Turkish Bath- A Ritual Not To Be Missed

If you have never had the pleasure of indulging in a Hammam (Turkish Bath) then your next trip to Kalkan is absolutely the time to try. A “Hammam”, originally meaning both the public steam room and the deep cleansing ritual which takes place inside it, is a wonderfully rejuvenating ceremony that will leave you feeling relaxed, cleansed and lighter as it helps to expel toxins from the body as well as leaving your skin feeling incredibly smooth.

In the past century the Turkish Bath has changed from being a fundamental social activity to a nearly forgotten remnant of the past. It would be misleading to say that going to a hammam today is getting a taste of current local life as a large number of Turks no longer regularly frequent hammams as they did in the past. Nevertheless, a visit to a hammam is a chance to experience a rich and unique bit of historical tradition which the tourism industry is helping this tradition to stay alive despite local cultural shifts.

Public Bathing in History

Public baths and purification rituals have been a prominent feature throughout history and can be traced across many territories and bygone cultures such as Ancient Greece, Ancient Japan, the Roman Empire and the Middle East to name just a few. Turkish Baths evolved from the model of Roman thermae and were a vital social institution in any Middle Eastern city for centuries before the start of modern plumbing. Inspired by their religion, the Ottomans conformed to their own rules on cleanliness and merged this with Roman bathing habits. While the Roman and Byzantine baths had pools, Hammams did not, as standing water is seen as unclean and not fit for drinking or purifying the body. Instead, they doused themselves in flowing water from taps whilst sitting on heated marble benches.

Hammams played a central role in promoting hygiene and public health, but they also served as meeting places for and socialising and purifying before prayer. Unsurprising then that many Hammams can be found next to a mosque as it was common for them to be built side by side to allow worshippers to be clean. Some impressive historical hammams still stand today in Istanbul, the oldest of which, Ağa Hamamı, was built in 1454. The number one rated hammam in Istanbul is the 300 year-old Cağaloğlu Hamamı which has both historical and architectural importance as it is the last great Turkish bath constructed before Sultan Mustafa III prohibited the construction of great baths in 1768.

Order of Ceremony

Here is a brief description of what to expect from this long-standing ritual:

Step 1: Disrobe

On arrival you will be handed a peştemal (a thin Turkish towel often available to purchase) before being sent to change which can be wrapped around the lower part of the body for men and around the centre of the body for women. The most common practice nowadays is to keep your swimwear on but keep in mind that the larger the swimwear the less of your body will be able to benefit from the exfoliation treatment.  

Step 2: Heat up

The main focus of the hammam treatment is to detoxify and cleanse the body and remove old skin, in order to do this you must first get hot! On entering the “hot room” your hammam journey begins. Some centres have separate saunas or steam rooms for this part of the ritual or you may go directly into a ‘sıcaklık’- the main hammam room made from marble which is heated both around the edges and in the centre where the ‘göbek taşı’ (the central heating stone) is found.  Your time in the hot room usually last around 15-20 minutes and if there is no sauna or steam room available you should dowse your whole body with hot water that flows from the taps around the edge of the hammam room to make your skin warm and soft.

Step 3: ‘Kese Köpük’ Exfoliation and foam massage

You will be invited to lie down on the heated göbek taşı where your attendant will begin the exfoliation part of the ritual by scrubbing your skin with a rough mit (called a ‘Kese’) which removes all the dead skin from your body. Contrary to popular belief this does not remove your tan and will in fact help you to get a better colour by removing old layers of skin. If you have sensitive skin be sure to make the attendant aware before the treatment begins so they can adjust the amount of pressure they use to exfoliate you. Following the exfoliation is the foam massage where you are covered in bubbles from traditional style soap and massaged on your back and legs.

Step 4: Rinse off

You will now be doused in cool water until all of the foam is washed away. You may have a hair wash and quick head massage if you wish at this point, if you like a specific shampoo it’s a good idea to take this with you for the attendant to use. 

Step 5: Relax with Refreshments

You will now be guided out of the hot room to a lounging area where you can have some apple tea, or cold fruit juice and usually you will be offered a clay mud face mask which will sit on your skin while you relax feeling like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. The whole experience should last between 45 minutes to an hour.

A Few Tips

-Don’t go straight after a meal. The combination of heat, scrubbing and massage could be quite unpleasant if you have a full stomach.

-Stay hydrated! You’re going to lose a lot of fluid sweating so it’s a good idea to start properly hydrated and drink water after using a sauna or steam room.

-Socialise. Traditionally Hammams were social places and this relaxing leisure activity should be enjoyed in the same way today so go with friends or family, laugh, chat and unwind.

Which Hammam?

Kalkan is home to a number of both independent hammams and hotel spas which have hammam facilities the question is which one should you choose? If a day of lounging appeals to you then one of the hotels may be a good choice as they offer packages including breakfast or lunch and you can make use of their pool and sun terrace facilities. Both the Elixir Hotel and the Lykia Residence & Spa have popular spa amenities and beautiful grounds ideal for spending some time luxuriating in peace. On the other hand if you want an invigorating scrub but have a busy timetable planned a visit to one of the independent hammams like the Atlantis or Arcadia hammams may be a better choice. 

What can Kalkan Holiday Property do for you?

We understand the importance of having a fulfilling holiday and having the opportunity to experience new things. Our team at Kalkan Holiday Property are very passionate about what Kalkan has to offer our clients. When holidaying in one of our properties, our concierge services allow you to enjoy your holiday to the fullest. If you are looking to book a treatment as a group or on your own, a member of our helpful team will be more than happy to advise on options and organise your reservations. 

Don’t forget to tag us at @kalkan.holidayproperty next time you visit and snap a picture at one of these marvellous local hammams!

Kalkan Beach Clubs

Kalkan’s picturesque shoreline is marked by numerous waterfront beach clubs, each boasting a unique view of the town, harbour and sea. Some are embellished with quaint platforms, others with pebbled coves and many have water themed amenities such as floating platforms or sea trampolines. Each establishment provides a full service of food and beverages as well as sunbathing spaces and access to the sea.

A get-away to the charming town of Kalkan is never complete without a visit to one (if not several) of the fantastic beach clubs this seaside resort has to offer. Read on to discover which of these sea-front havens may be the perfect spot for you. 

Indigo Beach Club

Indigo beach club is located on the far side of Kalkan harbour, an early morning stroll to the entrance is a great opportunity to see the various charming gullets which set sail daily from the marina. Indigo has a generous bar and restaurant area which boasts spectacular views out to sea.

The sunbathing terrace is one level below the restaurant and has plenty of sunbeds and parasols with steps to access the sea directly. A daily highlight for many visitors to Indigo is the complimentary Turkish Çay (tea) and cake which is served late in the afternoon.

