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Travel Well: Kalkan

Every year (and sometimes multiple times a year, if we’re lucky), I plan an amazing mother-daughter trip for my mom and me. We both love traveling and exploring new places, so it’s an amazing way to spend quality time with one another. Last year, we had the pleasure of going on a trip to Singapore and Bangkok, as well as a trip to Kalkan, Turkey. Although we usually enjoy going to cities where we can shop and sightsee, Kalkan was just what the doctor ordered for a long weekend dedicated to relaxation and uninterrupted mother-daughter bonding.

Located on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, Kalkan is a popular tourist destination for European travelers, especially those from the U.K.. This beautiful resort and fishing town is still under the radar when it comes to American travel enthusiasts, but with breathtaking views of the turquoise water, delicious cuisine, historic architecture, and Turkish hospitality, Kalkan has a lot to offer for travelers eager for a little fun in the sun and a lot of R&R. I’m excited to share my picks for where to stay, dine, shop, and play in Kalkan, Turkey.

Kalkan is a Turkish paradise! Read all about this gorgeous Mediterranean beach town and find out my picks for where to stay, dine, shop, and play.

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Travel Well: Kalkan

Stay: Unlike other popular tourist destinations, Kalkan is not overrun by huge resorts and sky scraping hotels, and that’s part of what makes this quaint ocean front town so special. During our Turkish holiday, my mom and I stayed at a beautiful villa perched high on a hillside overlooking Kalkan Bay and the Lycian Coast only a short 10 minute walk from the busy town center which contains numerous shops and restaurants. I would definitely recommend a vacation home rental to anyone looking for the perfect accommodations in Kalkan, and Flipkey has close to 1000 incredible options. During our trip, we also visiting a few different hotels, which were almost just as breathtaking as the villas. Likya Residence and Spa is a beautiful option for hotel dwellers.

Enjoying the gorgeous sunset view from our villa in Kalkan

Enjoying the gorgeous sunset view from our villa

Dine: If you’re a lamb chop lover like I am, you will LOVE the food in Kalkan! From casual lunches by the water to delicious dinners in the town’s center, we didn’t have a bad meal our entire trip. Thanks to my visit to Istanbul in 2014, I knew that I loved Turkish cuisine, but the food in Kalkan solidified my admiration for mediterranean gastronomy. My picks for must-dine restaurants in Kalkan are as follows:

  1. Korsan Meze: This beautiful restaurant overlooking the beach has a relaxing, low-key atmosphere, but the food is anything but that. The lamb chops are out of this world! The restaurant also offers home delivery for evenings when you want to enjoy all the flavor from the comforts of your villa.

During dinner at Korsan Meze in Kalkan, Turkey

During dinner at Korsan Meze

  1. Koran Fish Terrace: Located above Korsan Meze on the rooftop of the Patara Stone House, Korsan Fish Terrace offers delectable seafood dishes. Their speciality is fresh fish and, while you savor your meal, you can enjoy the smooth sounds of a live band.

  2. Trio Restaurant: We wandered across Trio on an evening stroll around the dock and at one glimpse of the food that patrons were enjoying, we knew we had to make a reservation. This restaurant serves traditional Turkish cuisine with a flair. They also serve shisha (or hookah), which is a must try during a trip to Turkey, even for non-smokers like my mom and me.

Another amazing option in Kalkan is to hire a private chef to prepare your meal for an evening. Staying in a vacation home as opposed to a hotel gives you the added benefit of a full service kitchen and, in most cases, an outdoor grill. My mom and I had a private chef prepare us lamb chops and jumbo prawns on the barbecue with Turkish salad and pide bread on the side and it was absolutely amazing. We enjoyed a leisurely evening in our villa, as well as a delicious meal.

Shop: I had no idea before my trip to Kalkan, but the small town is actually fairly well known for producing and selling copies of designer accessories and apparel. During our first stroll into town, my mom and I were blown away by the amount of designer leather goods (which we later found out were fake). Although I personally am not one to buy knock offs, I must say, the copies were incredible and even I had a hard time deciphering the real from the fake (I had a real Louis Vuitton bag with me and literally held it up to a copy of the same bag and could not tell the difference). Besides the knock off goods, Kalkan’s shopping scene consists mostly of jewelry shops, swimwear boutiques, and stores offering Turkish souvenirs. It’s a lot of fun to stroll into town just to glance at the storefronts, if nothing else.

Play: Kalkan is definitely a beach town, so it’s perfect for a lazy holiday. For those looking to waste a day lounging by the water, there are numerous beach clubs that offer great food, amazing drinks, and stellar views. Our favorite was Kalamar Beach Club. In terms of sightseeing, the area surrounding Kalkan is rich in history and the best way to see a lot of it is by boat. We chartered a small boat and enjoyed a day cruising the Mediterranean Sea while our tour guide pointed out architecture dating back to the Byzantine Empire and showed us the infamous Sunken City of Simena. No trip to Turkey is complete without a traditional Turkish bath and the Likya Residence Spa is by far the best spa in Kalkan, offering a range of massages, scrubs, and facials on top of traditional services.

Soaking up the sun at Kalamar Beach Club in Kalkan, Turkey

Soaking up the sun at Kalamar Beach Club

Day cruise in Kalkan, Turkey

Enjoying a boat day with my hot mama

My Rating: A+

Explanation: Kalkan was the first Mediterranean beach destination that I had the pleasure of visiting and it set the bar really high. We had an amazing trip and, if I could, I would visit this lovely, quaint town yearly. The food is delicious, the people are pleasant, and the water is the most beautiful shade of turquoise. It’s definitely a travel destination I would recommend.

Does this travel itinerary for Kalkan, Turkey sound right up your alley? If so, you’re in luck! I’m excited to announce that next month, I will be launching my Travel Well Itinerary Planning Service to help you turn your vacation into a SLAYCATION by recommending activities, entertainment, and dining options based on your particular travel needs and preferences. To celebrate the launch, I’ll be planning one lucky winner’s custom travel itinerary for FREE, so be sure to subscribe to LiveLifeWell for updates and check back for details on the giveaway. I would love to plan your upcoming vacation!

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