BLISSFUL BEACH TIME IN... TURKEY
WHERE? Kalkan, Turkey
WHY? To exercise and eat in unspoilt surroundings
HOW MUCH? A double room and breakfast at the Samira Hotel in October starts at £64 per night; samirahotel.com
Kalkan, you’ll discover, is the unsung gem of the Med. Backed by mountains, it’s big enough to offer a full quota of holiday pleasures but intimate enough to convince you that you’ve found somewhere special. The fishing village-turned-resort town offers laid-back yet highly affordable indulgence, whether you decide to hire a villa to unwind or stay at the Samira Hotel and loaf on cushioned day beds beside the palm-flanked pool. Temperatures in October can hit the mid-20s and the pace of life here is a serious dial down from reality back home. Relax in waterfront cafes while sipping iced coffees or cocktails and feast on parades of meze, fresh sea bream and marinated lamb on rooftop terraces overlooking the harbour.
For a glimpse of rural life yet to meet the 21st century, head into the hills of Islamlar, a pine-fresh village famous for its trout, nourished by a mountain spring. The 10-mile-long beach at Patara, undeveloped but for a single cafe, is a protected nesting site for loggerhead turtles as well as a remarkable archaeological site for getting your culture on. Another memorable beach – Kaputaş, a postcard-pretty cove of fine sand at the bottom of a flight of 185 steps, sheltered by headlands and fronted by gorgeous turquoise waters – cements the area as the ideal jaunt for anyone who wants to up their running game. There’s nothing like the resistance of sand to add an extra dimension to PB chasing.