Turkish villas feature Love Island-style pools and offer great value

YOU get an entire villa in Turkey. More balconies than Romeo and Juliet could use.

Rooms big enough for a group of whirling dervishes.

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Villa Vaha costs around £2,200 per week in high season
Kalkan offers

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Kalkan offers “much more” value than other European hotspotsCredit: Getty

Enough bathrooms for countless moms and teenage daughters and still room for dad to shave.

Love the Island-style pools and huge American-style fridges with plenty of room to cool off after a day in the sun.

I’ve vacationed in the resort town of Kalkan, where the country’s southwest meets the Mediterranean, more times than I’ve eaten kebabs. First with my wife, lately with my teenage daughters.

Every year the sun lounger conversation is the same: “You get so much more villa for your money than in Greece, Italy or Spain.”

That’s why we’ll be hopping on Turkish Airlines again this summer, now that Turkey is no longer stuck red at traffic lights.

Our last visit, in 2020, was the villa thriller to top them all. We were in Kalkan’s quieter, greener overflow cove, Kalamar, and split our fortnight between two fabulous five-beds laid by local company Overseas Collection.

Villa Vaha and Villa Teramare are the flagships of the agency, which has dozens of properties ranging in high season from £525 a week for a two-bed apartment with a shared pool, to £8,500 for the ultra-luxurious Glass House where former 007 Daniel Craig once stayed while filming in Turkey.

Vaha was all ours for £2200 a week, but half that when shared with another family. Teramare was similar.

Each has a rooftop terrace to shout from, well, the rooftops. Relax with your G&T and take in views of Kalamar Bay, Mouse Island and Snake Island – named for their shapes, not their people.

Both villas are a five-minute flip-flop ride from Kalamar Beach Club – ever-popular for its spinning and bouncing water sports and sea-view restaurant and bar.

Kalkan does not have any beaches, apart from a pretty pebble beach near the harbour. If sand is your thing, spectacular Kaputas Cove is a 15-minute taxi ride away. Or half an hour away is Patara Beach, 20 km long and backed by Roman ruins.

But what Kalkan does is ultra-stylish beach clubs. From chic platforms for sunbathing, you dip straight into the turquoise sea before rushing off for a lazy drink at the bar or a feast of fish.

A daily sport is to compare cocktails, water sports and attire at each club.

There’s still only one nightclub in town. But the open-air Chocolate, with its giant chandelier above the dance floor, is a teenager’s paradise. It is also very safe, with a cautious door policy and a fleet of reliable and honest taxi drivers nearby.

Parents can be on the phone at the city’s rooftop restaurants and bars, of which there are dozens.

The cobbled streets of Kalkan are lined with whitewashed stone houses draped in bougainvillea and the best treat is a rooftop dinner with twinkling lights and views of the mosque and the sea.

Some of London’s fanciest restaurants are now pushing prices up, but there are still plenty of traditional and cheaper eateries.

Our favorites include the oldest in town, Akin, overlooking the harbour, and Belgin’s Kitchen where you eat on a rooftop at low tables while sitting on giant Turkish cushions.

Bars abound, too, but none beat the open-air Botanik Garden — a starlit wonderland of treehouses, hammocks, and a cool young cocktail crew. Don’t make it a habit, though, lest you miss out on great day trips.

The must-do is a private boat trip to local bays and islands, complete with snorkeling, lunch on board, cake and tea and often stops at caves and mud baths. Other entertainment includes whitewater trekking in Saklikent Gorge, canoeing on the Xanthos River, and visits to local Roman and high school ruins.

Our reference agency for boat rentals and other excursions is Adda Tours, one of the originals in the city, with superb guides. It also offers good-value car and quad rentals and airport transfers.

Not that you really want to be moved anywhere, ever, from your lavish villa in Kalkan.

Follow this link to see photos of Ingo’s wife, Nicola.

Villas in Kalkan have Love Island style pools

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Villas in Kalkan have Love Island style poolsCredit: Excellence luxury villas
Enjoy the stunning sea views from the rooftop terrace bar of Villa Teramare

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Enjoy the stunning sea views from the rooftop terrace bar of Villa Teramare1 credit
Turkey's Mediterranean beaches are perfect for soaking up the sun

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Turkey’s Mediterranean beaches are perfect for soaking up the sunCredit: Alamy

GO: Kalkan

COVID: All arrivals must have one of the following: proof of vaccination, proof of recent recovery from Covid, negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or lateral flow test taken within 48 hours.

Children under 11 do not need to take a PCR test or present a vaccination certificate. UK rules mean that a lateral flow test must be carried out no later than the second day.

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: Teramare and Vaha villas each cost around £2,200 per week in high season. See Overseascollection.com or call +90 533 772 3596.

OUTSIDE & SURROUNDINGS: Adda Tours does boat rental, car and quad rental and airport transfers. See addatours.com or call +90 242 844 3610.

A COUPLE flew to Turkey to eat at a Salt Bae restaurant – and their meal, vacation and flights were cheaper than dining at their British steakhouse –

About Laurence Johnson

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