Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Turkey Diaries: Kalkan, Where I fall in Love All Over Again.

Our first visit to Kalkan was about twelve years ago and we thought we had found our perfect place. We loved it so much we returned the following year .Two years later we returned again with our children who were about eighteen and twenty. We rented a huge villa to give us plenty of space  and a pool. We were having a lovely time until the villa was broken into and my son's money was stolen. It ruined our holiday and we spent days driving to the next town filling in forms at the police station and to this day we have never received an incident number to claim any insurance, a complete waste of our time. We were convinced it was the guy who cleaned the pool, he knew we would be out all day and he had a key (which we didn't know until after it happened). Being super sleuths we worked out that it was staged to look like a break in but the villa had been entered through the front door which he had forgotten to lock again.
I never wanted to step foot in Kalkan again, my children were upset and that sealed the deal for me, I would never be back.

Fast forward nine years and we decided that Kalkan would be our destination for the second week of our holiday.  I realised that we had just been unlucky and break- ins can happen anywhere. We rented a smaller villa and gave Kalkan a second chance.

Kalkan is a small fishing village on the Lycian or Turquoise Coast of Turkey. It was inhabited by both Turkish and Greeks until the population exchange in 1923 when the Greek people were returned to Greece. The village has grew from having seventeen restaurants in 1915 to having over a hundred today. It has not lost its charm. There are still  working tailors shops ran by the same man we saw there twelve years ago. The villas are set way back from the village and do not intrude. They are all built on a hillside and you need a good pair of legs and lungs if your villa is at the top either that or a taxi home every night.

The oldest part of the village just behind the harbour.

Early morning and the shops are setting out their wares. The cute Cafe Del Mar on the right of the photo is full of curiosities and where we enjoyed our cafe mocha.
This cat was here every morning waiting to be fed.

Boats in the harbour and more lovely shop fronts.
There are many artists and crafters living in Kakan and their work can be found in the small boutique shops. It is so nice to see shops that are different from the usual souvenir ones.

Isos Kitchen roof terrace was our favourite place to eat.

 This photo was taken very late at night. It's not a party place here, no clubs or karaoke (thank goodness).

I love these pottery shops. This one had a book on show depicting ancient pottery to show the designs are authentic. I would love some of the large plates but they would be difficult to take home and heavy.

I bought some of the small bowls on top right and some coasters.

I think I was doing a happy dance here.
Kalkan is charming, quaint, friendly and unique. We were into our third day when I said to my husband that I thought I had fallen in love all over again.
He looked quite pleased and said," That's nice of you to say." but I had to correct him and break the news that it was Kalkan I had fallen back in love with.(I have always loved him!)
This place draws you into its clutches. It's a place where people return year after year. the same faces are in the restaurants, the same waiters serve you and the same shopkeepers serve at their shops, it's a place that keeps you in it's heart for when you return.
You can't buy anything without souvenirs being thrown in your bag. Postcards, little brooches with the Turkish eye or bookmarks and wished a safe journey home.
There is a weekly market where people flock to, but if you're looking for a bargain,think again, the stallholders know that we have been told to bargain and are not very good at lowering their prices,or maybe I'm just very bad at bargaining.

 The smell of different spices mixed together was amazing.
Strings of chillies hung above the spices.
Apple tea,lime tea,pine nuts,cinnamon,rosemary, coriander and white poppy.

I want one of those.

All too soon our week here was over and I am so glad I gave this lovely village another chance. If you want to visit Turkey but don't fancy some of the busier more commercial resorts I urge you to give Kalkan a try, you won't be disappointed. As Arnie said, "I'll be back!"


  1. I have a feeling that if I went to Turkey, it'd be a very spendy trip as I'd be buying stuff left and right!!!! I want it all! Glad that your trip to Kalkan was less traumatic this time.

  2. I agree with JoJo. I think I'd have to bring lots of extra luggage just to buy lots of colorful plates and bowl and plenty of those marvelous spices- maybe a cookbook so i could use them properly! May I ask Anne are the china pieces expensive?

  3. We used to buy lots of kids clothes there but nowadays it's no cheaper than back home but the plates and lanterns are lovely.

  4. I would buy more plates if I could carry them,but will buy more bowls next year I think. The small bowls were about £2 or £3 I bought six drinks coasters for about £5 and they're lovely. I din't ask the price of the large plates, don't have cupboards big enough. They're all hand painted. I did buy a Turkish cookbook but vegetables and fruit don't taste the same here as we don't get enough sun.

  5. Oooh what's your Turkish Cookbook like, Anne? I got so excited about the picture of all the spices. Have you tried the apple tea? That sounds lovely! The wee white cat is adorable and I can just imagine you having your wee morning mocha in the picturesque cafe. That's a shame about the break in. You're right, though, that sort of nonsense happens everywhere. I'm glad you gave it a second chance, I'm not surprised you fell back in love with the place! :)

  6. I'm so glad you went back to discover the true delights of Kalkan- it's wrong that one tosser can spoil your opinion of a place. (I lock everything in my luggage whenever I'm out of the room - even going downstairs for breakfast, or even to the showers in a hostel. It's a tip I picked up from somewhere, and sounds obsessive - but losing stuff is such a performance, so it's worth the locking hassle.)

  7. I'm really careful in hotels but you don't expect that in a villa. I had money stolen from my suitcase in America,I hadn't locked it.

  8. I love your happy dance! How wonderful you didn't let the horrible incident spoil your love for the place.

  9. Lovely pictures, my daughter was entranced by the ones of the pots. I'm glad you created some better memories. :-)

  10. Thanks Lucy,glad you liked them. Yes the pots and dishes are gorgeous.

  11. I was either happy or it was the wine. Yes I love the place again and will go back there again.

  12. The books quite good Catherine no photos only drawings. I think it was written and published by someone from the gift shop in Kalkan. There was actually another two cats in that jewellery shop and two dogs. I loved that cafe it was so full of stuff I have loads of photos of the inside.


I'd love you to leave a comment, it would make me smile.If you leave one I will always reply to you.