Difference between revisions of "Cirali"
Revision as of 15:30, 14 July 2013
Cirali (in Turkish: Çıralı) is a small village in the southwest of Turkey in Antalya province. It is famous for its 3.2 km of unspoilt beach.
Cirali is perhaps most well-known for being a hatching ground for endangered Caretta Caretta (Loggerhead) sea turtles.
Cirali is actually a district (in Turkish: mahalle) of the main village, Ulupinar. The area was mostly marsh, forest, and fields. In the 1960’s, people started to move from around Ulupinar to Cirali, which became the village center in the 1970’s. Before 1960, there were just three houses in Cirali, but by 1978, there were 90 families living in the district. Early inhabitants consisted of locals as well as formerly nomadic people who settled there, called Yörük. Cirali was predominantly agricultural, the main income of the villagers was earned through greenhouses and citrus orchards. Electricity first came to the village in 1984.
These days, tourism is the main source of income for the people of Cirali, which now includes families who have immigrated from other cities in Turkey. Even so, one still can’t find big hotels in Cirali, just small, family run bungalows, pensions, and restaurants. Looking inland from the coast, buildings cannot even be seen.
However, the tourism industry has led to new problems in the area. Although quick development is a threat to the future of the beach and surrounding habitat, Cirali is still one of the most beautiful beaches in Antalya.
By Plane Antalya International Airport (IATA: AYT; ICAO: LTAI) is the closest airport, served by inexpensive flights from Istanbul and other major European Cities. From the airport, you can take public transport for the cheapest way to reach Cirali. Bus 600 goes to Antalya Bus Terminal (In Turkish: Antalya Otogari) and costs 1,75 TL. At the bus terminal, find the building for local lines (in Turkish: Ilce Terminali) and look for Cicek Tur or Bati Antalya bus companies to locate buses to Cirali, which cost 12 TL. Once dropped off at the Cirali sign, you can get in a waiting minibus and give your hotel name to the driver, who should drop you off at the gate for about 6 TL. Otherwise, you can try your hand at hitchhiking to get to your hotel. There are also airport transfers available from Yehuu Tour  and Reyyan Travel 
By Bus From major cities in Turkey, one can take a direct bus to Antalya Bus Terminal. From Antalya Bus Terminal local lines building (in Turkish: Antalya Otogari Ilce Terminali), find the Cicek Tur or Bati Antalya bus companies to ask for buses to Cirali.
By Car You can rent a car at the Antalya International Airport  From Antalya International Airport, follow signs to Kemer. After passing Kemer, drive 30km in the direction of Ulupinar. After passing Ulupinar, the next sign will be for Cirali. Turn left at the sign, then drive another 7km downhill until you cross a small bridge. After crossing, you are in Cirali.
Cirali is a small village, easily explored on foot or by bike. Some visitors rent cars in order to visit surrounding areas. There are two car rental agencies in Cirali: Reyyan Tour and Kumsal rent a car. A 24 hour rental should cost around 32 Euros. These companies also have bicycles and scooters available.
Chimaera – Yanartaş: Yanartaş, literally ‘burning stone’, is located on Yanar Mountain, in the north of the village. The base of the mountain can be reached by a main road on the border of the village. It is a 1.5 kilometer climb to reach the site. It is best to leave in the late afternoon in order to see the flames, which are produced by natural gas and have been burning for thousands of years, in the evening. Remember to bring a flashlight and good shoes for climbing. The presence of the flames is explained by Greek myth.
Caretta Caretta: Cirali beach is a nesting ground for endangered Caretta Caretta (Loggerhead) sea turtles. The turtles come to the beach at night from May until August to lay their eggs. The eggs hatch between 45 and 70 days after they have been laid, so baby turtles make their way from the nest to the sea starting in the middle of July. Visitors can see baby turtles if they visit the beach early in the morning during hatching season. Members of the Ulupinar Nature Conservation, Development and Management Cooperation will be on the beach, checking the white cages over the nests. These people can help you observe baby turtles leaving their nests.
In order to protect the sea turtles, visitors to Cirali should stay mindful of these rules:
Please do not touch the baby sea turtles. It is very important that the turtles are able to travel on their own all the way to the sea in order to find the beach again.
Please do not walk or drive on the beach late at night during nesting and hatching season. People and bright lights frighten the turtles or cause them to be disoriented. For this reason, do not light fires on the beach.
