What to do and see in Kalkan, Turkey. - Holiday Travel Guide

I had so many questions about our recent trip to Kalkan; that I thought it would be best to put everything here in a small little guide. I’ve tried to answer as many questions as I can from my Instagram, but if you guys have anything further you want to know, ask me in the comments below :) 



So where is Kalkan? Kalkan is in the south of Turkey, we flew into Dalaman airport from London Gatwick and then it took a further 1 hour and 40 minutes to arrive to Kalkan. Our friends came here recently and stayed for 16 days and highly recommended it. It’s a small beautiful village with stunning scenery and good weather. Speaking to the locals and our neighbors we discovered that over the last 20 years it has become more and more developed and is becoming a bit of an English hot spot - it is still vastly undiscovered though so if you do want to come, I would suggest coming within the next few years to enjoy its culture before it becomes too touristy. Most people speak English, the food is halal and menus are normally in English too and the exchange rate is so good that most things are very affordable.

Before I talk about what there is to do in Kalkan, I thought I’ll guide you all through how I book and arrange everything for my travels. I’ve never used a travel agent but I’ve been on plenty of press trips so have learnt the best ways to do things as smoothly as possible. 

Flights - we traveled by EasyJet and if you book in advance you can get extremely affordable flights. It does begin to add up when you include seats, luggage and airport parking so the earlier you can do this the better. If your dates are flexible you can always get a good deal too, I prefer day time flights because I get quite bad travel anxiety and I don’t like leaving home on the middle of the night or arriving anywhere too late (that said we got to our villa at 1am when we arrived to Kalkan!). I think if you don’t have kids it’s a lot easier to choose any flight but with children you have to take a lot more into consideration. 

Insurance - as soon as my flights are booked; I always take out travel insurance. I normally buy an annual policy because we travel so much but because of Covid I didn’t think we would get to go abroad again this year so didn’t bother with an annual policy. The comparison sites are normally quite good at showing you what is covered and what isn’t and the policies are normally relatively cheap. For a one off policy I’ve always paid between £5-£40 depending on how many people and what we need covered. This just gives me protection in case anything happens, and in this current climate its good to have that extra peace of mind. 

Transfers - I’ve always been reluctant to go anywhere that is too far from the airport but it’s easy to book transfers or a rental car in advance. There are coaches available too as most people flying into Dalaman airport will be traveling at least an hour to reach their destination. I booked a private car as that was the most conveniant thing with children and a late night transfer and the driver was waiting for us at the airport. The transfer for 4 adults and 2 children was £60 each way - the car had WiFi, AC and car seats so I think it was money well spent as I could just relax a little. 






Accommodation - I started by looking on Booking.com - I always search here first and then double check anything on trip advisor to read reviews and see traveler pictures. I found a beautiful villa called Dahlia Penthouse Suite, when I was cross checking the reviews I googled the name and the same place came up on Air B&B for £200 cheaper! We’ve never stayed in a villa before as I always like to stay in a hotel - I like that someone comes in daily to clean and breakfast is always ready when you go down. But given the current climate we thought it was safer to go with an apartment - and it has its own private swimming pool! The apartment is part of a complex called Elif Apartments and I actually think some of the other apartments were much nicer (and had bigger pools!) but their pools were not private and I really wanted to be able to swim and sunbathe and just relax. There are plenty of apartments with pools on air bnb so I would give it a check. Our villa cost £550 for the 5 days and 3 bedrooms, so if you were going to split this between 3 couples it would be less than £200 each! The villa also had a kitchen and dining area which came in handy as we found it was too hot and too much hassle to go out for breakfast with the kids. They also provided a travel cot and high chair. Here is the link to where we stayed: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/16837162?source_impression_id=p3_1600006608_5cmgus4bTE%2Fr8Nzj (not sponsored or affiliate, I paid for this trip but just wanted to share as I know as a hijabi it can be hard to find somewhere with a private pool). The villa is at the top of the hill and the walk back up in the heat is an absolute killer - we only did it once and after that I insisted on a taxi every time. A taxi from town to the apartment costs 20 lira, which is about £2.25 with the current exchange rate. 





What is there to do? 
I normally pack so much into our vacations that I need another vacation when I get back home! I’m always focused on capturing content and I really wanted this to just be a relaxing holiday, especially as my parents were with us. 

We spent most days at the villa, relaxing by the pool and the boys loved it! We would then get ready and go out and explore in the afternoon and stay out during sunset and the evenings. If you’re traveling with kids then go easy with your itinerary and try not to plan too much - just go with the flow and see how the kids are feeling and what they want to do. Their sleep pattern and normal routine went out the window, but that’s fine because Turkey is 2 hours ahead and they’re on holiday! 

