Kalkan

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More than just a beach town, tiny Kalkan is a surprisingly sophisticated mini metropolis that serves as a delightful base for exploring the surrounding coast. Like many Mediterranean towns, this picturesque seaside village has steep cobblestone streets speckled with pensions, varied and inviting restaurants, and small shops teeming with spices, carpets, and jewels. If Kalkan’s small, rocky harbor beach disappoints, head 3km toward Kaş for the exquisite sand of Kaputaş Beach.

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TRANSPORTATION            

Buses, dolmuş, and taxis stop on a hill above the shopping district and harbor.

  • Buses: Kamil Koç (844 24 66) and Pamukkale (844 33 46) serve Kalkan. To: Ankara (10hr., 9pm, $16); Antalya (4hr., 7:35am-6pm, $5.50); Aydın (7hr.; 9:30am, 9:30pm; $10); Bodrum (6hr., 10am, $10); Dalaman (3hr.; 9:30, 10am, 9:30pm; $3.50); Fethiye (1hr., 9am-9:30pm, $2); Istanbul (12hr., 7pm, $20); İzmir (8hr.; 9:30am, 9:30pm; $11); Kaş (30min., 7:30am-6pm, $1); Kemer (4hr., 7:30am-6pm, $5); Köyceğiz (3hr.; 9:30, 10am, 9:30pm; $5); Olimpos (4hr., 7:30am-6pm, $5); Ortaca (3hr.; 9:30, 10am; $4); Selçuk (7hr.; 9:30, 10am, 9:30, 10:15pm; $12). To reach Dalyan, change buses in Ortaca.
  • Dolmuş: From the stop uphill from the PTT to: Kaputaş Beach (15-20min., every 30min., $.60); Kaş (every 30min„ $1.20); Patara (frequent, $1).
  • Taxis: (844 31 00). Taxis cluster around the bus stop uphill on the main road.

ORIENTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Kalkan is on the main road betwreen Fethiye and Kaş. The road downhill passes the PTT and banks before becoming Hasan Altan Sok. and entering an area with shops and pensions. The two roads that break off from it, sloping down to the harbor, are possible places to look for pensions and restaurants.

  • Travel Agencies: AB! Travel (844 26 94; fax 844 26 95), one of the first offices on the right when entering the main shopping district beyond the dolmuş stop. The English-speaking staff helps with canoe trip tickets and plans daytrips to the area’s small islands and sites, including Saklikent Gorge and Tlos, Xanthos, and Letöon, and the sunken city of Kekova ($21-26). They also rent cars ($29-50 per day; cheaper for 6 days or more). Open Apr.-Oct. daily 8:30am-midnight.
  • Kalamus Specialty Tours (fax 844 24 56), right before ABI, specializes in tailor-made treks and tours dedicated to showing visitors “the real heart of Turkey.” These include daily tours of nomad villages to learn about Lycian archaeology, local architecture, religion, culture and crafts, nature, and photography ($20-30, lunch included). Open daily 9am-11pm.
  • Bank: TC Ziraat Bankası (844 34 26), on the left side of the main road when coming from the bus stop, has a Cirrus/MC/V ATM. Open M-F 9am-12:30pm and 1:30-6pm. For currency exchange, try the bank across from Kalamus Tours (open daily 9am-mid- night).
  • Pharmacy: (542 433 48 12), uphill from the bus stop. Open daily 8am-8pm.
  • Hospital: Tuana Medical Center (844 22 44), up the road and to the right before the dolmuş stop on Kalamar Cad. English-speaking doctors available. Open 24hr.
  • Internet Access: Osi’s Internet Cafe (711 53 25), on the harbor, charges $2 per hr. Open daily 9am-midnight. Up the hill from the dolmuş stop and on your first right is Cimbirik Cafe, which features an enormous television that plays international sporting events. $2 per hr. Open daily 10am-midnight.
  • PTT: (844 32 30), on the left side of the main road, past the dolmuş station. Currency exchange, fax, and poste restante. Open daily 8am-midnight; in winter 8:30am-7pm.

