So I may have kept it on the down low…but I took a cheeky little week off and headed to some much needed sunshine for a bit of R&R with Mr M. We’ve not had a holiday for two years [I’m not counting our engagement trip to NYC that was a very busy but exciting few days!] so it was very much on the cards. I did indulge in a little poolside tweeting and uploading but mostly I did a big fat zero which let me tell you was very much overdue! I will apologise to those on Instagram for having to see all this blue sky and sunshine, but I had to document it just to ensure that both these things actually still existed.
I wanted to write about this trip away, as my facebook, twitter and instagram has gone crazy with questions about where I went and would I recommend it. Part of me wants to keep it a hidden secret but I know how much time and effort it can be to research a holiday and if I can save you that precious time then it’s got to be worth it!
Sometimes, we just want to jet away for a week’s fun in the sun. Which is exactly what we did. We visited this resort a few years ago and although in my head I always think it’s a bit lame to go back to the same place when there are so many places to see in the world, realistically however, when you want minimal hassle, good fun, guaranteed weather coupled with good value and not a huge amount of travelling this place hits the spot for me. I will point out that I don’t think it’s the place for people with young families so best suited to couples or groups of adults [I’m thinking of taking my parents there!].
We flew to Dalaman in Turkey [via Easyjet, eugh] and it’s a reasonable 4 hour flight. The harbour resort of Kalkan is southern Turkey on the Lycian coast which is a 2 hour car journey from the airport which although is a bit of an effort, it’s such a stunning place. Other nearby popular resorts are Fethiye and Oludeniz. Although Kalkan of course attracts some Brits, it’s relatively quiet and in the ‘Old Town’ you won’t see ‘Irish pubs’, fast food restaurants or high rise after high rise hotel so it’s really quite unspoilt. I also have to say the added journey perhaps puts off certain types of holiday makers – Benidorm it isn’t! It appeals to the more sophisticated traveller as it combines culture, history, beautiful food, friendly locals, (Ottoman Greek) architecture and of course beautiful sun and sea.
The ‘Old Town’ is the hub, where narrow and steep cobbled streets [ladies, don’t bother bringing your Manolos!] are filled with incredible restaurants some housing cute balconies [we dined on one for just the two of us which was so cute!] and very romantic rooftops where you can dine in the warm evening air overlooking the harbour and mountains surrounded by pretty fairy lights and soothing music. There are a mix of more traditional Turkish restaurants to more fine dining and of course cafes to grab a light bite or something a little more swanky for that holiday Mojito.
There are many B&B’s, small hotels and villas available in and around Kalkan. There is a local bus (Dolmus) that operates a few times a day to take you in and out of the harbour which we used a lot as we were at the far end of town. Most hotels are a few minutes in a taxi or a 5-30 minute walk away [which surprisingly a lot of people do as it’s so beautiful, but too hot during the day in my opinion!]. Some hotels have their own very sweet beach areas which are in fact platforms and not ‘beaches’ as such but they offer beautiful clear blue sea and incredible views. There are a number of beach parks to visit [Mahal and Palm Beach are the best I think] which you can travel to by a free ferry from the harbour. They have parasols, sun beds and restaurants so it’s nice to take in another view. Otherwise Kalkan does have a small pebble beach and there are two lovely sandy beaches a short drive away which are Kaputas [5 min drive] and Patara [20 mins].
We have stayed at the Kalamar Hotel and this time Kulube Hotel [as it’s adult only!]. I will be honest and say that both are fairly basic accommodation, however incredible views, lovely beach platforms and pools and very peaceful. Below are a few of my tips and other details so hope that inspires you to get some sunshine, goodness knows we need it!
Hotels / Kulube – Fairly basic but relaxing with lovely views [and free WIFI!], Meldi Hotel – Good budget option as includes taxi from airport family run hotel, Likya Residence – luxury adult only boutique hotel with spa, Hotel Villa Mahal – killer views, total relaxation and Exclusive Escapes offer some AMAZING villas in Kalkan – think infinity pools, floor to ceiling glass fronts and private beach fronts, warning this is holiday heaven!
Restaurants / There are so many and definitely something for everyone! My personal favourites are Cafe Vita [not in town, but on main road into town], Fez, Olive Garden, Agora, Sade and for a harbour side cocktail we enjoyed Aubergine.
Worth knowing / Kalkan is a very hilly place! There are usually many steps within hotels, steep and cobbled and can be quite a climb down to the beaches. The Old Town is also very steep and cobbled so be prepared to work up a sweat and don’t bother with heels! There is also a large amount of wondering cats and dogs which I love [not all strays, most have tags on and they are all friendly and cause no fuss!] but may put some people off as they do wonder freely around hotels and restaurants.
Do let me know if you head there… so I can hide in your suitcase!