Shopping at the local markets in Turkey is always a lot of fun, with many day trippers flocking here during the summer months.
If you’re an expat living in Fethiye or simply holidaying in Calis, the Sunday market is well worth a visit.
The colors you see in the market are so diverse, vibrant and fresh, from the multi colored spices to the pastel colored Turkish delight and the bright fruit and vegetables.
It all smells so good too, apart from the cheese and olive section that can get a little bit stinky, especially in summer.
The atmosphere at the Calis market compared to the Fethiye Tuesday market is very different. It’s less busy and there’s a less sense of urgency. Maybe this is due to the market being held on a Sunday, which is a day off for workers in Turkey.
The Calis market has everything you need in the way of fresh fruit and vegetables. You can find dried produce of fruits and nuts, honey, which is locally produced and a massive variety of dairy products including butters, cheeses, yogurts and of course, many different olives.
There are many stalls offering homemade tomato paste and pepper paste known as ‘Salca’ that features a lot in Turkish cooking. The homemade tomato and pepper pastes are much more delicious than those found in supermarkets, and of course buying locally helps support the local people.
The stalls are always in the same positions with the same traders week after week so you can be sure of a warm welcome and greeting from the same smiley and familiar faces.
There is a huge range of dried pulses, rice, pasta and beans available that is sold by the kilo, and these are again, much tastier and cheaper than those found in the supermarkets.
The fruit and vegetables in Turkish markets are seasonal so one week they can be full of oranges and the next cherries. During each season, the tables and stalls are crammed full of the Turkish seasonal produce.
Village eggs are randomly scattered in baskets amongst the fruit and vegetables, honey and dried foods, and these eggs are extremely delicious and second to none.
You can find seasonal foods such as potatoes from Bekciler, citrus fruits from Koyceyiz, strawberries from Fethiye and mushrooms from the local Pine forests around Uzumlu.
Of course, the market isn’t just about the food shopping because there are many other items on offer here.
Because Calis is a tourist destination, fantastic souvenirs can be found, from jewellery, bags, hats, belts, sun glasses, clothes, baby and household items. You can always try out your bartering skills whilst you’re there.
The market has a lot more stalls for these items during the summer months, whereas during winter time it’s more about the food.
The other great thing about the Calis market is that it’s not all about shopping, it’s about eating too!
There are many places to grab a bite to eat whilst strolling through the market. During corn season you can enjoy a barbequed or boiled corn on the cob, which are very tasty and delicious.
You can also find other places to eat with Doner kebab, kokorec, gozleme pancakes or bazlama, with a variety of different fillings.
to quench your thirst after all that shopping you can enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice, pomegranate juice, tea, coffee or a traditional Turkish ayran, which is a salty yogurt drink that the Turkish folk love. It’s an acquired taste.
Nearby you can also find many restaurants and bars. The marketplace is also surrounded by villas, apartments and supermarkets.
Calis market is on Yerguzlar Caddesi in Gunlukbasi which is about 2km from the beautiful beach.
It starts early in the morning and continues throughout the day until sunset in the evening.
Every Sunday the Fethiye- Calis bus (dolmus) makes a detour so it can make pickups and drop offs to the market. Just mention to the driver that you are going to the Pazaar and they will help you, and drop you off outside the market.