Exchange Rate and Currency- Maximise your Kalkan Holiday Money

You’ve booked your Kalkan break and your departure date is getting closer. As well as the building excitement, you are probably feeling some stress. Preparing for a trip abroad is not all plain sailing. On top of important things like meeting your work deadlines and arranging pet care you have logistical tasks to complete. Your mind is buzzing with questions. Have I printed off my boarding passes? Is my luggage weight ok? What is the exchange rate right now? Do I have enough local currency to see me through my first day?

Exchange currency for Lira

Your Currency Questions Answered

Coming to Turkey on holiday and getting used to using ‘Foreign Money’ can sometimes be a little confusing right? How much should I change? Where will I get the best exchange rate? Should I obtain my foreign currency in my home country or wait till I get to Turkey? No matter how seasoned you are at travelling, these are questions we ask ourselves time and time again. It can actually make a big difference to how much fun we have. You don’t want to be worrying about finances on holiday. And the more you have to spend, the better – obviously! Read on to learn our insights about managing money and exchanging currency in Kalkan.

Foreign currency

Do I Bring Turkish Liras, Sterling, or Euros?

We’re sure you have concluded that carrying cash on you in Kalkan is a must. But what kind of currency could it be? Hotels may request (or desire) that you pay in GBP or EUR and offer you a favourable rate for doing so. But in general, for all your other expenditures you can use Turkish Lira. The culture of bartering is still widely present in Turkey. So having cash for a trip to the market or for more luxurious items can be favourable for getting you the best price.

Balance your costs and moake the most of your currency

So, if your accommodation is offering a great discount if you pay cash in a strong currency, take the requested amount with you and pay for your stay when you arrive. This way, you won’t have to carry large wads of cash with you when strolling through the town. After that, it’s a personal choice. Some visitors carry additional cash with them and swap it for Turkish Liras when they run short, while others use the ubiquitous ATMs to withdraw Turkish Liras.

Cash From ATM’s

Most Turkish ATMs accept MasterCard (Cirrus and Maestro) and Plus (Visa) cards. You can also locate the closest one online, using MasterCard’s ATM locator or Visa’s ATM locator. Turkish ATMs accept chip-and-pin cards and cards that only have a magnetic stripe on the back. However, they only accept four-digit PINs.

ATM

Where are they located?

ATM cash machines in Kalkan are easy to find as 95% of them are located on the same street. The main high street is lined on either side with banks all of which have ATM’s outside. Walk uphill from the taxi rank at the top of the Old Town and keep your eye open you will soon spot a bank.

Exchanging Currency in Kalkan; Do’s and Don’ts

Exchange rate board


One of the most frequently asked questions on Kalkan forums is regarding the exchange rate in Turkey compared to the UK. Rest assured in our many years here in Kalkan we can confidently say that exchanging your currency locally rather than before you travel will maximise your spending pot. You can check on what the local currency rates should be on the Turkish central bank website or the widely used doviz (meaning foreign currency) website to give you an idea of what to expect.

Sample exchange rates

Let’s make a comparison between UK travel money providers and local Kalkan based exchange outlets for today’s date 06.10.21

The UK rates have been sourced from money.co.uk and show the top 10 rates offered for Turkish Lira. The Kalkan rates are sourced from the PTT (post office), exchange bureau and jewellers.

UK Top 10 Lowest For £500 you getUK Top 10 Highest For £500 you getKalkan LowestFor £500 you getKalkan HighestFor £500 you get
10.5135,256.50 Turkish Lira11.6965,848.00 Turkish Lira11.8515,925.50 Turkish Lira12.0226,011.00 Turkish Lira

Where can I exchange my money in Kalkan?

DO’S:

There are numerous choices available to you. As the pound continues to be a strong currency you will find many establishments who are willing to change up your Sterling for Liras. You can easily spot places willing to exchange currency as they advertise on boards outside their entrances. Keep your eyes peeled for these as you stroll through the town and make a note of the rates so you can select the most lucrative place for that day. A few centrally located and well-known options are detailed below:

Post Office (PTT in Turkish)

Most post offices in Turkey will convert currency for US dollars or euros, and larger post offices may also exchange other significant currencies like the British pound sterling. Due to the number of British tourists who frequent Kalkan the local PTT readily exchanges GBP.

