Olympos Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by June.b
  • Things to Do
    by June.b
  • Things to Do
    by June.b

Most Recent Things to Do in Olympos

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    Olympos Ruins

    by June.b Updated May 29, 2012
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    Olympos is a small place very much unlike the big touristic cities in Turkey. There aren't much to see like museums and huge buildings as it's mountains and beach.

    One thing that should be seen and definitely cannot be avoided is the underrated Olympos ruins. The ancient city is one of the 6 leading cities of the Lycian League, and was also conquered and included in the roman empire.

    The ruins of the ancient city is scattered inside the forest before you reach the beach. The are several sign posts along the path with brief info on what to see. Unlike Ephesus which is carefully assembled and well labeled, the ruins at Olympos in my opinion is differently fascinating as most of the probably houses in ruins are in natural state with plants and trees growing on them, they're just scattered around inside the woods. There are several lycian tombs, pavements and water flowing around. There's an ancient bath house, churches, and so many marble slabs buried on the grounds.

    Entrance fee at the main gate is TL5 that includes the beach area, so whether you just want to swim or visit the ruins or both, you pay the same fee.

    Next tips are some of the structures that you will find in the Olympos ruins....flip to next pages.

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    Mozaikli Yapi

    by June.b Written May 29, 2012
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    The "building with mosaics" can be found within the vast ruins area of Olympos. Just follow the path, read the info from the main road and you'll find this ruin.

    Most of the mosaics are no longer visible but there are still some traces, especially the mosaic floorings.

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    Mount Chimaera

    by June.b Written May 29, 2012
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    The forever fire burning from the vents of the rock mountain of chimaera is one of the highlights of a visit to Olympos.

    The tour usually happens at night. I didn't know first why it's at night. I booked the tour with the pension house I was staying at (TL25). It's basically a pick-up/drop-off in a small van with other people. We are 4 that left the pension at 9pm and reached the base of the mountain before 10pm.

    WARNING! The tour is not easy as it seems. I'm not that old but I was catching my breath. The ascend from the base of the mountain is stressful. Our driver gave us each a penlight to find out way. No guide, the driver waited for us down there.

    Maybe hundred of steps, sometimes you'll stumble along the way as it's dark unless you have a really bright flashlight, now that I mention that, I think it would be safer to bring a bigger flashlight.

    Mind you -- it's not a flat surfaced walk, it's walking up several steps and they're not uniformed and ain't totally concrete, some are just pathways, gravels, some steep, some narrow. Got to be very careful with each steps, I almost sprained my ankle.

    We had about 2 - 3 hours including the walk up and the descend down.... just to see the fire-breathing vents up there on the rock mountain.

    When we reached the top, there are some groups chanting (singing?) in some language or I don't understand actually. Some just sit there, drink wine, watching the fire grew from a flicker to a handball fire.

    The Mount Chimaera is believed to be the source of the greek mythology about this fire-breathing monster partly lion / partly goat / partly snake.

    Read the story here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(mythology)

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    Ruins along the beach

    by June.b Written May 29, 2012
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    If you watch carefully, you'll discover a lot of ruins right along the beach side. There are walls lining up above, probably remains of a fortress, ruins of a castle on the right side up the hill and I think a small church also on the right side of the beach.

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    Olympos Beach

    by June.b Written May 29, 2012
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    So this is actually what you came here for -- the secluded enclaved beach of Olympos.

    Yes, there may be people on the beach but it's not the same as those popular beaches along coastline of Antalya province. Olympos beach is less touristic, some Lycian-way trekkers pass by with their huge backpacks every now and then as the beach is along the lycian way. And also boat-trippers that anchors at the beach to have a swim or visit the ruins.

    The beach is not actually fine sands, more of pebbles and can be hot during summers.

    There aren't beach umbrellas or bars or restaurants, you enjoy the nature here, blue waters, green mountains.

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    On top of the mountain.

    by June.b Written May 29, 2012
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    I don't know really what's the name of that spot on top of the mountain above the ruins of Olympos but I did continued my walk (say it's trek as it's a tiring walk up the top) from the ruins to a small path going up to the top. Actaully the day before when I was sitting on the sands or pebbles at the beach I heard voices shouting from above, like there are people above there on the top of the mountain.

