Kalkan village accommodation, Turkey

Location:
Islamlar near Kalkan
Price:
From 350 - 450 per week (sleeps 2-4)
Price is per week (sleeps 2 - 4). Price depends on season and number of guests. Discount for longer stays
Vouchers: accepted
Reviews:
12 reviews4 star rating
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Kalkan village accommodation, Turkey

Responsible travel: Kalkan village accommodation, Turkey

Environment

This Kalkan accommodation offers you the opportunity to stay in the heart of a beautiful Turkish village in an old stone cottage that has been carefully renovated using natural materials to preserve its original features and to remain in harmony with the environment. The cottage has been restored using locally produced, recyclable materials to blend in with the village architecture. It was converted using local craftsmen which benefits the community financially. The village carpenter also made some of the furniture and a wood bedroom with bathroom.
It is the owners policy to use local produce. We grow some organic vegetables and have grapevines, figs, olives, quince and a wide variety of fruit trees that we look after organically with the help of Hasan and his sister, who also help with maintenance jobs. Plumbing is maintained by Mehmet since we have a simple system piped from a mountain source.

We recycle our waste to make compost and help feed the chickens. We keep chickens, ducks and turkeys for free range eggs and meat. We encourage bird life in the garden. We leave some areas uncut to preserve wild flowers. We buy local dairy produce, goats cheese, yoghurt and milk, honey, virgin olive oil and village made tahini and honey and promote the fish restaurants directly benefiting the local producers.

. We use energy saving light bulbs and turn off all electrical appliances to save energy. We are lucky to have a mountain stream running through the garden which we take care to keep clean. We have natural spring water and solar panels for heating the showers in both of the bathrooms. We use home made olive oil soap in the guest rooms. We try and promote the local culture and discourage inappropriate development and are in contact with tour operators that respect the environment.

Community

We use people from the village to maintain all services and this year have Hasan's skills keeping the garden in fine condition and growing some organic vegetables. We also produce grapes.
You will find the local people very friendly and interested to get to know you. We collaborate with some of them to organise visits to out of the way places. All guests are encouraged to use local shops and markets and eat in the trout restaurants in the village. Kenan will bring supplies up if you need them and keeps most basic food items in his shop.
Fortunately there are more young families able to stay and bring up their children in Islamlar now thanks to trade generated by the visitors and the popular trout restaurants.

The story of the provider of Kalkan village accommodation, Turkey

When I first came here 15 years ago, there was just a stone ruin, but the rushing water and amazing sea views immediately drew me to the place. It has been a great source of pleasure to create this little haven using natural materials and with the help of local people and take care of the birds and animals who make it their home and give it a special character. I'm lucky to live here and be able to share it with so many interesting visitors. With the passing of time, as I become more integrated into the local community, I am able to play my own small part in its conservation and development.

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Kalkan village accommodation, Turkey

You can trust responsibletravel.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.


5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed 07 Jan 2014 by JOHN COLGAN5 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Stunning walks through olive groves, traditional villages and Roman ruins.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go exploring.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Deborah is a fine host with a wonderful cottage set in a beautiful location abounding with lovely, friendly animals. A perfect getaway and base to explore this stunning part of Lycia.

Reviewed 29 Jun 2012 by Portia Dunmore5 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


This accommodation is completely beautiful and the location is idyllic. We loved the way the house has been put together and the love that's gone into sourcing every individual piece. The two terraces are really pretty and we spent every evening cooking on the wood burner outside. The most memorable part of the holiday was seeing the cottage for the first time as it was so much nicer than we had even hoped for!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go to the market to get supplies to avoid the expensive local supermarket, and go off the beaten track to explore the local beaches.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes- we made to sure to buy from smaller local markets and the house is powered mainly on solar energy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent. We've already booked another week for later in the year!

