Around Kalkan


The historic town of Kalkan is an enchanting place and one of the most beautiful locations along Turkey's gorgeous Lycian Coast. With the absence of mass tourism, Kalkan remains a charming and unspoiled haven of lush nature, brilliant blue crystal-clear sea, historic architecture, ancient history and warm traditional Turkish hospitality. There are many guests finding Kalkan so enchanting that they return year after year but for those who have not yet discovered Kalkan , please browse our site to find the accommodation best suited to you!

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.

 
SHOPPING
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.
 

Thursday Market
Weekly market. Kalkan market is held on a Thursday and is located slightly up the hill to the left of the roundabout , traders set up there stalls around 8am and continue until dusk. You will find an extra ordinary selection of fruit and vegetables,cheeses,honey,olives,spices and much more. As well as traditional fabrics, there is  also a whole range of t’shirts,jeans and bags.

 
Banks and Post Office
Post Office is in the centre of Kalkan (see map) and is open from 09.00 until 17.00  Money can be changed here.
Banks- there are 5 banks in Kalkan  all around and to the left of the roundabout ,all change Money and have cashpoint machines.
 

Getting around
Dolmus /Buses Dolmus run from the centre of the village opposite the taxi rank to Patara and Kaputas. For the bigger buses that go to nearby towns like Kas and Fethiye you need to go the bus station at the top of the village (left at the roundabout and up the hill). Dolmus also run from the bus station but it is generally more convenient to use the dolmus stop in the village centre for the beaches.

Taxis are available from the centre of the village and  are calculated by a distance metred rate.

 
KAPUTAS BEACH
Kalkan has a lovely local pebble beach just to the east of the harbour but if you fancy a change it’s worth making the effort to take the 10 minute dolmus trip round to Kaputas beach which is a gorgeous if somewhat busy sandy cove at the foot of a mountain gorge. It’s only 150m long and the only way up and down is via a considerable number of steps. There are loungers, sun umbrellas and a cafe. The sea here is a brilliant shade of azure blue with bright turquoise shallows at the water’s edge.
 
PATARA BEACH
Patara beach is stunning and makes an enjoyable visit as well as the nearby ancient site of Patara, with its gorgeous landscape and great swimming.  Part of a national park, it is a key biodiversity area, rich in birdlife and the breeding ground of the endangered loggerhead turtle (caretta caretta).  Luckily the beach has been declared off-limits for development because of the turtles, they are nearing extinction and protection of their nesting sites on the Turkish coast is very important.  The beach is closed after sunset from May to October to give the turtles peace in which to lay their eggs as it is the second most important turtle nesting beach in Turkey.
 

SIDYMA (review submitted by guest)
Sidyma is a less frequented site - . Its a scenic winding journey over mountain roads - perhaps what puts many off. The road has been improved in recent years, the last section is still a dirt track but quite passable in the car.
The village encompasses part of the long distance hiking path - The Lycian way. We parked in the main square amongst the trees, wondering where to go but soon a lady from the village greeted us and showed us the main ruins of the area - I doubt we would have known where to look without her - she took us over stones walls and fields to proudly show us the ancient relics. Note the double tomb of a father and son, one of the occupants was a court physician honoured by the emperors. Sidyma is totally unspoilt, a rare chance to see a Lycian site much like those seen by the first European explorers. The village of Dodurga has been charmingly built among the remains too incorporating pillars as props in some places. The village mosque has been made out of the stones too and look out for the inscription on its back wall referring to the deities Xanthos was one of the six principal cities of Lycia - the capital city of Lycia for much of its history too - so this site within easy reach of Kalkan (by trip or Dolmus) is a definite must. It is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Turkey and hence has been registered in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Lots of info on the web site but of note are the pilar tombs (unique to Lycia) and the Harpy column tomb with frieze - original in the British museum thank to the site's discover, Charles Fellows. I really must have a visit there next time in London to see the best artifacts such as the Nereid Monument, a very large and elaborate Lycian tomb dating from about 380 BC.

