Kalkan is a sophisticated historic town at the foot of the awe-inspiring Taurus mountains. There is something in this charming seaside town for everyone. It offers a spectacular range of restaurants serving up high-quality cuisine, is situated close to ancient wonders and is filled with opportunities to enjoy the coast. Whether you prefer kicking back and relaxing on golden sands, getting your adrenaline pumping, or indulging in refined foods and wines, Kalkan is worth the trip.
Kalkan: Your Coastal Base
Kalkan’s location makes it easy to access many tourism hotspots in exchange for chilled traditional Turkey when you return from your daily adventures. In only 25 minutes, you can be in buzzing Kaş with its impressive Greek amphitheatre and intimate winding rustic streets. Alternatively, head to Tlos, one of the principal cities of Lycia, to experience its archaeological sites built into the hillside.
Immerse Yourself into Ancient Lycia
Kalkan is undoubtedly one of the most stunning locations along Turkey’s famous Lycian Way – and it’s steeped in history too. From here, you have an eclectic range of day trips at your disposal to many celebrated Lycian sites, whether you opt to go your way by hiring a car or joining one of the many tours. Distances from Kalkan to these sites range from less than half an hour to around two hours in the car. This charming town is also home to some fine examples of Ottoman Greek architecture.
Get Wet and Wild
Enjoying the great outdoors couldn’t be easier, and there are plenty of options. Saklikent Gorge is the largest canyon in Turkey and one of the deepest canyons in the world – stretching 18km and reaching 200m high in places. Escape the scorching summer heat by jumping into its refreshing waters. If you’re up for an adrenaline surge, why not try canyoning or tubing along the Saklikent River?
The warm sparkling waters of the Turquoise Coast offer the ideal place to scuba dive. For first-timers and experienced divers alike, the dive sites offer a mixture of complex geology, fascinating history and beautiful marine life. You can peek at the archaeological sites few people get to see by diving. Kalkan offers plenty of reefs and islands to discover, but further afield, nearby Kas is one of Turkey’s best diving sites.
For those less adventurous souls who still enjoy nature, why not meander one of the many walking trails surrounding Kalkan? From gentle strolls to full-day hikes, you can experience breathtaking views and a wealth of history at whatever pace you choose.
Relax Surrounded by Old-Town Charm
Kalkan’s long promenade is bustling with chic bars and seafood restaurants to tantalise your tastebuds. After a long day sightseeing – or relaxing along the shores – it’s time to indulge in traditional Turkish wine whilst listening to live music and laughing with new friends. Don’t forget to wander through the traditional old town and lose yourself in the whitewashed houses with cascading bougainvillaea. For something different, drive inland from Kalkan through Bezirgan to Islamlar to feast at one of the famous trout restaurants or drive through the forested Kibris Canyon for a relaxed lunch in Gombe Town Square.
Set Sail on a Traditional Gullet Cruise
You can’t travel to the Turquoise Coast and not travel onboard a Turkish gullet. It won’t take you long to spot one of these traditional wooden yachts that frequent the harbours and are the picture-perfect way to appreciate the dramatic scenery from the water. Head down to Kalkan harbour and join a local excursion – don’t forget your suncream and swimming gear to take a refreshing dip!
Indulge in Retail Therapy – Kalkan Style
While Kalkan’s main town offers many options for shopping and souvenirs to take home to loved ones, there is simply no thrill like a local Turkish market. Every Thursday, Kalkan’s market is not to be missed, where you can try your hand at haggling with the locals. Here you’ll find everything from fruit and vegetables to leather goods and fresh spices. A short drive away is the nearby Kas market every Friday, and it is well worth visiting.
Best Time to Visit Kalkan
Kalkan experiences over 300 days of sunshine a year, so it is warm year-round for those looking to lap up the sunshine. Summer temperatures in the region rarely dip below 25°C. Although great weather can never be guaranteed, June-August is the best time to plan your trip to Kalkan if you’re after summer sunshine.
Where to Stay in Kalkan
Kalkan is filled with boutique hotels that suit every budget and every need. Thanks to the town’s laidback style and historic charm, it is the ideal place for a relaxing romantic break, time with your family or as a base for exploring the region’s fabulous ancient sites. Most accommodation is only a short walk away from Kalkan’s many restaurants, bars and cafes. For sweeping coastal views, it’s recommended to stay close to the waterfront.
Getting to Kalkan
Dalaman is the closest airport to Kalkan at approximately a 1 hour and 30-minute drive. It is an option to also fly to Antalya Airport, but the journey to Kalkan is much longer, at around 3 hours. Depending on your budget, you can rent a car, hire a taxi transfer or jump on a bus from Dalaman via Fethiye.
Kalkan Top Tips
- Treat yourself to a traditional Turkish Hammam massage
- Kickback and relax on magnificent golden sands like Kaputas beach and French Bay
- Get active on land and at sea with stunning scenery at Saklikent National Park and in the ocean along the glistening Turquoise Coast
- Don’t miss Meis Island with its gorgeous blue grotto
- Head to Kalkan’s beach clubs for each access facilities
Kalkan and Turkey’s Turquoise Coast seduce many people to return yearly, so where should you head next?
- Step back in time in Phaselis
- Relax and recuperate in Patara
- Soak up spectacular views along the Turkish Riviera
- Dive into the Sunken City in Kekova
- Experience sumptuous seafood in Bodrum