Clinging to a steep hill of a sweeping bay, with the majestic Taurus Mountains as a backdrop, is the stunningly picturesque coastal town of Kalkan. Part of the province of Antalya, and situated on the South Western Mediterranean, Kalkan is what holiday dreams are made of, and where those who have been mesmerized by the allure of this idyllic paradise go to enjoy its magic year-round. Located between the beautiful resort towns of Kas and Fethiye, access to Kalkan is easy, with frequent buses from either direction. Flights into Dalaman Airport from international destinations mean just a 90-minute journey and you’re there. And being centrally located, it’s an ideal base for holiday makers and residents alike.
Unlike other places in Turkey, Kalkan’s history is relatively short. Originally a fishing village, it was inhabited by Ottoman Greeks and Turks about 150 to 200 years ago and had the Greek name of Kalamaki. It became important as a safe harbor, and from there cargo ships laden with grain, wine, timber and cotton set sail for the far reaches of the Ottoman Empire.
Today, Kalkan is a delightful, eclectic mix of the old and new. It is sophisticated yet charming; modern yet traditional. And it’s at the harbor where it all begins; the heart of this Mediterranean gem. While relaxing at one of the sidewalk cafes or restaurants, soaking up the sun and the atmosphere, you can watch small fishing boats unload their daily catch or the traditional wooden gulets heading out on their trips around the 12 islands dotted in the turquoise water, a contrast to the luxury yachts that anchor there overnight to enjoy a balmy evening of fine food and bars before sailing out again to some secluded cove.
The Old Town is full of the character of the past with its narrow cobbled-stone streets, white-washed houses, terracotta-tiled roofs, wooden window shutters and balconies with cascading pink bougainvillea, whilst other parts of town reflect the epitome of modern luxury living. The best of both worlds is here in Kalkan. Today, in the Old Town, some of those quaint buildings are still homes to families that have lived there since those early days. Others are now chic boutiques, cafes and restaurants, of which there are over 100 to tempt you. As dusk approaches, you are enticed by the aromas emanating from the myriad of eateries on offer, ranging from rooftop dining where you can enjoy the setting sun and atmosphere of the night, alfresco street restaurants, scrumptious seafood restaurants and more.
Holidaymakers in Kalkan are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation, but most are drawn to the Kisla area, where they can indulge themselves in luxurious, waterfront villas, soaking in the breathtaking views of the bay while cooling off in their private pool or lazing the day away in the comfort of their balcony. Even in winter, with the climate being quite mild, Kalkan is an absolute paradise. No wonder many holidaymakers choose to make it home, enjoying the best of both summer and winter.
Komurluk is an exclusive area of Kalkan offering luxury that reflects the Turkish Riviera lifestyle at its best. Nestled on the hill are stunning mansions complete with infinity pools, floor to ceiling windows that allow every inch of the spectacular view into the home and every creature comfort that one could wish for. This is the lifestyle many dream of, but is actually home to many British expats who have made that dream a reality. Another area, Kalamar, offers very stylish beach clubs to be enjoyed by the summertime holidaymakers and, yet higher on the hill, capturing the panoramic vista, is Kiziltas.
There is so much on offer in Kalkan, not to mention beaches and ancient sites. Close to Kalkan is the gorgeous Kaputas Beach, where you can simply relax or maybe snorkel. You may even be lucky enough to see the protected Caretta Turtle which nests there. Or just a short drive from Kalkan is the beautiful, 16 km long, sandy Patara Beach, famous for its windsurfing. And Kalkan is well-known for its scuba diving, with a shipwreck offering an absolute underwater delight. The area, having once been a part of the Lycian Empire, has the famous Lycian Way nearby and the UNESCO heritage sites of Letoon and Xanthos are easily accessed for those wanting to delve further into the history of the area. Then there’s the amazing sunken city of Kekova and the beautiful Saklikent Gorge.
It’s easy to see why Kalkan is such a popular destination for British holidaymakers and even easier to see why they’d choose to make it home. Kalkan has the allure to capture your heart and keep you coming back time and time again.