Where to go from Kalkan?
Kalkan, situated on Turkey’s South Western Mediterranean coast, is a paradise for holiday makers and foreign residents alike, who are only too well aware of the attraction of this luxury resort town. Centrally located between Kas and Fethiye, access is easy, and it makes it an ideal base for nearby day trips or some even a little further afield. So, where to go from Kalkan? There are many fantastic options available with tour companies and, of course, self-drive trips are a great way to go if that’s your preference. But either way, here are just a few ideas to get you going.
One of the most popular day trips is exploring hidden coves and bays by boat. Board your yacht and head out for a day of sun and fun. On board, you’ll enjoy a fabulous lunch, usually grilled fish or Turkish meatballs cooked by your friendly captain, accompanied by scrumptious homemade salads and meze, often prepared and served by his lovely wife. Spend the day swimming or snorkeling (all gear supplied) in the crystal clear, turquoise waters or just laze on deck with a drink and cool ocean breeze. The scenery is stunning, and you’ll have a great day to remember.
A particular boat trip that many visitors choose is to the sunken city of Kekova. In Byzantine times, the small village endured many invasions by marauding pirates, but it was an earthquake that finally saw its demise. Unable to rebuild, the villagers left their homes as they were, collapsed and broken in the waters. There, they largely remain today, submerged but clearly visible. In the past, swimming and scuba were allowed, however, because of looting (seems the village was still at the mercy of pirates even after its disappearance into the sea), today the ruins are only visible by boat or kayak. Some tours offer glass bottom boats which allow for great viewing. The site is only approachable by sea, but you have the option of taking either a boat trip from Kalkan, or a tour that will take you by the scenic road to the village of Ucagiz, where you will then board your boat and head off exploring. After visiting the sunken city, many tours then go on to explore the historic village of Simena, with the remains of a Byzantine castle still standing atop the hill. Amble up the winding path and explore at your leisure. While in Simena, definitely indulge in some of the delicious ice-cream the village is famous for! You’ll also visit the pirate cave in Gokkaya Bay, where pirates once hid while planning their invasions! And of course, there are plenty of opportunities for swimming or snorkeling and a wonderful Turkish lunch is supplied on board.
Heading further afield in the opposite direction from Kalkan, and again, your choice of either taking to the sea or enjoying a road trip, a fabulous day can be spent visiting Fethiye, Oludeniz and Kayakoy. Fethiye is a gorgeous resort town where you can wander the streets and markets, picking up souvenirs and shopping your heart away. Clothing, shoes, bags, ceramics, carpets, whatever you fancy, you will find it here. A short minibus ride will take you to the world-famous beach of Oludeniz. Spectacular scenery, sparkling water, cafes, paragliding, and of course, sun and fun. And to complete the day, head by mini-bus to the ghost town of Kayakoy. Originally built in the 1700’s, it was home to as many as 20,000 residents by the early 20th century, but in the 1920’s, the town was deserted due to political reasons. Today, 350 homes sit eerily empty, along with two Greek churches and the fountains and cisterns that supplied the town with water. Strong winds have left the buildings weathered and roofless and the stone streets have been worn with age making this look like an ancient site, but as a modern ruin it is well worth a visit. You will also recognize it if you’ve seen the fabulous Australian film, ‘The Water Diviner’.
Finally, Saklikent Gorge, approximately 40 km from Kalkan, is a great day trip. Tour operators offer open-top jeep safari tours to the gorge which make for great fun and adventure. On the way, be ready to be ambushed by local kids with water guns, who get great delight from the squeals of the passengers. And at the gorge, there are a range of activities to partake in. Perhaps a nice walk along the wooden platform through the gorge is your style, but for the more adventurous, try canyoning or the exhilaration of white-water rafting.
The area around Kalkan offers the most wonderful sights and experiences. Whether you chose to explore by land or sea, you are guaranteed to have an amazing time and create life-long holiday memories. All tours can be booked in Kalkan or online.