Home > Destinations > Olimpos & Çıralı

The neighboring hamlets of Olimpos and Çıralı, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast southwest of Antalya, 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, Olimpos and Çıralı 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 (but Bayram’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.

Cultural Tours

Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. Tourism may be international, or within the traveller’s country. The World Tourism Organization defines tourism more generally, in terms which go “beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only”, as people “traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”.

Tourism can be domestic or international, and international tourism has both incoming and outgoing implications on a country’s balance of payments. Today, tourism is a major source of income for many countries, and affects the economy of both the source and host countries, in some cases being of vital importance.

Diving

Imagine crystal clear warm water with spectacular visibility, producing incredible harmonies of light and colour. The underwater landscape is diverse with many calm shallow bays that are ideal for the beginner and the exciting caves, reefs, drop-offs, caverns, tunnels, ship wrecks, airplane wrecks and night dives for the more advanced diver. Encounter the Meditteranean fauna and flora: sea horses, octopus, barracuda’s etc. Moreover, let’s not forget an ancient Greek and Roman amphora pots dating back to 300 B.C. Fethiye and Kas are without any doubt Turkey’s best diving destinations. From May to October water the temperature reaches an average of 28 C., whilst even during the coldest months the water temperature has still an average of 20 C. Daily diving tours: Beginner Diver (also available for children from 8 yr old on); Non-Diver; Certified diver; Night Diver. Diving courses (from 1 to 10 days): Discover Scuba Diving ; Scuba Diver; Open Water Diver Junior Open Water Diver (10-14 years); Advanced Diver; Advanced Plus; Medic First Aid; Rescue Diver; Divemaster Scuba Tune-up; Scuba Referral. PADI – CMAS – DAN – SCSPF.

Hiking

With its many national parks and mountains, Turkey has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world (some more arduous than others). We chose some of the best hiking trails from around Turkey so you can pack up your gear and book your tickets.

Lycian Trail

One of Turkey’s most famous hiking trails, the Lycian Trail stretches around 509 km from Fethiye to Antalya with amazing views all around and great stops along the way such as Patara Beach, the natural beaches of Kaş, and the historic ruins of Olympos.

Uludağ Mountain

Uludağ is usually known as one of Turkey’s most popular destinations to go skiing, however, in the warmer months the national park is also an excellent spot for hiking. Explore the meadows, rocky area, and glacial lakes, and definitely traverse the best trail that leads from Sarıalan to Çobankaya.

Kaçkar Mountains

Another fantastic Turkish mountain to climb and explore, Kaçkar is located in Turkey’s beautiful Black Sea region whose natural alpine beauty is often compared to Switzerland. Walk past the wildflowers and sheepherders with their flock, and challenge yourself to reach the peak at around 4000m.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a hiking paradise because of its unique landscape and an abundance of historic sights. The most popular trails are in the Pigeon and Love Valleys, the Rose and Red Valleys, and the Zemi Valleys where you’ll come across Cappadocia’s famous Fairy Chimneys, rock churches, and stunning rock formations.

Via Egnatia

The Via Egnatia once served as the road that connected the western and eastern parts of the mighty Roman Empire and was used for both trade and military purposes. Nowadays, passionate hikers can traverse the trail that starts in Durres, Albania and goes through Macedonia, Northern Greece and Turkey, with the final stop in Istanbul.

Taurus Mountains

Another very important mountain range in Turkey, the Taurus Mountains are flanked by sheer rock walls, deep valleys and canyons, and beautiful alpine pastures and lakes. The western Taurus (with the ancient city of Termessos) and central Taurus (with the beautiful Karagöl Lake and the bridge in Adana) are the most popular.

Mount Nemrut

We wouldn’t recommend that you climb Mount Nemut in the winter because of the thick layers of snow, however, in the warmer months, the climb to the 2150m peak is thoroughly rewarding. It is here that the famous temple tomb of the late Hellenistic King Antiochos I of Commagene Kingdom continues to stun hikers.

St. Paul Trail

This special trail also has a lot of historic significance because it was used by Saint Paul during his first journey through Asia Minor. The 500km St. Paul Trail (which can take up to 27 days) also goes through the Taurus Mountains but passes through the ancient sites of Perge and Aspendos in Antalya as well as rural villages and breathtaking natural landscapes.

Mt. Olympos

It’s hard to overlook magnificent Mount Olympos, which towers above the beautiful beach at Çıralı. Known as Tahtalı Dağ in Turkish, the well marked trail is more reachable after being dropped off at the village of Beycik, and you can only imagine what the view is like from up there, Mediterranean coast and sea and all.