Kalkan Post Office

Exchange Bureau

Located just next to the post office the Kalkan exchange bureau offers better exchange rates than most banks. They are open day and night and offer exchange on a wide range of currencies.

Kalkan exchange bureau

Jewellers

Some of Kalkan’s well known and trusted jewellers like Yardan and Wishes & Co. will readily change currency for you and advertise their daily rates on a board outside their premises.

Kalkan Jewellers in Old Town

Gift Shops

Like the jewellers there are numerous gift shops dotted around the town who will be glad to change up your Sterling or Euros for Lira. Just look out for the boards and take your pick of the best rate you can spot.

DON’TS:

Exchange Your Money at the Airport: 

Airport bureaus consistently provide the poorest foreign exchange rates. Be prepared to accept up to an 11% commission! So, if you bring £1000 in cash, you’ll only be receiving £890 once the charge is deducted. That’s £110 you could have spent on drinks, day excursions, or dinners out.

Top Tips to Consider

1. Change your money in Turkey. You always get a better rate for Turkish Lira in Turkey than you will in your home country.

2. Always compare the rates by looking at different places. You might be surprised just how much they can vary.

3. Rates always seem to be better when the banks are open. So, after 5pm when the online trading rates are not available, you might find the rate will drop. The same goes for the weekend. We always find the best rates are available from Tuesdays to Thursdays.

4. When you have changed your currency, always count your money and check you have been given the correct amount at the point of exchange. Check it even if the server uses a counting machine or counts it out right in front of you.

5. Most exchange places do not charge a fee or commission for exchanging your currency. But do check in advance to avoid any shocks.

6. Use the calculator on your phone to check what you get is what you expected.

What about alternatives to cash?

Using your debit card may seem like the most practical option. After all, your debit card is already in your pocket. Each time you pay with your bank card abroad, you could be paying hefty currency exchange fees. Take, for example, a Halifax debit card. Each point-of-sale transaction would cost £1.50, and each ATM withdrawal would cost £1.50. In addition, a conversion cost of 2.99 % is paid each time so it’s pretty expensive. In short, you are getting fewer Turkish lira for your pounds sterling.

Pre paid cards

App-based banks and Prepaid card providers

Consider using a Monzo account or the Revolut App to get the best deal when using your card internationally. You can make use of some great beneficial features like £200 free cash withdrawal abroad, competitive exchange rates and no fees on payments made with your card when overseas. They do have slightly different approaches. Monzo is a more fully featured bank account, whereas Revolut functions as a prepaid debit card that lets you make payments in various currencies and has some additional financial services. Both offer support and advice for travelling. You can check out helpful blogs from Revolt and get travel reports from Monzo updating you on the current exchange rate for the country you are in. You can also get support from online communities who can guide you with any questions you have about using these services.

How can Kalkan Holiday Property Help?

If you are looking for a luxury villa or stylish apartment for your Kalkan visit you can peruse our varied property collection to find what you are looking for. Our experienced team are on hand to help you through the booking process and even plan your holiday itinerary, so you know how much to budget for. We are on the ground all year round and have a wealth of local knowledge so contact us for any queries you may have about your trip.

Gullet Cruise- Spend a luxurious day in Kalkan

Want a truly enjoyable and luxurious way to experience Kalkan? Then a day spent on one of the many charming gullets is our top recommendation. The quaint harbour is home to more than 40 gullets of varying sizes which offer daily cruises around the crystal-clear waters of the various bays surrounding Kalkan. Boat captains and their teams provide incredible service for great value. There is nothing more refreshing in the heat of the summer than feeling the wind in your hair as you sail from bay to bay and dive into the cool waters at the various calling points. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from a day at sea in Kalkan.

Discover Unspoiled Coves and Beaches

Tours set sail at around 9.30 a.m and you will cruise along to several beautiful bays where you can swim throughout the day. Depending on the sea conditions you can even go out as far along as Kaputas beach. This is one of the most photographed beaches in Turkey. Sat at the mouth of a towering gorge with white sands and turquoise waters Kaputas is a striking landmark.

