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If you’re looking to treat your family or your better half to a little slice of luxury, then book one of our holidays to Kalkan. Once an idyllic fishing village, this holiday resort is now a mixture of old-school Turkish charm and modern, high-end hotels. Among the narrow streets, you’ll find brightly-decorated shops, cafés, and restaurants. This isn’t the place to find pizzas and burgers: the tavernas and restaurants here serve traditional Turkish cuisine, although they’ll make something simpler for confused-looking holidaymakers! History buffs can spend some time visiting some of the finest Roman ruins in the region, while if you’ve got a taste for adventure you can go kite-surfing, quad-bike across the sands, horse-riding at sunset, take boat trips along the coast, or wallow in a rejuvenating mud-bath at the nearby springs. However, if your idea of downtime is to park yourself on a sun lounger and catch some rays, Kalkan is blessed with some of the best beaches around!
The summer months get extremely hot, with temperatures in the thirties. If you prefer cooler conditions, book your holidays to Kalkan in the spring or autumn.
Approximately four hours
Flights here land at Dalaman Airport, which is about 122km from the resort.
Book your holiday to Kalkan with Thomas Cook to experience the Roman remains of Xanthos and tasty Turkish cuisine in the yacht-filled harbour.
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
The best place to get your bearings is on the picturesque waterfront. There, you’ll find some laid-back bars and rustic restaurants in which to enjoy a cheeky drink or a leisurely lunch. If the sapphire-coloured sea takes your fancy, make for the marina, where you can hop aboard a coastal cruise. Anyone with even the faintest interest in history should visit some of the area’s historical sites. Xanthos boasts a superbly preserved Roman amphitheatre, alongside some imposing tombs and a Byzantine street. Alternatively, lose yourself in the markets in the Old Town and hunt out some treasures of your own.
To take a trip into the region’s past, make some time to visit Xanthos. Once the capital of Lycia, the dusty, ragged remains of fallen civilisations are atmospheric and fascinating. You’ll find a magnificent Roman amphitheatre, the remains of a temple dedicated to Artemis, a Byzantine Basilica, and a range of vast tombs. Look out for the Xanthian Obelisk and the oddly-named ‘Happy Tomb’. However, with shopping and haggling almost being a national pastime, you can easily spend a day rummaging the markets in the Old Town. Many of the shops stay open until midnight, so you can turn your evening into a bargain-hunting expedition.
The main attraction here is the harbour. Lined with quiet bars and family-friendly restaurants, it’s the perfect place to watch the boats and yachts bob their way to and from land. If you’ve found your sea-legs, the harbour is where you’ll find boat excursions and you could find yourself setting sail for Xanthos or cruising along the coast. By night, the harbour is the hub for Kalkan’s nightlife, where you’ll see locals focussed on games of backgammon, over steaming cups of strong coffee. If you feel it’s time to kick up your heels, listen for the sound of live music coming from one of the local watering holes.
Kalkan is loved for its cosmopolitan nightlife scene, with a buzzing promenade filled with lively bars and Mediterranean seafood restaurants. Rooftop bars in the downtown area are a favourite setting for enjoying drinks in the warm evenings, while the harbour front and yacht club are the places to go for chic wine bars and upmarket restaurants. Ideal for foodies and visitors who want a real taste of Turkey, Kalkan is the perfect place to nibble at mezes, fragrant lamb tandir, and slow-cooked guvek.
Couples: Still sporting much of its original character, Kalkan is a tangle of whitewashed, narrow streets, and boasts a sun-soaked marina lined with intimate restaurants and beautiful scenery: all the ingredients for a romantic getaway.
Night owls: On top of a selection of superb restaurants and bars, most of Kalkan’s shops stay open until midnight, so you can indulge in some late-night haggling. Don’t expect rowdy clubs: the locals prefer the sound of live gypsy bands, rather than thumping techno.
Sightseers: Situated an easy distance from Patara and Xanthos, Kalkan is the gateway to Lycia’s fascinating remains.
Language: The language spoken here is Turkish, while the locals speak some English, a phrasebook or an app is a good idea especially if you’re sightseeing away from the usual tourist spots.
Currency: You’ll need to exchange your Sterling for Turkish Lira, before jetting off on your holidays to Kalkan.
Local time: This destination is two hours ahead of GMT/UK time
Fly to: Dalaman Airport is about two and three-quarter hours’ drive from the resort
Flight time from UK: Approximately four hours
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Kalkan. Apply for your Turkish visa online at https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/
Temperature: Summer average of 25-28°C
Best time to visit: April and May are popular for more comfortable temperatures. Summers get very hot here, with temperatures peaking in the low thirties. While this might be ideal for sunseekers, if you want to get some sightseeing done and would prefer things a little cooler, book your break between March and May or in the autumn, between September and November.
By dolmus: The local mini buses in Turkey are called dolmuses, and are a very handy and cheap way of getting around resorts. Dolmuses leave from the main square and head to the coast and local places of interest.
By bus: Buses are generally used for longer journeys, and are a good option for day trips and excursions if you don’t want to drive. There’s a bus ticket office in the main square.
By car: There are plenty of car hire companies available on your Kalkan holiday, especially at Dalaman Airport. Prices are competitive and car hire is ideal for visitors wanting the freedom to travel on their own time.
For water babies: The first of July sees the Festival of the Sea soaking Kalkan to the bone! What begins as a memorial ceremony to those who’ve lost their lives at sea, erupts into a celebration that anyone can take part in. Expect swimming races, kayaking competitions, and even a contest to see who can walk a plank that’s been covered in olive oil!
For culture vultures: At the end of June, nearby Kas holds the International Lycian Culture and Arts Festival. Around 30 minutes’ drive from here, the festival is a three-day event featuring an opening parade and performances, exhibitions, and concerts, plus lots of food in the city’s squares and venues.