Places to Visit Places of Interest & Things to Do
Kalkan itself is centred around a small harbour, where boats leave for the islands full of day trippers. Take a trip to Snake Island or Mouse Island, or see the famous Blue Cave. If you wish you may deep sea dive with experienced instructors, or simply snorkel. For those who are after activity during the day there are trekking trips, canoeing and para gliding. You can take a day cruise on a gulet, enjoy diving from the boat in a sandy cove, eat a leisurely lunch prepared by the crew and simply relax and enjoy the turquoise waters. There are also two or three day cruises from Kalkan floating around the islands and spending the nights on the boat.
If you fancy just wandering around the narrow twisting streets of Kalkan there is a myriad of shops to visit, be prepared to take your time as you will offered a cup of cay (tea) in many places. There are carpet shops with hand made kilims (rugs), hand made jewellery, ornate clay pots and much more. Look at our photo gallery for an example of what you can buy, or indeed just look at Kalkan. Take time for a relaxing lunch at one of the many restaurants and just look out over the Mediterranean and feel your cares wash away.
Kalkan is set in a breathtaking landscape in the heart of the old Lycian region a wonderful place for explorers of Roman, Greek and Lycian archaeological sites. Ruined and deserted towns, remains of temples, graveyards and other reminders of the past are abundant in this area. The ancient sites of Xanthos, Letoon, Pinara, Tios and Patara with its 18km of white sandy beach (the largest beach in Turkey) are all close by. A little further afield is Kekova, Demre, Myra, Phaselis, Olympos and Aspendos, all easily accessible.
Patara, in ancient times renowned for its fortune-telling Oracle, was once the main port of Lycia. The Temple of Athena, the triumphant arch, the theatre and the bath houses still stand. Patara is the birthplace of St Nicholas (Santa Claus or Father Christmas). Today the area is under environmental protection mainly for the native sea turtles who use this area as a breeding ground.
Xanthos was also the capital of Lycia and here you can visit the monument of the Nereids, whose friezes have since found their way to England, there is an acropolis, and tombs carved in the rocks and a well preserved theatre.
The third ancient city is Letoon . According to legend the Goddess Leto had two children fathered by the God Zeus, when the local people tried to stop her bathing her children in the waters she changed them into frogs, and to this day Letoon is still under water and a breeding ground for frogs.
There are many local markets to visit, Kalkan on Thursdays, Fethiye on Tuesdays, Kas on Friday. These markets don’t just cater to the seasonal tourists they are there to serve the local population as well, and alongside the ‘designer’ handbags you will find hardware stalls selling hinges for carts, axes, quilts and blankets, carpets, cloth, medicinal oil and much more.
Take a trip up to Bezirgan, just 5 km from Kalkan, and look at a real, working Turkish village. Here you will see farmers growing and harvesting their crops of wheat, almonds, figs, olives, chickpeas and sesame much as their fathers before them.