Çalış Sunday Market – A Guide

Regular visitors to this blog will know we have a love of markets; markets of the foodie variety. We visit our local ones here in Fethiye three times a week; Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays are spoken for in our house. And, if we miss one of those, we’ve even been known to head to the Saturday Patlangıç market or even take a longer stroll out to Çiftlik Thursday market. The Çalış Sunday market – the subject of this article – is one of life’s happy shopping experiences.

Çalış Sunday Market

Shopping at our local markets is never a chore. Every Tuesday, we stroll into town and go to the massive Fethiye market. This is perhaps the town’s best known market; day trippers flocking here in the summer months. For us, it’s a food shopping zone. Fridays are a bit more of a relaxed affair – this time, it’s the köy pazarı (the village market). Same site as the Tuesday market but foodstuffs only and it’s locally grown and locally produced.

Çalış Market

Calış Pazar has a relaxed feel about it

Chilled Atmosphere

Because of the fame of the Tuesday market, Çalış Sunday market can sometimes get a bit neglected and that’s a shame. It shouldn’t. If you’re holidaying in the Çalış area, you can get all the goodies you could get from other markets. It’s just that the Sunday market in Çalış is more compact, less crowded and more chilled. A bonus, surely?

Shopping At Çalış Sunday Market

The food stalls are always popular

Çalış market has a more laid back atmosphere than its Tuesday counterpart over in the centre of town. Where the food is concerned, maybe it’s that Sunday feeling, but people tend to browse more slowly. For most working Turkish people, Sunday is a day off. Time to relax. So it’s not about just getting a weekly shop done as quickly as possible and then darting off. There’s a bit more standing around and chatting and greeting.

As you can see in the photo above, it’s not that people don’t come to shop here. They do. The fruit and vegetable stalls at the Sunday market do a brisk trade. But shoppers seem to be in a better mood. A bit more time on their hands than they might have on other days of the week.

More Than Fruit & Veg

Honey At Çalış Market

Homemade honey for sale

As with other markets around the area, the food doesn’t stop at fresh fruits, vegetables and salad stuffs. You can get all your dried fruts and nuts – we love to buy these to make up lots of our own muesli – and you can get local honey, too.

We try to make a point of buying the local honey over supermarket varieties for a couple of reasons. One is because it supports the local producers in a product that Fethiye is famous for and the other reason is because a beekeeping friend has suggested local varieties can help with a pollen allergy that I seem to have developed of late.

Dairy Stalls At Çalış Sunday Market

Don’t miss out on the dairy goods

And then there are the dairy stands. This is where you come to buy your village butter, cheeses, olives and delicious süzme yoghurt. In summer, you need to hurry on home with your loose butter lest it turn to liquid before it reaches its new chilled home in your fridge!

These are the stalls where you can also pick up tarhana or a bit of salça (tomato or red pepper puree) and all of these are often cheaper than the supermarkets. Another incentive to support local Turkish markets.

Familiar Faces

You’ll see a lot of the same types of stalls on the Sunday market in Çalış as you would elsewhere in the area. You may even recognise a few of the faces as many traders do the rounds – different day, different market. If you’re anything like us, for some goods, we have the same stalls every time. It all makes for pleasant chit chat as you choose your produce.

But there isn’t a bewildering amount of stalls. It’s more than enough to get what you need – although, having said that, UK shoppers who are used to the paltry markets back home will still find Çalış Sunday market to be large and bountiful.

Dried Foods, Çalış Market

Dried foods sold by the kilo

Packed With Produce

There’s more of a haphazard feel to the Çalış Sunday market. Don’t get us wrong; the stalls are laid out in linear fashion but there’s no permanent indoor section with the regimented layout. The Sunday market is all about portable tables and tablecloths; all of them absolutely rammed with seasonal produce.

Trading At Çalış Sunday Market

Summer produce at the Sunday market in Çalış

Local honey and homemade molasses. Dried foods, bags of village eggs randomly scattered amongst the fruit and vegetables. Locally grown foods and produce from areas famous for particular goods. Seasonal foods such as citrus from Köyceğiz, potatoes from Bekçiler, strawberries from Fethiye, autumnal saffron milk cap mushrooms from the local pine forests. And, of course, we have all the springtime and summer treats: erik, yeni dünya, cherries, peaches and nectarines. And so on…

Çalış Sunday Market Souvenirs

And, as with any market that sits in a tourist destination, Çalış market has all the usual jewellery, sunglasses, hats, bags and clothes stalls – but with a fraction of the visitor numbers. The coaches from resorts elsewhere along the coast are not interested in Çalış Pazar. Like we said, it’s chilled.

