Tag Archives: Olympos

Olympos to Antalya

1/1 – Happy New Year to all! The pansyion really filled up last night, with people out to celebrate. Met a nice couple from Ireland. We were invited to a party on the Olympos beach for NY Eve, but the rain was pouring down and the wind was blowing, not to mention we would have to wade across the inlet in the dark to get there, so we opted to stay relatively dry in our little cabin, with the electricity going on and off. We were fast asleep at midnight, when the loud firecrackers and cherry bombs woke us, then were eclipsed by even louder thunder, magnificent lightning and hailstones.

When we got up in the morning, many oranges had blown out of the trees, and a car formerly parked on dry land was under water. The inlet we had crossed at knee depth was now waist depth or more. Time to move on!



We thanked Meral for her hospitality and set out to catch the dolmus back to the highway.


After walking past all the other tree houses with no sign of the dolmus, we stopped in at the last pansiyon to ask for help. The proprietor said the dolmus had left without us, and there wouldn’t be another for two hours. He said we could take a taxi, for three times the rate of the bus. After a brief deliberation, we asked him to call the taxi. He went inside and came back with his car keys. He was the taxi!

After an exciting ride inching over flooded streets, we were back on the main road, waiting for the next bus, which arrived in ten minutes. On to Antalya!

In two hours we arrived at our new home, the Hotel Twenty. Antalya is a big, modern city, and we plan to get some things done while we are here, starting with getting some new boots.

Our hotel is a block from the water, and we have a view of the Mediterranean. The mountains are stunning. We are right next to the mosque, so we will not miss one note of the calls to prayer throughout each day.


We weren’t sure what would be open on New Year’s Day, an official holiday here, but we took a walk around our end of town to get our bearings. It’s a beautiful sunny day, in the 60s. We see several New Year displays that have co-opted what we would consider Christmasy things – presents, tinsel and wreaths.

Google Maps showed a hikers supply store, Tibet Outdoor, a mile down the main street, so we headed toward it. The windows were dark, but when we tried the door, it opened! The proprietor had just stopped in to check on something, and was happy to talk to us. Of course he doesn’t carry boots in Jim’s size 13, but he will order them for us. He carries Keen, my favorite brand. Things are looking good! We will come back tomorrow, when the store is open.

Antalya has its share of sleeping dogs, and hungry cats.


It also has an Umbrella Street, full of restaurants, reminiscent of the one we encountered in Portugal. We will eat supper here tonight.image

1/2 – Our hotel cooked us a lovely breakfast, and, fortified, we walked back to the Tibet Outdoor hiker shop. I am now the owner of new boots, black instead of green, and Jim has a pair on order that we hope will fit him. We also looked at cold weather jackets, as we head north next week, and a new raincoat for Jim. Next we visited a tailor, who replaced the broken zipper on Jim’s fleece, and a pharmacy to stock up on meds (which don’t require prescriptions here). Stopped at a camera store to replace my camera batteries that no longer hold a charge. Hmmmmm, what else can we take care of while we’re in town?

Enough errands for one day. How about a sunset?image

Olympos – a Day on the Lycian Way

12/30 – Climbing around the necropolis yesterday, Jim saw the red and white Lycian Way trail blazes that continued up the mountain. Today we waded across the inlet again, to follow the trail.

Nothing makes Jim happier than following a narrow path through the woods. image


We started in pine forest, with plenty of big rocks to scrabble up and downed tree trunks to navigate around.

Sometimes we had to climb over:image

Sometimes we had to limbo under:image

And some we just got around as best we could.image

Some trunks were rotting away:image

And some were becoming more beautiful as they aged.imageimage

There was lots to see on the ground.

Every now and then we reached a clearing, and could see the sky and the mountains beyond.imageimage

We trekked up, then turned around so we could be back across the inlet before dark. On the way back, we met backpackers from Russia, Ukraine and Austria, all out for a New Years hike. A beautiful day.

Happy New Year to you!image

Olympos – the Ruins on the Other Side

12/29 – today we decided to bring our sandals down to the inlet with us. Crossing the water barefoot for the last two days left our feet sore from all the sharp rocks. Wearing our sandals made all the difference – we practically danced across the inlet! Look how happy Jim is!

The ruins of Olympos on the far side are definitely visited less – not everybody wants to get wet! We had the ruins to ourselves all day.

Here are the remains of the theatre:



The Hamami (public baths):

The harbor basilica:

The weather changes quickly here. The sun is shining, a wind comes up, it rains for five minutes, then the sun comes out again.

When we had puttered in the ruins to our hearts’ content, we followed the trail markers for the Lycian Way. This led us to the Necropolis – a mountainside dotted with 354 tombs, dating from the 1st to the 3rd century CE. Some were elaborately decorated:imageimageimage

Many were just square openings with sliding rock doors: image


A fascinating day!