One of the highlights of the day is the calling point at Gerenlik Beach otherwise known as ‘mud beach’. This unspoiled natural spot has walls of nutrient-full clay lining its borders. The boat crew will swim across and mix it with water for you to lather onto your body before allowing it to dry in the sun. Once rinsed off your skin feels incredibly smooth and soft. As well as being a great and comical photo opportunity this free of charge natural spa treatment goes down very well with many guests!

The pristine waters that encircle the Kalkan area are full of natural cold mineral springs. A dip in the sea gives welcome relief from the heat of the sun. As the waters are so clear snorkelling is possible at every calling point and all boats have snorkelling equipment available to use (free of charge). The salinity level of the water in this area is high. This is great for less confident swimmers as it helps you to float more easily. You can always request a noodle float from the captain to help you stay comfortably adrift if you are nervous in deeper waters.

Of course, if you are a sun worshipper then plenty of sun beds cover the bows of the gulets. You can enjoy basking in the rays whilst taking in the views and being gently rocked by the currents. With the captain and team on hand to serve beverages on request you will really feel like you are living the high life!

Nature Spotting

As well as exploring the natural landscape around Kalkan and the two islands – Snake and Mouse Island which mark the Kalkan horizon you will quite likely encounter some sea life. At lunchtime be sure to throw a little bread into the sea. You will be surprised by the shoals of swarming fish that come up to the surface. Occasionally dolphins have been spotted in the deeper waters beyond the harbour, but this is a rare sight. However, the giant loggerhead turtles which inhabit the area often pop their heads up to say hello.

A Foodie’s Delight!

If you are a lover of Turkish cuisine, then you are in for a treat. The lunches on a gulet trip are perhaps even more exciting than an evening meal at one of the fabulous Kalkan restaurants. Basically, you are getting the equivalent of Turkish tapas – but with much bigger portions. It’s a real opportunity to get a taste of a wide range of traditional, home cooked Turkish – Mediterranean dishes. A variety of freshly prepared cold and hot mezzes, chicken, fish and numerous salads are served with fresh Turkish bread. You will be amazed at what can be created in the small kitchens of these gulets.

As tempting as it is to overindulge on the delicious lunch, hold back as more food is coming! Later in the afternoon you will be served a platter of the most appetising fruit as well as cake and tea or coffee. Soft and alcoholic beverages are served throughout the day but unlike the food, are not included in the price of the trip.

How long does it last?

Typically, a daytime trip embarks on its journey at 09.30 in the morning and returns at approximately 17:30 in the afternoon. If you are not a sun-lover then you could adventure out on a sunset trip where you will sail out towards the sunset and dine under the stars. Sunset trips start from 18:30 and return at 22:30-23:00.

Is it private?

This is entirely up to you! Gulets are available for private hire for groups or families, or you can join a daily tour and take the opportunity to meet other Kalkan lovers.

How much does it cost?

Prices vary depending on which gulet you choose and whether you want to hire privately, in which case the size of your group will in part determine the price. If you are joining a shared trip the price per person ranges from £25 each to £40 (2021 prices). Prices includes your space on the gulet and all food throughout the day.

Which boat should you choose?

Now this one is difficult to answer. We have experienced great hospitality and many memorable days on numerous gulets in Kalkan so picking out one is pretty tricky. Of course, one of the deciding factors will be availability and which boat has space for your group on any chosen day. Getting your request in early is a good idea particularly in high season. If you have infants or toddlers in your group, we recommend a day on the Falcon boat. Being one of the biggest in the harbour has the advantage of spacious decks, enclosed sides, double sun beds and plenty of shade. It’s ideal for toddlers to roam around freely and safely. You will also find a well-stocked bar with a great cocktail menu, a great bonus to this boat!

Other boats that stand out for us are Muddy, Chillout and Pina X. All are suitable for an intimate group of around 12 guests with very friendly and accommodating crews and excellent captain-come-chefs! Regardless of which boat you tour with you will have a wonderful time and a very full stomach by the end of the trip.

Special Occasions

Perhaps you are planning to celebrate something special in Kalkan? Perhaps a big birthday or anniversary or even a wedding. Why not do it in style with the fantastic backdrop of the sea? All of the gulets accommodate for such occasions with enough notice and you can be sure to have a truly memorable celebration.

How can Kalkan Holiday Property Help?

We know that you want to make the best of your time in Kalkan. That’s why we offer a round the clock service to all guests staying at our properties. Our advisors are 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.

