YOU get a whole lotta villa in Turkey. More balconies than Romeo and Juliet could use.
Rooms big enough for a party of whirling dervishes.
Enough bathrooms for umpteen mums and teenage daughters and still room for Dad to get a shave.
Love Island-style pools and huge American-style fridges with enough room to stick your head in to cool off after a day in the sun.
I have holidayed in the resort of Kalkan, where the country’s south west meets the Med, more times than I have had kebabs. First with my wife, lately with my teenage daughters.
Each year the chat on the sun-loungers is the same: “You get so much more villa for your money than in Greece, Italy or Spain.”
Which is why we will be hopping aboard Turkish Airlines again this summer, now that Turkey is no longer stuck on red at the traffic lights.
Our last visit, in 2020, was the villa thriller to trump them all. We were in Kalkan’s quieter, greener overspill cove Kalamar and split our fortnight between two fab five-bedders laid on by local firm Overseas Collection.
Villa Vaha and Villa Teramare are flagships of the agency, which has scores of properties ranging in high season from £525 a week for a two-bed apartment with shared pool, to £8,500 for the super-luxe Glass House where former 007 Daniel Craig once stayed while filming in Turkey.
Vaha was all ours for £2,200 a week but half that when split with another family. Teramare was similar.
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Each has a roof terrace to shout about from, well, the rooftops. Kick back with your G&T and drink in the views of Kalamar Bay, Mouse Island and Snake Island — named for their shapes, not inhabitants.
Both villas are five minutes by flip-flops from Kalamar Beach Club — ever popular for its all-spinning, all-bouncing watersports and grandstand sea-view restaurant and bar.
Kalkan does not do beaches, other than a pretty pebbled one by the harbour. If sand is your thing then spectacular Kaputas cove is a 15-minute taxi ride. Or half an hour away is Patara Beach, 12 miles long and backed by Roman ruins.
But what Kalkan does do is ultra-stylish beach clubs. From chic sun-bathing platforms you flop straight into the turquoise sea before bobbing up for a lazy drink at the bar or a fish feast.
A daily sport is comparing the cocktails, watersports and lunch-time dress at each club.
There is still only one nightclub in town. But al-fresco Chocolate, with its giant chandelier over the dancefloor, is teen heaven. It is also very safe, with a careful door policy and nearby fleet of reliable, honest taxi drivers.
Parents can be on the end of a phone in the town’s rooftop restaurants and bars — of which there are scores.
Kalkan’s cobbled streets are lined with whitewashed stone houses draped in bougainvillea and top treat is a rooftop dinner with twinkling lights and views of mosque and sea.
Some of the fancier restaurants now nudge London prices but there are still lots of traditional, cheaper ones.
Our favourites include the oldest in town, Akin, overlooking the harbour, and Belgin’s Kitchen where you eat on a rooftop at low tables while sat on giant Turkish cushions.
Bars also abound but none beats outdoor Botanik Garden — a star-lit wonderland of treehouses, hammocks and cool young cocktail crew. Do not make a habit of it, though, lest you miss some great day trips.
Must-do is a private boat tour of the local bays and islands, with snorkeling, on-board lunch, cake and tea and often cave and mud-bath stops. Other fun includes white-water trekking in Saklikent Gorge, canoeing on the Xanthos River and tours of local Roman and Lycean ruins.
Our go-to agency for boat hire and other trips is Adda Tours, one of the originals in town, with superb guides. It also does good-value car and quad-bike rentals and airport transfers.
Not that you will much wish to be transferred anywhere, ever, from your sumptuous Kalkan villa.
Follow this link to see pictures from Ingo's wife Nicola.
COVID: All arrivals must have one of the following: Proof of vaccination, proof of recent recovery from Covid, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or a lateral flow test taken within 48 hours.
Under-11s need not take a PCR test or show a vaccination certificate. UK rules mean a lateral flow test must be taken on or before day two.
GETTING THERE: EasyJet, Turkish Airlines and BA all fly to Dalaman Airport, just under two hours from Kalkan, from around £350 return in peak season.
STAYING THERE: Villas Teramare and Vaha are each about £2,200 a week in peak season. See overseascollection.com or call +90 533 772 3596.
OUT & ABOUT: Adda Tours do boat hire, car and quad-bike rentals and airport transfers. See addatours.com or call +90 242 844 3610.
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