Calis Travel Guide
Hagia Sophia at night © Moyan Brenn
The holiday retreat of Calis (pronounced Chalish) in Turkey is renowned for its spectacular sunsets and its laid-back atmosphere. Situated in the southwest of the country on the beautiful Mediterranean coast, Calis has a selection of hotels, bars, and restaurants that line the extensive beachfront road which designated a car-free strip.
The Calis beach is long and narrow, with a mix of sand and shingle, and, as in Dalyan, a population of Loggerhead (Caretta Caretta) turtles gathers here to lay eggs at certain times of year.
Calis is also a dolmus (minibus) or water-taxi ride away from neighbouring Fethiye, for those seeking bigger crowds. The best way to enjoy a Calis holiday, however, is to grab a seat at a beachfront café with cameras at the ready, and enjoy a cocktail as the sun dips below the horizon.
A little way out of town is a lovely market that takes place on Sundays, with the usual selection of very well priced fake designer items, as well as spices, teas and foods. There is also a small selection of shops selling beachwear, sporting equipment, and local handicrafts.
Calis has a variety of restaurants, with an emphasis on Chinese, English, and local Turkish cuisine. The Sultan Bakery is known for its great baklava, or you can visit the fish market in Fethiye and choose your own fresh seafood. The Meeting Point is a great spot for vegetarians.
The nightlife in Calis is very laidback with a few late-night bars which host events like foam parties, karaoke and salsa nights, but for a wild party tourists can head to nearby Fethiye. Like most resorts, the most popular clubs are located along the beachfront.
The beach in Calis is ideal for sunbathing and swimming, and there are more active pursuits available, including scuba diving, windsurfing and waterskiing. There are a number of activities to enjoy in Calis, including boat trips to nearby islands, jeep safaris, canoeing, horse riding, fishing, quad biking and micro lighting. The Sultans Aquacity waterpark, a stone's throw from the beach, provides a wealth of entertainment for families on holiday, and other watersports are also available during the day. A short distance from Calis you'll find the limestone hotsprings of Pamukkale, the mud baths of Dalyan, the gorge in Saklikent, the deserted village of Kavakov, and the archaeological and ethnological Fethiye Museum.
Calis is quiet, and not suited to those looking for a lively nightlife. It's best-suited to families and older couples.