Turkish Bath- A Ritual Not To Be Missed

Never had the pleasure of indulging in a Hammam (Turkish Bath)? Then your next trip to Kalkan is absolutely the time to try. “Hammam”, originally meant both the public steam room and the deep cleansing ritual which takes place inside it. It is a wonderfully rejuvenating ceremony that will leave you feeling relaxed, cleansed and lighter. The treatment 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. 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. 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. They can be traced across many territories and bygone cultures. Ancient Greece, Ancient Japan, the Roman Empire and the Middle East are just a few examples. Turkish Baths evolved from the model of Roman thermae. These 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. 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. Furthermore they served as meeting places for and socialising and purifying before prayer. Unsurprising then that many Hammams can be found next to a mosque. 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). You will then being sent to change and can wrap the peştemal around the lower part of the body (for men) or around the centre of the body (for women). The most common practice nowadays is to keep your swimwear on. 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 by removing 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’. This is 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. 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. Your skin will be scrubbed 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. In fact it will 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. Usually you will be offered a clay mud face mask which will sit on your skin while you recline. At this point you may get a little drowsy as the after effects of the detoxification come in to play. It literally feels like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. The whole experience should last between 45 minutes to an hour.

A Few Turkish Bath 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 Turkish Bath?

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. Some 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!

Beach Clubs: A day in Kalkan

Kalkan’s picturesque shoreline is marked by numerous waterfront beach clubs. Each boasts a unique view of the town, harbour and sea. Some are embellished with quaint platforms, others with pebbled coves. Many have water themed amenities such as floating platforms or sea trampolines. Whichever establishment you visit expect a full service of food and beverages as well as sun loungers and access to the sea. You will be blown away by the choice of stunning views and crystal clear sea waters to swim in!

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 for you to see the various gullets which inhabit the marina. Indigo has a generous bar and restaurant area which boasts spectacular views out to sea.

Indigo Beach Club dining area

The sunbathing terrace is one level below the restaurant and has plenty of sun loungers and parasols. You can access the sea directly via steps above the rocks . A daily highlight you will surely enjoy is the complimentary Turkish Çay (tea) and cake which is served late in the afternoon.

Indigo Beach Club

If you are an adrenaline junky Indigo beach club is a great place to spend the day. 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. You can get picked you up from across the bay in one of their speed boats.

Aristos Water Sports
Aristos Water Sports

Aristos cater for all demographics and offer various activities and services. Sailing, boat renting, speed boat trips, paddle boarding, kayaking, motorised water sports-inflatables and jet-skis are all available for you to try. Perhaps you would like to learn a new skill? Then why not take a lesson in Water-skiing, Wake-boarding, Mono-skiing or even Knee-boarding.

Indigo Beach Club Wedding
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:

You can reach this beach club on foot by walking along the harbour. If you have a car 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 for you to observe Kalkans’ stunning sunsets. Its’ position means it gets the sun late into the evening so you can enjoy a cocktail and watch the sun sink behind the mountains.

Palm Beach Club

You have a choice of sunbathing spots as the platforms are split over several levels. For frequent dips in the sea you can settle yourself on the large wooden platform just above the sea. If you have smaller children in your group there is a small private pebble beach next to a cave. This little beach is ideal for getting in and out of the sea easily with toddlers. Prefer a quieter spot? Choose a bed placed among the plush greenery that grows around the club. Other facilities at Palm beach that you can enjoy 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).

Palm Beach Club Trampoline
Palm Beach Club Pebble Beach

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.

Palm Beach Club Massage
Palm Beach Club Massage
Entrance fee:

You will be charged a fee per person during the daytime for use of sun beds 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 you 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. You have a choice of stone paved or wooden sunbathing terraces 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 in your group who are less confident at swimming in the sea. A word of warning however. If you are nervous about heights then this may not be the best beach club for you. To access each platform there are a maze of steep steps some of which look right down to the sea below.

Zest Beach Club
Zest Beach Club Pool
Zest Beach Club dining
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 you a choice of 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 you can choose from. 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 will welcome you as an external guest. The beach club area consists of platforms built into the hillside hidden under the shade of olive trees. These platforms are spaciously arranged to give you more privacy. So as you may have guessed this beach club is best suited to couples/adults. If you are a family with children don’t worry you will still be welcomed although there are fewer child-suited amenities here. Mahal is another beach club which is perfectly positioned on the left side of the bay to enjoy the sunset views.

