Located 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast not far from Phaselis, Çıralı (CHUR-ah-LUH) is a village set 7 km (4 miles) off the D400 highway among pines, citrus orchards and farmers’ fields (map).
It shares a pristine little beach (photos) and atmospheric Roman ruins with the nearby village ofOlimpos, but Çıralı is most famous for the Chimera(Yanartaş), a natural eternal flame located on a mountainside at the north end of Çıralı village.
The best way to visit Çıralı is by car because it’s 7 km (4.4 miles) south of the coastal D400 highway. If you’re going by bus from the north (Antalya, Kemer, Phaselis) or from the west (Kaş, Kalkan, Demre) you should ask the driver to let you off at the road to Çıralı, which he may well confuse with the road to Olimpos only one km farther along on the highway (map). Make sure he gets it right.
—by Tom Brosnahan