If you are an adrenaline junky Indigo beach club is a great place to spend the day as it is home to Kalkan’s excellent water sports company Aristos. They have their main platform at Indigo although they do provide services to several other beach clubs and will pick up guests from across the bay in one of their speed boats.

Aristos cater for all demographics and offer various activities and services; Sailing, Rent your own Boat, Speed Boat Trips (with/without Skipper), Paddle Boarding, Kayaking, Motorised Water Sports-Inflatables, Jet-skis. Lessons and sessions are available in Water-skiing, Wake-boarding, Mono-skiing, Knee-boarding and much more.

Entrance fee: A fee is charged per person for use of the sunbeds and showers.

Food & Drink: A varied menu of food and drinks is available day and night at an extra cost. Definitely try the fishcakes for lunch, they are the best we have had in Kalkan. There are also semi-regular themed nights at Indigo where you can try a variety of world cuisine we have visited on Thai and Mexican night and the menu was delicious and varied for a great price!

Special Occasions: Indigo beach club is one of the frequently chosen venues for holding wedding ceremonies and parties. The venue can be hire privately for the day and they have great facilities for catering for a wedding group.

Access: This beach club can be reached on foot by walking along the harbour and parking is available near to the side entrance of the club.

Palm Beach Club

Palm beach club is situated on the opposite side of the bay from Indigo beach club and is a fantastic place to observe Kalkans’ stunning sunsets. Its’ position means it gets the sun late into the evening and visitors can enjoy a cocktail whilst watching the sun sink behind the mountains.

The sunbathing areas are split over several levels with a wooden platform just above the sea, small private pebble beach next to a cave, and various level of sun beds placed among the plush greenery that grows around the club. Other facilities at Palm beach include a games area with table tennis, foosball and pool table as well as a large platform and trampoline in the sea (free of charge).

If you feel like having a break from the sun to pamper yourself a professional masseur is set up at Palm Beach. A private massage room overlooks the sea and a range of therapies are available including reflexology, head and face massage and full body massage. Aristos water sports services are available from this beach club just ask the staff to help you arrange a sport and available time.

Entrance fee: A fee is charged per person during the daytime for use of sunbeds and showers.

Food & Drink: Palm beach offers a variety of food and drinks from breakfast to dinner with Turkish cuisine as well as classic snacks and popular lunch choices like salads and pastas. A new a la carte restaurant was constructed and opened for the 2020 season with a once-a-week live traditional Turkish music performance with a menu that features seafood and Turkish mezzes. We recommend one of their tasty fresh salads for lunch and the stuffed calamari form the evening al a carte menu is divine.

Special Occasions: This beach club is another favourite venue for wedding ceremonies and parties and can help to arrange decorations on request.

How to get there: Palm beach offers a complimentary water taxi that leaves regularly from the harbour or can be reached by car or local taxis.

Zest Beach Club

Zest beach club is a fairly new addition to Kalkan as it launched in 2019 and is the next club along the bay from Palm beach club. A combination of stone paved and wooden sunbathing terraces are available which get day-long sun. As well as access to the sea for swimming there is a 25 metre saltwater infinity pool ideal for those who are less confident at swimming in the sea or families with children.

Entrance fee: A fee is charged for entrance and use of sunbeds and facilities, they do have a reservation system unlike the other beach clubs. Reservations must be made by email/whatsapp request before arrival and beds will be reserved until 11 a.m.

Food & Drink: Zest offers two bars and two restaurants which provide breakfast lunch and evening meals with fantastic burgers and wonderful fruit salads if you fancy a sweet treat. There is a good cocktail menu to choose from and the location is great for enjoying a sundowner.

How to get there: Zest also offers a complimentary water taxi that leaves regularly from the harbour or can be reached by car or local taxis.

Mahal Beach Club

Mahal beach club is part of the Villa Mahal Hotel but welcomes external guests. The beach club area consists of platforms built into the hillside hidden under the shade of olive trees. These platforms are spaciously arranged so that guests have more privacy, this beach club has a more relaxed and tranquil feel perhaps best suited to couples/adults rather than families with children although children are welcome. Mahal is another beach club which is perfectly positioned on the left side of the bay to enjoy the sunset views.

Entrance Fee: A fee is charged per guest during the day for use of the sunbeds and showers

Food & Drink: Mahal offers a restaurant and bar serving food throughout the day. In the evening the dining area and platforms are transformed into a chic waterfront restaurant with soft lighting and spectacular views of Kalkans’ harbour and hills lit-up with their twinkling lights reflecting across the waters. The most popular dish at lunchtime is a pide- a Turkish style pizza cooked in a stone oven.

How to get there: Mahal offers a complimentary water taxi that leaves regularly from the harbour or can be reached by car or local taxis.

Kalkan Beach Park

Kalkan beach park is found towards the edge of the left side of Kalkan’s main bay below the area known as Kışla. Kalkan beach park is the most family friendly beach club with a children’s playground, small beach, trampoline and platform in the sea. This beach club is the best place to get a chance at spotting sea turtles as it is at the furthest point from the harbour and the waters are less disturbed by passing boat traffic.

Entrance fee: There is no charge for the use of the facilities at Kalkan Beach Park however visitors are expected to make use of the bar or restaurant and it is not permitted to bring in any food or drink from outside.

Food & Drink: Dining is available served morning to evening at the restaurant and there are two bars at each end of the beach club serving hot, cold and alcoholic refreshments throughout the day. Try the seafood pizza for a delicious lunchtime snack.

How to get there: Kalkan beach park offers a complimentary water taxi that leaves regularly from the harbour or can be reached by car or local taxis.

Yalı Beach Club

Yalı beach club is on the opposite side of the bay from the above-mentioned clubs and is spaced across several levels of wooden decking built into the rock cliffs.

Large Ottoman seating areas which can be hired for the day for an extra fee if you have a special occasion you would like to celebrate. Two floating platforms are anchored in the sea at Yalı beach club for sunbathing on the turquoise waters or enjoying the sea views.

Entrance fee: The beach club has agreements with a few hotels in Kalkan and for their guests entrance to the beach club is free. There is a set charge per guest for use of sunbeds, umbrellas, showers and towels for all other visitors.

Food & Drink: Yali beach serve food and drink morning to evening and their dining area sits on a platform just above the sea with wonderful views. Their frozen cocktails and frozen smoothies are perfect to cool you down in the heat of the summer.

How to get there: Yalı beach club can be accessed by taxi or on foot and is located in the Kalamar area of Kalkan.