Yenice Forest Trail

One of the lesser-known hiking trails in Turkey, this particular path leads through the natural beauty that calls itself the Yenice Forest. A true discovery for nature lovers, the trails goes past forests and canyons and can also be traversed on bike or horseback. Safranbolu, which is famous for its well-preserved Ottoman era houses, is also nearby and definitely worth a day trip.

Nature Walk

An educational trail (or sometimes educational path), nature trail or nature walk is a specially developed hiking trail or footpath that runs through the countryside, along which there are marked stations or stops next to points of natural, technological or cultural interest. These may convey information about, for example, flora and fauna, soil science, geology, mining, ecology or cultural history. Longer trails, that link more widely spaced natural phenomena or structures together, may be referred to as themed trails or paths.

In order to give a clearer explanation of the objects located at each station, display boards or other exhibits are usually erected, in keeping with the purpose of the trail. These may include: information boards, photographs and pictures, maps or plans, display cases and models, slides, sound or multimedia devices, facilities to enable experimentation and so on. The routes are regularly maintained.

Educational trails with a strong thematic content may also be called “theme paths”, “theme trails” or “theme routes”, or may be specially named after their subject matter, for example the Welsh Mountain Zoo Trail, Anglezarke Woodland Trail, Cheshire Lines Railway Path, Great Harwood Nature Trail, Irwell Sculpture Trail, Salthill Quarry Geology Trail and Wildlife Conservation Trail.

Paragliding

Have you ever wanted to fly like a bird and touch the sky?

Experience with us the magic of a tandem paragliding flight! Our highly experienced pilots and most up to date new equipment make sure that you will pass a day to remember during which your safety always comes first. In Oludeniz near Fethiye the adventure begins and ends on the famous beach. A 45 minute truck safari brings you to the peak of Babadag (Father Mountain) and is an experience in itself, with over whelming views of the Blue Lagoon and its surrounding flora. Once we reach take-off point you will be fully briefed by your pilot. And then it is time to … touch the sky! You will be amazed by the stunning aerial views for 30 up to 45 minutes, depending on the day’s conditions. Experience unthinkable heights and dare yourself to an exhilarating spiral or simply float down gently as a bird. Your ultimate landing will return you to Oludeniz Beach where your friends or family wait for you, ready to hear all about your journey of a lifetime!

Swimming

Human beings have been swimming for millennia. According to Wikipedia, Stone Age cave drawings depict individuals swimming and there are written references in the Bible and the Greek poems “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” dating back 1,500 to 2,000 years. There are even Egyptian clay seals from 4000 BC showing four swimmers doing a version of the crawl, and the most famous swimming drawings were apparently found in the Kebir desert and were estimated to be from around 4000 BC.

According to the Encyclopedia of Traditional British Rural Sports, literature specifically related to swimming grew in the middle ages. It is believed that the first book devoted to swimming was Colymbetes by Nicolas Wynman written in 1538, and a more widely recognized text, De Arte Nantandi, was published in Latin by Everard Digby in 1587. The encyclopedia also reports that swimming was required of knights and that Romans built bathhouses and pools in the cities they conquered to serve as social clubs and places to exercise.

Organized swimming began in the 1800s and 1900s with the creation of swimming associations (for example, the Amateur Swimming Association in 1886) and clubs that competed against each other. There are reports from that era of swimming clubs in England, France, Germany, and the United States. High-profile events also contributed to swimming’s visibility. For instance, Matthew Webb swam the English Channel in 1875.

Competitive swimming continued to grow in popularity during the 1800s and was included in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. In 1904, the Olympics in St. Louis included the 50-, 100-, 220-, 440-, 880-yard and one-mile freestyle, the 100-yard backstroke and 440-yard breaststroke, and a 4×50-yard freestyle relay.

By the 20th century, swimming had become mainstream. Indoor pools were beginning to appear, most towns with populations over 20,000 had public outdoor pools, and swimming clubs became increasingly popular for recreation. Women participated for the first time in swimming in the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912, and Johnny Weissmuller (considered by many authorities to be the greatest swimmer of all time and who later went on to Tarzan fame in movies) became the first person to swim 100 meters in less than one minute.

Today swimming is the second most popular exercise activity in the United States, with approximately 360 million annual visits to recreational water venues. Swim clubs, recreation centers, Y’s, and many other facilities feature swimming pools. Many high schools and colleges have competitive swim teams, and of course, swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports. Millions of Americans are swimming each year. Are you one of them? If not, the following information may help get you started.

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