Kalkan Life...

Kalkan is a small Mediterranean resort known as the Beverley Hills of the Turquoise Coast.

Kalkan Weather

Cobbled streets wind down to the small harbour where visiting yachts lie at anchor and gulets line up to take visitors out to Snake or Mouse islands which appear to float on the crystal clear water.

Kalkan is a small town with a cosy intimate feel about it, the visitors return year after year, and many have purchased properties and built new lives there, enjoying at least 300 days of sunshine and far away from the pressure of the outside world.

Kalkan is unlike other resort towns in that the main economy is derived from tourism and much pride and energy is put into the welcome given to visitors and foreign residents. Preservation of historic buildings is given priority and because of this Kalkan has retained its ‘olde worlde’ character alongside economic movement towards western influences.


The narrow cobbled streets are alive with colour, from bougainvillea draped over Ottoman balconies to the hand crafted bowls and kilims on sale in the small shops.

For such a small town there is plenty to do. Your holiday, or your lifestyle can be as busy or as laid back as you choose. Start your day with a typical Turkish breakfast on the terrace of your hotel, villa or apartment, or in one of the many harbour side restaurants and watch the fishermen bring in their catches and the day trippers go out on the gullets..




Spend the day on Kalkan beach or at one of the beach clubs where you can be served cocktails as you sunbathe. Maybe you prefer a more active time – and there is plenty to choose from, scuba diving, jet-skiing, horse riding, para gliding and much more. After a few days of relaxation you may want to visit one of the many famous sites within a short distance of Kalkan, click to see a few of the places you may visit.

When darkness falls Kalkan comes to life in a different way, the different aromas of dishes being served by the many restaurants fill the air, the sound of laughter and music invigorate after a long lazy day..


Kalkan has the highest number of restaurants per square metre on the Turkish coast, and all offer their own brand of welcome. Eat the traditional way, sitting on kilims or cushions eating traditional Turkish dishes, or dine under the splendour of the starlit sky on one of the beautiful terrace restaurants.

Whatever you do in Kalkan you will find the warmest welcome you have ever received, Turkish hospitality is not exaggerated. Rest assured you will not only visit the once the majority of visitors return time and time again because they cannot get enough of the jewel that is Kalkan.



On a beautiful day in the middle of the winter it is a pleasure to walk on the hillsides overlooking the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean, basking in the sun and enjoying the perfume of thyme, laurel, and sage arising from the "maquis". On such a day it is not rare for the temperature to reach 20°-22°C. (70°F) This temperature climate is the reason for a non-stop agricultural season which keeps the farmers busy the whole year round with an average of 300 days of sun per year.


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Turquoise delights on the Lycian coast

By Cindy Blake, Daily Mail, 23rd June 2008

National stereotypes often turn out to be true. Germans do get up at dawn to bag the best poolside sunbeds, Americans do talk too loudly and wear neon nylon, and the Dutch do have a penchant for invading campsites en masse and running around naked. And the Turks? They're unfriendly and serve up inedible food. Well, I go along with all of those - except the one about the Turks. It couldn't be more wrong. If you visit the Turquoise Coast in southwest Turkey, I guarantee you'll meet warm, friendly, loquacious people and eat spectacularly well. In fact, I was so impressed by the local cuisine, I signed up for a Turkish cooking course. The Turquoise Coast runs from Bodrum in the north to the city of Antalya in the south, a spectacular stretch of coastline, once the home of the Greek Lycian civilisation. Two-thirds of the way to Antalya, and a two-hour drive from Dalaman airport, is the harbour town of Kalkan, fronting the sea and flanked by the Taurus mountains. When I arrived on the terrace of the Villa Mahal, a boutique hotel just outside Kalkan, the sun was setting behind the mountains across the bay. On my left, two small islands loomed in the distance, stepping stones on the way to an endless horizon. To my right, Kalkan sat in the lap of hills, its harbour full of fishing boats and gulets - traditional wooden Turkish sailing boats.