Kalamar Beach Club

Kalamar Beach Club is the only beach club found in Kalamar bay where the waters are a little warmer than other areas of Kalkan. Unique to this beach club kayaks and pedalos are available to use free of charge to visitors. This beach club is popular amongst families with children and young adults and has a capacity of up to 200 guests. Reasonably priced food and drink is readily available from morning until evening.

The Kalkan Dive Centre platform can be found at Kalamar beach club, offering everything from scuba diving to jet skis and private boat hire to trampolines. Book a diving trip with the team and discover stingrays, turtles and starfish which make an appearance from time to time around the reefs and islands, with visibility of up to 30m in clear blue water and sea temperatures between 18 – 30C.

Entrance fee: A fee is charged per person for the use of sunbeds, pedalos and kayaks.

Food & Drink: Reasonably priced food and drink is readily available from morning until evening, chicken skewers and grilled fish are a popular choice from their restaurant.

How to get there: Kalamar beach club does not provide a water taxi as they are situated in Kalamar bay which is a separate bay from the main Kalkan bay. They will pay for taxis for guests so when you book a taxi to go you can go town to the restaurant area to open your tab and choose your beds without paying the taxi driver.

What can Kalkan Holiday Property do for you?

We understand that your time on holiday is precious and you want to make the best of your travels. That’s why we offer a round the clock service to all guests staying at our properties and will be happy to help you plan your itinerary, arrange meals or book days at any of the local establishments and even plan celebrations for special occasions. Whatever the question our friendly team will be happy to advise, just contact us for more information.

A Walk Through Time- The Lycian Way (Part 3)

The Lycian Way is an epic long-distance hiking trail which follows the Teke peninsula in the Mediterranean part of South Turkey, taking explorers through nature, culture and time. Hikers will discover numerous fascinating historical sites along this route whilst at the same time exploring lessor known areas of Turkey’s natural beauty. From breath taking coastline to fruit-filled rural hamlets this trail will lead its’ followers on a truly enriching cultural adventure. With 509 km of walkway to cover, hiking the whole trail is a big commitment as it takes around a month to complete but choosing a section to hike for a day or two is still a very rewarding way to spend some of your holiday.

Following the Trail

The route, which was ‘launched’ in 1999 after a significant research project, is not comprised of one single road; it combines old Roman roads, forest trails and dirt tracks connecting an impressive total of 25 antiquated sites which tell the story of the great Lycian League. The intention for this project was to both preserve and share the ancient marvels which populate this epic trail and to bring tourism to more rural areas of Turkey.

A British/Turkish amateur historian named Kate Clow embarked on the mammoth task of researching, designing and waymarking this epic trail, rallying political and financial support and assembling a team of volunteers to help plan the best route. Furthermore, she has created fantastic resources to allow travellers to make the most out of the route including a guidebook for the trail and in collaboration with the Turkish Culture Routes Society a Lycian Way app  (available on iphone and android) which gives extensive information on points of interest, contoured maps and accommodation options.

The standard waymarks for the route reflect the colours of the Turkish flag (although other colours are also used), you will see red and white rectangles painted on rocks and garden walls which are more frequent in areas where the trail curves and coils and less frequent on straighter parts of the route. There are also signposts along the route topped with the header Likya Yolu with yellow arrows below pointing in the direction of the nearest calling points in either direction of the walkway.

Which Route?

Embarking on the full 29 day journey required to complete the trail is almost certainly too great a challenge for most, however as the walkway is separated in to many different sections you could easily spend a few days of your holiday exploring parts of the trail. There are lots of great ‘short routes’ which could be completed in a day or two within relatively easy reach of our beloved town of Kalkan, the easiest of which is the 6 km section at the start of the trail leading from Ovacik, through Oludeniz with its’ breath taking Blue Lagoon and onto the Ghost town of Kayakoy.

Another moderate section of the walkway runs between Faralya and Kabak which follows rural roads through unspoiled forests and meadows and is approximately 8 km long. The small village of Faralya is located in an elevated position above the Butterfly Valley (unsurprisingly named due to over 100 species of butterflies being recorded in the valley) and there are a few highly recommended pansiyons as well as accommodation for campers in this tranquil spot with incredible views over the valley and out to sea. To add a real challenge to this section of the walkway you can descend down the butterfly valley to the beach but beware it is incredibly steep, with ropes fixed at the most difficult parts to help hikers and taking heavy rucksacks is not advised. Allow a few hours for this detour if you decide to take it to allow time for steady climbing as well as enjoying the views from the beach and a dip in the waters.

For a taste of traditional village life you could try the route which goes between the villages of Uzumlu, Islamlar, Bezirgan and Saribelen. These are all local villages to Kalkan which have kept their traditional charm and are scarcely populated with families of farmers and shepherds. Expect to see old stone houses, wooden “ambarlar” where food is stored on stilts, a multitude of orchards with organic fruit trees and friendly-faced locals and of course the odd Mosque.

Spring is a particularly good time to walk this section as the villages of Bezirgan and Saribelen are full of blossoming almond trees.  This section of the route is 23 km long with a steep incline between Bezirgan and Saribelen, so by the time you get to the end you may want to stay in one of the pansiyons at Saribelen for the night and regain some strength.

All of the start and end points for the above short routes can be accessed by public transport in the form of the local dolmus services. These are small minibuses that charge a minimal fee and travel to other towns and main bus stations for connecting journeys.

Nature & Wildlife

As well as the incredible historical and social exploration the Lycian Way has to offer, the terrain of the trail itself holds many natural wonders. As you trek your way up soaring mountains, through extended valleys and along hidden coastal paths with secluded beaches you will observe profoundly beautiful scenery and become acquainted with a variety of native creatures.

Deer and wild goats are commonly spotted along the route along with porcupines, rabbits, red squirrels, lynx, tortoises and a variety of lizards including chameleons.

For bird spotters there are many species of birds which can be seen throughout the year due the mild climate and there are two rare breeds which you may come across: the Smyrna kingfisher and the wall climber.

There are endangered and dangerous animals which you may encounter along the way too. Snakes and scorpions live in certain mountainous areas along the trail so you should stay vigilant.

The endangered loggerhead turtles lay their eggs at both Patara beach and Cirali beach near to the site of Olympos and can often been seen in the turquoise waters along the coast; so if you decide to take a much needed dip in the sea to cool off along the way be sure to look out for their heads bobbing above the waves.

Where to sleep?

Most of the accommodation found along the Lycian Way route are family-run guesthouses (locally known as Pansiyons). Although these modest abodes may lack luxury they certainly make up for in traditional charm and warm hospitality. If the early parts of the routes appeal to you there are several quaint B&B’s to choose from. The Kayakoy Pansiyon is a reasonably priced 3 bedroomed wooden framed guest house in the heart of Kayakoy village near to many eateries.

