The neighboring hamlets of Olimpos and Çıralı, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast southwest of Antalya (map), are known for a pristine little beach, a pine forest full of tumbledown marble temples, tree house-hotels, and the Chimera, natural flames springing from the rock that have burned ceaselessly for millennia.
Located 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast not far from Phaselis (map), Olimpos andÇıralı are set 7 km (4 miles) off the highway among pines, citrus orchards and farmers’ fields. A little stream flows through a rocky gorge and reaches the Mediterranean at a beautiful beach (more photos).
The hamlets of Olimpos and Çıralı are side by side behind Olimpos Beach, and you can walk along the beach from one to the other in 15 minutes, but the narrow roads that reach them from the highway are entirely different.
“Discovered” by backpackers on a budget, Olimpos became popular decades ago for its tree-house camps and pensions, the most famous of which is the renowned Kadir’s Tree Houses (butBayram’sis also well-regarded).
Tree houses offer a variety of comfort levels, and where else can you live in a tree with an Internet connection? But be advised,there are no banks or ATMs in Olimpos. Bring cash to cover your expenses here.
The Chimera (Yanartaş), a number of natural eternal flames springing from the rock, is located on the north side of Çıralıvillage, on a mountainside about a 7-km (4.3-mile) hike from Olimpos village. More…
—by Tom Brosnahan