Everywhere beneath and beyond me the water was sparkling - shimmering pockets of emerald green mixing with the darker blue to produce that gorgeous turquoise. Nature isn't just showing off here, it's positively boasting. Murat Tolbas, his wife Sebnam and sister Ipek, who own and run the Villa Mahal, welcome their guests with genuine warmth. Twenty-two years ago, when Murat came to Kalkan, it was a small fishing village with two small hotels and a couple of restaurants. The family bought land in the hills outside town and built four rooms for themselves. They have since expanded into a 13-room hotel. Each bedroom faces the sea, and there is an infinity pool halfway down the 181 steps which lead from the terrace to the waterfront; steps which are a killer on the calf muscles, but good training for would-be hikers.

The Mahal is not a generic boutique: it has a distinctly Turkish feel to it and blends into the surroundings discreetly. 'In Turkey, we think that small is good,' Murat told me. 'And everything we do comes from the heart. We don't just care about the hotel, we care about preserving the beauty of the area and of Kalkan.'

Kalkan isn't a little fishing village any more. There are more than 200 restaurants, most of them on rooftops. During the day and late into the night - shops stay open until midnight - tourists wander the streets checking out the bars, restaurants and shops. Unfriendly? A fellow guest at the Mahal, Andrew, was looking for a white linen shirt in Kalkan, but couldn't find what he wanted. He and his wife, Anna, went into a shop selling household goods and spotted that the owner was wearing exactly the shirt Andrew had been coveting. Jokingly, Anna suggested to him that they buy his - he and Andrew were about the same size. After they'd bought a tablecloth and a towel, they were amazed to see the man unbutton his shirt, take it off and hand it to Andrew - for free.

That evening I joined Andrew and Anna for dinner at Ibo, one of the rooftop restaurants. He wasn't wearing the shirt - it fitted, but needed a wash. They, too, had been unsure about the cuisine before they arrived, but were delighted with the dinner at Ibo. We shared a platter of tasty meze, a yogurt steak kebab and grilled prawns. With a decent bottle of wine, the meal for three came to around £70. I had heard that Gurus, a restaurant up in the hills between Kalkan and the next coastal town, Kas, was offering traditional Turkish cooking courses on Wednesday and Friday mornings at £11 per person. Anna decided to come with me to see if a more rural restaurant would offer the same high quality of food or be a contender for a Turkish version of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. The atmosphere at Gurus is informal and rustic. Hussein, the manager, is a bubbly, energetic 27-year-old. It's a family affair: his father greets guests from his wheelchair; his mother, sister and aunts all cook. We took off our shoes, donned aprons and headscarves and gathered in the tiny, spotless kitchen at the back.

Hussein translated as his sister taught us how to cook stuffed aubergine and a side dish of bulgar wheat with vegetables. We helped by chopping up ingredients: everything was fresh, almost all of it from their garden. After our lesson was over, we sat at one of the outdoor tables, ate the meal we'd just cooked and posed for photographs that Hussein took to record the event. On the drive back to Kalkan, I asked him if he thought Turkey should join the EU. 'No - too many silly rules,' he said, before smiling and adding: 'But I think the EU wants to join Turkey. I don't blame them.' It's not just food, views, sun and shopping: there are impressive Greek ruins at Xanthos, a 20-minute drive from Kalkan. Now a United World Heritage Site, Xanthos was the capital of Lycia when the Greeks inhabited this area, and dates to the 4th century BC.

The site at Xanthos includes a remarkably well-preserved amphitheatre, the Harpies Tomb, Basilica and many sacrophagi. There are other historical archealogical sites further afield. For the intrepid, there is white-water-rafting in the impressive Saklikent Gorge, 40 minutes away, and para-gliding at Olu Deniz, an hour's drive. All-day Jeep safaris up in the Taurus mountains are also on offer. Patara Beach, a 15-minute drive from Kalkan, is a 71/2-mile stretch of white sand, unspoilt by buildings or hotels. Renting an umbrella and sun-lounger costs ten Turkish lira, approximately £4.

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