At Faralya the Montenegro Motel and George House are well known hosts for partakers of the Lycian Way offering help with the routes and information on wildlife, flora and fauna to look out for. Montenegro has a number of traditional stone and timber chalets set in a beautifully maintained garden full of brightly coloured flowers. George House also allows campers to pitch their tents on their sea view terrace provided they make use of the restaurant for refreshments.

If the village route appeals to you the  Hidden Garden is a great half-way stop off point between Islamlar and Akbel villages where you could spend the night before continuing on to Bezirgan village. Similar to the Kayakoy Pansiyon, Hidden Garden offers a number of wooden cabins for accommodation all nestled in thick greenery in a quiet location.  Alternatively you could spend an evening at the much-loved Moonstone House  in Saribelen, a welcoming haven after the elevating trek from Bezirgan village. If you are an animal lover you will be in your element here as the hosts take care of a large number of cats and dogs on their grounds.

What will you need?

As Lycian Way route leads through populated areas between its’ rural and historical calling points you don’t ned to worry too much about taking lots of food supplies or cooking equipment as there are plenty of options along the way. You can stock up at local convenience shops for snacks or take a break to have lunch and the accommodation available provide wonderful Turkish breakfasts and evening meals. Be sure to have bottles which you can refill with water at one of the many public water fountains along the route, you will also find villagers full or hospitality and are happy to share their water or provide refreshing Turkish cay or fresh fruit juice in their gardens.

Good hiking boots are a must as the trail cuts through rocky terrain and of course be sure to carry Turkish Lira as rural areas don’t tend to support card payments. Many of the archaeological sites have an entrance fee which you should keep in mind when planning your budget for any sections you plan to walk.

How can Kalkan Holiday Property Help?

If you are searching for a quality holiday property to stay in before or after walking any sections of the Lycian Way please get in touch and our professional team will be happy to assist. We can also advise you on more interesting sites to visit and help you plan your itinerary. 

A Walk Through Time- The Lycian Way (Part 2)

Skirting the captivating turquoise waters of the Mediterranean coast is the Lycian Way, Turkey’s first long-distance hiking trail. The trail spans some 509 km through highlands, rural villages, coastal cliffs and secluded beaches connecting popular holiday resorts from Fethiye to Antalya. The walkway from start to finish takes around 29 days to trek in full, following the contours of the Teke peninsula and is divided into numerous sections which means you can try a 3 or 4-day hike or even a one-day excursion.

The walkway repeatedly appears in top 10 lists for the world’s greatest walking trails and will lead adventurers through a mix of beautiful coastline, intriguing ancient Lycian sites, rural farming villages and wild Mediterranean terrain. If you are looking for a Turkish cultural experience- this is it!

Sites of Historical Significance

While the Lycian Way connects a vast number of fascinating ancient ruins there are some major sites which are certainly worth exploring. Many of the sites of ancient Lycia are featured in the Unesco tentative list as they are unique to the Teke peninsula of Turkey and bring to light a wealth of information about the Lycian civilisation, it’s traditions and Indo-European language.

Another major significance of the Lycian union is that it is the first known democratic federation in history which is said to have inspired the democratic systems we are familiar with today. In this system, principle cities had 3 votes while the others had 2 votes or 1 depending on their size. Here is a brief introduction to some of the interesting places which had major roles to play in Lycian society:

Xantos

Discovered by the British archaeologist Charles Fellows in 1839 the city of Xantos was the capital city of the Lycian Federation and dates back to the 8th Century BC. Linked with the close-by site of Letoon, Xantos-Letoon are the only sites on the Lycian Way route that are on the Unesco World Heritage site list as the two neighbouring settlements exhibit the most comprehensive examples of Lycian architecture and housed the most important unveiled inscriptions of the Lycian language.

Sadly some of the most elaborate artifacts belonging to Xantos were shipped to England by Charles Fellows and can now be viewed in the British Museum, the most famous of which is the Neried Monument, a large tomb believed to have been built for Arbinas, a Xanthian ruler.

Nevertheless a wealth of intriguing structures and carvings still remain at Xantos including tombs, a Byzantine street and mosaics.

Location: Found on the western part of the Lycian Way 46 km outside of Fethiye.  As the part of the Lycian Way leading to Xanrtos is largely asphalt many trekkers choose to use the local dolmus bus services to access the site. The bus stops at the village of Kinik by a main bridge and from here it is about 1.3 km on foot to the ruins. Of course for those who are determined to walk this part of the route is an easy section to tackle.

Letoon

The site has a mystical quality and is entwined with sacred legend; from origins in the worship of the Anatolian mother-goddess Eni Mahanahi to Greek mythological tales of nymphs and Gods.

Purportedly named after one of the national deities of Lycia Leto, the ancient site of Letoon was an important religious sanctuary for the Lycian people. Three temples were erected at the spiritual centre, one to the Goddess Leto, and a further two: one to each of her twin children Apollo and Artemis.

Other architectural structures found at the site include an amphitheatre, a Basilica, a nymphaeum connected to a sacred spring and porticoes which rise out of amphibian filled water. The ties to water were of great importance as nymph worship was predominant until the 1st century and the springs were believed to influence fertility.

Location: Found on the western part of the Lycian Way route, 65 km outside of Fethiye. Similar to the Xantos site the route to Letoon is largely on asphalt many trekkers choose to use the local dolmus bus services to access the site. The bus stops at the Letoon junction and from here it is about 1 km on foot to the ruins.

Myra

The site of Myra was one of the six principle cities in Lycia and eventually overtook Xantos as the capital in the 5th century AD. Impressive rock-cut tombs tower in the hills of this ancient site and the largest amphitheatre of Lycia is located at Myra.

Further to these spectacular ruins are the Museum of Lycian Civilisations is located near the site in what is modern day Demre the building itself is a converted ancient granary and holds many artefacts of the Lycian Union.

A trip to this area would not be complete without a visit to the St. Nicholas Church. Yes that’s right, if you didn’t already know Father Christmas was actually born in Turkey in the ancient city of Patara between 260 and 280 AD. He served as a beloved Bishop in Myra and became known throughout the land for his generosity to the needy, his love for children and his concern for sailors and ships. It is this charitable nature that allowed his legend to develop into the character we know and celebrate today.

Location: Found on the central part of the Lycian Way in what is now known as the town of Demre. Myra comes at the end of at least a 2-day long hike with limited places for refilling water and trickly terrain- patience and experience is necessary. Another point to note is that the section of the route leading to the site has no accommodation so camping is the only option when embarking on this section of the Lycian Way (Finike-Myra distance 19km)

Olympos

The ancient site of Olympos tells the story of yet another one of the six major cities in Lycia (as determined by its’ depiction on the Lycian Union coinage). Due to the geographical situation of the ancient city alongside the Akcay river and close to the sea the city served as a centre for trade and was a pirate refuge for many centuries. The ruins of the city are today encompassed in the Beydaglari Coastal National Park which has over 74,000 acres (30,000 hectares) of coastal cliffs, beaches, and mountains. This makes the site of Olympos and connecting sections of the Lycian Way particularly enthralling as the historical remains are in a truly spectacular natural setting.