Mahal Beach Club
Mahal Beach Club Bar
Mahal Beach club dining
Entrance Fee:

You will be charged a fee per guest during the day for use of the sun beds and showers

Food & Drink:

You can use Mahal’s offers a restaurant and bar 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. If you want a romantic setting this is great as you can see the 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 for you to use which leaves regularly from the harbour or you can get there by car or local taxi.

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. If you have younger children this may be the one for you. Kalkan beach park is the most family friendly beach club with a children’s playground, small beach, trampoline and platform in the sea. It’s also the best place for you to get a chance at spotting sea turtles. Being furthest from the harbour means the waters are less disturbed by passing boat traffic.

Kalkan Beach Park
Kalkan Beach Park
Entrance fee:

This is the only beach club that will not charge you to the use of the facilities. However, as a visitor you are expected to make use of the bar or restaurant. You are not permitted to bring in any food or drink from outside.

Food & Drink:

Dining is available served morning to evening at the restaurant. You have the choice of 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:

Similar to other beach clubs 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. If you are staying on the Kalamar Road area of Kalkan this beach club is more conveniently located. Plus the position means you get a different viewpoint with the towering mountains above the seascape.

Yali Beach Club

You can hire large Ottoman seating areas for the day. You will pay an extra fee but it is worth it if you have a special occasion you would like to celebrate. Choose from two floating platforms which are anchored in the sea at Yalı beach club for sunbathing on the turquoise waters.

Yali Beach Club
Yali Beach Club Dining
Entrance fee:

The beach club has agreements with a few hotels in Kalkan and for their guests entrance to the beach club is free. So don’t be put off if you are paying and someone else doesn’t! There is a set charge per guest for use of sun beds, 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. Here the waters are a little warmer than other areas of Kalkan if you prefer a more temperate dip!.Unique to this beach club, kayaks and pedalos are available to use free of charge to visitors. Kalamar 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.

Kalamar Beach Club
Kalamar Beach Club

Are you into diving? Perhaps you are a novice and fancy giving it a try? The Kalkan Dive Centre platform and team are well equipped to help you. They offer 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. You can expect visibility of up to 30m in clear blue water and sea temperatures between 18 – 30C.

Kalkan Dive Centre
Diving in Kalkan
Entrance fee:

There is a charged a per person fee for the use of sunbeds, pedalos and kayaks.

Food & Drink:

You can enjoy 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:

There is no water taxi to Kalamar beach club it is situated in Kalamar bay. This is a separate bay from Kalkan’s main bay. They do however pay for taxis for guests. When you arrive you can go town to the restaurant area to open your tab 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. We will be happy to help you plan your itinerary, arrange meals or book days at any of the local establishments. We can even help you to plan celebrations for special occasions. Whatever your question our friendly team will be happy to advise, just contact us for more information.

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

If you want to discover Turkey then this epic trail is the perfect place to start. The Lycian Way is a long-distance hiking trail which follows the Teke peninsula in the Mediterranean part of South Turkey. You will explore local nature, culture and history. There are numerous fascinating historical sites for you to visit along this route. Whilst at the same time you can explore lessor known areas of Turkey’s natural beauty. From breath taking coastline to fruit-filled rural hamlets this trail will lead you on a truly enriching cultural adventure. With 509 km of walkway to cover, hiking the whole trail is a big commitment. It takes around a month to complete so unless you are a seasoned hiker choosing a section to hike for a day or two is perhaps more realistic. You will still find it a very rewarding way to spend some of your holiday.

Lycian Way starting point

Following the Trail

The route, which was ‘launched’ in 1999 after a significant research project. It is not, however, comprised of one single road. There are a combination old Roman roads, forest trails and dirt tracks. Impressively a total of 25 antiquated sites are connected by the trail, 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.

Helpful Guides

A British/Turkish amateur historian named Kate Clow embarked on the mammoth task of researching, designing and waymarking this epic trail. She rallied political and financial support and assembled a team of volunteers to help plan the best route. Furthermore, she has created fantastic resources to allow travellers like you to make the most out of the route. These include a guidebook for the trail and in collaboration with the Turkish Culture Routes Society a Lycian Way app. The app is available to you on iphone and android. They give you extensive information on points of interest, contoured maps and accommodation options.

