"Cirali - Home of the Gods" canadiantrav's Profile
I have the great privilege of living with my family in the most breathtaking area of Turkey. Where is that phenomenal beauty one might ask? Here in Cirali!!
Cirali or also know as Olympos is certainly one of those areas off the beaten path but still close to the main attractions. Located 80kms southwest from Antalya, it is a wonderful place for families and the mature traveller with it's clean 4km quiet secluded beach, the ancient ruins of Olympos and the flames of Chimeara.
As you drive down this little winding country road you are immediately greeted by the wonderful sights, sounds, and smells that the natural forest provides. During the winter months and early spring the creek runs rapidly on the left of the road. As you travel down the road you will see the local villagers houses with their remarkable little gardens. And once into the center of the village you will be taken back to a different time away from the busy and crazy masses of the large cities. Here time stands still for moments and you will notice the pure and simple life that we all long for.
Situated between two environmentally protected sites by the WWF, one nature preserve to the north and one archaeological site to the south. The beach of Çirali is about 3 km long and is secluded and unspoiled were the sea water is crystal-clear.
Cirali is one of the last remaining villages on the med. coast that has not been taken over by mass tourism. You can easily rent a car for daily trips to surrounding areas like Antalya, Termessos, fish restaurants of Ulupinar, Kekova ( sunken city of Simena ), Kas, Kalkan, Arykanda etc. Also daily boat trips are nice to the surrounding islands. If you like to hike Cirali to Ulupinar and Cirali to Tekirova are a section of the Lycian Way
About one kilometer from Olympos brings you to the natural phenomenon of Çirali the Chimaera. A hidden paradise to the world. Known by the local inhabitants as the Yanartas (burning stone), it is a result of escaping natural gas, whose flames have been shooting heavenwards for centuries. The famous myth of Bellerophontes is said to have taken place here. There is a special romanticism about this place that draws people to climb the mountain and view the natural wonders along with the evening sky.
Çirali is also known for being the home of the antique city of Olympos, which was a port city, established in the 2nd century and continued to flourish until the 15th century A.D.
This ancient city is situated on both sides of a brook, which dries up in the summer. The site is heavily covered with bushes and trees The ruins here are from the Lycian period up to the Byzantine times.
The beach of Çirali is about 3 km long and is secluded and unspoiled were the seawater is crystal-clear. Adding to it's many beauties of this magic place, is that here every year between May and September the sea turtles (Caretta caretta) come to these shores to lay their eggs. The World Wildlife Federation and the Natural Life Protection Association (Dogal Hayati Koruma Dernegi) protecting them.
On the hill to the east of the path looms a well-preserved marble door frame built into a wall of ashlar masonary. At the foot of the carved doorway is a statue base dedicated by an inscription to Marcus Aurelius.
for more photos of Cirali and the Olympos area please refer to my flickr web site;
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