As a travel blogger, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting numerous picturesque destinations, but few have captivated my heart, like Kalkan. This enchanting Mediterranean town, nestled along the Turkish Riviera, is a treasure trove of history, natural beauty, and gastronomic delights. Join me as we embark on a virtual tour through Kalkan, discovering its fascinating sites, indulging in mouthwatering cuisine, and experiencing the warmth of its hospitality.
Strolling through the Old Town
Step back in time as you wander through the charming narrow streets of Kalkan’s Old Town, adorned with traditional Ottoman and Greek architecture. The vibrant bougainvillea-laden houses and quaint cafés create a nostalgic and inviting ambiance.
Delve deeper into the heart of Kalkan Old Town, and you’ll find an array of boutique shops offering a delightful assortment of local handicrafts, unique souvenirs, and exquisite textiles. Lose yourself amidst the treasure trove of colorful rugs, intricate ceramics, and intricately designed jewelry, each piece reflecting the region’s rich cultural tapestry.
Visit Kalkan Harbor
Spend some time at the picturesque harbor, lined with colorful fishing boats. Enjoy the stunning views, relax at one of the waterfront cafes, or take a boat trip to explore the islands and secluded bays. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil walk or a vibrant spot for people-watching, the Old Town and Harbor won’t disappoint.
Engage in Watersports
Try various watersports available in Kalkan, such as jet skiing, parasailing, paddleboarding, and scuba diving. The clear waters and underwater caves make it an excellent destination for diving enthusiasts.
Unveiling the Sunken City of Kekova
One of the most awe-inspiring experiences in Kalkan is visiting the Sunken City of Kekova, an ancient Lycian settlement submerged beneath crystal-clear waters. Accessible by boat tours departing from Kalkan harbor, this archaeological wonder offers a glimpse into the past. Explore the remnants of ancient walls, staircases, and even submerged houses as you snorkel or dive among the ruins. The hours of operation for boat tours vary, but they are generally available during daylight hours.
Admission prices also vary depending on the tour operator. Check TripAdvisor for incredible options and reviews.
Swim at Kaputaş Beach
Head to Kaputaş Beach, a beautiful sandy beach located a short distance from Kalkan. Surrounded by cliffs, it offers crystal-clear turquoise waters and is a perfect spot for sunbathing and swimming.
As you descend the steep steps leading to the beach, you are immersed in the stunning sight that unfolds before you. Nestled between towering cliffs, this hidden gem of the Turkish Riviera boasts a captivating blend of natural beauty and tranquility.
- Admission: Entrance to the beach is free, but if you wish to rent beach lounge chairs, it is 50 TL pp.
Discover Patara Beach and Ancient City
Patara Beach, one of the longest sandy beaches in Turkey, is located near Kalkan. Enjoy the pristine sands, swim in the clear sea, and explore the nearby ruins of the ancient city of Patara, the remnants of a once thriving Lycian civilization, including the well-preserved amphitheater.
- Admission: To the Ancient City, it is 90TL (nonTurkish pp); Beach Fee is 50TL daily to use lounge chairs.
Visit Saklıkent Gorge
Embark on an adventure to “Saklikent” Gorge, meaning “Hidden City,” a stunning natural wonder located about an hour’s drive from Kalkan. Trek through the gorge, wade through icy waters and enjoy the dramatic scenery. This hidden gem is nestled among the Taurus Mountains, created by the flowing waters of the Esen River, which carved its way through the limestone rocks over thousands of years.
In addition to the scenic views, the park offers wooden walkways and bridges along with cafes and restaurants near the entrance for visitors to enjoy a full day at the gorge.
- Wear rubber sole water shoes
- Bring sunscreen and a hat
- Hours: 9:00 AM – 7:30 PM daily
- Admission: 30TL pp (plus a parking fee if you park your car). (Museum card does not apply)
Explore Xanthos and Letoon
Take a day trip to the nearby ancient cities of Xanthos and Letoon, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Marvel at the well-preserved ruins, including ancient theaters, temples, and Roman baths, and learn about the region’s rich history.