Olympos – the Ruins

12/28 – today we went back to the ruins of ancient Olympos, and took our time exploring. The ruins are open and accessible to anyone who wants to climb around in them.

There are tombs, of course.




A fifth century episcopal church.



A second century Roman temple dedicated to Marcus Aurelius.



We are right on an ocean inlet, and there is lots of water to navigate around.


A helpful someone built this very shaky bridge.


Like everything in Olympos, half of the ruins are on the other side of the inlet. How to get there? Take off your shoes and wade!


Here’s a sign we found on the other side:


We found a path up the mountain, and a sign that said the ruins of a hillside village were here. We climbed and climbed, scrabbling over big rocks on a very narrow trail. We finally reached a sheer cliff and some Germans rock-climbing up the face. Oops! We certainly weren’t doing that!image

The view from the top was worth the climb. Note the ant-like humans down on the beach!image

The descent is always easier than the climb.image

When we got back to the beach, Jim found a feathered friend:image

We never did find our way to the ruins on the other side. We’ll come back tomorrow and try again.

Olympos – the Chimaera on Mt. Olympos

12/27 – Olympos is the ultimate in laid back. It’s where you come to relax, as there really isn’t much to do here. It was exclusively a hippie haven until 2009, when paving the road to to town enabled more tourists to get here. We’re happy for the quiet. We realize that this is the first time since arriving in Turkey in November that we have not heard the call to prayer throughout the day.

We walked down the road to the beach, and past the ruins of ancient Olympos. We will come back to explore the ruins another day, but today we are on our way to Mt. Olympos, to see the Chimaera, or Mountain of Fire. This mountain is one of twenty mountains that share this name, the home of the Ancient Greek gods. This hike is part of the Lycian Way.

We walk along the beach, until we come to an area where we have to cross a tidal pool. It’s off with our boots and socks, roll up our pants and ford across. The beach is rocky and the current is swift, but we both live to tell the tale!


We continue to walk along the beach, then take the road at Çirali, another little hamlet of tree houses and huts.




When we see a sign, we know we’re getting close.


The Chimaera is a mythical creature with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a serpent, which breathed fire. He was slain by Bellaphon, with the help of his winged horse, Pegasus.


Here we see our first turkey in Turkey!


We follow the path up the mountain.


Up, up….


…and up some more!


At the top of the mountain, eternal flames erupt from the rocks. Methane seeps out from the rocks and burns continually.




Both the Greeks and the Christians built temples here, and we walk among the ruins.


You can still see some painted decoration in a dome of the Christian church:

The view from the top of the mountain is gorgeous.image

Another beautiful day.

Kas to Olympos

12/26 – today our modern penthouse / ocean view / hot water on demand Christmas present came to an end as we walked down the 131 steps of the Kaputas Apart for the last time. Farewell Kas!

We caught the 9:30 bus heading toward Antalya so we could jump off after 2 1/2 hours at Olympos. Here are some bus station dogs, doing what they do best:


The bus took us through a town with a statue of a tomato in the town square, and another that was all about oranges. I got some snaps as we left the Orange town of Finike:


The bus let us off at a rest stop on the highway at 12:15, and we waited for the dolmus that would take us the last 10 miles to Olympos. Our experience has been that the next dolmus always comes within 10 minutes. Of course today, as it was cold and raining, we waited an hour and a half for the minibus to come. At least we were in a place where we could get hot tea (çay) in little glasses to hold for warmth.

Olympos will be the polar opposite of Kas, and I hope my system can stand the shock. Olympos is a protected area, with beach, ruins, and high mountains. The weather changed today, so we are looking at rain for the next several days. Because it is a protected area, no concrete can be used, no permanent structures are permitted, so instead of hotels, the tourists are invited to stay in tree houses, tents, cabins, and other structures reminiscent of Scout camp. There is no ‘town’, no shops to speak of, and no ATM. We were advised to bring all the money we needed, as there is no place to get more. Of course, there are not many places to spend it…

An Olympos treehouse:


We are staying at the Saban Treehouse Pansiyon. A river runs where main street should be, and we have to cross a bouncy suspension bridge to get to the other side.


Our little cabin:


Even in the rain, the mountains are beautiful.



The paths here are lined with orange trees, and we are invited to pick as many as we like.


Sabans offers ‘half board’, which means both breakfast and supper are included in the price of the cabin. Although Jim loves to cook, he is looking forward to sampling some authentic Turkish dishes! Our hostess Meral and her mother do all the cooking. The common room smells wonderful!

For our first supper, we had salad, soup, pan fried trout, rice, Vegetables stuffed with couscous and cinnamon, spinach pancakes (gözleme), mixed vegetables in sauce and nan. Looking at all the dishes arrayed before us, I despaired of trying to eat all the food, but before we knew it, most of it had magically disappeared. So delicious!image

We’d better get lots of exercise, or they’re going to have to roll us out of this place!