A place to relax, enjoy and keep secret

Kalkan Area

Kalkan, Turkey


A small peaceful Mediterranean resort and fishing town on the beautiful Turquoise Coast of Turkey, Kalkan has not been touched by mass tourism. More sophisticated than the usual resort town, this area appeals to travellers looking for more than a 'sun and sea' holiday. Because of its great charm, Kalkan has a growing number of perennial visitors who say the town is the only holiday destination they would choose to visit repeatedly. There is simply no other town quite like this along Turkey's coast.

The old town curls snugly around an ancient harbour sheltered at the foot of the towering Taurus Mountains. The town overlooks a beautiful bay in which islands seem to magically float upon the shimmering sea. Narrow streets twist down to the harbour through the historic town and are lined with listed whitewashed villas with shuttered windows situated alongside small local specialty shops and restaurants. Overhead hang original ornately carved Ottoman timber balconies garlanded with brilliantly coloured bougainvillea cascading to the streets below. It is a very special place. Not only is this town is one of Turkey's most beautiful, but unlike other Turkish coastal resorts Kalkan's main economy is tourism and therefore its citizens put much pride and effort into the town's historic preservation. Because of this Kalkan has retained the texture of its history with its distinctive Greek architecture (it was once a Greek and Turkish fishing village). Very strict building codes keep the town small and architecturally blended with the historic heart of the town known as 'Old Town'.

Besides the famous historic architecture, the many excellent restaurants contribute to the special atmosphere of the resort. Good dining has always been the way of life here. In fact, Kalkan is said to have the highest number of restaurants and bars per inhabitant or square metre on Turkey's Turquoise Coast. Additionally, Kalkan is especially renowned for its numerous roof-top terrace restaurants and bars which offer a wonderful view of the town, sea and stars. You can also sit at one of the many fine harbour-side restaurants and watch the fishermen leave early in the morning as you tuck in your breakfast, or see them return with the day's catch in the evening.

This is a small town (of only a few thousand) which creates a wonderful intimate feeling. But do not let its size to mislead you! There is plenty to do in and around Kalkan. During the day the town is surprisingly empty as most guests choose to swim or explore the multitude of beautiful ancient Lycian and natural sites of the area. However, everything changes in the evening when Kalkan bursts alive for a long, festive night. Kalkan has many special qualities, but without a doubt it is the people of the resort who make the town extra special. 

Local people happily welcome you, and you may at first be surprised by the universal friendliness within the town. It is absolutely genuine. Warm Turkish hospitality and friendliness is the basis of life here and the people here sincerely enjoy getting to know their guests. So do not hesitate to accept one of the many tulip-shaped glasses of 'cay' (tea) you will be offered while you amble along the winding streets. You will not be hassled while you are a guest of Kalkan - the town is hassle free and is proud to be so. You will find a mixed population here, consisting mainly of locals, some Istanbul Turks who own businesses, as well as a small number of well-educated foreigners who have settled in the town.

Literature courtesy of the Turkish Tourist Board