About Kalkan Turkey – What Makes Kalkan Special
Kalkan is a place to fall in love with …
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 town, Kalkan appeals to travelers 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.”
Because of its great charm, Kalkan has a growing number of perennial visitors who say the town is the only holiday destination they would choose to visit repeatedly. There is simply no other town quite like Kalkan along Turkey’s coast.
Kalkan curls snuggly around a historic harbour sheltered at the foot of the towering Taurus Mountains. (Read more about the geography of the region at our Lycia website here) The town overlooks a beautiful bay in which islands seem to magically float upon the shimmering sea.
Narrow streets twist down to the harbour, lined with old whitewashed villas with shuttered windows 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.
Why is Kalkan so special?
Not only is Kalkan beautiful, but unlike other Turkish coastal resort towns Kalkan’s main economy is tourism and therefore its citizens put much pride and effort into the town’s historic preservation. Because of this, Kalkan has retained the texture of its history by protecting its distinctive Ottoman Greek 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 of Kalkan contribute to the special atmosphere within Kalkan. Good dining has always been the way of life in Kalkan and continues today. In fact, Kalkan is said to have the highest number of restaurants and bars per inhabitant or 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.
There is lots to do during the day and 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.
The people of Kalkan warmly welcome you, and you may at first be surprised by the universal friendliness within the town. This, along with warm Turkish hospitality is the basis of life here and the people of Kalkan sincerely enjoy getting to know their guests. So don’t hesitate to accept one of the many tulip-shaped glasses of çay (tea) you will be offered while you amble along Kalkan’s winding streets. You won’t be hassled while you are a guest of Kalkan – the town is hassle-free and is proud to be so. You will find a mixed population here, consisting of locals, some Istanbul Turks and Turks from other cities who have made Kalkan their home and own small businesses, as well as a small number of well-educated foreigners who have settled in the town.
So, “Hoş Geldiniz!” – we extend a warm welcome to you from Kalkan and look forward to meeting you soon…
Some general views of Kalkan
For many more photos of Kalkan and the surrounding area, see our Photo Galleries Page.