ACCOMMODATIONS                   

  • Kalamakı Pension (844 33 53; fax 844 36 54). Follow the road down from the dolmuş station, taking the road as it splits to the left at Moonlight Bar. At the end of the street go downhill and Kalamaki is to the right. 16 beautiful rooms with A/C and bath in a classy hotel. Take your breakfast (included) on the gorgeous rooftop terrace with sea view. Singles $12; doubles $20.
  • Holiday Pansiyon (844 31 54; fax 844 37 77). Uphill from Kalamaki Pension. 8 simple, clean rooms with bath. Some with harbor views. Singles $8; doubles $15.
  • Öz Pansiyon (844 34 44 fax 844 22 22), uphill on the first left after the dolmuş station. Öz is on the right, just over the rainbow. 11 modern rooms with baths, A/C, and balcony. Bright and relaxing terrace with a view to the sea. Breakfast included. Singles $15; doubles $20.
  • Çelik Pension, 9 Yaliboyu Mah. (844 21 26), to the left off the main road from the bus stop. 9 clean rooms, most with balcony, bath, and screens. Breakfast served on a modest, flower-shaded rooftop. For quiet, ask for a room away from the noisy bars. Singles $10; doubles $15.

FOOD 

  •  Foto’nun Yeri (844 34 64). Head uphill from the dolmuş stop and make the first left. A canopied restaurant with great fresh food. Sit up on the wooden platform for an extensive view of Kalkan and, at night, the quiet stars. Gözleme $2; mantı (ravioli) $3.50; menemen (omelette) $3. Open daily 8:30am-midnight.
  • Ali Baba Lokanta (844 36 27). Locals flock to this simple, modest family kitchen for its filling fixed menu ($1.50). Nothing over $4. Open 24hr.     
  • Belgin’s Kitchen, 1 Yalıboyu Mah., 2 Nolu Sok. (844 36 14), down the main shopping street and off a street to the right past Yalı Cafe. Carpets, low couches, and a relaxed terrace create a pleasant atmosphere. Friendly, family-run business. Mantı $4.80; stuffed grape leaves $2.50; çorba $1.50. Also serves trout ($7), and yogurt and honey ($2.40). Live traditional Turkish music every night. Open daily 10am-2am.
  • Özgür Kitchen (844 25 69), down the first street toward the harbor from the dolmuş station. A cozy and relaxed spot with a breezy upstairs terrace. Try the delicious gözleme ($2-3) and fresh melon juice ($1.50). Omelettes $3-5; çorba $1.50; pasta $3.50. 15% discount with ID. Open daily 9am-1:30am.

SIGHTS  

Kalkan has a small but decent beach to the left of the marina (when facing the water). Even better is Kaputaş Beach, a wonderful sandy cove with excellent views of the islands, located 15 minutes away by dolmuş. Be prepared for a steep hike between the dolmuş drop-off and parking at the top of the cliff down to the water. Kalkan is also a good place from which to embark on any of the standard boat tours along the Mediterranean coast (see Travel Agencies).

NIGHTLIFE         

  • Yacht Point Bar (844 20 84). The hottest, hippest, busiest bar in Kalkan. Dim outdoor seating where you can snuggle up to a new friend or bump and grind to Euro-pop. Beer $1.50; rakı $2.50; cocktails $7-8. Open daily noon-4am.
  • Eil Kleo Cafe/Bar (844 33 30). Beautiful location with sumptuous lighting and mood music. Behold the bobbing saiiboat lights and listen to the lapping ocean while lapping a gin and tonic ($6). Beer $1.50; rakı $2.50. Open daily 8:30pm-4am.
  • Moonlight Bar (844 30 43). Head downhill from the bus stop and turn left before the shopping district. A popular nightspot that enjoys good company in daylight, with excellent music and a stylish crowd. Outdoor tables and an indoor dance floor. Beer $1.50; rakı $2.50; cocktails $6. Open daily noon-3am.
  • Yalı Cafe-Bar (844 34 90), down from the buses on the main shopping road. Where the elder Brits bop to their own pop. Outside seating. Bright bar and dance floor. Happy hour 6-10pm (buy 2, get 3). Beer $1.25; cocktails $7. Open daily 1pm-3am.

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