    So on my last day at the Olympos I went there, although I got stung by a bee and the thorns of some bushes got into my skin, I reached the top, and it was an amazing sight above there. The vast ocean and the full length of the beach from where I'm standing upto Cirali.

    There's a ruin of a fort up there.

    Beauty!

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    The Roman Bath

    by June.b Updated May 29, 2012
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    Just before reaching the beach area and on the other side of the river bank, you can see what's left of the roman bath of Olympos.

    Olympos was a part of the roman empire and every roman city has a roman bath. Roman baths are normally constructed beside a river or stream from where it's getting it's water.

    The only way to explore the Olympos roman bath ruin is to cross to the other side. When you reach the beach there's a small flowing water that you can cross to get to the other side.

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    Lycian Tombs

    by June.b Written May 29, 2012
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    I know I'm one of those having spontaneous wild imagination, but really it's a bit creepy when you're the only one wandering around the ruins in Olympos. Since it's scattered inside the woods with the trees and crawlng branches forming shades above your head and probably small creatures and birds creating those small noises.

    I didn't see much people when I went there probably 3 times, maybe 2 or 3 every now and then appearing and disappearing, and I'm the type who spend a lot of time in a place venturing on the most unfamiliar grounds.

    Most of the stuff to see are crumbling walls mostly with arched windows and archways, and of course several tombs. Two of those are inside a gated area and one is just sitting there out in the ground and some 2 or 3 well preserved ones beside the security guard just before the beach.

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    Yanartaş, Chimera or Burning Rocks

    by dutchboycalledjan Written Mar 1, 2010
    Burining stones
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    Visiting this ancient site is strangely rewarding. We parked our car after a ten minutes drive at the entrance of the park, paid our fees and started to climb the old ceremonial stairs. Sometimes it has all but gone, some times there are high steps. It is advisable to wear good shoes, but most people seem to get there on slippers too.
    After about 20 minutes, the road opens up to a strange, barren place with ruïns of old temples and even an old church. And then you see the flames: coming directly from the stones. Fascinating.
    After a while we climbed on to the higher flames. Here a keen eye and good shoes are required. The path can be very steep (even more so on the way back). After about 30 minutes of climbing, you suddenly see a small set of flames. Not as impressive as the lower flames, but the setting is great: near the top of the ridge, with very, very fine views.

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    PHASAELIS

    by mtncorg Written Jul 7, 2009

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    Jumbled columns remind us of earlier glories
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    Phasaelis is a popular ruin since it is close enough to the large numbers of beach hotels at Kemer. It can get a bit overrun, as a result, with tourists during the season. Lots of people come over from Kemer on one of the boat trips. Interpretative signs are in Turkish and English, but Russian is the most common language I heard here – a testament to the popularity of the Turkish coast to the Russian travel market.

    The ancient town is built across a small peninsula with three small harbors. These harbors attracted settlement as early as 690 BC and the town became the main port on the eastern Lycian coastline. Alexander the Great overwintered here in 333-34 BC, enjoying the local wines. Ptolemaic, Syrian and Rhodian rule followed in subsequent years before pirates gained control in the early 1st century BC. Like its neighbor to the south, Olimbos, Phasaelis was destroyed by Rome in its war against the pirates. The city was rebuilt and most of the ruins you see today come from the Roman era which lasted another 400 years until the rise of the port of Antalya.

    The main sites you visit include the three ports; a main avenue flanked by baths leads you from the central port to an agora above with a theater that dates to the 2nd century and could seat some 1,500 people; another avenue leads for the agora down to the southern harbor and passes through the ruins of what was a memorial arch dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian at the time of a visit. From the north, there are the impressive remains of an aqueduct that used to supply the city and the baths with fresh water.

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    PHASAELIS

    by mtncorg Written Jul 7, 2009

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    Jumbled columns remind us of earlier glories
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    Phasaelis is a popular ruin since it is close enough to the large numbers of beach hotels at Kemer. It can get a bit overrun, as a result, with tourists during the season. Lots of people come over from Kemer on one of the boat trips. Interpretative signs are in Turkish and English, but Russian is the most common language I heard here – a testament to the popularity of the Turkish coast to the Russian travel market.

