Kalkan is a high quality destination resort at the foot of the Taurus mountains on the ancient Lycian coast in south west Turkey. The picture perfect harbour is backed by harbourside restaurants and roof top bars.
As you look up from the harbour you see the town rising through the cobbled streets and up the horseshoe shaped bay with the white and stone villas clad with bougainvillea. Heavenly. In comparison the views from the villas are spectacular. As you look out over the infinity pool, across the town, harbour and Kalkan bay you will wonder if you've ever seen a better, more enchanting view.
There is fine shingle town beach and a good choice of beach clubs where you rent a sunbed for the day and swim off the rocks and pontoons in the crystal clear water. In summary Kalkan is a quality destination, especially appealing to families, friends and couples who enjoy good quality accommodation, delicious food and sophisticated drinks on holiday.
Kalkan has plenty of restaurants serving everything from gourmet fresh fish, shellfish and steaks in smart harbourside restaurants to home style cooking, snacks, pizzas or kebabs. The choice is endless.
There are also patisseries, bakers and coffee houses selling lighter options and bars that serve nibbles with the drinks – perfect for an evening's grazing. Fresh mezze favourites are plentiful and include stuffed vine leaves, stuffed peppers, mussels and dips which are perfect with the local bread. The smart harbourside and roof top restaurants serve delicious fresh fish. Grilled sea bass and bream are lovely summery lunches and dinners while fish or prawn casseroles are more hearty and warming early and late season.
Our personal tip would be the hidden gem of Zinbad hotel's roof terrace. Fazil the owner serves the best fava bean mezze (unique in Kalkan) followed by a main course. We simply love the octopus casserole and grilled king prawns. We also love the traditional dishes like manti, a Turkish ravioli with a yoghurt sauce and savoury cheese or potato Turkish pancakes called Gozleme are also nice for a snack.
But of course, Turkey is the home of the kebab and each family and restaurant has its own recipes and style – we hope you have as much fun finding your Kalkan favourite as we did ours !
During the day Kalkan town is fairly quiet as most people are relaxing in their villas or hotels, visiting nearby beaches, beach clubs, historic sites or other attractions Kapitas beach is one of our favourites . It is situated just below the main coast road between Kalkan and Kas. The beach is at the end of a deep, dramatic gorge that tumbles out into the sea. The water really is a blue as the picture.
One piece of advice though – don't leave anything in your car – its a long way back up the steps. Kalkan has 6 beach clubs, most of which are accessible by boat taxis from Kalkan harbour. They are set into the bottom of the mountain side, complete with paved platforms, terraces and gardens and they offer everything from swimming and sunbathing to water sports and restaurant facilities. No membership is required, just hire your sunbed, towel and umbrella for the day and relax.
They all have bars, restaurants and steps down into the sea from the rocks – perfect for snorkelling, swimming and for those who don't like sand in their toes !
The beach clubs are, Kalamar beach club, Palm beach club, Mahal beach club, Yali beach club, Indigo beach club and Kalkan beach park.Slightly further afield, Patara is the ancient capital of Lycia and is still highly protected today. The ruins of ancient Patara nestle behind the beach and before the modern village , very evocative. Patara beach is about 5 miles long and an unspoilt stretch of glorious beach – an opposite experience to Kapitas.
For those who like natural wonders Saklikent canyon is nearby – the longest gorge in Turkey. Walk up alongside the deep waters , then wade across the shallower areas before walking and later scrambling onward and upward until you reach your limit – a great adventure, made better for those who then float or raft back down the end of the gorge. Saklikent is available for all ages and abilities, you do not need to have any canyoning experience.
For those who like walking over history there are many ancient cities within a day trip of Kalkan. Tlos, Pinara, Arykanda, and many more are easily accessible on private tours or organised trips