Perched on top of a hill looking across the glistening Mediterranean with freshly caught fish grilling on open flames and drinking ice cold beer from frosty glasses, you’d be forgiven for having a pinch me I’m dreaming moment.
Except this is no dream, intent on a dip at Kaputus beach, we missed our turning and instead wound up at Ada’s Restaurant guided by the smell of woodsmoke which lead us to the the most stunning seaside vista over the crashing waves below.
After the perfect lunch of grilled local fish, crispy succulent calamari and plenty of salad, chips and beer to chase it down, we set off again in search of the sea.
Kaputus is a stone’s throw from the former fishing village of Kalkan, now an elegant unspoilt resort with winding backstreets leading down to a lively harbour lined with traditional wooden gulets.
The resort thrives on visitors from all over Europe, but retains it’s eclectic mix of bustling backstreets and waterfront dining with just a dusting of neon. The old town forms the focal point, but this is a place that seems to have lazily spread its wings stretching along the pretty coastline dotted with upscale beach clubs and quiet swimming spots.
But back to the beaches…
Kaputus is one of Turkey’s picture postcard destinations and often features in top 10’s thanks to it’s crystal clear turquoise water, dramatic cliff backdrop and soft white pebbles.
If sea-swimming’s your thing then the waterfront hotels have swimming spots carved out of the rocks leading down to the sea, but if you’re not staying in one of these, you can easily visit one of the beach clubs that dot the coast.
Far from the “beach clubs” of Spanish Costas, where music blares and menacing kids rule the roost with an arsenal of inflatables, these clubs are the perfect place to spend a lazy day ordering cocktails and lunch to your lounger. Our favourites are the upmarket Yali and Villa Mahal (sister to the hotel of the same name)
If it’s sand you’re after, then you’ll find 18km of the finest powder at Patara, just 20 mins from Kalkan. This spectacular sweep of coast has everything you need from a beach… and included in the entry is access to some fairly impressive Lycian ruins, so you can kill two birds and tick off a bit of culture along with your lounging.
If all this sounds like hard work, then head back to your hotel. You’d find it almost impossible not to be impressed by Villa Mahal’s sleek architecture set against grounds tumbling past a stunning infinity pool and finally to the emerald sea below.
The restaurant serves up delicious Turkish cuisine, in the shade of the olive trees, followed by an afternoon lazily wandering between the pool and the private sunbathing and swimming platforms perched above the glistening bay.
I challenge anyone to walk past the hammocks and cosy chill out area without stopping for a post-sun nap.
In the evening, the sun loungers are wicked away and you are served the freshest seafood as the waves lap at your feet at the best table in town.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, the rooms at Villa Mahal are the dreamy ocean view suites will seal the deal. Understated luxury with clean lines, comfortable beds and all the little touches that complete a stay along with some serious terrace action.
After a great night’s sleep, the view from the rooftop terrace where a generous Turkish breakfast is served with certainly awaken the senses.
Villa Mahal is super special, but as with all things this comes at a price… so if you’re looking for something a little more wallet-friendly Hotel Fidanka is a “Mediterranean fairytale bought to life” by it’s Istanbul owners.
Perched on a hillside overlooking the sea, this unique hotel is a wonderful place to pass the time with a private pool, bar and restaurant.
Crafted from cedar, the eclectic suites furnished with antiques and boating incredible terraces with views over the ocean and even the more simple hotel rooms incorporate the natural materials of wood and stone bringing the outside in.
It’s a really special place, with top notch service delivered in a kind and friendly way - no airs and graces just genuine hospitality as it should be.
Turkey is just starting to come alive again, and while Kalkan can’t be described as off the beaten track due to it’s popularity and tourist friendly centre, it’s a great place to start. If you do go, give a traditional gullet trip a try - something I'd usually veer far away from (other people!!!!) but if you're out of season chances are you'll have the boat to yourself and it's a pretty special day if you do ;)
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