Kalkan by night is exciting. The town center transforms at dusk as it begins to bustle with activity – there is much to do: shopping, dining, cafés, excellent bars, or just going for a stroll along the twisting active streets or by the peaceful harbour.
There are plenty of shops in Kalkan, all of which open early in the day and stay open until at least midnight. And unlike other resort towns, shopping in Kalkan is completely hassle-free. An evening spent strolling about the winding streets and alleys while window shopping can be very rewarding as there are so many things to see and buy in the many specialty shops.
You can find almost anything in Kalkan, from carpets to t-shirts and boxes of Turkish Delight and the traditional blue-coloured glass “evil eye” for warding off evil spirits. Gold and silver jewelry is a great buy in Turkey as it is sold by its weight. Lovely antiques, collected selectively from all over Turkey during the winter months, are very attractive as well. Other items include:
intricately-decorated ceramics, hand-blown glass, hand-carved Meerschaum pipes and backgammon sets inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
Enjoy shopping for excellent clothing. Several tailors are ready to make you made-to-measure clothing of excellent Turkish cloth. Affordable boutiques offer high fashion clothing, hand-knit articles and leather goods (for excellent prices). You can even buy that belly dancing costume you’ve always wanted.
Beautiful Turkish kilims (hand-woven rugs) and carpets (traditional knotted rugs) are very beautiful and will last well over a century. Take your time to find the one which fits you perfectly. There is a vast number of types which come from many regions of Turkey with different styles and stories which your salesperson can describe to you in detail. If you can’t afford a carpet or kilim this time, there are also shops which offer lovely high-quality articles made of kilims, such as cushion covers, bags, purses, wallets and slippers.
Prices in Kalkan are very affordable and shopkeepers are happy to accept your foreign currency.
Dining and Drinks:
Kalkan is said to have the highest number of restaurants and bars per inhabitant or per square meter on the Turkish coast. Almost every hotel or pension has its own roof-top or terrace bar serving all kinds of international drinks and cocktails. Kalkan is also renowned for its roof-top restaurants which offer a wonderful view of the town, sea and stars.
There are over forty restaurants in Kalkan offering everything from traditional Turkish meals to international cuisine. Most restaurants offer an open buffet with a large choice of meze (starters) which is followed by fish or grilled meat. The Turkish way of dining is to begin with a selection of three or four starters, followed by the main course, and ending with fruit or dessert plus the famous Turkish coffee (“shekerli” if you like it sweet). Meals can be lingered over for hours in the refreshingly cool evening air, often finishing close to midnight. All prices are displayed near the restaurants entrance except fish which can be subject to bargaining.
Kalkan also has all sorts of bars which give the town an exciting after dinner life. You might choose to listen to a gypsy band while sipping your raki (the strong Turkish aniseed drink) and smoking a hooka while reclining Ottoman-style upon cushions (and maybe getting up for a belly dance or two). There are also jazz bars, other live-music bars, several popular small dancing bars with comfortable seating for non-dancers and two disco bars -one located outside of the center of Kalkan and another open to the public at Pirat Hotel. Because of Kalkans strict codes, a large amount of noise from the bars is avoided, ensuring a peaceful sleep.
Many Kalkan hotels hold special Turkish nights once a week. These are special events and you need not be a guest of the presenting hotel to attend. Delicious Turkish feasts are held on the rooftop terrace or regular terrace under the stars, often with a belly dancing show, live Turkish music and/or regional folk dancing by children’s groups – a very festive night.