A necropolis on the south side of the river contains striking chamber tombs cut into the rock. Beyond the necropolis lie remains of a small overgrown Roman theatre with an elaborate entrance and a Roman church. There is also a Hellenistic quay, ruins of a granary and further along at the mouth of the river are two well-preserved tombs, one with a poetic inscription in memory of an ancient ship captain together with detailed carving of his beached boat.

Approximately 13km west of the site of Olympos high in the mountains is another unmissable spectacle known locally as “Yanartas” which literally translates as “burning stone”. The Chimaera Burning Stone is a naturally occurring phenomenon caused by natural gas emitting from cracks in the limestone and serpentine mountainside, creating flames that dance above the rocks. Unsurprisingly these flames are subject to myth and have apparently been burning for thousands of years. In Greek Mythology the Chimaera was a fierce fire breathing creature made up of a lion, a goat and a dragon who terrorised Lycia until slain by the hero Bellerophon and then fell and got trapped in the earth.

How can Kalkan Holiday Property Help?

If you are searching for a quality holiday property to stay in before or after walking any sections of the Lycian Way please get in touch and our professional team will be happy to assist. We can also advise you on more interesting sites to visit and help you plan your itinerary.  

A Walk Through Time – The Lycian Way (Part 1)

Located in the south of Turkey in the Teke Peninsula is the beautiful Turquoise coast; a breath-taking combination of gorgeous beaches, clear waters and forest-covered slopes. On this little patch of paradise is the Lycian Way. Spanning between Fethiye in the west to Antalya in the east, the full Lycian Way route is an impressive 300 miles long and can take up to 29 days to travel. It is considered by many to be not only one of the best places to go walking in Turkey but one of the world’s greatest hikes. Along its route, hikers can enjoy some of the most breath-taking views to be found in Turkey from rugged mountains to pristine sandy beaches caves and coves. At the same time, also experiencing the diverse and fascinating history of ancient Lycia every step of the way.

A PATH LESS TRAVELLED

Lycia was home to an ancient civilisation that existed during the “Bronze age” of human civilization (between 3000 – 1200bc). Its history is one of diversity including times under the rule of Persia, Alexander The Great and The Roman Empire. The result is a truly varied and intriguing exploration into human history. Despite this long history, the Lycian Way as we know it has only been established since 1999. It’s the result of historian Kate Clow; who researched, designed and marked the route which took advantage of ancient Lycian foot and mule paths.

The traditional route begins at Ovacık (although, you can begin in Fethiye if you wish) in the west and finishing in Hısarçandır in the east. You can, of course, do the trek in reverse. 

This route takes travellers via the Sidyma Ruins and includes climbing or taking the cable car up the Tahtalı Dağı on the path from Çıralı to Hisarçandır. The early section is the gentlest on the legs and prepares you for the steeper sections towards the end. For anyone looking for those extra miles, the route was expanded in 2014 beyond its official end in Hısarçandır to include Geyikbayırı.

STEP BY STEP

Walking the Lycian Way is going to be a challenging but rewarding undertaking. The ground can be hard, uneven and narrow as you traverse rugged, natural terrain. The trail also includes inclines and declines which can often be very steep and sudden as you move away from and toward the coast. For this reason, it is recommended you wear a decent pair of soft-soled, ankle-grasping hiking boots. To navigate the route, you can use the physical way markings, however, the use of GPS trackers and a map of the Turkey Coast is also advised. Further recommended equipment includes a backpack, water bottle, and a change of clothes. 

Walking the Lycian Way can take up to 29 days and you’ll be able to find accommodation along the route. However, if camping is more to your style, then you’ll be pleased to know that doing so is possible, across almost the entire route.

For those with less hiking experience (or without the luxury of 29 days to traverse its full length) there are a number of smaller walks and sections of the Lycian Way which are suitable – including parts of the western portion. For those looking to cycle, alternative routes including along the Lycian Way are available using modern roadways. These routes still enable you to experience many of the same beautiful sites and historical wonders.

lycian-way-trek

WHATEVER THE WEATHER

So you’ve decided to take on the challenge, the next question is when. You can trek along the Lycian Way at any time of year. However, spring and autumn seasons tend to be the best, weather-wise. If you were to opt to take part in spring you’ll get to enjoy snow atop hills while the lower landscapes are covered with flowers (which is why this time of year is our favourite). If you decide to take part during the winter, the nights can be cold despite the Mediterranean climate, so ensure you carry winter-ready gear. It is also advised that the mountainous parts only be taken by experienced winter hikers. It is to be noted that storms are also a possibility in the latter part of the year. Finally, summer is likely to be extremely hot and dry. 

It is recommended that you start your journey earlier in the morning while the temperature is lower. It is also important to note that some sections of the Lycian Way lack suitable cover. However, these areas can be bi-passed.

A JEWEL IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

The Lycian Way rewards the days of tough walking with a truly spectacular and unique experience. Along your journey, you can visit places of historical significance, including an ancient Roman aqueduct, The Letoon, a religious ruin dedicated to Greek goddess Leto near the ancient city of Xanthos, the ruins of the river city Olympos, Patara – The Lycian Capital and the underwater ruins of Kekova-Simena.

Alongside the historical, you’ll also get the opportunity to visit numerous modern towns from tourist hotspots including Finike, and Kalkan, to less well known rural towns such as Çıralı giving you an excellent opportunity to enjoy real Turkish culture and of course no end of delicious food. 

This combination of history, breathtakingly beautiful landscapes and true Turkish culture means walking the Lycian Way has something to offer everyone and is a truly incredible experience.

patara ruins

HOW CAN KALKAN HOLIDAY PROPERTY HELP YOU?

If you’re looking for a luxury property to enjoy before embarking on your adventure or for more information on walking The Lycian Way, please get in touch with one of our specialist operators who will be more than happy to assist you.

The Sunken City Of Kekova

Crystal balls speak the future. Crystal waters speak the past.

Beneath the clear Turkish Mediterranean encircling Kekova Island, a breath-taking ancient settlement hides in plain sight. These sunken ruins of Kekova are what remains of a major port for Lycian and Byzantine civilizations, what remains after a history of numerous successive natural and man-made upheavals. A visit to Kekova and its sunken city is truly a visit to the ancient world: all that separates the visitor from a rich and tumultuous Turkish past is an aqueous window.

