Things to do in Kalkan
Kalkan is very quiet during the day. Most of the holidaymakers will be relaxing round the pool, wandering around the shops whilst the restaurant and bar owners will be hanging out in the shade. However if you do fancy leaving your sunbed, you could head to one of the beaches, take a boat trip, have a spa treatment or explore the village. If you fancy venturing outside of Kalkan there is plenty to see and do without having to travel too far.
There is no shortage of places to swim and sunbathe in Kalkan. The public beach with white pebbles is rewarded with the Blue Flag for cleanliness and water quality and is very popular with the locals as well as visitors. Alternatively you can hop on a free water taxi from the harbour to one of the superb beach clubs. There are plenty to choose from; Mahal, Yali, Kalamar, Patara Prince and Kalkan Beach Park which is more child friendly as there are activities and shallow water so you can walk in or there is Indigo Beach just by the harbour wall. I tend to favour Palm Beach as it has the extra bonus of being able to catch up with friends that work there. My ‘not very confident’ swimmer friend says it has the easiest steps to get in to the sea but I think the fond memories of long lunches in the cabanas with ice cold rose are equally what brings us back here. For the more adventurous, why not dive from the decking into the crystal clear waters but beware in the early season, the waters can be quite cool and take your breath away. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas at any of the beaches and spend the whole day relaxing without breaking the piggy bank! Whilst basking in the early evening sun, make sure to keep a look out for the yachts and gulets making their way back to the harbour.
Your holiday wouldn’t be complete without a boat trip and regardless of the size of your group, there is a boat for you. There are plenty to choose from. You just need to decide whether you want to share with other people or not. In high season, you can’t always turn up and expect to get on one of the smaller boats so it is worth heading down after breakfast or early evening to book. For parties up to 6-8 people, keep an eye out for Zeus, Ali’s boat or look for the brothers Osman & Adem, who have Yildiz 2 and Yildiz 3, which can take 12 up to 22 people. From about 10am until your return around 5pm, you will be able to explore new beaches, swim in the open sea, go into caves and sunbathe. What always amazes me on such small boats is the quantity and quality of the lunches - the food always keeps coming, of course there is always fish, freshly caught and cooked by the captain. I’ve been on these trips many times - I let the captain decide where to go; left or right as you leave the harbour. If you fancy a night cruise some boats do evening dinner cruises too.
Did you know that, in the old days, Turkish women would go to the hamam to check out the single girls and then tell their sons! How things have changed! Nowadays, heading for the hamam is the first thing to do after a 4 hour flight from the UK. If you can, go first thing in the morning on your first day. It starts the holiday of so well and it helps to keep your tan longer too. Many of the hotels offer hamam and spa treatments but I highly recommend Atlantis, just behind Yali Supermarket. It may not be as posh as the hotel spas but it is more authentic and the staff are very friendly and professional. Oh by the way, don't think that you have to take all your clothes off, beachwear is fine. Now imagine this...you are in a warm, cosy room being soaked with lovely hot water, your skin scrubbed till it shines and then washed with a pillow case full of lemon soap bubbles...just bliss 🙂 After your hamam relax with a cup of the famous Turkish Apple Tea while you plan how best to show off your glamorous skin that evening.
Where do I start! … For such a small village, there are so many great shops offering whole variety of things you will want to take home. From Turkish carpets, kilims, jewellery, ceramics, glass lamps, lucky eye souvenirs, clothes, Turkish sweets and spices to leather goods. If you love silver, Koseleci run by Selda Hanim is a must see, just opposite Kalamaki Restaurant. Pop into one of the clothes shops or tailors for linen, pashminas and clothes and you might even find the odd designer copies too. You should look out for Turkish leather goods, especially good handbags handmade typically from sheep or lamb. Check out Class Leather Bags / Mulberry. I still have the first bag I bought from Cafer on my first trip 15 years ago but that hasn’t stopped me adding to my collection. Alternatively stop here to buy an extra bag to take all your new goodies home!
Every Thursday there is a market which sells more or less everything; fruit, vegetables, cookware, meat, spices, Turkish Delight, toys, shoes and clothes. It’s worth going early to avoid the heat but beware it is always busy. Test your haggling skills and barter with the locals. Listen out for the catch phrases such as ‘cheap at Asda price'.