Written by Missy Johnston

Kalkan, Turkey

Kalkan, Turkey

On the Mediterranean coast of Turkey lies the city of Kalkan. A charming vacation destination with plenty to offer in terms of beaches and historical sites, Kalkan is a lovely stop during a luxury yacht cruise in Turkey.

History of Kalkan

Greek traders were the first to settle in Kalkan, but they were so successful that other Greek and Turkish settlers followed. Kalkan’s harbor was also an incentive because it was the only hospitable and safe harbor between Fethiye and Kas.

Kalkan goods, such as silk, cotton, olive oil, grapes, sesame seeds, and timber, were traded with other parts of the Ottoman Empire, including Lebanon, Syria, Cyprus, and Egypt.

Downtown Shopping Area, Kalkan Turkey

Downtown Shopping Area, Kalkan Turkey

Kalkan continued to prosper in trade well into the 20th century, but, as with all of Turkey, the founding of the Turkish Republic in the 1920s brought changes to the area. Greek residents left for Greece and Australia, and Turks living in Turkey began to move to Kalkan.

Tourism began to overtake trade in the 1960s as yacht charters began to travel through the area, and today, charter yachts with private charter yacht guests visiting ashore eating in the local restaurants and buying in the local shops continues to be the main source of revenue for the city.

Tour the city’s downtown area

Kalkan is a great place to enjoy a relaxing stroll surrounded by bright, cheerful coastal colors, to taste incredibly fresh local food with a seaside view, or to shop for souvenirs. Lovely streets with white buildings and bright flowers contain restaurants and shops within easy walking distance of the harbor.

Venture into nature

 Dalyan River, Turkey

Dalyan River, Turkey

Beyond the gorgeous view from a private yacht of Kalkan’s harbor and coastline, other nature excursions are available. Kayak up the Dalyan River or explore the natural beauty of Kalkan’s surrounding areas by hiking the gorge at Saklikent.

Relax on the beach

Kaputas Beach, about five minutes from the city center of Kalkan (or an easy approach from the sea), is a pebble-studded beauty with postcard-worthy cliffs and the incredibly bright blue water. Enjoy a long walk on the beach or an invigorating swim in the warm ocean waters.

Kaputas Beach, Turkey

Kaputas Beach, Turkey

Sail to Patara, about 20 minutes away from Kalkan, for a quieter and more private experience. With soft, powdery sand, many food and drink options, and the benefits of these lesser-known-than-Kalkan’s beaches, Patara is a pleasant afternoon jaunt. History lovers will enjoy the nearby Lycian ruins that reveal stories about Patara’s past. As with every lovely coastal village along the southern coast of Turkey that was once the ancient trading route, there is always the lovely coast, beaches, the village with restaurants and shops, mixed in with ancient history and ruins.