We were only there for a few days so we visited Patara beach - a white sandy beautiful beach that stretches so far and I could have easily spent all day there. Noah was in his element but it was a bit difficult with Yahya as he got covered in sand and didn’t like it. They have a small hut that was serving drinks and food like chips and burgers - they have outside showers, toilets and washing facilities. You can walk and sit anywhere you like on the beach - they also have sun beds and parasols that you can hire out. It was a beautiful day but the beach was not busy - I couldn’t believe it! I’m so used to seeing crowds and crowds of people at Bournemouth and Brighton and was shocked that it wasn’t busier here! They have a small shop outside too where you can buy souveniers. It took us about 20 minutes to get from our villa to Patara beach and cost 120 lira each way. Take your swim stuff and get changed and get into the water - I didn't take mine and regretted it! 

There are a few other beaches too. We visited the pebble beach in Kalkan; that is much smaller but it didn’t stop Noah going for a night time dip with my dad! It’s right at the bottom of the harbour near the restaurants and again it wasn’t busy (but probably because it was dark when we got there). 

My friends also visited Kaputas beach and they loved it - but there were a lot of stairs down and up to access the beach and I thought it would be too difficult with the buggy so we didn’t bother going. We took the Mamas and Papas twin cruiser with us and it was a life safer! We could put shopping in the bottom and hang the boys backpack on the handle and they were both happy and comfortable in there. Kalkan is very hilly so there is a lot of walking and it’s not easy, we did the walk back up the hill to our villa once (hubby pushed up the buggy) and after that I said no way are we doing that again! We got a taxi down into town and back up whenever we wanted to go out - it cost 20 lira each time and literally took a few minutes each time.

Kalkan town itself is so beautiful and picturesque - it reminded me a lot of Mykonos with the pebbled path ways and flowers everywhere. There are so many lovely places to eat and drink which I’ll share below. A couple of tips if you’re going into town - if like me you don’t want to walk or have a buggy to push, you can get a taxi all the way down to the harbour, this will mean you don’t need to do the super steep walk down (the buggy was literally dragging me down with it the first time I did it). If you want to look at the shops and explore the town; you can get the taxi to the taxi base - the walk through the shops is still hilly but a lot easier and there’s a lot to see. 






Atlantis wellness center and spa - you need to go here! It costs £18 for a Turkish bath and you will feel like a different person after. Hubby and I went for a bath and a massage and it was amazing - they told Fizan he had a bad shoulder so he booked himself in for a medical massage the next day. If I didn’t have the kids with me, I would have gone for a Turkish bath daily - my skin was shining and I felt so relaxed after.

My friends also booked a boat cruise and there’s lots of excursions and activities you can do. If we stayed longer I probably would have done a day trip into Kas as I’ve been told it’s beautiful. I really wanted to do a boat cruise but they have whole day trips which would have been too much with the boys - if we ever come again, I’ll book a private half day boat trip as I think that would be an amazing experience. You can book anywhere in town, there’s lots of stands and they speak good English. 

Where to eat?

So as I mentioned before, we ended up eating breakfast and lunch at the villa most days. We found it was the most convenient thing to do, but if you’re happy to go out in the heat or without kids then I would really recommend venturing out do breakfast. Most places do wonderful, huge Turkish breakfast spreads that are very affordabe - my friend recommend Bache Cafe but sadly we didn’t get a chance to try it. 

We ate at a few different restaurants in the evenings and the food was amazing everywhere. 

The first night we ate at Hunkar Ocakbasi - the restaurant was filled with Turkish residents (lost of Turks choose to go south for their summer vacations) and the food was divine. Very authentic; huge portions, affordable and delicious. We ended up bringing leftovers home because we didn’t realize  how big the portions would be and had it for lunch the next day! 

We also ate at Mabayn which I would recommend. The atmosphere was great - Noah even got up to have a little dance to the live music and was in his element! The food was very similar to the first place and although it was tasty, I personally think that Hunkar had better food. 

The restaurants at the harbour are stunning and the views from some of the restaurants slightly higher are unbelievable. Even if you don’t go there for dinner it’s well worth having a drink and taking on the views at sunset. 

We also ate twice at Guso restaurant - the service staff were so wonderful and made you feel welcome. The restaurant itself was very nice and the food was amazing, they had a great variety, their mojitos were refreshing and my mum loved their baklava! It was slightly pricier than some of the other places we ate - but was still less than £20 per person for huge portions, drinks and desserts! 



Covid - obviously traveling in the current climate is not the same as traveling normally but we have a very pleasant experience. Turkey is not on the quarantine list so we don’t have to stay at home when we get back and the infection rate here is very low. We had to wear masks in the taxi and shops but that’s normal practice at home too. We had to wear masks on the flight which I hated but the flight is less than 4 hours so not a huge problem. You have to complete a landing form before you arrive in Turkey to confirm you haven't had any covid symptoms or been in touch with anyone with covid, and you have to complete a Track and Trace form before you can go through border control once you land back in the UK. 

I have uploaded a vlog to my youtube channel which you can view here and if you have any questions just leave them in the comments :) 

2 comments

  1. MashaAllah very well written blog post :) . Very informative x

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  2. Thank you for taking the time out to share such detailed info, its soo hard as a hijabie to find places with a private pool that doesn't cost an arm and a leg! I have 3 young children so the mummy info really helps a lot Thanks again ��

    ReplyDelete

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