THE BEST THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES

Brushing against Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, Kekova is a small island but one with major importance. Only 500m wide and 7.5 km long, the island is a place of outstanding environmental and architectural beauty. Kekova Island and the 260 km² surrounding region has been governmentally recognized as a Specially Protected Area since 1990. UNESCO also lists it as a candidate for World Heritage status.

Boasting blankets of wild thyme (from which the name “Kekova” meaning “plain of thyme” derives), the popular yachting “Kekova Roads”, beautiful terracotta rooftops, a wealth of waterfront restaurants and the striking fortress in Kaleköy village, the island is a picturesque retreat from the clamour and bustle of mainland Turkey.

The island is uninhabited, apart from the grazing mountain-goats, and, of course, the ghosts which lurk in the Sunken city to the north of the island.

A SUNKEN CITY?

The sunken city of Kekova is arguably a misnomer. The geological movements of the island have meant that half of the city is underwater and half above. Even the underwater ruins are not quite fully submerged, with public buildings and staircases partially protruding out of the water. What is more, Kekova is still sinking: the coasts have tectonically sub-sided at a minimum rate of 1.6 mm/yr over the last 1400 years. Even today, it is as if the island wants its visitors to feel its historical turbulence.

THE SUNKEN CITY: BEFORE IT SANK

The modern visitor to Kekova will see beautiful and mysterious underwater remains:red-green tiled mosaic, foundations of buildings, stone staircases and a few striking tombs.

Fast-backward around two and a half thousand years, this was all part of a thriving city. A city which went through repeated natural disasters, invasions and raids, before sinking into the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The ancient town of Dolchiste in Kekova was politically and economically significant. During the Lycian civilisation, it formed part of the influential Lycian League: a pioneering democratic union, whose ideas actually came to influence the writing of the founding documents of modern democracy, such as the U.S. constitution. 

Economically, Kekova was considered part of a trading tetrapolis, with its sheltered and maritime location making it a strategic point on trade routes. Exports from the area included timber, wine and stone masonry, which fuelled the city’s prestige, prosperity and concomitant population density. Dolchiste in Kekova later came to serve as an important base for intensive shipbuilding and repair, and later as a Byzantine military base. Archaeologists have discovered shipwrecks dating from Archaic to Byzantine periods in the region, evidence that Kekova was a major economic port for several centuries.

However, Kekova’s location was also a drawback. Numerous destructive natural disasters occurred in this dangerously active zone. Ancient historical documents by writers such as Tacitus and Cassius reveal that:

  • Earthquakes destroyed the cities of Pergamum, Laodicea, and Collosse in A.D. 60
  • Major devastating tsunamis hit the region in A.D. 68. and A.D. 142
  • A particularly significant earthquake hit in A.D. 529, which forced mass exodus from the region.

This compounded with an outbreak of plague in A.D. 540 and bloody conflict between Arabs and Byzantines. Following an Arab naval victory against the Byzantines in A.D. 655, repeated Arab invasions began in the unprotected region: Kekova was pummelled away to become the partially underwater city it is today.

KEKOVA TODAY: WHERE TO LOOK

Downwards: When exploring the Sunken City, take your time.Whether you choose a glass-bottom boat or steer your own canoe, sail slowly so you can take in all the fascinating underwater remains.

Across the bay, to the east: A ring of olive trees crown an ancient Lycian necropolis with sarcophagi overlooking the Mediterranean. A beautiful tribute to the strong ancient Lycian civilisation.

Upwards: The nearby fishing village of Kaleköy boasts an imposing castle on the top of a hill, built by the Knights of Rhodes, partially upon ancient Lycian foundations. Inside the castle is the smallest amphitheatre of Lycia. Most of the ruins date from Byzantine times, while some come from the 4th century. 

To the south: Tersane: a calm and quiet bay where you can swim and snorkel, and watch the local elders fishing among the ancient ruins.

Young and old, history-enthusiasts and nature-lovers, the sporty and the more laid-back, Kekova and its sunken city truly provide a magical experience for every type of traveller.

Looking ahead: A visit to Kekova is incomplete without a souvenir. While diving into the ruins for pieces of mosaic is sadly out of the question, you can bring home the fragrance of your Kekovan experience. Large bags of the region’s famous dried thyme are available to purchase in Üçağiz and in Kaleköy.

kekova

FOOD

Exploring Kekova and its sunken city will give you a taste for the island. The next step: get a taste of the locality by exploring the delights of Kekovan gastronomy.

–     For lunch or dinner: Sample the vibrant cuisine of Kekova at a beautiful waterfront restaurant. Home-cooked seafood specialities, grills and Turkish mezze boards are some of the highlights not to be missed. Try Kordon restaurant and Hassan Restaurant for something more traditional, or Hold&Bite for a superlative burger.

–     For the best Turkish ice-cream: Visit one of the local ice-cream-parlours dotted around the island. Cafe Mola 1 offers luxurious goats-milk ice-cream in an array of delicious flavours, with Vegetarian, Vegan Options, Halal, and Gluten-Free Options.

HOW TO GET TO KEKOVA

In A.D. 1191, King Philip Augustus anchored at Kekova on return from the Third Crusade.

In 1817, famous inventor Francis Beaufort visited the island.

In 2017, 10.5 million tourists arrived in Antalya, the province including Kekova, making it the second most visited destination in Turkey after Istanbul.

Kekova’s popularity has rocketed. What hasn’tchanged is the means of getting to the island. Kekova and its sunken city are only accessible by boat, but there are plenty of options:

–   Take an official gulet tour. Tours arrive here on a regular basis from Kaş or Üçağiz (19km off the main Kas-Finike highway), with boats operating on a private hire as well as mixed group basis.

–   Rent a canoe-style boat and meander along the waters at your own pace.

–   Ask a local fisherman to take you. Contribute to the economic well-being of the local community and make your Kekovan experience even more unique and memorable.

DO I NEED TO BOOK BOATS AND BOAT TRIPS IN ADVANCE?

–    If you do decide on a guided Sunken City Ruins of Simena boat-trip, it is advisable to book ahead of time to secure your spot.

–    If you decide to hire your own canoe, booking is advisable during July and August, the peak tourist season.

WHERE TO STAY

If the charms of Kekova and its sunken city draw you to spend the night, you have a wealth of options to choose from. Family-run pensions, such as Baba Veli Pension and Kekova Fish House Pension, offer a high-quality and authentic residential experience. There are also several Airbnb’s available to hire.

Kaleüçağiz is more practically accessible, while Simena is arguably more picturesque, the choice of location is yours.