If visitors follow these rules, Cirali beach will remain as a safe habitat for these endangered creatures.
Olympos Ancient Ruins: Olympos can be reached by a pleasant 15 minute walk down the beach. This village is popular among Turkish students, so it is crowded but lively, with many bars and cafes. The ruins of the ancient city within Olympos, however, are not crowded like other historical sites around Turkey. The ancient city can be reached after a short hike, so wear appropriate shoes. Unless you visit very early in the morning, there is a 5TL entrance fee.
Lycian Way: The Lycian Way is a 509 kilometer, 25-day, marked trail along the coast of Lycia, from Fethiye to Antalya, which passes through Ciirali. It is the first way marked, long-distance trekking route in Turkey. It is marked by Grande Randonnee style red and white painted stripes on rocks along the path. Yellow and green signposts show the places where the route leaves paved roads. Much of the trail is along the coast and provides many opportunities to swim in the sea and climb along cliffs. The route also veers inland through many historical sites and to a cedar forest 1800 meters above sea level on Tahtali Mountain. It is advisable to carry with you a reference book to identify the many species of birds, plants, and animals you will encounter along the way. It’s possible to reach Cirali coming from the south or north on the trail. In the south lies Adrasan village and bay. From Adrasan you can reach Cirali through Olympos after a 20 kilometer walk. There are ticket booths on either side of the ruins in Olympos. Buy a 5TL ticket In order to continue to the Cirali section of the trail. In the the north lies the ancient city Phaselis. Maps and guidebooks are available online.
Yoga Festival: Every spring Cirali is one of the settings for the International Yoga Rainbow Festival. It usually takes place in April or May. It features yoga instructors from around the world. Refer to the website for details. 
There are no ATMs in Cirlali or Olympos, so be sure to plan accordingly. Souvenirs and Textiles: It’s possible to find souvenirs in the Denge shop. If you are interested in traditional Turkish textiles, you may check the small shop and weaving studio of Akdeniz Bahcesi.
There are several restaurants along the main roads in Cirali, where you can find traditional Turkish cuisine as well as Western fare.
Azur Restaurant – Located on the coast, this restaurant specializes in Turkish fish dishes.
Lemon Restaurant – Good value for low priced meals. Serves traditional Turkish food in a pleasant outdoor atmosphere.
Simge – A popular family-run pizza restaurant that also serves salads, pastas, and starters. They have small bar and nice wine list. It is located just after the bridge when entering the Cirali village center.
Dione Beach Bar – Located on Cirali beach, serving a variety of beverages and light meals.
Kaptan Café – Located in the village near the bridge, this café serves refreshing smoothies and cocktails as well at light meals. The host is very hospitable and guests can relax in a comfortable garden.
Cıralı now has over 100 accommodatıon sites, so visitors have many options to choose from, the cheapest of which are camp grounds that also rent tents. Expect to pay at least 30TL to stay on a camp site. There are also many more comfortable, and more expensive, options available for couples and families.
Akdeniz Bahcesi – A family run accommodation and certified organic citrus orchard near the beach. Consisting of five furnished houses with fully-equipped kitchens and a large garden, it is ideal for families with children. 100-150 Euros. 
Hobbit evi – Nice small pension very close to the beach with a restaurant and a small bar that plays good music. The owner is a former journlist and a writer who is famous for his barbeque. 50-100 Euros.
Odile Hotel – This mid-sized hotel consists of rooms and bungalows, with 2 pools (1 for adults and 1 for children) and restaurant. 50-180 Euros.
Sera Pension – A local family run pension which has rooms, bungalows, apartments and a restaurant that serves food from their large greenhouse. They have also a Yoga studio. 50-100 Euros.
There is an extremely rare incidence of crime in Cirali. However, it is wise not to leave valuables on the beach and to always practice ordinary safety precautions.
Jandarma, the rural police station, can be reached at 0242 821 45 11 (Tekirova Jandarma) or 156.
While there are no hospitals, clinics, or even pharmacies in Cirali, there is a doctor available for consultations, his office is near the barber. Ask in town if you need help.
There are many attractions in the towns and cities surrounding Cirali.
Ulupinar If you tire of the restaurants in Cirali, there are many restaurants to be found in the village.
Kekova Boat tours start in Kekova, an ancient sunken city, and end in Cirali.