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Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00

Olympos National Park

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In a valley on Turkey’s south coast, about 90 km southwest of Antalya, you will find the ancient city Olympos. 

Olympos boasts pristine beaches, pine forests, ancient ruins, tree house hotels and the Chimaera ("eternal flames").  It is thought that Olympos was founded during the Hellenistic period, and that it was named after nearby Mount Olympos.

This city has an extremely interesting history and is associated with many legends.  Homer stated that Poseidon was looking out to sea from the mountains of the Solymi when he witnessed Odysseus sailing from Calypso’s island.  He conjured a storm leaving Odysseus shipwrecked on the island of Nausicaa.  It was reported that the city was full of treasures and works of art.  The city was occupied by Cilician pirates in the 1st century BC and coins of the city can be dated back to the 2nd century BC.  Publius Servilius Isauricus and Julius Caesar invaded the city, and following a victory at sea in 78 BC made Olympos part of the Roman Empire.  The Venetians, Genoese, and Rhodians constructed two fortresses during the Middle Ages.  Regardless of this, by the 15th century BC, Olympos had been abandoned. 

The most important deity of Olympos was Hephaestus, the god of fire and blacksmiths. In the village of Çıralı you will find the Chimaera ("eternal flames").  The Chimaera is a naturally occurring phenomenon of methane gas, burning, escaping from openings in the earth.  The Chimaera is most impressive during the night, so it is best to time your visit for after sunset. The Chimaera was a mythological monster which had the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent, who spouted fire from her mouth.

This city now draws many tourists and backpackers, who congregate in this beach paradise every summer due to the popular and inexpensive tree house hostels and relaxed atmosphere. A number of outdoor activities are available amidst this beautiful natural landscape, which surrounds the main road, scattered with ruins, leading to the beach.  Visitors make the most of their time with rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and on the areas renowned cruises.

Read 3184 times Last modified on Friday, 06 March 2015 20:30
Address: Çıralı Yolu ,07350,Turkey
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