Kalkan bay will take your breath away. It's crystal clear Turquoise water, and mountains that rise steeply behind it provide a dramatic and beautiful backdrop in which to enjoy your stay. Kalkan has not been touched by mass tourism, and as a result remains unspoiled, upmarket and very charming, with amazing views at every turn. Strict building codes ensure the towns historic preservation, and the many fine restaurants contribute to the special atmosphere that brings back visitors time and time again. Narrow cobbled streets that wind away from the harbour with bougainvillea covered wooden Ottoman balconies and historic architecture are typical of the old town, and the warm Turkish hospitality will stay with you long after your holiday is over. Mark Hodson, Sunday Times, January 7, 2007: Summer 100 – the planet's best holidays…."The Kas Peninsula in Turkey, boasts such a spectacular coastline – turquoise seas, pine-clad hills and cafe-lined harbours.' Kalkan is a delightful seaside town that has managed to preserve its unique charm and character despite its increasing popularity with tourists and travellers. Its stunning location on the island-studded Turkish Mediterranean coast with rugged mountains rising up from the shoreline is the stuff of dreams. The bustling harbour, where each morning fishermen sell fresh-caught seafood, and from which you can take excursions to the many surrounding islands, is lined with traditional tea gardens. Right next to the harbour the main Town Square provides a focal point where locals and tourists blend seamlessly. Fanning out from here, narrow jasmine-scented, alleys overlooked by traditional Ottoman balconies and packed with restaurants, bars, cafes and shops, await exploration…."
Things to do…
- Beach clubs There are a number of beach clubs around the bay that can be reached by free shuttle service from the harbour. These are wonderful paved platform terraces and gardens with ladders going into the sea. They offer swimming, sunbathing, water sports and restaurant/bar facilities and have sun beds and umbrellas for hire.
- Water sports Jet skiing, water skiing, parasailing and banana boat rides are available from the beach clubs around the bay. Diving Kalkan's crystal clear waters are popular with scuba divers and is a top location for diving along Turkey 's coast. It has several sites including islands and reefs with a huge variety of marine life including turtles, nurse sharks, dolphins and barracudas. Kalkan Dive centre can be contacted on www.kalkandiving.com.
- River Tubing Enjoy floating down the shallow Sakilkent River with your tube and paddle. It's great fun and lasts between 45 minutes and a couple of hours depending on which trip you choose. River tubing can be booked in Kalkan at one of the tour companies or you can join the tour just outside Sakilkent gorge.
- River Canoeing Enjoy a day canoeing on the Xanthos River near to Kalkan. Experienced quides take you downstream through some beautiful scenery. A barbecue lunch is served along the way, and there is an opportunity for a revitalising mud bath before the tour finishes at beautiful Patara beach for a swim.
- Boat Trips Relax on a day trip around the bays and Islands of Kalkan on a traditional Turkish Gullet and visit beautiful Kaputus beach, Snake Island , the blue cave and aquarium bay. Tours leave at 10.00 am from the harbour, and return around 5.00 pm . There is plenty of time for swimming, and lunch is served on board. A very popular trip is to the ancient sunken city of Simena in the area of Kekova, one of the most beautiful areas of the Lycian coast.A terrible earthquake in the 2nd century AD caused a downward shift of land and the submerged ancient houses can be viewed through glass bottom boats. Boat trips can be booked direct at the harbour or through the tour companies in Kalkan.
- Sightseeing Within easy reach of Kalkan are the ruins of the ancient Lycian capital of Xanthos, its port Patara, religious centre Letoon, and also Pinara. Xanthos was discovered in 1838 by the archaeologist Charles Fellows. Today a mixture of ruins from Roman, Lycian and Byzantine times including the Tomb of the Harpies, theatre, Neried monument and Inscribed pillar can be seen. At the holy lycian centre of Letoon there are 3 temples dedicated to Leto, Artemis and Apollo, gods of mythology.
- Elmali with its wealth of Ottoman houses and beautiful mosque
- Tlos, a site set high in the mountains with its numerous rock and house tombs, remains of Roman baths and spectacular views with a small Greek / Roman amphitheatre set in spectacular surroundings
- Bezirgan Village known locally as ' The Land of Milk and Honey ' because it is so fertile, with old mountain village houses, the village green and giving the feeling of stepping back a century in time
- Islamlar, an old traditional village, with a mosque, flour mill, trout farms and restaurants hanging over the gorge
- Saklikent Gorge – The natural phenomenon of Saklikent and the hidden canyon where you can enjoy wading in the icy cold, fast-flowing river, rewarded by a lunch of extremely fresh trout at one of the little restaurants built on wooden platforms overhanging the water
- Walking / hiking. Kalkan lies on the Lycian Way, voted one of the world’s top-ten long distance walks by the Sunday Times. Running from Fethiye in the west to Antalya in the east, many of the nicest stretches of the path are within easy reach of Kalkan.
The best months of the year to walk are October, November, March, April and the first half of May. December to February often enjoy long spells of glorious weather, but there is generally more chance of rain during that period. From the end of May until the end of September, the higher temperatures make it unsuitable for walking. Click here for a full run down on trekking the Lycian Way
- Patara beach is very close to Kalkan. The beach is a completely undeveloped 12km stretch of sandy beach voted one of the best in the world by Times online for 2005. It is famous as being the birth place of St Nicholas who has entered into Christian tradition as Father Christmas, and for having many interesting ruins. It was an important commercial centre and harbour during the 5 th century. A day trip to Patara can include beautiful Patara beach, one of the best in Turkey and a perfect place to relax after a bit if sightseeing.
- Kalkan beach is next to the harbour and old town. It has crystal clear aquamarine water and white pebbles. Sunbeds and umbrellas can be hired for around 3 Turkish Lira a day. It's location next to the harbour make it a very popular place for soaking up the atmosphere of the early evening and watching the boats come back to harbour.
- Kaputus beach Ten minutes from Kalkan is beautiful Kaputus beach, a sandy cove at the foot of a mountain gorge. The turquoise water is incredible and this beach is used in many travel brochures for Turkey . There are cheap and frequent Dolmuses (shared minibuses) from Kalkan.