The artificially supplemented pebble beach called Kömürlük at the east edge of town is pleasant enough, the water quite clean and chilled by freshwater seeps, with one spring spilling onto the beach itself from just inland. Although bigger than it looks from afar, it still gets hopelessly full in summer, when you’ll probably want to use the swimming platforms or lidos flanking the bay – reasonably priced shuttle boats take you to them. The only other bona fide beach within walking distance is a coarse-pebble one well southwest on the coast, which the Lycian Way visits on its way to Gelemiş.
The 27km of road east from Kalkan to Kaş follows a harsh karstic coastline, the terrain stained red from traces of metallic ores, with the Greek isles of Kastellórizo and Rhó increasingly visible out to sea. Just under 6km along you cross the Kaputaş Gorge, a deep canyon slashing back into the cliffs. Steps from the roadside parking area – where there’s a jandarma post, and signs warning you not to leave valuables in cars (break-ins are rife when the jandarma aren’t patrolling) – take you down to Kaputaş beach, a 150-metre-long expanse of pebble and blonde sand that is normally pretty packed, given the mediocre quality of beaches closer to Kalkan or Kaş. Kaputaş has served as the backdrop for innumerable TV advert shoots, and unless there’s been a southerly storm the water is crystalline. The closest reliable facility is Ali Taylı’s welcoming Ada Fish Restaurant, 700m east of Kaputaş overlooking the Sidek peninsula and its Byzantine ruins, doing a roaring trade thanks to the fresh and very reasonably priced fish bought in daily at 8am.
Between Kaputaş and Ada yawns the Mavi Mağara, claimed the second largest sea-cave in the Med, with blue-light effects inside. Despite signage on the road overhead, it’s only accessible by sea – a very long swim from Kaputaş, or (more likely) as part of a boat trip – though Kalkan skippers can be reluctant to include it in itineraries.