    The ancient town is built across a small peninsula with three small harbors. These harbors attracted settlement as early as 690 BC and the town became the main port on the eastern Lycian coastline. Alexander the Great overwintered here in 333-34 BC, enjoying the local wines. Ptolemaic, Syrian and Rhodian rule followed in subsequent years before pirates gained control in the early 1st century BC. Like its neighbor to the south, Olimbos, Phasaelis was destroyed by Rome in its war against the pirates. The city was rebuilt and most of the ruins you see today come from the Roman era which lasted another 400 years until the rise of the port of Antalya.

    The main sites you visit include the three ports; a main avenue flanked by baths leads you from the central port to an agora above with a theater that dates to the 2nd century and could seat some 1,500 people; another avenue leads for the agora down to the southern harbor and passes through the ruins of what was a memorial arch dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian at the time of a visit. From the north, there are the impressive remains of an aqueduct that used to supply the city and the baths with fresh water.

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    OLIMBOS

    by mtncorg Written Jul 7, 2009

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    Cherubic visage on a sarcophage in Olimbos
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    The beach and the river entering into the seas are the two main things one remembers from a visit here, but he ruins of one of the most important Lycian towns are also fascinating. Founded in the 2nd century BC, the city was a center for those of the Hephaistos cult due to the nearness of the fire fields of nearby Chimera – Varantaº. Pirates gained control of the town in the 1st century BC and the city was damaged during their eradication by Rome. The town continued afterwards, but never enjoyed its earlier importance and was abandoned with the rise of Antalya.

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    VARANTAÞ – CHIMERA

    by mtncorg Written Jul 7, 2009

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    Flames of the first fire field
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    Methane gases have been seeping up from the ground in two fields not far above the beaches of Çýralý. The first fire field is reached after a walk of 20-30 minutes uphill – gain is about 250 meters – and is located just above the ruins of a temple dedicated to the fire and blacksmith god, Hephaistos. The flames are best appreciated at night though they might not be burning as brightly today as they were in ancient times. A second fire field is another 20 minutes higher up. Height of the flames also depends upon the barometric pressure, so take that into consideration when paying a visit. Ancients believed the fires to be the remains of the mythical, fire-breathing Chimera which had the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a snake. Chimera saw its end when Bellerophon, on his steed Pegasus, chopped it up.

    When visiting the fires, make sure you bring a light. Without a full moon the way is easy to lose in the darkness. The fires are simply fascinating to sit and watch once you get there. Try to beat the hordes of visitors that come over by van from the hostels in Olimpos. If it is raining or threatening to rain, use your judgment. The trail – mostly rock steps – can get very treacherous when it is wet and even more so in the dark.

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    TAHTALI DAÐ

    by mtncorg Written Jul 7, 2009

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    The peak sticking out of the clouds from Phasaelis

    At 2366 meters high, Tahtali Dað stands out in the Beydaðlaý. Once atop you have magnificent views from Antalya far to sea on a clear day. It was on this hill – then known as Mount Olympos – that Bellerophon earned the wrath of the gods by trying to ride his winged horse Pegasus into the heavens. Zeus caused the horse to throw its rider who fell to his death, not far from the final resting spot of his former nemesis the Chimera. There are a couple of walking options for those so inclined, otherwise pay your lira and take the cable car – a modern age Pegasus. Make sure it is a clear enough day to get your money’s worth, however. I was here for over a week in early May and it never was ideal.

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    BEACH

    by mtncorg Written Jul 7, 2009

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    Olimbos end of the beach
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    I keep reading about the ‘beautiful sand beach’ that links Olimbos and Çýralý. I guess ‘sand’ is a relative term when speaking of European beaches, but where I come from this beach contains a rather fair share of rocks that have not made it down to the level of sand grains quite yet. That said, the beach is pretty backed up by the mountains to the west and the south with the greenery giving the whole scene a tropical feel. The beach is very popular with loggerhead turtles, as well. Day trip boats come from Kemer to the north to the Olimbos end in droves – similar to the scene at Phasaelis. It is maybe 500 meters between Çýralý and Olimbos by foot but almost an hour by car as each town is served by separate dead end roads with a ridge of mountains between them.

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