WHEN TO VISIT

Kekova and its sunken city is open all year round, from Sunday – Saturday from 09:00 – 21:00. Rarely falling below 15°C in winter and with hot and sunny summers, Kekova guarantees its visitors a warm welcome. For a more lively atmosphere, plan your trip during the tourist season: May to October.

Visiting out of season also has its charms. Most pensions and restaurants during these months will be open upon reservation. Enjoy the privilege of freshly prepared local delicacies and having the run of the whole site all to yourselves.

A UNIQUE VISIT

A visit to Kekova is uniqueWhere you stand one year will be subtly different the next, due to the ongoing and invisible tectonic shifts under your feet. With a balance of historical and geographical wonders, Kekova and its Sunken City are an unmissable experience. The island is a place where sinking sights never equal sinking spirits.

WHAT CAN KALKAN HOLIDAY PROPERTY DO FOR YOU?

At Kalkan Holiday Property, we can help you plan your visit to Kekova, from transport, boat trips, accommodation and restaurant recommendations. We will share our local knowledge and years of expertise with you, ensuring that your Kekovan experience is happy, memorable and tailored to you.

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact a member of our lovely friendly team on +44 776 588 7906, or drop us an email at bookings@kalkanholidayproperty.com.

The Best Kalkan Restaurants

When holidaying in Kalkan, it is an absolute must to sample a selection of the wide variety of cuisine the town has to offer. Famous for the largest density of restaurants across the entirety of Turkey, with over two hundred to choose from, Kalkan provides something for everyone, no matter your taste or budget! From traditional Turkish cuisine, mezes and fish restaurants on the marina to rooftop terrace fine-dining, you are simply spoilt for choice.   

Renowned for its rooftop dining culture, Kalkan radiates sophistication, timeless elegance and a style to rival that of France and Italy. Offering an abundance of dining experiences like no other,  Kalkan emanates a unique charm and postcard-worthy scenery that many return to experience year after year. 

The running theme throughout all Kalkan dining is that everything is made fresh. With an abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meat, the food is cooked to perfection without the need for additives or preservatives. Even the takeaways are free from processed foods!

At Kalkan Holiday Property, we are passionate about Kalkan cuisine, so we’ve put together a list of our favourite, tried and tested Kalkan restaurants to help make your trip extra special.

CHAMELEON

Described by many as one of the best restaurants in Kalkan, Chameleon is famous for its Beef Wellington, cooked to perfection. A little bit more on the expensive side, but worth every penny, Chameleon boasts exquisite high-quality food and a service to match. This restaurant has a smaller menu than most in Kalkan but puts a great emphasis on the delivery of quality food, cooked to a professional standard. If you’re looking for a spot of lunch, a spectacular evening dining experience, or cocktails in the evening, in a chameleon-esque style, this restaurant changes to suit the needs of its customers.

TRIO

Offering both a cocktail bar and dining experience, Trio mixes the best of both effortlessly. With stunning views of the harbour and subtle notes of jazz, this restaurant is the ultimate place to chill out in style. Trio’s menu is very extensive and caters for all eating habits. The food is well-presented food and the service is first-class, without the extortionate price tag attached. If a mixture of Mediterranean and Asian food sounds like something you’d enjoy, then this is the place for you.

SALT AND PEPPER

Right in the heart of Kalkan’s Old Town, with spectacular, unobstructed views of the bay and surrounding mountainous scenery, Salt And Pepper offers diners an eating experience at any time of the day. The imaginative menu blends both traditional and fusion flavours with fresh, organic and homegrown ingredients, sourced straight from the family farm. Why not sample a selection of the expertly-crafted signature cocktails, exclusive to the restaurant?

If wine is your poison of choice, then you are in luck! Salt And Pepper specialises in wine, with an extensive range on offer from the Kayra winery, one of the oldest and largest wineries in Turkey. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or even an evening nightcap, Salt And Pepper has it all.

LIKYA HOTEL

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience at a beautiful boutique hotel without the pretentious outset, then you’ve come to the right place! The Likya Hotel offers diners an elegant, beautiful and relaxing atmosphere with spectacular views of the gardens below and the bay. The head chef, Yilmaz, is always mixing things up, creating inspiring and flavourful dishes that leave you wanting more. Large portions, exceptional cooking and spectacular presentation, what more could you want?

GOURMET

Boasting one of Kalkan’s highest roof-top terrace restaurants and with two terraces to choose from, Gourmet oozes a romantic atmosphere that simply cannot be beaten. The presentation and quality of food is outstanding and the service is second to none with the staff being extremely attentive. If you’re a steak lover, Gourmet’s steaks are cooked to perfection, on a slate stove, right at the table! Looking for a fine dining experience? Gourmet is the answer.

AUBERGINE

Widely regarded as one of the finest Kalkan restaurants, Aubergine offers a number of meat, fish, vegetarian and vegan options, providing an inclusive menu to suit all lifestyles. 

Fresh fish is caught and cooked on a daily basis and only the finest quality, locally produced, organic fruit and vegetables are used in their cooking. The head chef combines his extensive knowledge of both French and Italian dining with traditional Turkish cooking to create a mixed Mediterranean and Anatolian-inspired menu. Why not try the house dish that inspired the restaurant’s name, Imam Bayıldı?

If you’re wanting to visit the dilapidated town of Kayakoy, this is approximately a 1hr 20 minute hour drive from Kalkan.

SADE

At Sade, it’s all about the food. Whilst other restaurants rely on first-class service and spectacular views, the dishes at Sade speak for themselves. Well known for its steakhouse quality steaks, this rustic restaurant offers a wide selection of quality dishes far beyond their main offering. Why not get hands-on with the surf and turf? The passion that goes into this restaurant’s cooking is unparalleled. 

Diners can enjoy excellent sea views, fantastic value for money, beautiful food and staff who go above and beyond to ensure their customers are well taken care of, what’s not to love? We think it’s pretty hard to beat!

MUSSAKKA

We’ll give you one guess what the house special is! A little more on the pricey side, but still reasonable in terms of the quality received, this pink themed restaurant offers a brilliant service and a wide variety of dishes, not to mention an instagram-worthy, chic atmosphere! Complete with an elegant cocktail bar that could have been plucked straight from the heart of London, it’s easy to see why this restaurant is the place to be! Due to its popularity, we would recommend booking Mussakka in advance.

It’s also great to mention that if you’re holidaying with children, the children’s menu is brilliant for choice!

KALAMAKI

Best known for hosting the King of Hell’s Kitchen that is Gordon Ramsey, Kalamaki is a must-visit restaurant, especially if you’re looking to sample some traditional Turkish food. This pub/restaurant not only specialises in authentic Turkish food but also dabbles in a fusion of Turkish dishes with a European twist. 

