It is rare in this day and age, to find a region with an established summer holiday industry which provides a vital source of income for the economy, that is largely unspoilt and in something like its traditional, natural state.
However, the Lycian coast of Turkey has managed to evade the onset of mass tourism and as a result is an ideal place to visit for those who wish to encounter an area which has evolved on its own terms and retains the cultural identity of authentic architecture and ancient history sites.
Kalkan is an old fishing port on the Mediterranean, but remains more sophisticated than the usual sunshine and seaside destination. Rather, its appeal is for those who might otherwise visit Tuscany or Provence in search of more cerebral stimulation.
For that reason, many visitors will expect there to be villas and apartments to rent, rather better quality hotels but still be available for those looking to get late deals. There are also the organised package holidays available and many of these will be structured for those looking for luxury holidays.
The streets are narrow, overhung with original Ottoman balconies which provide a charming atmosphere in conjunction with the flaming bougainvillea flowers which cascade down from them.
The town does have a beach, and offers water sports including scuba diving in the clear waters, river canoeing and also paddling in an inner tube on the river.
There are 6 beach clubs in the resort featuring terraces and gardens which make for a very civilised day.
There are boat trips available on Gulets, which are wooden Turkish yachts. Many trips are a day long excursion and leave at 10am, and include meals on board and swimming stops.
Other trips are on glass bottomed boats to view the rich and varied life beneath the waves, and also fishing trips can be arranged.
Walking is excellent and there are routes both along the coast and into the surrounding mountains.
There is also a tandem paragliding opportunity at Kas, while in the town of Fethiye you can scrub up at the traditional Turkish baths.
Kalkan also has plenty to offer after sunset too. There is a trout farm restaurant in the mountains behind the town which offers fabulous fish dishes with beautiful scenery away from the coastal heat.
The resort has a multitude of dining options, with more restaurants and bars per person than anywhere else in coastal Turkey, and the famous rooftop restaurants can be found at most hotels.
Other hotels offer traditional Turkish fare, which usually takes the form of 3-4 small starters, a main course and finish with fruit or dessert and a ‘sherkerli’, which is the renowned coffee.
Many of the bars have their own entertainment which may include a gypsy band, jazz and other live music and there are a few bars which offer dancing plus two dedicated disco bars.
Many places in Kalkan have a traditional evening once a week, featuring rooftop terrace banquets, folk music and belly dancing, and children’s dance troupes.
However, the proprietors are subject to strict noise rules, which mean that those with children or wanting an early night are not going to be disturbed.
Kalkan is a wonderful place to visit for anyone who wants something more sophisticated and refined in a coastal summer resort.
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