’t decide, why not split your time between the two and enjoy the best of both worlds? They’re close enough to each other after all!