Souvenirs At Çalış Market

In summer, you can buy all your souvenirs from Çalış Sunday Market

There are far more stalls in this section of Çalış Market during the summer months. Winter is predominantly about food. If you’re looking for famous Turkish souvenirs like purses, handbags, the usual sporting regalia, footwear and sunglasses; well you’re not going to go far wrong here. And, for the most part, this area is usally very quiet. More room for browsing…and possibly more room for a bit of haggling, too.

Eating At Çalış Sunday Market

All that shopping can make you build up a bit of a thirst. You might also be hungry, too. Eating at the Çalış Sunday market is one of our (and many other people’s) favourite parts about shopping here.

Sweetcorn at Çalış Market

Food on the go, whilst you’re shopping

If you just want a healthy snack that you can eat while you’re on the go, how about a barbecued or boiled corn on the cob? Hungry and thirsty shoppers are still able to take things more slowly though and sit at one of the food stands. Enjoy a döner kebab, some spicy kokoreçgözleme or a hot village bread (bazlama) served with melted butter and cheese inside.

Gözleme, Ayran, Pickles

The perfect combination: Gözleme, turşu and frothy ayran

Hot and cold drinks, including traditional ayran and freshly squeezed fruit juices are also available. And, creatures of habit and all that, we have our favourite stalls. Whether it’s the Çalış Sunday market or the Tuesday market, we park ourselves at the same place each week.

Or these days, there are always the bars and restaurants nearby. Çalış Sunday market used to be a bit out in the sticks. These days, it’s surrounded by villas, apartments, supermarkets and those all important watering holes and eateries to quench thirsts and feed hungry bellies.

Çalış Market, Fethiye: Useful Information

  • Çalış market place is on Yerguzlar Caddesi in Günlükbaşı, about 2km from the beach. View the location on Google Maps.
  • It takes place every Sunday, early morning until sunset.
  • Every Sunday, the Fethiye-Çalış dolmuş makes a detour so that it can drop off and pick up at the Çalış Sunday market. Whether you are arriving from the Fethiye or Çalış side, just tell the driver you’re going to the market and they’ll drop you at the entrance.
  • Shopping or browsing around the markets is an experience. If this is not your thing, however, here some more Fethiye activities you can do while you’re in the area.

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Comments

  1. Fabulous post.
    I had no idea about the Çalış market and actually it sounds like my kind of thing. I love the huge Tuesday one but often found it overwhelming on a hot day.

    And I hadn’t realised that the Sunday market was all local, which mean a much better chance of getting organic food (not marked as such though), which is important to me. I knew that the food at the Üzümlü market was all organic. Not that Organic in it’s modern sense means anything to them, it’s just the way they have always grown things – the natural way. Yay!

  2. @Cally: Thank you. There are a few organic stalls on the markets now, usually marked. The market with the local produce is the Friday market but the Sunday one has local stuff, too. Maybe you can visit it next time you’re in Turkey. 🙂

  3. I adore markets like this!!! GREAT pictures- made me want to jump through the screen of my computer and browse around the stalls.

  4. Ooh, what a fun place to browse. And sympathetic how it’s open all day. Some markets up here are only open early in the morning. Except in summer. Everything is easier in summer 🙂

  5. @ Anjuli: We love going to the markets, too, especially Turkish ones. always so much to see. 🙂

    @ Sophie: Yes, sunrise to sunset for most of the markets in this part of Turkey. The traders are never ones to miss out on making a few extra lira. 😉

  6. these local markets never cease to please and make shopping a pleasure. After 15 years here, and with all the adventuring we do, we still regard our weekly trip to Ortaca market as a highlight.

  7. I love these markets…..when I’m in Izmir or Istanbul or Bergama I never miss a day without going to some market. I get to know which day it is at and where? It is so different then what I’m use to going to some big city supermarket….so colourful and interesting at those Turkish markets…. great post and pics.

  8. @ Alan: Completely agree with you. we take such pleasure in shopping at the markets in Fethiye. Will never take them for granted.

    @ Erica (Irene): Supermarkets are handy for some things but it’s not good when they take over like they have done in the UK, too. That’s why we make a point of using the pazar here. 🙂

  9. See you there in July – can’t wait

  10. My other half loves this market as its not too large – the Tuesday market is too much for him! Also, it’s next door to our apartment,can retreat to the swimming pool when he’s had enough! We always love to see what fruit is in season when we first arrive and everything has so much more flavour than in the UK. Over to Zayra 2 for us for lunch for the best pide in town! Roll on September when we’ll be back again 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment. Yeah, we like that Çalış market s more ow key to Fethiye market – although we do like both of them. 🙂 We’ve bought some seasonal barbunya today to make barbunya pilaki. Still not been to Zarya yet, heard lots of good things, though.

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