Kalkan borders on the idyllic, a village of a couple of thousand,
far enough away from the main resort areas to be inaccessible
to those who don't want to travel more than 45 minutes from
the airport, but still reachable in 2 hours from Dalyan and
less than 2 from Antalya. The road in each direction is fairly
pretty anyway and as long as your transfer is air conditioned
you'll enjoy the ride.
The town itself is centered around the little harbour, where
the fish comes ashore in the morning and the boats leave for
the beaches and bays with their load of snorkel equipped day
trippers. There are also opportunities to take 2 or 3 day
cruises from Kalkan, giving you the chance to experience a
night or two on a boat without having to fork out for a private
charter. Back from the harbour is an old town, bazar area
where you'll find restuarants and carpet shops, as well as
places to buy the essential sun block and cold drinks.
Kalkan is accessible by bus from most places, if you're flying
into Dalaman or Antalya then you can either make your own
way or arrange for a transfer with a tour operator.
Fethiye balances the attractions of a bustling resort town
with the functionality of a working regional centre. Arrival
at the bus station may give you the impression that you've
come to the wrong place with no evidence of the sea, hotels,
restaurants or any trappings of the tourist industry but a
5 minute taxi or dolmus ride into town will begin to reveal
the place to you in it's true colours. Fethiye's strength
is in it's role as a base for exploring the surrounding coastline
and countryside. You'll find a good range of shops, eating
places and accommodation and excellent transport services
to surrounding attractions. The harbour area makes a pleasant
place to spend the evening and the pedestrianised old town
is appealing and a reasonable place to shop for souvenirs.
If you're there early enough in the day you might want to
consider the 12 islands boat trip, a nice way to see the bay
and an opportunity to seek out the quieter beaches and coves
only accessible from the sea. As usual with boat trips, the
smaller the group the better your day and the more flexible
Fethiye's nightlife is working hard at catching up with Marmaris
and Bodrum but it has a little way to go yet. You may or may
not find this a blessing. You shouldn't have a problem eating
or drinking until late but clubbing opportunities are limited.
Marmaris is as classy as the southern coastal towns get. This
is where Those of us with 40m floating sports cars like to
keep them in the winter and the amount of money that comes
into this town in the season has enabled it to develop with
a degree of restraint and taste that has made it the envy
of the wannabee marina towns from Izmir to Antalya. It can
be a real eye opener to wander around the 'big' marina of
an evening, lubricated with a couple of beers, and watch the
other half at play.
If you're already in Turkey Marmaris is well served by the
ever dependable inter city bus network and can also be reached
by the little coast buses that will bring you in. There are
some spectacular views from the roads in this part of Turkey
and it's probably worth taking a car for the day and spinning
up and down for a while, something with no roof is more fun,
if slightly expensive, and you can always pretend that you
Accommodation here is slightly pricey but, depending on how
choosy you're feeling you'll probably find something. As always,
when you're looking for somewhere to stay you'll be glad if
you travelled light. The Interyouth Hostel, now located in
the bazaar itself, provides reasonable value and is a good
source of information for diving and other tours.
Hisaronu exists to service the tourist trade and is popular
with domestic and international tourists. There are a few
people here, like Jeanette - owner of the Rainbow restaurant
- who can still remember when there were only 3 hotels here
but things have changed a little since then and rapid growth
in the last decade has led to a bustling, and sometimes confusing
collection of tour operators, hotels, pensions and shops.
Hisaronu, and the Fethiye area in general, are blessed with
a rugged and beautiful landscape, the potential of which for
activity holidays (and holiday activites) is just being realised.
Hisaronu is special because its location means that you can
paraglide in Oludeniz one day, canoe down the Xanthos river
to Patara the next, paintball in the pine forests of Kaya
Koyu and still take an overnight trip to the classical ruins
of Ephesus. The area is nice if you just want to relax on
the beach or by the hotel pool but to get the most out of
your trip you ought to consider moving around a little bit.