Lycian Way trail waymarks

Lycian Way Waymarks

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. These are more frequent in areas where the trail curves and coils and less frequent on straighter parts of the route. You should look out for signposts along the route topped with the header Likya Yolu. Yellow arrows are position below pointing you in the direction of the nearest calling points in each direction of the walkway.

Lycian Way trail waymarks

Which Lycian Way Route Should You Take?

Embarking on the full 29 day journey required to complete the trail is almost certainly too great a challenge for most. You can easily spend a few days of your holiday exploring parts of the trail, as the walkway is separated into many different sections. There are lots of great ‘short routes’ you could complete in a day or two. And yes they are within relatively easy reach of our beloved town of Kalkan.

Ovacik Route

The easiest of these 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.

Lycian Way route sections
Lycian Way route sections, Kayakoy

Faralya and the Butterfly Valley

Another moderate section of the walkway runs between Faralya and Kabak. You will follow rural roads through unspoiled forests and meadows for approximately 8 km. The small village of Faralya is located in an elevated position above the Butterfly Valley. Here you will find a few highly recommended pansiyons for spending the night. If you prefer camping accommodation for tents is also available in this tranquil spot. You will love the 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. In order to get to the bottom you will use ropes fixed to the rocky facade. We advise you not to take heavy rucksacks as the descent it tricky. You should 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.

Lycian Way route sections, Butterfly valley

Local Village Routes

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

Lycian Way route sections
Lycian Way route sections

Spring is a particularly good time for you to walk this section. During this time 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.

Village Life
Saribelen Village

You can access the start and end points for the above short routes by public transport. This is in the form of the local Dolmus services. These are small minibuses that charge you a minimal fee. They travel to other towns and main bus stations for connecting journeys.

Nature & Wildlife

Turkey's mediterranean coast

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.

Baby Tortoise
Lizzard

You will commonly spot deer and wild goats along the route. Also expect to see smaller creatures such as porcupines, rabbits, red squirrels, lynx, tortoises and a variety of lizards including chameleons.

Mountain goats

If you are a bird spotter there are many species of birds which you can see throughout the year. Due the mild climate there are two rare breeds which you may come across: the Smyrna kingfisher and the wall climber.

Smyrna kingfisher
Rare wall climber

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

Scorpion
Loggerhead Turtle

The endangered loggerhead turtles lay their eggs at both Patara beach and Cirali beach near to the site of Olympos and you can often see them 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.

Hiking the Lycian Way

Where to sleep?

You will find that most accommodation along the Lycian Way route are family-run guesthouses. These are 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.

Pansiyons along the Lycian Way
Pansiyons along the Lycian Way

At Faralya the Montenegro Motel and George House are well known hosts for partakers of the Lycian Way. They will offer you 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.

Pansiyons along the Lycian Way
Pansiyons in Saribelen

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?

The Lycian Way route leads you through populated areas between its’ rural and historical calling points. So you don’t ned to worry too much about taking lots of food supplies or cooking equipment. Trust us there are plenty of great options along the way. You can stock up at local convenience shops for snacks. Alternatively you can take a break to have lunch and the pansiyons provide wonderful Turkish breakfasts and evening meals. Make sure you 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. 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. 

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

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

Lycian Way hiking

The walkway repeatedly appears in top 10 lists for the world’s greatest walking trails. It will lead you 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 on the Lycian Way

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. This is because they are unique to the Teke peninsula of Turkey. They also bring to light a wealth of information about the Lycian civilisation, it’s traditions and Indo-European language.

Xantos

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

Xantos ancient site

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. Xantos is linked with the close-by site of Letoon. The Xantos-Letoon sites are the only sites on the Lycian Way route on the Unesco World Heritage site list. This is because the two neighbouring settlements exhibit the most comprehensive examples of Lycian architecture. They also housed the most important unveiled inscriptions of the Lycian language.

Remains at Xantos ancient site

Sadly you can no longer see some of the most elaborate artifacts belonging to Xantos. They were shipped to England by Charles Fellows and you can now view them in the British Museum. The most famous of these is the Neried Monument. This large tomb is believed to have been built for Arbinas, a Xanthian ruler.