The "Harpy Tomb" is so called as it was believed that the winged women figures in the frieze were harpies (monsters from Greek mythology with the head of a woman and the body of a bird).
As well as many tombs there is also an Amphitheatre, dating from the 2nd century AD, recently excavated street, once lined with shops on both sides and probably once spanned by an arched gate. At the south-east of the excavated road are the remains of an arcade of shops and a Byzantine Basilica - so plenty to see here.

 
SAKLIKENT GORGE
Saklikent Gorge is the second-largest (20 km-long) gorge in Europe, the longest and deepest gorge in Turkey and always a popular excursion - open from the April 1 to September 30. Again much more touristic now but the fee is still ridiculously cheap . The shape of the rocks and the high cliffs is an amazing sight. and parts are so narrow you have to squeeze over large boulders. Afterwards there are lovely restaurants with Turkish seating over the river - a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a meal. Boards over the water take you so far - then you have to cross the water - knee deep and fast flowing. Wear swim shoes - these can be hired if you don't have any. Any problems and willing hands will help you - for a small fee of course !
 
TLOS
Tlos was one of the most powerful cities of the six principal cities of Lycia. Its situated on the east side of the Xanthos valley, and is dominated by its acropolis. - you can see how several of these sites can be linked to form a good days tour and is easily combined with a stop at Patara beach.
Suggest you climb to the top of the fortress, looking at the many tombs that are honeycombed in the rock beneath it to enjoy the scenic view from the top which gives you an overview of the site - its fairly spread out so a bit of walking is involved.
Things to see in Tlos are:
Acropolis Hill
Tomb of Bellerophon' - a large temple-type tomb with an unfinished façade featuring a relief in its porch of the legendary (from Greek myth) hero Bellerophon riding Pegasus, the winged horse.
Stadium - located just under the acropolis hill
Market Hall - running parallel to the stadium
Baths - Tlos has two baths. The smaller stands right next to the larger bath (to its north).
Roman amphitheatre letoon is another important site near to and closely linked with Xanthos. Letoon was the sacred cult centre of Lycia, its most important sanctuary, and was dedicated to the three national deities of Lycia - Leto and her twin children Apollo and Artemis. Most is submerged in swamp nowadays so not as much to see as Xanthos but still worth seeing whilst in the area - entrance fee applies.
Main features are the three temples located side by side in the centre of the site, a Nymphaeum - south west of the temples - connected to a sacred spring, full of terrapins and frogs some say to be the unfortunate Shepard's transformed by Leto’s vengeance! Also remains of a Byzantine church with a restored mosaic and an amphitheatre.
 
LETOON
Letoon is another important site near to and closely linked with Xanthos. Letoon was the sacred cult centre of Lycia, its most important sanctuary, and was dedicated to the three national deities of Lycia - Leto and her twin children Apollo and Artemis. Most is submerged in swamp nowadays so not as much to see as Xanthos but still worth seeing whilst in the area - entrance fee applies.
Main features are the three temples located side by side in the centre of the site, a Nymphaeum - south west of the temples - connected to a sacred spring, full of terrapins and frogs some say to be the unfortunate Shepard's transformed by Leto’s vengeance! Also remains of a Byzantine church with a restored mosaic and an amphitheatre.
 
PLATEAU OF BEZIRGAN
Bezirgan is some 17km away from kalkan - up above on a mountain plateau, far removed from the environment of the fishing village. Its an authentic working Turkish village - residents continue to follow the pattern of their ancestors, spending summers in the coolness of the mountains and winters near the warm coast. The village is nestled on an ancient lake bed of rich soil which supports a luxurious coat of fertile fields yielding grains and chickpeas, lush orchards and grazing land for sheep and goats - the patchwork quilt appearance best appreciated from the road as you approach Bezirgan. In the south west corner of the village is a large cluster of ambars. These are traditional wooden grain storehouses. They share many characteristics with Lycian rock-cut house-type tombs and may be a last vestige of Lycian house construction method
 
OTHER EXCURSIONS
For help on car hire,booking boat trips or canoeing trips on Xanthos river please contact us by e mail and we will organise for someone to visit you and explain what is available.

 

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