Opulent and somewhat off the beaten track, Kalkan is a unique Turkish Riviera experience. Upon entering the town, the first thing that hits the sense is the wonderful azure sea. The steep decline into the town means that hazy Mediterranean with its small islands are a picture perfect backdrop from nearly all areas. Perhaps the epitome of modern luxury living, Kalkan brings together contemporary lifestyle aspects such as yachting, lounging, and fine dining with historical concern.
Small enough to avoid mass tourism and far enough from an airport not to have travelers simply ambling by, an almost self-contained, sophisticated lifestyle has developed in this previously unknown fishing village. The old town is made up of lovely traditional Kalkan building with bougainvillea hanging on their balconies. The wonderful buildings and small alleyways hint at the history of the town, which was once home to Ottoman Greeks and Turks and was known by the Greek name of Kalamaki. The Greek residents have since left with the small fishing village steadily changing becoming home to bohemian Turks who were allured by the beauty of the harbor and the surrounding landscapes.
Coming to be known as Ottoman Greek architecture, the buildings in the old town are now homes to shops and restaurants. In fact, Kalkan is home to some 100 - 200 restaurants – known to be the highest ratio of restaurants to inhabitants anywhere in Turkey. Eateries and evening drinking spill out onto the rooftops where the chatter and the chiming of cutlery continues until the morning hours.
Venturing away from the main town and you start meeting with ultra-modern villas peering out towards the sea. Here the more recent history of Kalkan becomes starkly clear. Infinity pools and clear glass windows are testament to the brilliant sea views. These new homes are made to worship the wonderful scenery and sunsets.
Location & History
Around a three-hour drive from Antalya airport, or 220km, nearby towns include Kas, with Fethiye in the other direction. Patara is another notable attraction. The wide Patara beach can be found at the end of the ancient town, now an open-air excavation. Patara was once home to the most notable ancient temples, home to the Oracle of Apollo, second only to the oracle of Delphi. The lesser-known Xanthos ruins are also close to Kalkan and was the principle Lycian town at the height of the civilization's rule.
St Nicolas – the Greek Bishop of Myra – famous for his secret gift giving also lived close to modern-day Demre. Quite a distance from the Lapland of the Santa Claus. Although no longer a secret, there are few other areas in Turkey that can match Kalkan’s mystique. Shrouded in history and with brilliant landscapes, Kalkan is one of the most exclusive places on the Turkish Riviera.