Kalkan, Dalaman Region, Turkey
The historic town of Kalkan is located along Turkey's gorgeous Lycian Coast. Without the mass tourism, Kalkan remains a charming and unspoiled location, crystal clear sea, and warm traditional Turkish hospitality.
Kalkan has a pebble beach and two beach clubs with restaurants, watersports and bathing areas. Within 10 mins drive in either direction are two sandy beaches; Kaputas beach is a small sandy cove (accessed by steep steps) and the long Patara beach which stretches for some 12km.
The transfer time from Dalaman Airport is approx 2 hours.
The main beach is a pebbly beach and it is situated to the east of the harbour. The beach has been awarded a Blue Flag so you can be assured that it is safe and clean. The water does drop off close to the shore so it may not be ideal for young children. There are sunloungers and umbrellas for hire and many cafes nearby for refreshments.
If you prefer sandy beaches, you will find Kaputas Beach which is just 10 minutes by dolmus from Kalkan. The sandy cove sits at the bottom of a striking mountain gorge and doesn't get too crowded. Umbrellas can be hired and you may be able to buy drinks and snacks form some of the locals. The beach is accessible via quite a few steps
There are lots of beach clubs in the area which are basically 'rock gardens' that have been cut into the hillside with direct access to the sea for swimming and water sports. There is plenty of space for sunbathing with sun loungers and umbrellas for hire. There are also restaurant facilities available for those looking for a light snack or an evening meal.
Things to Do
If you like keeping active, then there is plenty to keep you occupied here. There are plenty of dive boats that will take you to some of the best dive sites in the area. You can hire all the equipment and you will be able to get lessons if you are new to the sport.
The area is also well known for paragliding and if it's not something you fancy doing on your own, you can always do a tandem jump with someone with a little more experience.
For anyone who enjoys walking, there is the Lycian Way which has been ranked as one of the top 10 walks in the world. There is over 500km of fantastic scenery and goes from Fethiye to Antalya. Part of the route skirts Kalkan and is well worth spending some time walking and exploring.
If you prefer to take it easy, you could just hop on board one of the many tour boats and relax at sea for the day. The boats do stop at secluded coves if you fancy a swim or a spot of snorkelling.
Out and About
There are shops a plenty in Kalkan, from carpets to jewellery, you will find it here. Although there are plenty of shops selling a variety of goods, there is also a market day each Thursday, where you will be spoilt for choice. Lots of the shops open early and stay open until midnight.
There are over 40 restaurants in Kalkan so getting something you fancy will not be a problem. Many of these restaurants are situated on roof tops so you can enjoy some great views whilst eating dinner. Fish is very popular in the restaurants but there is also a variety of traditional Turkish and international cuisine too.
Most of the hotels have rooftop bars, there are also jazz bars and other live music bars so there are plenty of places to enjoy a drink of raki (Turkish aniseed drink). There are a couple of disco bars too. Kalkan has strict rules about noise from bars so don't expect to be partying into the small hours.
There is plenty to see in terms of ruins and remains, such as the old Lycian capital, Xanthos which is approx 21km from Kalkan. Xanthos was buried under an earthquake and is still being excavated today. There are ruins of the amphitheatre and the church and several monuments so it is certainly an interesting day out.
Some more remains can be seen at Letoon which is approx 25km away from Kalkan.
For a more relaxing day trip, venture to Saklikent which is home to the rushing torrent of Xanthos River which has carved itself into the rock. You can enter the gorge with the help of a guide and a rope but you will get wet. You can also venture down the river on a tube and using a paddle. The river is quite shallow and it is a great way to pass the time of day, with rides lasting from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
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