The historic town of Kalkan is quietly sophisticated with a delightful harbour and mini lighthouse guarding the turquoise waters that stretch out beyond it’s marina. The ‘old town’ and harbour are home to a myriad of roof-terrace, sea front and traditional restaurants offering all manner of culinary delights, together with a wide selection of atmospheric bars and cocktail bars. The winding streets of the old town are lined with many boutique shops which stay open into the night time, stocked with interesting antiques, crafts, jewellery, carpets and clothing. The architecture of the old town buildings creates a magical feel particularly at night time with wooden shuttered balconies, buildings covered with brightly coloured bouganvillea and lanterns adorning the high terraces. These streets twist down to the pretty harbour where you can dine or enjoy a beverage whilst watching the world go by or gazing out to sea.
Kalkan is well known for it’s fine dining experience but there is plenty more to offer to make your holiday both enjoyable and memorable for every kind of guest. Numerous outdoor activities including water sports, horse riding and canyoning, boat trips available both day and night, excursions to historical sites and much more are on offer in and around this beautiful holiday destination. See our detailed guides below for more information.
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable experiences of a Kalkan holiday is a day spent on one of Kalkan’s charming gullets. The harbour is home to around 40 boats which make daily trips around the various bays, coves and islands beyond Kalkan’s shores. Depending on the currents you can request which areas you would like to visit. Boats can be hired by groups privately or guests can join with other holiday makers where spaces are available. The captains anchor at different points throughout the day to allow guests to enjoy the waters, snorkel or simply admire the views. One of the highlights is the natural mud beach where guests can swim to shore from the boat and the crew will prepared the natural mineral mud bath which makes your skin feel incredibly soft. The price is paid per person if you are joining other holiday makers and if you are privately hiring for your couple/group the price will be given for the boat for the day. Included in the price is tea/coffee service on arrival followed by a fantastic buffet lunch with hot and cold fresh turkish dishes. In the afternoon there is a fruit service and many of the boats offer homemade cake and biscuits with another tea/coffee service before returning to the harbour. The boats leave the harbour at 10 a.m. and return between 5p.m. and 6p.m. The average capacity is 12-14 guests and for those who are nervous on smaller vessels there are a couple of larger boats with around a 50 person capacity. All boats have ample sunbeds, showers and toilets as well as snorkelling equipment available for guests use. To book a boat trip most visitors take a stroll along the harbour either early evening to see the crew who can advise about availabiity. We can arrange boat trips in advance on guests request.
Organised Tours and Activities
Holiday makers have many different desires and expectations when going on holiday. Perhpas some want to explore further afield, experience some traditional lifestyle, learn about local history or partake in exciting activities. All of these options are readily available in and around Kalkan. Daily tours to local historical sites including Patara, Xantos, Kekova and Tlos are arranged by local tour companies. There are also trips to nearby mountain villages where visitors can see the ‘real Turkey’ traditional to this area. Visitors can hop over to Greece for the day and visit the charming Meis island which is just a short boat ride away from the next harbour town to Kalkan- Kaş. This excursion is particularly popular with nature lovers as there are large inquisitive turtles that visit the harbour at Meis in the hope of finding something good to eat. A varitey of outdoor activities are also available from walking the Saklıkent gorge or rafting down it’s cooling waters, horse riding at Patara beach, quad biking at patara beach, watersports including jet skis, water skiing lessons, inflatables and parasailing which can be arranged from selected beach clubs or deep sea diving with Kalkan Dive School. Most of the daily trips/tours charge a price per person and include hotel/villa pick up and drop off. For guests who like to keep fit there is a fully equipped gym which offers pilates and zumba classes and does not require membership in order to be used.
Pampering- Hamam, Spa, Massage
Kalkan has a number of hotels and independent spas where guests can experience a range of treatments including a traditional Turkish bath (Hamam), a range of massages and beauty treatments. For guests who like to enjoy more time at their villa mobile massage service in your villa is also available and for guests staying in one of our Spa villas mobile Turkish bath service in your villa can also be arranged. Another popular pampering experience is a shave with a Turkish barber, in Kalkan there are several barbers who speak very god English and the treatment is very reasonably priced. To balance this out there are a number of hairdressers who have a variety of manicure and nail treatments for the ladies.