Nevertheless you will still find a wealth of intriguing structures and carvings at Xantos. Stone tombs, a Byzantine street and mosaics are some of the intriguing artefacts you can explore.

Location:

Found on the western part of the Lycian Way 46 km outside of Fethiye.  This part of the Lycian Way leading to Xantos is largely asphalt and not very challenging. So many trekkers choose to use the local dolmus bus services to access the site. You can alight at the bus stop in the village of Kinik by the main bridge and go on foot (about 1.3 km) to the ruins. If you are determined to get your step count up then this part of the route is an easy section to tackle.

Letoon

You will feel a mystical quality at this site which is entwined with sacred legend. It has origins in the worship of the Anatolian mother-goddess Eni Mahanahi and 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. At the spiritual centre three temples were erected. One to the Goddess Leto, and a further two: one to each of her twin children Apollo and Artemis.

Letoon ancient site
Nymphaeum at Letoon ancient site

You will see various architectural structures at this site. These include an amphitheatre, a Basilica, and a nymphaeum connected to a sacred spring and porticoes which rise out of amphibian filled water. The ties to water were of great importance. Nymph worship was predominant in the area until the 1st century and the Letoon 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 so there is not much to see. You can also use the local dolmus bus services to access this site. The bus stops at the Letoon junction. From here you will trek 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. The towering rock-cut tombs in the hills of this ancient site are an impressive sight. The largest amphitheatre of Lycia is also located at Myra.

Myra ancient site
Amphitheatre at Myra ancient site
Rock tombs at Myra ancient site

Further to these spectacular ruins you can visit the Museum of Lycian Civilisations. The museum is located near the site of 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. Reportedly 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. He was famed for 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.

Church of St. Nicholas Facade
Church of St. Nicholas Facade
Location:

This route is in the Lycian Way’s central section in what is now known as the town of Demre. Myra comes at the end of at least a 2-day long hike. You should only try this section if you are more experienced. We do not advise this section for novices as there are limited places for refilling water and the terrain is tricky. Also the section of the route leading to the site has no accommodation. Camping is the only option you have when embarking on this section of the Lycian Way (Finike-Myra distance 19km)

Central Lycian Way- Olympos

The ancient site of Olympos tells the story of yet another one of the six major cities in Lycia. This was determined by its’ depiction on the Lycian Union coinage. The city’s geographical situation alongside the Akcay river and close to the sea means it 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. This park has over 74,000 acres (30,000 hectares) of coastal cliffs, beaches, and mountains. For us the site of Olympos and connecting sections of the Lycian Way are particularly enthralling. The historical remains are in a truly spectacular natural setting.

Lycian Way route

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 and ruins of a granary. You can see two well-preserved tombs further along the river. One has a poetic inscription in memory of an ancient ship captain together with detailed carving of his beached boat.

Ruins along the Lycian Way
Ruins at Olympos ancient site

Chimaera Flames

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” it’s quite a sight to behold. The Chimaera Burning Stone is a naturally occurring phenomenon caused by natural gas. The gas emits 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. This creature was said to have 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 after walking any sections of the Lycian Way contact us. Our professional team will be happy to assist. You can also visit our properties page to browse our fantastic collection. We can also advise you on more interesting sites to visit and help you plan your itinerary.  

The Lycian Way- A Walk Through Time (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 the landscape is enchanting. 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.

LYCIAN WAY- 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, we recommend you wear a decent pair of soft-soled, ankle-grasping hiking boots. To navigate the route, you can use the physical way markings. However, you should also use GPS trackers and a map of the Turkish Coast. 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 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. We also advise that mountainous parts only be taken if you are an experienced winter hiker. Storms are also a possibility in the latter part of the year. Finally, summer is likely to be extremely hot and dry. 

We 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, you can bi-pass these areas.

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. These include tourist hotspots like Finike, and Kalkan, to less well known rural towns such as Çıralı. This gives 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.

Kekova- The Sunken City

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 mosaics, foundations of buildings, stone staircases and a few striking tombs are among the ancient wonders to behold.

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. This was 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. 