Reviewed 04 Apr 2012 by Amy Hill5 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The location of the accommodation was fantastic. It was great to be up in a little village, very peaceful, away from the pre-season warm up mode of Kalkan and surrounded by locals.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It's really good to have a car to stay at the cottage. Otherwise you might feel a bit isolated, unless you really wanted just to relax/ not do too much sightseeing.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We ate at a different local trout restaurant each night. They were really keen to get us in- so yes, in that way it did benefit the local economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic location, accommodation and Eborah was really lovely, friendly, helpful and fun.

Reviewed 12 Mar 2012 by Christine Leitner5 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


That we could stay in this lovely cottage with great views in a secluded garden. The house is fully equipped with everything what you need - from a good filled bookshelf to all what you desire in the kitchen. It is a home from home, we loved the interior decoration. Deborah - the owner - was very helpful and showed us the local market, the best stalls and the best restaurants. We could combine beach life in Kalkan with relaxing evenings in the village and the cottage.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


You need a good car to drive to the village from Kalkan and for excursion. We had a motorbike, but that was sometime a little bit tricky - especially in the village the roads are a little rough.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, you can buy everything locally from the farmers market and eat at the local restaurants in the village - very tasty trout...

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We have been there for a week in October, it was just perfect, still hot for the beach and cooling down for night. One of our best short breaks ever.

Reviewed 07 Dec 2012 by June Nelson4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We particulary enjoyed the delightful cottage (and peace for writing) and friendly, helpful owner.
Patara drew us most often with its ancient city, fantastic beach, beach cafe and unusual birds in its protected marsh. Xanthos another must.
A boat trip to Kekova, with bbq, warm swimming (in November)and a sunken city, proved another highlight.
Turkey's friendly people and delicious food a big plus. Loved the local markets. Roads quiet in November

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Can recommend this holiday for late sun. A car is essential; road improvements are planned. Don't book this cottage if you want nightlife. But it is a lovely centre for walking and exploring this attractive part of Turkey, with nearby (20 minutes) attractive yacht centres, so many places to eat, fantastic Patara beach, a wealth of archaeological sites and beautiful scenery. This cottage much cooler in summer than the coast, but throughout November we still enjoyed almost daily sun; 70F, a wonderful contrast to gloomy, wet Galloway. Very cold at night.
Fit in a few days at Patara View Point hotel (closes end October)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes to all three. Local people (and materials) were involved in the build and its upkeep. Local shops, fish, travelling veg and bread, and restaurants available for good food. Solar and waste local wood used for heating. The cottage makes full use of sun, but has cool bedrooms. Large garden, a safe haven for birds, has fantastic grapes, pomegranites, oranges.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A quirky holiday. Good for writing. Much appreciated November sun. A delightful, very well-equipped cottage and such a helpful owner (who lives next door). Suited our range of interests - walking, birds (though shooting has taken a huge toll - not a place purely for birding), swimming, ruins, villages, reading on a balcony.

Reviewed 27 Jun 2012 by Nick Weaver4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The weather was wonderful, Patara and Kaputas beaches were superb, the ancient ruins are amazing and the landscape dramatic and beautiful, but the best thing about the holiday was the lovely cottage we were staying in and its idyllic location.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Deborah was very helpful before and during the holiday, advising us on how to get there and arranging a good deal for a hire car for the week with collection and drop off at the airport, and the arrangements all went like clockwork. Paying the hire charge was easy with a credit card but we had to ask the driver to change some cash so that we could pay the airport carpark charge and road toll in Turkish Lira. Deborah made sure there was food in the cottage for breakfast, arranged for Kenan to deliver fresh bread on the first morning and her hens provided us with some lovely eggs during our stay. Be prepared for visits from various cats, dogs and poultry, all either friendly or too friendly! If you want to explore you should try to get a good map. Ours wasn't and we were led badly astray by it. Too late I found a shop in Kalkan that had some good local maps.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We bought all supplies in local markets and shops. We ate in nearby restaurants serving locally produced food, the delicious trout produced in the village fish farms being the local speciality, and hired our car from a local firm. Islamlar is rather remote and not a place to be without a car unless you just want to explore nearby on foot.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Delightful and wonderfully relaxing.

