Exploring Ancient Olympos and the Chimaera: A Visitor’s Guide
This Immediately west of the Gulf of Antalya, the 700-square-kilometer Olimpos Beydaglari Milli Parki (Olympos National Park) in stretches from the coast into the rugged pine-clad mountains. These romantic site of the ruins of ancient Olympos and these fascinating eternal flame of the Chimaera are both near the holiday villages of Olympos and Çirali, in the southern section of the park. They is a place to kick back and take a rest from sightseeing, and the long beach here is a major attraction for tourists.The Çirali attracts an older, European crowd with a family-friendly atmosphere, while Olympos is a backpacker favorite, with rock climbing and beach lounging among the most popular things to do. This are good beach bases, although accommodation is of a much higher standard in Çirali.
These Olympos ruins can be walked to from both, and evening trips to the Chimaera are easily organized from both (though keen hikers can also walk to the Chimaera). These who don’t want to stay the night and have their own transport can also easily visit both sites on the scenic coastal drive between Antalya and Kas.
The nature’s great curiosities,in the eternal flame of the Chimaera (the fire-breathing monster of Greek mythology) is a phenomenon first mentioned in AD 300 by the Byzantine Bishop Methodius. The Natural gas escaping from eighteen or so holes and crevices in the rock has burned here since ancient times. Although barely discernible in daylight, the flames are said to be visible far out to sea at night. These gases are still to be properly analyzed but are known to include methane.
In visit, it’s best to go at night. You can walk from Çirali along the marked path to the site. Once you’ve reached the car park, there is a 150-meter ascent to the top of the hill. From Olympos, the Chimaera site is seven kilometers away.
This long sweep of beach changes its name as it heads south from Olympos to Çirali. At the Olympos end, it’s backed by a swoop of cliff and the Olympos ruins, but the sand here is very pebbly. These southern Çirali section is extremely pretty and has a line of outdoor restaurants and cafes along the shore. In Both are mellow places to toss down your beach towel, and neither get overcrowded. As with the villages backing the sand, though, both do have a different vibe, with Çirali definitely being the more laid-back and family-friendly option.
Tips & Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Olympos & Chimaera
The Chimaera Evening Tour: These private evening tour of the Chimaera heads to the eternal flame after dark, the perfect time for viewing. It includes transport by jeep, with excellent views of the Kemer region along the way; entrance fees; and dinner.
Getting Here: If you don’t have your own transport, you can get to both Olympos and Çirali by public transport. All the buses traveling between Fethiye and Antalya can drop you at the roadside restaurant from where small minivans to the villages depart. In winter, though, there are far less minivan services