The reason for its popularity could be scenic views, impeccable services offered by tourism establishments and high-quality vibes but the enormous wealth of activities in the resort and surrounding areas are attractive to everyone from history buffs to beach lovers. In particular, there are six highly recommended excursions - even enjoyable for those who live in Kalkan.
Top 6 Things to do in KalkanExplore the Turkish Riviera
Kalkan is proud to be part of the Turkish Riviera, a sailing route stretching from Izmir on the Aegean coast to the cosmopolitan region of Antalya. One quirky aspect of hooking up to the Turkish Riviera is sailing in a traditional Turkish gulet boat.
Constructed by hand from wood, these boats are built using precise methods handed down through generations of boatbuilding families. The original purpose was as fishing or sponge diving vessels, but now they have adapted to accommodate passengers for overnight visits.
Many Kalkan holidaymakers and expats, spend three days sailing the coastline, to explore historical ruins, secret bays and coves as well as surrounding resorts like quaint Kas, rustic Patara, or the bustling region of Fethiye. If three days on a boat is too much, gulet boats can be rented by the day from Kalkan harbour.
Find the Gems of the Lycian way
Another claim to fame for Kalkan is its position on the official Lycian trekking route. Stretching from Antalya to Fethiye, this 516-kilometre trek encompasses impressive historical ruins from the Lycian period.
This empire was dominant on the Mediterranean coast around the 5th century BC and the legacy they left behind of being a forward thinking civilisation earned them respect in the history books. Ancient ruins on the Lycian way include the UNESCO world heritage sites of Xanthos and Letoon as well as Patara and Myra. Anyone not particularly enthralled by trekking, can also easily exploring these ruins by using local transport, hiring a car or signing up for daytime excursions.
Paraglide off a Mountain
From historical ruins to flying through the sky, definitely drop into the nearby resort of Kas that is just a 30 minutes’ drive away. Of course, exploration of this coastal resort is fun and relaxing but many visitors from Kalkan go for one specific reason and that it is to paraglide off a nearby mountain.
Taking off at 1000 metres, customers are strapped in with a professional pilot making this activity ideal for novices who want to see the coastal resort from a bird’s eye view. The ride lasts roughly 20 minutes, costs 90 USD and passengers even get to view the Greek island of Meis.
Visit a Delightful Greek island
Still talking about Meis, also called Kastellorizo, this small island rarely features in guidebooks but it is worth leaving Turkey for the day to explore it. A daytime ferry service runs from Kas and the short ride docks into Meis harbour which screams of typical Greek ambience and vibes.
Seaside cafes filled with locals, serve traditional Greek cuisine and obviously fresh fish and seafood dishes. A wander around the town, reveals some interesting architecture and if your legs can handle the strenuous walk, at the top of a nearby hill is the castle. Turn around, when you reach the top and you are rewarded with stunning views of the harbour and coastline.
However, the top recommended activity while in Meis is to visit the Blue cave. Small boats charge 10 euros and depart from the harbour when they have enough passengers. They zip around the coastline to a small inlet in a large rock of which the only way to enter is by lying down in the boat. Once inside the crystal blue water shines off the rock walls, illuminating the large size and the secret cave quickly becomes people fondest memories of their time on the island.
Walk the Natural Landmark of Saklikent Gorge
A popular family activity from Kalkan is a Jeep safari trip into the winding mountain roads. The tour covers all well-known sites including ancient ruins and small villages, where you can grasp an idea of what traditional Turkish life, away from the coastal resorts, actually entails.
For many, the highlight of the trip is visiting Saklikent Gorge that is a narrow mountain gap formed hundreds of years ago, possibly by an earthquake. These days, its scenic beauty makes it a top recommended activity of the Mediterranean coast and visitors flock there to walk through the shallow river, flowing in the middle.
Lunch is served at the nearby traditional restaurants or the Jeeps head into the mountains of the Xanthos valley to Yakapark, which is a trout farm, popular for its BBQ fish and stunning landscape views.
De-stress with a Turkish Bath
If you want to stay in Kalkan, rather than explore nearby regions, consider a visit to the local Turkish hamam on your first day, so you can indulge in a relaxing and traditional Turkish bath. This Ottoman tradition actually stemmed from the Roman concept of public bathhouses and any Turk will confirm it is the best way to be cleaned and de-stress at the same time.
After sweating it out in a sauna room, guests lie down on a marble slab, to be covered with soapsuds, and scrubbed with a loofah to remove dead skin. After a wash down with cold water, it is time to dry off and complete the experience with a soothing olive oil massage. Turkish visitors to traditional hamam houses usually go naked but tourists can opt to keep their swimming costumes on.
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