A picturesque setting
Kalkan is regarded as one of the prettiest towns on the Lycian coast. The pristine waters of the Mediterranean would grace any postcard or tourist brochure, while the imposing Taurus Mountains which sweep down to the sea are every bit as impressive.
In the town itself, much of the architecture stretches back to its days as a 19th-century fishing village – when it was settled by both Turks and Greeks. With whitewashed houses clustered around narrow, labyrinthine streets and strewn with pretty bougainvillea, you can't fault Kalkan's distinct beauty. As such, it's the perfect place for a romantic Dalaman holiday at a more relaxed pace.
Comfort, courtesy and spectacular cuisine
The residents of Kalkan pride themselves on their impeccable hospitality, so don't be surprised when you're offered a tulip-shaped glass of their local tea – cay. The warmth is present throughout the entire village, from the market-stall owner who'll smilingly sell you souvenirs and trinkets at cut-rate prices to the waiter who'll bend over backwards to make your evening meal as pleasant as possible.
On the topic of gastronomy, Kalkan has something of a reputation for excellent eateries. With well over 200 dining establishments to choose from in a town of just 4,000 inhabitants. In fact, it's widely reported that the diminutive hamlet boasts more restaurants per capita than anywhere else on the Turkish coast, meaning you'll never be far away from your next delicious meal.
Take a dip or a trip on the Med
The town has attempted to meet growing tourist demand by installing an artificial pebbled beach. The sand spot is adequate for sunbathing purposes but becomes unbearably overcrowded during high season. To solve this problem, floating platforms have been set up offshore, from which swimmers can cool off in the delightful waters.
For scuba diving enthusiasts there's impressive shipwrecks just to the west of the Kalkan marina, while the waters beneath these waves are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. If you prefer to get your offshore kicks while staying dry, you can take advantage of one of the many boat trips which depart from town on a daily basis. Running both day trips and night excursions with dinner, these can be a fantastic way to view the stunning mountains behind Kalkan from the water.
Explore outside of Kalkan
The proximity of the Taurus Mountains opens up a whole range of hiking possibilities if you're keen to stretch your legs and fill your lungs. Just a few hours from the town itself lies Elmali, a traditional Ottoman settlement up in the highlands where time appears to have stood still for the last century. The spectacular and aptly-named Green Lake can also be found at high altitude, with nomads camping at its fringes.
Sticking to the coastline, the longest ravine in Turkey – Saklikent Gorge – is around an hour's drive north, while closer to home you'll find the impressive ruins of the ancient city of Xanthos, which can be reached within 15 minutes. These impressive excavations once housed around 8,000 Romans, and though much of the architecture today is the result of extensive reconstruction, the sheer scale of the settlement makes it worth the visit.