Kalkan was the only harbour to be found between Kas and Fethiye where the ships could safely dock in a storm. There was a battle fought in the bay after Roman and Rhodian ships unable to continue with their attack of the Lycian Port of Patara due to the adverse weather found safety in the bay of Kalkan. Famous for piracy, the Kalkan harbour no doubt would have made for a great hiding place from where the pirates could make attacks on the passing ships.
During the 19th century, Kalkan became an important port, more so than Fethiye or Antalya. The goods were all brought to Kalkan and the cargo ships were loaded at the harbour to sail to the far reaches of the Ottoman Empire.
The harbour was the mainstay of the village due to the service that it provided until about the beginning of the 1950s. Then trade began to slow immensely due to the improvement of the roads and the introduction of land based transportation. With the sea trade becoming almost non-existent the people of Kalkan began to leave in search of work.
The end of the 1970’s saw a revival in Kalkan as tourists began to arrive and they are today the main source of economy for the region.
Kalkan harbour has retained its historic charm and with the strict building and preservation codes that have been enforced it will remain this way. Despite the changes tourism has forced upon the people, traditional life still remains for the majority.
Such places of outstanding unspoilt natural beauty are hard to come by and a visit to the harbour really should be included on your list of things to do. With many boutiques, cafes and restaurants surrounding the harbour there is an awful lot to see and do. The Taurus Mountains provide the ultimate backdrop.
Kalkan is spectacularly beautiful. It is really a sight to behold and it is an area that has not been overtaken with nightclubs and loud parties of youngsters out to get drunk. This is for the more romantic and those that appreciate peace and beauty. Later of an evening some of the bars do become dance clubs, however unless you are standing next to them you will not be affected by this.
The beach is shingle and not that big, however there is always space, it is clean with stunning clear water and a place for swimmers away from the passing boats. There are sun loungers and umbrellas available to hire.
There is plenty of accommodation available in the newer part of Kalkan, which includes, budget hotels, apartments and standalone villas most of which have spectacular views out across the sea. There are also large supermarkets enabling you to stock up should you need too. There are also nice collections of restaurants that are far cheaper than those on the harbour or in the old town.