Difference between revisions of "Olympos (Turkey)"
Revision as of 20:56, 30 August 2009
Ancient Lycian ruins, an isolated Mediterranean beach, accommodation in treehouses and flames that mysteriously burn from the side of a mountain are some of the attractions of Olympos (Olimpos) in Turkey's south.
Olympos is about 50-60 km south of Antalya. Nearest major towns are Kumluca and Finike to the west and Kemer to the north of Olympos. There are minibuses from Antalya's otogar (main station for intercity buses). Buses from Antalya to Kas stop at the junction on the main coast road, from where a dolmus can be caught.
The "town" area is a collection of backpacker guesthouses and hostels, particularly popular are the treehouse style bungalows. Follow the dusty road down past the end of the guesthouses and it leads to an ancient winding path, past the remains of ancient Greek ruins and down to the sparkling water. It's a pebble beach with absolutely no shade, so it's blisteringly hot to sit on and not very comfortable without thick padding, but the scenery is spectacular.
The ruins themselves are quite impressive, not as much so as Ephesus but still worth seeing. The relative lack of tourist traffic compared to Ephesus means the site is largely overgrown, you have to do some hiking to get to some of the remains. I was there in late May and it was already brutally hot, so be prepared with lots of sunscreen and water.
Bayrams has a lively social scene, with several resident Aussies tending bar. When it's fully dark you can take a bus up to Mount Olympos, with a 45 minute hike up to the Eternal Flames of the Chimera. These flames issue from natural gas jets in the side of the hill, which will self ignite if put out. These are the flames that inspired the Greek myth of Bellarophon and the Chimera. Ranging in size from small flickers to decent size campfires, they're quite interesting when you consider they've been burning for thousands of years.
Gulets cruising down the coast from Antalya stop at the beach to allow their passengers to wade ashore and visit the ruins or eat at one of the many beachside restaurants.
Olympos has no permanent bank, but a mobile satellite-connected cash dispenser has been sighted in summer.
A supermarket open year round around 1km down the road from Kadir's sells alcohol for around 4YTL for a litre bottle of beer and 20YTL for a bottle of dodgy vodka.
Minibuses leave to a station on the main road every couple of hours. From there, dolmuşes go towards Antalya and Kaş (15YTL) every 30 minutes. It may be worth asking about buses direct to Fethiye if that is your destination.
There are also gulets that leave from Olympos going to Fethiye generally taking 4 days to get there.