Spain and Portugal are fully booked this summer according to recent reports, so people are starting to think about a holiday in Turkey again. Here at HHT we never stop thinking about it, Turkey is what we do.
Turkey has suffered a lot of bad press recently, with terrorist activity and being used as a pawn in political debate. The coastal areas from the Black Sea, all the way round past Istanbul, Izmir, Bodrum and on along the southern turquoise coastline have always been popular with tourists. It goes without saying then that a massive number of people rely on the industry to ensure they have an income. People who are kind, generous, hospitable and very hard working, ensuring those that do visit have an amazing holiday in a country they are very proud of.
To be very clear, the terror alert status in Turkey is exactly the same as that in Britain, Spain and France – yes it’s high, but it’s high here at home too. Secondly, just like at home, even if there is some kind of attack, the chances of you being caught up in it are still tiny. Is it really worth missing out on almost guaranteed sunshine, oodles of culture and history, glorious beaches and one of the warmest welcomes anywhere in the world, for such a tiny risk which you are equally subject to in your own home town or city?
Which leads nicely on to a little bit more detail about Kalkan, our little gem on the Turquoise Coast. Let’s start with some geography – pay attention at the back! Kalkan is something in the region of 700+ miles from the Syrian border – it won’t quite get you from Lands End to John O’Groats, but you will be pretty close. Would you not visit Edinburgh just because there had been a terrorist attack in London? It is also about the same distance from Istanbul and nearly 500 miles from Ankara, that is a lot of miles over some pretty mountainous territory, few visitors realise quite how vast this country actually is.
Kalkan is a small town, well off the radar of the more well known and larger tourist destinations. Originally an important trading port and now a town which nestles into it’s hillsides like a tailored suit, with almost every property having some kind of sea view. A view which looks out over the bay, with the two islands known affectionally as Mouse and Snake. The old town is architecturally beautiful, with both Greek and Turkish origins, whilst the small but perfectly formed harbour glitters and sparkles in the sunshine and the waves lap against the prettiest of boats in every shape and size. Next door to the harbour is the small beach, and the bay area is lined with beach clubs.
Kalkan is particularly known for it’s food – the town has become the place to visit along this coast line for every type of Turkish/Mediterranean Cuisine, from traditional to modern and has something of reputation amongst foodies. One thing is for sure, your only problem will be not wanting to go home until you have sampled every restaurant – that could take a while, you might have to book a return visit… you might also feel the need to revisit the stylish boutique shops again too.
Over the years, the people of Kalkan have perfected the art of creating the perfect destination for anyone, whether family, couples, young and, shall we say, the more mature and of course groups of friends or single travellers – without ever sinking into being all tourist and nothing else. One of our specialities here at HHT is finding exactly the right accommodation to suit your needs and most options and combinations are available. Kalkan still retains a very Turkish feel and ambience, a laid back, relaxing something which is much harder to find in the bigger towns. Most of the locals speak some English too, which is always useful, though good manners dictate you should always try and learn a few words of the lingo, even its only please and thankyou.
As well as the beach clubs, restaurants and boutiques, Kalkan has pretty much everything modern day living requires. Virtually every restaurant and bar has free wi-fi, as do most hotels and villas/apartments, so mobile data on your phones is rarely needed unless your phone company is offering a particularly good rate. If you do, or just wish to make calls, the signal is nearly always good. There are supermarkets, newsagents, a post office, several banks, chemists and the Thursday market [we highly recommend a visit to the market both for cheap shopping and divine street food] – a lot of people live in the town, mainly Turks, but also a smattering of British ex-pats and other foreign nationals too, so it has everything for day to day existence, even in winter if you want to escape the UK at that time of year. Taxis to get you back up the hills after a few cocktails are plentiful and inexpensive and of course there are local car hire, moped hire and transfer companies too. Dalaman airport is about 90 mins away, whilst bigger towns like Kas [20 mins away] and Fethiye/Oludiniz [45 mins away] are easily accessible if you want to feel a bigger city around you. If you just want more beach – 15 mins to Patara, only 12kms of gorgeous beach… we can guarantee you will definitely find a spot for your towel and sunglasses!
Finally, Kalkan is the perfect base for exploring the region as a whole. There are several ways you can do this – a plethora of organised tours will take you to see ancient ruins like Tloss, or further afield to the ‘cotton castle’ at Pamukkale, gorge walking at Saklikent, chilling out in Kekova. Alternatively, take to the seas on a boat trip out of the harbour, or grab the ferry at Kas and head 3 miles across the sea to Greece – well ok, a little bit of it on the Island of Meis. If you prefer a little more adrenaline in your travels, there are watersports, mountain biking, horse riding and paragliding activities all locally, to name just a few. We can help plan all these adventures for you, just let Julia know what tickles your fancy, and Our Man in Kalkan will do the rest, all you have to do is pack your sun lotion and be ready to have a fabulous time.
If like us you are comfortable driving, then car hire is readily available and you can plan your own adventures. Though we do recommend you swat up a little on the Turkish rules of the road – and then be prepared for the locals completely ignoring them. To be fair driving in Turkey is no worse than London or other main European cites, but there are some rules and ‘unwritten etiquettes’ which are worth knowing about before you get behind the wheel.
So, Kalkan is beautiful, welcoming and safe and right now there are some fabulous deals on flights to Turkey, so forget the Costas, come and have a holiday you will never forget. To quote one of our recent guests… “Absolutely love Kalkan, a beautiful friendly place. We have met so many lovely people & made some great new friends… Turkey is a wonderful country & people shouldn’t be put off going there, especially Kalkan, one of the nicest places we have ever been to ” – get in touch to start planning your future holiday memories in Kalkan and in the meantime, have a look at a few of ours in the Kalkan Photo Gallery