For an intimate town Kalkan has much to offer in the way of retail therapy. There are a number of independent jewellery shops selling beautiful pieces for a fraction of the price visitors would pay at home. There are a couple of diamond and precious stone experts and many visitors bring old jewellery to have bespoke jewellery specially designed. Designer watches and high quality leather handbags are another favourite which can be found in a number of boutique shops dotted around the old town area. Aside from these there are boutiques selling shoes and clothing for men women and children, antique shops, carpet shops, ceramics shop and confectionary shops selling handmade sweets and of course Turkish delight.
There is a weekly market at the top of Kalkan on a Thursday selling everything from clothing and jewellery to spices, fresh fruit and vegetables, local cheeses and fresh fish. The market opens early morning and continues into the early evening and is a great chance to practise some bartering. In the hotter summer months it is advisable to go early morning or late afternoon and it can be stifling in the mid day heat. For visitors who miss our on the Thursday Kalkan market there is another oppurtunity on Sunday in Akbel which is just a 5-10 minute drive out of Kalkan and offers tha same stalls.
There are a number of supermarkets and convenience stores in Kalkan as well as several butchers, bakers, greengrocers and a fish mongers giving plenty of options for guests to stock up their kitchens. All places open 7 days a week from early morning to evening and some supermarkets are open later into the night.
Dining, Bars and Nightlife
From a harbour edged with stylish eateries and chillout bars, narrow streets lead to numerous restaurants throughout the old town area, some of them rooftop and offering the best seats in the house for watching the sunset. Along the Kalamar Road a little further out from the old town are a number of excellent restaurants perfect for a quieter evening away from the buzz of the old town. There are quite literally hundreds of restaurants and so visitors will never tire of finding somewhere new and exciting to dine. There are traditonal cuisines menu options, seafood restaurants and many places offering fusion dishes so there is something to suit all palets.
Dotted throughout the harbour, old town and higher up in Kalkan are a variety of bars, cocktail bars and bars playing a range of music. There are two larger bars which are more suited for younger guests and have dance floors and selected bars show various sporting events.
For visitors with children there are more than enough children friendly places to visit. For the daytime we recommend both Palm Beach beach club and Kalkan Beach Park as they have facilities to keep children entertained including a water slide (Kalkan Beach Park), trampolines in the sea and pool, table tennis and foosball (Palm beach). In the harbour near the public beach there is playground suited for smaller children with a tea garden adjacent serving hot and cold drink and snacks. A trip to Patara beach is a must for building sand castles or paddling in warmer waters. There are also outdoor activities such as watersports suitable for a range of children’s ages which can be booked from several beach clubs around Kalkan. Favourite organised trips for children are horse riding and quad biking both held at Patara beach. , high chairs at most restaurants but no changing stations in toilets.
Making payments- Exchanging money
We advise guests that it is best to exchange money whilst in Turkey as the rates are favourable compared to other countries. Some banks allow tourists to exchange money and there are many shops around the town that will also exchange either Sterling or Euros, displaying their daily rates on boards outside their premises. Many establishments will accept foreign currency as part of full payment for meals/services. It is good to have some cash as not all places accept cards although the majority do have card machine facilities.
Kalkan is built into the side of a slope with mountains surrounding the town. Given the terrain many of the streets are on hills so visitors are advised to bring good footwear and for any ladies very high heels can be treacherous to wear in some of the cobbled streets in the old town! The local taxi rank sits just above the old town pedestrianised area and they run throughout the daytime and into the night until the early hours every day of the week. There are local buses that run regularly to the nearest town Kaş and the historical area of Patara with it’s world famous beach. Access for visitors with mobility difficulties is limited in many restaurants and beach clubs although there are some venues which have ground floor access in the harbour, old town and further up in the town centre. We can advise guests who have mobility diifficulties and help them to plan meals and activites in suitable venues.