Turkish Riveria (Kalkan, Turkey)
Kalkan is Turkey’s answer to Antibes in France or Postiano in Italy. While I am not certain if Turkey has coined the term ‘Riveria’ for its coastline, if there was one, the stretch between Fethiye and Kas (pr: Kash), which includes Kalkan, would be it.
Nestled high into the hill, descending into the Aegean, Kalkan is a picturesque little tourist destination in it’s own right, currently undergoing a Brittish invasion (the non-Beatles kind). Well, when you get 2.5 pounds to 1 Turkish lira, it’s no wonder that Englanders swoop to Turkey in the 10’s of thousands.
Reasonable real estate going in the mid 50’s ( in $’s) 10 years ago, now easily go for 250 or 300, pricing most locals out of their own community. But once the dreaded months emerge, the sunburned Brits pack up and head back for the gray,dreary skies of home.
I stayed at an little cozy pension run by a family with a limited command of English, precisiosly the type of place that I adore. When you factor in AC, private room with shower, free breakfast and internet all for 40 TL or $25, this place was right on the mark.Also, any other place would have gone for $60 a night!
With the opressive heat and ubiquitous, sadistic stairs, there isn’t much to do in Kalkan besides Turkish swag shopping, drinking, and day-tripping. Thhe town geographically lends itself to several nice little trips to see you guessed it…RUINS! Also, to cool off or take a break from the rocky beaches, there are daily boat tours that leave at 1030 am and cruise the cerulean waters of the Med. Best part, they cap the population of the boats, so instead of 70 of your best pals, you’ll spend 8 hours with about 15 people. Snorkeling is off the hook here…well that is it , if you are ok with not seeing that many fish in the crystal aquamarine waters.
When I wasnt shopping or shlepping up stairs, my favorite pastime was tourist watching. They would stroll the main artery that feed into Kalkan’s shops and restaurants. Perched high on my balcony in a nice little Turkish restaurant called Small House, I spied on families, couples, and older ladies all bungling along in the scorched night. Among them were the Lolita-esque teenagers adorned in their sheer frocks that barely concealed their you-know-whats. Didn’t anyone tell the dears that they are in a Muslim country? Even Mom who strolled right next to their tart daughters, must have forgotten this important fact.
After 2 days, it is time to move on from Kalkan, I hear the more Disney-esque resort towns have the better Brit watching.
1. My pension, Old Kalamaki (highly recommended and was empty)
2. Kalkan from my boat tour
3. Kalkan from the sea
4. Olive Garden in Kalkan