9 of the Best Things to Do in Kalkan

For many decades, the small town of Kalkan was hardly mentioned in mainstream publications. Other Turkish destinations like cosmopolitan Bodrum or historical Istanbul gained admiration instead. That was until the turn of the century, when the small village attracted attention and respect from outside entities.

Why you Should go to Kalkan

Kalkan Turkey

Travel companies, magazines, and estate agents selling property in Kalkan, saw the opportunity to promote the town as an upmarket destination. Its central position on the Turkish Riviera and historical importance as a stopping point on the Lycian way, added to the appeal but it was the scenery, wealth of things to do and landscape that provided the most potential.

Things to do in Kalkan

The small bay, leads steeply up the surrounding hills ensuring most properties have an amazing and unforgettable view of the Mediterranean Sea and coastline. The area was already well known for vibrant orange sunsets but the well planned out urban development of the growing town ensured it kept its traditional and eye-catching ambiance.


According to Julian Walker, Director of Spot Blue, who are a leading property agent in Turkey, the already established hotel and property owners, ensure Kalkan will certainly not be turning into a “party” and “18’s only” scene.

It has achieved elite status as a Turkish holiday and expat destination and it will continue to uphold this reputation for many years. That status and holiday activities available, make it an ideal choice for a holiday destination.

Things to Do in Kalkan

A daily boat trip to the sunken city of Kekova and the ancient castle of Simena is one of the most popular activities. Setting off from the traditional village of Ucagiz, strong adventurers can also opt to sea-kayak the route.

Sea kayaking to Simena

A set tour, travels to the UNESCO ruins of Xanthos, the natural gorge of Saklikent and the long, sandy beach of Patara. If beaches don’t impress you,  explore the nearby ancient ruins or rustic village, that was one of the first places in Turkey to embrace tourism.

Patara Beach

The bustling region of Fethiye can be reached within a couple of hours on public transport. Ideally two days is needed to explore it properly so consider an overnight stay.

  • Explore the old town, with its quaint sit down bars and souvenir shops
  • The Lycian tomb of King Amyntas is high in the hillside overlooking the main town
  • Within a short bus ride from the centre is the ghost village of Kayakoy. Tour providers in Kalkan also operate excursions that head directly there
  • One of the most photographed places, is the Blue Lagoon is located nearby in Olu Deniz
  • Head to Fethiye fish market, pick your own fish and get one of the nearby restaurants cook it

Old Town Fethiye

Tlos is the home of ancient ruins dating from numerous empires including the Lycians and Ottomans. Mythological stories say the large rock tomb in the side of a cliff face, that is inaccessible to man, was the home of Pegasus, the winged horse.

Kalkan is also part of the Lycian way, a 516 kilometre route covering the Mediterranean coast and encompassing numerous historical ruins from the Lycian period. You can complete numerous stages using Kalkan as your starting point.

Ruins of Tlos

Every day, from the nearby resort of Kas,  a ferry heads to the neighbouring Greek island of Meis. The recommended activity while there, is to visit the amazing and stunningly beautiful Blue Cave.


Sports and Sailing

Since Kalkan is part of the Turkish Riviera, I strongly recommend sailing, whether it is a day cruise or completing a set Blue Voyage route. Boats are available for private hire or alternatively, you can always jump on board a charter cruise.

Scuba diving in this area is big business. Ship wrecks attract the most admiration while beginners prefer to start off in shallow waters. More than 15 sites sit between the coastline of Kalkan and neighbouring Kas, making it a haven for experienced scuba divers.

Alternatively, go jump off a mountain. No seriously, all jokes aside. You don’t need to jump, you run instead. In neighbouring Olu Deniz, the popularity of tandem paragliding with a professional means you can see up to 20 paragliders in the sky at a time. They run off Mount Babadag, at approximately 2000 metres, but if this is too high for you, head to Kas instead because they run off a mountain that is only 1000 metres high!

Paragliding in turkey

Kaptus Beach is another favoured spot with visiting foreigners and Turks. Reached by public transport, or within half an hour of driving, it sits off the main highway and is backed by a large gorge. It is popular because of the striking blue turquoise waters, however the huge amount of steps leading down to reach it, can put off anyone who is not energetic.

Question for Readers : Do you have any more suggestions of things to do in Kalkan?



Follow Natalie:
Hi. I'm Natalie, a freelance travel blogger and writer specializing in the country of Turkey. I love hot summer days, historical sites and coffee.

10 Responses

  1. No trouble like that whatsoever. Like you say, stolen passports are the kind of trouble to avoid. Go and enjoy yourself

  2. Goody2Shoes

    I have read the comments with interest !
    I went to Kalkan about 2 years ago, and it was fab !
    Planning to go back there this June 2015, and have been doing some trawling around the blogs to see if there has ever been any trouble in the last 2 years ( re the whole syria/isis/terrorist situation, )and to see if tourists in Kalkan are still safe.
    Cant find any info – does anyonew have any recent experience of travel to Kalkan.
    The only neative thing I can find is on a UK ov website which warns of passports being stolen from villas ??

    Any comments please –
    many thanks

  3. You will enjoy it Dorata.

  4. Dorota

    Thank you for the info and awesome pics !!!! We are going to be there pretty soon for a week, so I’m getting really excited 🙂

  5. Nat

    Changed for sure Alan but still admirable I think.

  6. Nat

    Aw – For sdome reason, I thought you had been. Another time hopefully

  7. Nat

    Try and get here sooner than later Alex – it is a great country

  8. Alex

    Great post, I am hoping to visit Turkey sometime in the next few years and after reading this I will definitely have to make sure I get to Kalkan

  9. Beautiful photos, Natalie! Sadly, we never made it to Kalkan. Maybe someday! 🙂

  10. Alan

    . . first place that J and I ever visited in Turkey – how it has changed over those years.