- Hours: 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM (same schedule for both sites)
- Admission: 50 TL to each ancient city.
WHERE TO EAT
Kalkan is renowned for its delectable culinary scene, offering various restaurants catering to every palate. Here are three highly recommended dining establishments that capture the essence of Kalkan:
- Located in the heart of the Old Town, Aubergine Restaurant offers a charming atmosphere with its courtyard adorned with fairy lights and a soothing ambiance. Their menu showcases a fusion of traditional Turkish and Mediterranean flavors, focusing on fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients. From succulent grilled fish to mouthwatering mezes, Aubergine Restaurant is a gastronomic delight not to be missed.
- Situated right by the harbor, Kalamaki Restaurant presents a stunning setting with panoramic sea views. This family-run establishment specializes in grilled meat dishes, including succulent lamb kebabs and tender marinated chicken. Their menu also features an array of vegetarian options, such as stuffed peppers and grilled halloumi cheese. With its relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, Kalamaki is perfect for a leisurely dinner while enjoying the mesmerizing sunset.
- Perched on a hilltop overlooking the town, Gourmet Terrace Restaurant offers a magical dining experience with breathtaking vistas. As the name suggests, this eatery prides itself on gourmet cuisine, skillfully blending local ingredients with innovative techniques. Their menu caters to discerning palates, from mouthwatering seafood dishes to tender steaks. Pair your meal with a fine Turkish wine or indulge in one of their delectable desserts, all while basking in the romantic atmosphere under the starlit sky.
WHERE TO STAY
When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay in Kalkan, you’ll be spoiled for a choice with a range of exquisite hotels that cater to different tastes and preferences. Here are three remarkable accommodations that will make your visit to Kalkan genuinely memorable.
Soothe Hotel Website: www.soothehotel.com Price Range: $$-$$$
- If you’re seeking a serene and tranquil retreat, look no further than Soothe Hotel. Nestled amidst lush greenery, this boutique hotel offers a peaceful sanctuary away from the bustling town center. The rooms are elegantly designed, exuding a sense of calm with their minimalist decor and earthy tones. Each room features modern amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay. The Hotel also boasts a stunning infinity pool where you can unwind while enjoying panoramic Mediterranean sea views. Soothe Hotel offers a range of room options to suit different budgets, with prices typically falling within the mid-range category. For more information and to make reservations, visit their website at www.soothehotel.com.
Harbor View Hotel Price Range: $$$
- For those seeking a blend of luxury and convenience, the Harbor View Hotel is an excellent choice. This boutique hotel is situated right by the harbor and offers breathtaking views of the sparkling turquoise waters and the picturesque Kalkan Bay. The elegantly appointed rooms are adorned with modern amenities and tasteful decor, providing a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. Guests can indulge in the Hotel’s rooftop terrace, complete with a bar, where they can savor delicious cocktails while enjoying the mesmerizing sunset. The Harbor View Hotel falls within the higher price range, reflecting its premium location and upscale amenities.
Old Town Hotel Price Range: $
- For budget-conscious travelers who don’t want to compromise on comfort and style, the Old Town Hotel is a fantastic option. Located in the heart of Kalkan’s Old Town, this charming Hotel offers a warm and inviting atmosphere. The rooms are tastefully decorated, featuring traditional Turkish accents and modern conveniences. The Hotel’s beautiful courtyard, adorned with olive trees and vibrant flowers, creates a serene setting for relaxation. Guests can also enjoy the rooftop terrace with stunning views over the town and the sea. The Old Town Hotel offers affordable rates, making it an excellent choice for travelers seeking cozy and budget-friendly accommodation.
Immersing yourself in Kalkan’s rich history, savoring its culinary delights, and embracing the warm hospitality will undoubtedly create unforgettable memories.
Enjoy your travels! Please read my blogs about other exciting places around the world at Traveling Lens Photography.