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A beautiful and mysterious landscape full of tradition
Ancient Ruins and the Fires of Mt Olympos

Olympos was an ancient city in Lycia from the Hellenistic period. Its coins date back to the 2nd Century BC. The city became one of the six leading cities of the Lycıan League.  Olympus was invaded and settled by Cilician pirates until it became part of the Roman Empire. The chief god of Olympos was Hephaestus, God of Fire and Blacksmiths. Even today, located in the neighbouring village of Cirali rising 200 metres above sea level the fires of Mt Olympos (called Chimaera) can be seen. The source of the flames is methane gas seeping up through the ground. Mythical Chimera was a monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a serpent who roamed nearby with fire sprouting from her mouth! In the middle ages the Venetians Genoese and Rhodians built fortresses along the coast but it was abandoned sometime in the 15th CAD.

What to See and Do

Today Olympos has grown into a haven for tourists. In recent years tree houses have been built to house mainly back packers in hostel-style accommodation. However the ruins themselves are quite lovely and are reached by a dusty track which then leads to a sparkling pebble beach. The surrounding scenery is spectacular. You can take a bus trip from the town up to Mount Olympus and then take a 45 minute hike to see the flames.

Gulets cruising the coast to Antalya stop to allow their guests to wade into the ruins and often gulets start or end their cruise from Fetihye at Demre near Olympos. The Olympos Arial Tram serves the peak of Mt Olympos and at 4359 metres is one of the longest tramlines in the world. The base station is about 60 kilometres from Antalya and offers amazing views. There is also paragliding, trekking, mountain climbing and biking, and kayaking activities available during the summer months.

What to Buy

Construction is not allowed in the national park apart from tree houses so the opportunities for shopping aside from souvenirs and beach wear at the tree house shops are very limited.

What to Eat

There is not much on offer apart from a small cafes at the entrance to the ruins selling snacks and drinks and at the local tree house accommodation.

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