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Kalkan & Kas

Highlights

Lycian Cities Xanthos, Demre, Patara, Letoon, Myra, Tlos

Kas

Kas was originally called Habesos or Habesa in the ancient language of Lycia, and later was given the name of Antiphellos. Phellos was the name of the city across Kas and was a Greek word meaning "stony place", and this name is very well suited to the area. So, because Kas was built just across Phellos, the citizens called their town as Antiphellos (across Phellos).

Antiphellos, which once was a member of the Lycian League, is known to have gained reputation and importance as a port town during the Hellenistic period around 4th century BC, sustaining its significance as one of the leading towns during the Roman period as well. During the Byzantine era, Kas was a bishop's see. Today, there are several Lycian sarcophagi around and a well preserved ancient theater in the town.

Kas is located about 170 kilometers (106 miles) to the west of Antalya, in the Mediterranean region south of Turkey. It's a small and charming coastal resort where many sailing boats anchor in its small marina. The Lycian style sarcophagus at the beginning of the street running down to the port is almost the symbol of this lovely town.

There are small and medium size hotels at Kas, some of them are in the town center and some are on a small peninsula called Cukurbag. Most of the visitors come to Kas for two reasons: to scuba dive or to visit the ancient sites nearby such as Aperlai, Apollonia, Kekova etc. Kalkan town is also located near Kas, and there is a small sandy beach between these two (Kaputas beach). Besides excellent diving locations here, for sports and outdoor lovers there are also possibilities for trekking, sailing, and paragliding.

Just 2 kilometers (1,2 mile) offshore from Kas there is the Greek island Kastelorizo (Meis in Turkish), it's possible to rent a boat to get there.

Kalkan

Kalkan is a lovely small hilltop town that overlooks a tiny bay. Its quaint, traditional, white-washed houses, shuttered windows and balconies garlanded with brilliant flowers that cascade to the streets below, make it the ultimate in a peaceful holiday town in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. Narrow winding streets lined with souvenir shops lead down to the charming marina.

Kalkan is located at 230 kilometers (143 miles) west of Antalya or 25 km (16 miles) to Kas. Nearest airport is at Dalaman to the west, 120 km (75 miles) which takes about 2 hours by car. You can enjoy a daily island excursion in a gullet (wooden hulled local boats), a moonlight dinner cruise, or go by minivan to the nearby villages such as Patara, Kas, and Bezirgan. Patara beach is a 12 km long, unspoiled white sand beach located at a distance of 15 km from Kalkan. There is another beautiful small sandy beach, Kaputas beach, at 5 km east of Kalkan. Unfortunately, there are no sandy beaches in Kalkan.

Every morning boats busily take tourists to one of the nearby beaches or small bays. As the sun sets it is Kalkan style to meet on the roof terraces for a drink before dinner and enjoy the comings and goings of the yachts, the business of the marina and the panoramic view of the Mediterranean.

Kalkan doesn't have any ancient sites, it was founded about 150-200 years ago by local Greek and Turkish people who named it "Kalamaki" village. The oldest building in the town is the mosque above the harbor, which originally was a Greek Orthodox church until 1920's.

Lately, many foreigners have bought (and continue to buy) property in and around Kalkan for their holidays or for the retirement. This lovely town became a popular residence especially for the British nationals.