Regular visitors to this beautiful part of the Turquoise coast will already be familiar with its charms and attractions, but if you're new to Kalkan, we've compiled a list of our 'top 10' things to do in the area:
This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your holiday in Kalkan and is thoroughly recommended. There are a variety of Gulets available for hire at Kalkan's attractive little harbour - if there are a few of you in your party, you can either hire a Gulet for private use for the day (see here to pre-book a selection), or join a shared boat which will be more cost-effective if there are just 2 or 3 of you. In either case, the plan is simple - you'll set off at around 10am, sail out to various coves and bays where you can enjoy swimming and snorkelling in the crystal clear Turquoise waters. You may even spot a turtle or two on the way! The decks of the boats are equipped with thick mattresses for sunbathing. Lunchtime will be the highlight of the day as you'll enjoy a delicious meal freshly prepared for you in the galley. After your leisurely lunch, there are more opportunities for swimming and a visit to a secluded beach where you can indulge in a 'mud' bath. You'll return to Kalkan harbour at about 5pm in the afternoon. It's the perfect way to spend the day!
Kalkan's pebble beach is located next to the harbour area and has enjoyed Blue Flag status since 2011. The crystal clear waters are very refreshing and sun-loungers and parasols are available for a very modest daily charge. To the rear of the beach are a number of cafes and bars together with showers and toilets. At the end of the day, it's a great vantage point to watch the Gulets returning to harbour after their daily tours. Bring beach shoes with you, as the pebbles make it quite difficult to get in and out of the sea in an elegant manner!
Kalkan's various beach clubs are situated all around Kalkan and Kalamar bays and are very easily accessible. They're basically 'rock gardens' cut into the hillside or decked areas with direct access to the sea. They offer sunbathing platforms, swimming, watersports and excellent restaurant facilities, together with a relaxing ambience and stunning vistas. Sunloungers and parasols are available for rent for the day and some offer free water-taxi's to and from Kalkan harbour and / or a free taxi ride back to your villa or apartment at the end of a hard day's sunbathing and snorkelling! Click here for a map to show the beach club's locations.
The narrow streets of the old town quarter are set behind Kalkan's harbour and are lined with whitewashed shuttered buildings festooned with brightly coloured bougainvillea. These ancient and protected buildings are home to a plethora of interesting shops, boutiques and restaurants, many of which have rooftop terraces from which you can enjoy panoramic views of the harbour and Kalkan bay. In the summer months, the shops stay open until around midnight and sell a huge variety of merchandise to suit all pockets, from traditionally made olive soap, Turkish delight, carpets, kilims, hamman towels, jewellery, watches and clothing, to top quality leather goods, glassware and ceramics. A shopper's paradise! Fortunately, for those of you who don't enjoy shopping, the shops are interspersed with a number of bars at which you can enjoy a relaxing drink while watching the world go by!
Kalkan is famous for its restaurants and cafes and you will be totally spoilt for choice as there are thought to be over 200 in the town itself. There are eateries to suit all budgets and tastes and you will enjoy finding your own favourites - the general rule of thumb is the closer the restaurant is to the harbour, the more expensive it's likely to be, but even then, you'll be sure of enjoying an excellent meal that's good value for money. Many of the best restaurants are terrace-style which offer great food as well as stunning views over Kalkan bay and harbour. A little further afield and definitely worth trying, are the fresh trout restaurants in nearby Islamlar village. These offer freshly caught grilled trout served with a variety of traditional meze's, local cheeses, olives, salads and village bread. Truly delicious and in the height of the summer, a welcome change from central Kalkan, as the temperature in this area is always a few degrees cooler. There are also a number of popular bars within Kalkan town - these serve local and imported spirits, palatable local wines and cocktails. There are no 'nightclubs' in Kalkan, but a handful of the bars do stay open into the small hours and have music and dancing.
For the more active and adventurous among you, Kalkan provides an opportunity to enjoy a variety of water sports, including, water-skiing, wake-boarding, jet-skiing and scuba diving. Depending on how brave you are, you can also indulge in a spot of paragliding. We partner with some well-run and properly insured companies that provide these services in and around Kalkan, so get in touch with us for more information. And if you like regular exercise, Kalkan also has a gym at which you can take out temporary membership.
A fun day out for explorers of all ages. Professional guides and drivers lead the jeep expeditions in convoy allowing you to take in all the fabulous scenery and archaeological sites in one day. The first stop is at Xanthos, the ancient Lycian capital city. Afterwards, the convoy stops off at Saklikent Gorge, home to the rushing torrent of the Xanthos River which has carved itself deep into the rock and created a 100m long canyon, 4km of which is walkable after April, once the snow from the Taurus Mountains has melted and passed through the gorge on its way to the Xanthos. The gorge is a 35km drive from Kalkan and with an expert guide and a ropeway, it is quite safe to enter it (if you don't mind getting wet). The best time to visit is during the summer season. Sturdy footwear is essential and the water is icy cold. Very refreshing on a scorching hot day! Just outside the gorge are a selection of riverside restaurants at which you can indulge in a relaxed Turkish-style lunch in the shade and as an extra, you can enjoy a spot of rafting. After lunch, you're invited to take a mud bath next to the Xanthos river, before heading off to the sand dunes at Patara Beach.
A boat trip to the sunken city of Kekova could be another highlight of your stay in Kalkan. Usually reached by boat from Kalkan or Kas, this little bit of the coast is full of surprises and history. A typical trip will take in the village of Simena (Kale) which can only be reached by boat. The village is topped by the ruins of an ancient Byzantine castle from which you can take in the truly breathtaking views. The island of Kekova will probably be your next stop. Again you'll see the remains of buildings and walls beneath your boat, and, depending on the knowledge of your guide, various antiquities will be pointed out to you. You'll no doubt stop a couple of times for swimming and snorkelling.
A visit to beautiful Patara beach is an absolute must if you love sandy, unspoilt beaches. Patara beach extends to some 12 kilometres in length and is about a 15 minute drive away from central Kalkan. There is just one cafe on the beach with shower and toilet facilities and sunloungers and parasols are available for hire at a nominal charge. Part of a national park, Patara is a breeding ground for the endangered loggerhead turtle and as such has been declared off-limits for development. On approach to the beach, you'll be almost startled to discover an ancient amphitheatre, baths, triumphal arch and the recently excavated Lycian parliament building, the seat of one of the first democratic parliaments in the world. Patara is also believed to be the birthplace of Apollo and St Nicholas.
Located on the breathtaking road between Kalkan and Kas, the beach at Kaputas is formed by a gorge that opens out onto a stretch of sand. There's a long flight of steps leading down from the road to the beach and there are no facilities on the beach itself, to remember to bring your own food and drink plus a parasol if you're planning to stay for a while. Popluar with locals, Kaputas is one of the most photographed beaches in the whole of the Mediterranean and once you see it for yourself, we think you'll understand why.