Reviewed 06 Jun 2011 by Sheila struyck3 star rating

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We stayed one night with Deborah. She is an excellent host, but her place is really hard to reach. Both a rough road but also no signs whatsoever, or a simple road description...

Read the operator's response here:

The cottage is a little hidden, but most guests are brought by the transfer or car hire operator. If not I usually like to greet in the village and bring people down the lane which is hard to find.

Reviewed 21 Dec 2010 by Danielle McArthur4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The most memorable part of the holiday was the exquisite feeling of being tucked away in a tiny cottage, warm as toast beside the woodstove while the rain fell on the roof. The quiet quacking of ducks and clucking of chickens in the morning was an added bonus. Our hosts were friendly and helpful, and the breakfast was delicious.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Just to be ready for the drive up the laneway. Of course, there had been a lot of rain, so I think the road was more challenging than usual. After our first drive up, we left the car a bit further down and walked the rest of the way. If you like to be away from the crowds and enjoy a more rustic (though lovely) retreat, this is the place for you.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes indeed.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was perfect for us. We were hoping for just this type of restful retreat, but still accessible to the nearby towns, gorgeous coastline, ruins, markets, etc.

Please note: This review was received when the accommodation was offered on a bed & breakfast basis. This has now been changed to self-catering, but the property itself and the management have not changed.

Read the operator's response here:

This year we shall be fixing the lane!

Reviewed 13 Nov 2010 by Helen Peake4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Where to start? Waking to the gentle sound of quacking ducks, eating a delicious breakfast on the terrace with the most amazing views down the valley to the sea, visiting a local market and being the only non-locals in sight, enjoying freshly barbecued trout with Deborah and Ufuk under the grapevines, walking the dogs on the beach, watching the beautiful sunsets, having hot sunshine every day for a week - in November! The list goes on! This was one of the most relaxing holidays I've had in a very long time, and Deborah was a brilliant host.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The village of Islamlar isn't served by local transport, so you may want to hire a car. I didn't, and Deborah was fantastic at dropping me off and collecting me from the next village, which has a dolmus stop. This works fine during the day, and I was glad not to be driving on the steep and winding mountain roads. However if you want to go out again in the evenings, beyond the fish restaurants of the village (which you can walk to easily), you'd probably need your own transport. At the moment the lane to the cottage is very bumpy (Deborah's hoping to get it resurfaced soon), so you'd probably want to park nearby and walk the last stretch. A torch would be useful for after dark. As well as the delightful human residents, Deborah and Ufuk, there are several animals living at Grapevine cottage. I loved being greeted by the friendly dogs and cats, but if you're not keen on animals this may not be the place for you.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I went with Deborah to the local market to buy cheese, eggs, yogurt, fruit and veg, so I know that everything is bought from local farmers. The cottage also produces its own fruit - grapes and pomegranates were in season while I was there. The water is from the local spring, and heated by solar power.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I had a wonderful time, and would recommend the cottage to anybody who wants to experience the real Turkey away from the main tourist resorts. Having said that, it's only a short drive to visit the lovely beaches, explore ancient ruins, wander the olds town of Kas or Kalkan, enjoy a boat trip along the coast, or walk part of the Lycian Way. You've got the best of both worlds!

Please note: This review was received when the accommodation was offered on a bed & breakfast basis. This has now been changed to self-catering, but the property itself and the management have not changed.

Reviewed 14 Jan 2010 by Gina Hayes4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We are cruising the world in our yacht (from Australia via Asia and the Middle East so far) and we have visited some beautiful and exotic places. Still in all we rate our five day stay with Deborah and Ufuk as one of the most memorable. Principally because our hosts effortlessly drew us into life in a traditional Turkish village. The cottage gave us quiet seclusion with evenings reading by the fire. By day those seemingly insignificant experiences of everyday life in another culture now fill our memory and conversations.

