A small peaceful Mediterranean resort and fishing town on the beautiful Turquoise Coast of Turkey, Kalkan has not been touched by mass tourism.
More sophisticated than the usual resort towns in Turkey, Kalkan appeals to travellers looking for more than a “sun and sea” holiday. According to the Sunday Times, Kalkan attracts the kind of visitor who would also enjoy Tuscany or the Dordogne. The Guardian likens the town to “the Italian Riviera minus the poseurs.” The Independent listed Kalkan among the best tourist destinations in 2007. There is simply no other place quite like Kalkan along Turkey’s coast.
The village travels down the contours of the Taurus Mountains and finishes at the historic harbour, with uninhabited islands that nestle in the protected bay framing any view.
Within the old town, narrow streets twist down to the harbour, lined with old whitewashed shuttered properties, situated alongside small local specialty shops and restaurants in historic buildings. Overhead hang original carved Ottoman Greek timber balconies garlanded with thick masses of brilliantly coloured bougainvillea cascading to the streets below. It is a very special place with a unique atmosphere.
Not only is Kalkan beautiful, but unlike other Turkish coastal resorts Kalkan’s main economy is tourism and therefore its citizens put much pride and effort into the history of the village. Because of this, Kalkan has retained the texture of its history by protecting its distinctive architecture, (it was once an Ottoman Greek and Turkish fishing village). Very strict building codes keep the town small and architecturally blended with the historic heart of the town known as “Old Kalkan”.
Besides the famous “Kalkan Style” historic architecture, the many excellent restaurants contribute to the special atmosphere within Kalkan. Good dining has always been the way of life in here and continues today, in fact, it is said to have the highest number of restaurants and bars per square meter on the Turkish coast (over 100 of them!). Additionally, Kalkan is especially renowned in Turkey for its numerous roof terrace restaurants and bars which offer a wonderful view of the town, sea and stars. It’s also nice to sit at one of the many fine harbour-side restaurants and watch the pleasure boats and fishermen leave early in the morning as you eat your breakfast, or see the fishing boats return with the day’s catch in the evening.
During the day you can either explore the local historical sites or relax at a beach club, in your hotel or at your villa/apartment. As the sun goes down, enjoy a cocktail and watch the sky turn from blue to oranges and pinks. The nightlife is fun, but laid-back. You won’t find noisy, wild nightlife here, like in some other coastal resorts.
Kalkan has many fine qualities, but without a doubt, it is the people of Kalkan who make the town extra special.