ECONOMY AND TRADING

Economically, Kekova was considered part of a trading tetrapolis. With its sheltered and maritime location it was a strategic point on trade routes. Exports from the area included timber, wine and stone masonry. These 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. You can 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. Diving into the ruins for pieces of mosaic is sadly out of the question because of the protected status of the site. However, 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). Boats operate 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. That way you will contribute to the economic well-being of the local community. You will also 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.

–    Have you decide to hire your own canoe? Because the peak season in July and August is very busy be sure to should book in advance.

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. This is 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.

Restaurants in Kalkan- The Best on Offer

When holidaying in Kalkan, it is an absolute must to sample a selection of the various cuisine the town has to offer. Famed for the largest density of restaurants across, 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.

ROOFTOP RESTAURANTS

CHAMELEON

Described by many as one of the best restaurants in Kalkan, Chameleon is famous for its Beef Wellington, cooked to perfection. It is 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.

GOURMET

Boasting one of Kalkan’s highest roof-top terrace restaurants Gourmet has 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. Do you love a steak? Cooked to perfection, Gourmet’s steaks are served on a slate stove, right at the table! Looking for a fine dining experience? Gourmet is the answer.

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. Famed for its steakhouse quality steaks, this rustic restaurant offers a wide selection of quality dishes. Why not get hands-on with the surf and turf? The passion that goes into this restaurant’s cooking is unparalleled. 

You will enjoy excellent sea views, fantastic value for money, beautiful food and staff who go above and beyond to ensure you are well taken care of. What’s not to love? We think it’s pretty hard to beat!

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 specialises in authentic Turkish food. It 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.

HARBOUR FRONT RESTAURANTS

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. Their food is well-presented and their 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. All ingredients are 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. They have 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.

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. They use only the finest quality, locally produced, organic fruit and vegetable in their cooking. The head chef combines his extensive knowledge of both French and Italian dining with traditional Turkish cooking. The result? A mixed Mediterranean and Anatolian-inspired menu. Why not try the house dish that inspired the restaurant’s name, Imam Bayıldı?

KORSAN MEZE

One of Kalkan’s first restaurants, Korsan Meze holds a warm place in the heart of the local residents. This restaurant offers you great value for money where quality is concerned. The restaurant is well known for its excellent fish dishes, its popular atmosphere and stunning harbour-front view. It is also regarded for its delicious fresh vegetarian meze (akin to tapas). You can enjoy their menu 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. This means 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?

OTHER RESTAURANTS

LIKYA HOTEL

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?

MUSSAKKA

We’ll give you one guess what the house special is! Mussaka is a little more on the pricey side. However, it is still reasonable in terms of the quality received. This pink themed restaurant offers a brilliant service and a wide variety of dishes. Furthermore it has an instagram-worthy, chic atmosphere ideal for taking some great holiday snaps! 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 recommend booking Mussakka in advance.

If you’re holidaying with children, the children’s menu is brilliant for choice!

WHAT CAN KALKAN HOLIDAY PROPERTY DO FOR YOU?

We understand how important it is to support local business. 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. Are you looking to book a specific cuisine or fancy sampling some of the best restaurants? A member of our friendly team will be 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. You will experience 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. 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. These are often ranked in the top ten beaches in the whole country.

PATARA

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. They are definitely a must see. Patara Beach was also dubbed as ‘One of The Best Beaches in Europe’ by The Sunday Times.

KAPUTAS

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!

Beaches near Kalkan

KALKAN BEACH

A beach popular with the locals, Kalkan beach is covered in small white pebbles. The incredibly clear and calm water is perfect for snorkeling and swimming. It also boasts one of Kalkan’s blue flags for cleanliness. There are great facilities for tourists including toilets and changing rooms. Plus access to 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.

Beaches- 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 May to September. The nest sites are protected by a line of wooden stakes. 

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 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.

Are you a thrill seeker that wants to make the most of the scenery? Then paragliding is the perfect activity for you. If you are a nature lover, the remote nature reserve of ‘Butterfly Valley’ is a must see. It 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 want to visit the town of Kayakoy, it’s approximately a 1hr 20 minute 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. 

Are you 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?

Are you ready to plan your next amazing holiday to Turkey? At Kalkan Holiday Property, our specialist operators can provide you with dedicated itineraries based on your requirements. We can also 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.