A sophisticated restaurant renowned for its quality, presentation, finishing touches and reputation, Kalamaki is the perfect choice for a romantic evening.

KORSAN MEZE

One of Kalkan’s first restaurants, Korsan Meze holds a warm place in the heart of the local residents. With stunning Harbour-front views, the restaurant is well known for its excellent fish dishes, its popular atmosphere and offers tourists great value for money where quality is concerned. This restaurant is also regarded for its delicious fresh vegetarian meze (akin to tapas) to be enjoyed either on the street-side terrace or open-air rooftop. 

Going the extra mile for its customers, Korsan provides a delivery service direct to your door, meaning you can enjoy restaurant-quality food at any time of the day from the comfort of your holiday villa. Why not enjoy a cold crisp glass of their homemade lemonade, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, a bottle of fabulously flavourful Turkish wine from their vault?

WHAT CAN KALKAN HOLIDAY PROPERTY DO FOR YOU?

We understand how important it is to support local business and the team at Kalkan Holiday Property are very passionate about what Kalkan has to offer our clients. When holidaying in one of our properties, our concierge services allow you to enjoy your holiday to the fullest. If you are looking to book a specific cuisine or fancy sampling a number of the best restaurants in Kalkan mentioned above, a member of our friendly team will be more than happy to organise your reservations. 

To include a tour of the cuisine that Kalkan has to offer in your initial booking, please get in touch.  Don’t forget to tag us at @kalkan.holidayproperty next time you visit and snap a foodie picture at one of these splendid eateries!

What Are The Best Beaches In Turkey?

Turkish beaches are known for their beauty and are arguably some of the most spectacular beaches in the Mediterranean, with the clearest of turquoise waters and either sparkling white sand or beautifully polished white pebbles.

With a rich ancient history and unrivalled scenery, it’s not surprising that Turkey is a sought after holiday destination and those who visit return time and time again. 

At Kalkan Holiday Property, we’re passionate about everything Turkish, so we have prepared this handy guide to the best beaches in Turkey.

KALKAN BEACHES

Kalkan boasts a number of the best beaches in Turkey, often ranked in the top ten beaches in the whole country.

PATARA BEACH

One of Kalkan’s most well-known beaches is Patara Beach, famous for its length stretching over 11 miles, the longest in the entirety of Turkey, and one of the breeding grounds of the Loggerhead turtle. 
Not only is Patara part of a national park brimming with exotic birds, but it also boasts fantastic ancient Lycian ruins, once an important city within the Roman Empire, including houses of parliament, bath houses, temples and a grand amphitheatre. Archaeologists from Antalya University have pumped millions into the reconstruction of these beautiful buildings, and they are definitely a must see. Patara Beach was also dubbed as ‘One of The Best Beaches in Europe’ by The Sunday Times.

KAPUTAS BEACH

Only accessible by a series of 200 or so steps set into the rock, Kaputas Beach is a spectacular picturesque cove. Set in the protected area of the ‘Five Wonders of Antalya Conservation Project’, the cove is home to a species of endangered plant called the Kaputas Inula, which is found only on Kaputas Beach! 

Slap on your sunscreen and prepare to get your tan on, because this beach is completely protected from the wind. It’s also a popular mooring point for Gulet day cruise guests to anchor down and take a dip in the crystal waters. In recent years, the facilities have vastly improved with free use of the showers, toilets and changing as well as a small cafe that is renowned for its pancakes!

kaputas

KALKAN BEACH

A beach popular with the locals, Kalkan beach is covered in small white pebbles and incredibly clear and calm water perfect for snorkeling and swimming. It also boasts one of Kalkan’s blue flags for cleanliness, offering tourists great facilities including toilets, changing and a number of beachfront restaurants, shops and cafes, to relax and enjoy the sun. Enjoy fabulous views and watch the yachts and gulets meandering lazily to and from the harbour.

kalkan beach

TOP 3 TURKISH BEACHES OUTSIDE OF KALKAN

IZTUZU BEACH

Also known as Turtle Beach, home to the endangered Caretta Caretta sea turtle and complete with a specialist turtle sanctuary, Iztuzu Beach is about 4km long and surrounded by stunning mountainous scenery. Conservationists ensured this beautiful stretch of beach was uninhabited to protect the nesting place of these gentle creatures. This beach is only accessible during the day from the months of May to September and the nest sites are protected by a line of wooden stakes, indicating a no access area. 

If you look carefully, you may spot the Lycian Kings Tombs from the 4th century BC, carved into the rock formations above. Why not visit the natural mud and sulphur baths whilst you’re there? They are said to be healing, kind to your skin and can promote youthfulness.

If you’re planning to make a trip to Turkey’s famous Turtle Beach, this is approximately a 3 hour drive from Kalkan. 

turtle beach

OLUDENIZ – THE BLUE LAGOON

The Blue Lagoon is one of the most peaceful beaches in Turkey, famous for its varying shades of turquoise waters. As a protected national park with limited access for boats, paddle boards and canoes are the main mode of transport here. The waters are shallow, making it a safe relaxation location for families with small children. A tourist hotspot without the rowdiness of bars and nightclubs, The Blue Lagoon is truly a Turkish paradise. If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, Sugar Beach is private with it’s own restaurant, bar and bungalows for an overnight stay.

If you’re a thrill seeker that wants to make the most of the scenery, paragliding is the perfect activity for you. For those who love nature, the must-see remote nature reserve of ‘Butterfly Valley’ is tucked peacefully away, accessible by coach or a boat ride. If you’re one for culture and history, the Ghost Town of Kayakoy boasts beautiful but derelict homes, shops, churches and other infrastructure, after being abandoned in 1923 during a population exchange between Greece and Turkey. 

If you’re wanting to visit the dilapidated town of Kayakoy, this is approximately a 1hr 20 minute hour drive from Kalkan.

blue lagoon

ICMELER BEACH

Previously a fishing village, Icmeler Beach is now a popular spot for holidaymakers with views of the pine forest mountains, offering a number of water sporting activities from scuba diving and fishing, to water skiing and banana boating, there’s something for everyone. Hire a pedalo or a powerboat, the options are endless! Travelers can also benefit from a number of restaurants and beach bars. 

If you’re looking for something more than just relaxing on the beach, there are plenty of exciting activities to get that adrenaline rush. Choose from mountain and quad biking, hiking and even horse riding!

icmeler beach

WHAT CAN KALKAN HOLIDAY PROPERTY DO FOR YOU?

Looking to be inspired and plan your next amazing holiday to Turkey? At Kalkan Holiday Property, our specialist operators can provide you with dedicated itineraries based on your requirements and provide you with a number of recommendations for activities, eateries and unmissable experiences in Kalkan.

For more information, please get in touch with a member of our team.