Kalkan is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. I first arrived in 2007 and was instantly captivated by the people as well as the place. Situated 90 minutes from Dalaman Airport – yes the transfer time is worth it – Kalkan has had some marvellous accolades bestowed on it from travel critics. The Sunday Times wrote that Kalkan would attract visitors who would also enjoy Tuscany or the Dordogne. The Guardian likens the town to “the Italian Riviera minus the posers.”
Is it true? I don’t know. I don’t know if I need to know because for me there is no comparison. The cobbled streets ooze sophistication, the dozens of rooftop restaurants all compete for trade happily and the lack of nightclubs and noise all give the place a definite thumbs up in my eyes. It might not be for everyone. I’m not sure if you can get a full English breakfast (vital for some on vacation, I know). There are a couple of places which lure in sports fans with their big screens and for those who just can’t leave their laptop at home there is wi-fi available throughout Kalkan.
But the best thing about Kalkan is hopping on the dolmus and discovering what’s on the doorstep. Operating a cyclical route throughout the summer, the dolmus (a mini bus) take you from one end of Kalkan to the other. From Kisla you can get to Kalamar Bay. Make sure you get off at Kulube Beach and try the pancakes which are made to order at the beach club. Sun loungers are free here and because you’re at the end of the line in Kalkan, the club tends to be a little less crowded.
Don’t fancy the bus? Then wander down to the Kalkan Beach Club – just five minutes walk all down hill from Lazy Daisy – and pick up the water taxi to take you into the centre of Kalkan. The water taxis operate throughout the day but make sure you arrive early for the last boats in the evening as these tend to get full quickly as diners make their way to the many restaurants.
Shopping is a dream in Kalkan. Gorgeous jewellery shops offering hand made silver trinkets as well as sparkly fun accessories are plentiful. And anyone who has been before will revel in their stories of the ‘genuine fake’ shops. Fred Perry, Abercrombie & Fitch, Dolce & Gabbanna are just some of the designer names which can be purchased with Ray Bans, Gucci and Rolex accessories also on sale to complete your look. All great fun!