Holidays in historic towns and villages in Turkey

From traditional Bozburun and Islamlar to casually sophisticated Kalkan, wherever you holiday, the historic towns and villages of Turkey offer a chance to discover tangible traces of the ancient world. Kalkan is well placed for exploring regional highlights such as Patara or the new Lycian Civilizations Museum at Andriake, but you can also see remnants of its own relatively short history in the form of Ottoman architecture in the narrow town streets.

If you like to take your cue from the locals, you’ll probably choose to holiday in the historic village of pretty Islamlar, close to Kalkan yet high enough above sea level to be a little cooler in summer. Islamlar is also close to the celebrated Lycian Trail, a long-distance walking route that winds around the south coast’s most spectacular scenery.

Off the beaten track in Bozburun

Travelling as a couple means more time to explore the region's historic towns and villages at your own pace, so you can take a few hours to discover lesser-known sites near Bozburun such as Knidos, Amos and Loryma, hidden in forested hills and ignored by the majority of tour groups. Bozburun itself is reassuringly traditional, one of just a handful of places in the entire country where wooden gülets are still built. Dalyan is a household name by contrast, but don’t be put off: the Lycian rock tombs carved into the cliff face high above the river are worth the trip, especially at sunset.

Family fun around Kalkan

If your children are less than enthusiastic about the promise of a holiday that's all about historic towns and villages, Kalkan might come as a revelation. Apart from its own huge range of restaurants and the fantastic beach clubs, the town makes a great base for a trip to child-friendly sites such as sunken Kekova, where you can explore with a mask and snorkel, or the vast ruins at Patara, with the promise of an afternoon on a beautiful sandy beach as a reward. For a complete change of pace, make the short drive to tranquil Islamlar, with its traditional tea gardens, flour mill and renowned trout restaurants.

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Bozburun Peninsula, Turkey

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Bozburun Peninsula, Turkey

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Kalkan, Turkey

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