Deborah invited us to join her on a trip to Kalkan market, answering our endless questions and buying a variety of local produce. Then she cooked up a storm at breakfast each day, making sure we were treated to a wide variety of home made jams and traditional Turkish dishes.

On our last day we had a BBQ by the sea where Ufuk smoked fresh trout on a bed of olive and bay leaves and showed us how to fish for octopus. This truly was a break away from the everyday and certainly a change from the usual tourist traps.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We went in mid winter and hadn't expected such beautiful weather. We were able to take long walks through the local villages each day, but had we been better prepared we could have trekked part of the Lycian Way that passes in close proximity to Islamlar. I understand Deborah is organising what may be necessary to make it a convenient trekkers stop-over.

Another essential for winter is chestnuts which we bought at the local markets and roasted by the fire each night.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The beautiful Islamlar valley is covered with fruit and pine trees, vineyards and trout farms, while the village itself has many excellent trout restaurants with great views. Deborah was keen to ensure we experienced the local lifestyle, shopping with us at local markets and recommending restaurants. We ate the seasonal fruit from trees on the property and chilled our wine in a small tributary of a mountain stream that ran right by our cottage door.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Marvelous. A wonderful holiday we are and will continue to recommend.

Please note: This review was received when the accommodation was offered on a bed & breakfast basis. This has now been changed to self-catering, but the property itself and the management have not changed.

Reviewed 02 Sep 2009 by Lesley Rhodes4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Relaxing in the lovely garden with the dogs & cats & doing fairly ordinary things like going to local markets & cafes. Enjoying Deborah's delicious breakfasts on the balcony with the sea in the distance. The sea is so beautiful around this area & it is easy to find places good for sun bathing & swimming, both by boat & local bus. Visiting remains of Ancient Lycia was fascinating but too hot in August to appreciate these in full. The cottage is delightful & we would have spent more time there if we had had a longer holiday.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Suitable for those who like the mountains but with opportunity to visit ancient sites, local markets & wonderful beaches. We managed without a car thanks to lifts to the local village from Deborah & Yurfut & using local transport. It was too hot for trekking in August but there are opportunities for great walks along the Lycian Way & just rambling around the villages. Deborah's friend, Tricia Emptage, has written a good guide to the area both ancient & modern. The Secret Garden, a collection of lodges surrounded by greenery, in Lower Islamlar will allow guests having a light meal/drink to use their swimming pool.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Food was bought locally & we ate at local restaurants & cafes. Water was heated by solar panels & a mountain spring wound through the garden to water the plants. The owners are involved in village life & are campaigning for recycling, neutering of local dogs & local public transport.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We had a lovely relaxing time away from crowded resorts & package holiday places and were looked after very well at the cottage. It was wonderful to be able to be in the sea or swimming pool every day.

Please note: This review was received when the accommodation was offered on a bed & breakfast basis. This has now been changed to self-catering, but the property itself and the management have not changed.

Reviewed 24 Jun 2009 by Pamela Benjamin4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Eating a delicious Turkish style breakfast on the terrace of the accommodation with magnificent views down the valley and out to the sea followed by a successful walk along the Lycian Way with more stunning views and lots of goats! The day would end with a very tasty evening meal in one of several trout restaurants for which Islamlar is rightly famous.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you want a piece of real Turkey rather than the sanitised tourist environment then this accommodation and Islamlar could be it as the cottage is a delightfully rustic environment in the heart of a village community. It is a short walk up a rough track which is unsuitable for anyone with mobility issues. Whether you want a day at the beach or a walk in the hills or to soak up the rich Lycian, Roman and Byzantine culture this accommodation makes an ideal base.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, we ate local food all of the time and bought items in the local shops. Our water was from the local mountain springs which were just amazing.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We very much enjoyed our stay and will keep in touch with Deborah. Hopefully we will return some day.

Please note: This review was received when the accommodation was offered on a bed & breakfast basis. This has now been changed to self-catering, but the property itself and the management have not changed.
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