You probably recognize the name Olympos from your school-days classes in Greek and Roman mythology: the home of the gods, it boasts a number of incredible ruins, as you may well expect. You won’t be disappointed by multifarious ancient sites to be found here, although those in search of solitude should take heed. Olympos is major stop on southern Turkey’s beaten tourist track, and you may be put off by the crowds, especially in the peak summer months from June to August.
Also see the Chimaera, named for the mythical fire-spitting monster (part-lion, part-goat, part-snake) of Roman folklore. Today the term refers to the eternal flames which burn from the mountain-side above Olympos. You’ll be amazed by the unique natural phenomenon of the fires- caused by methane gas leaking out from the earth, they will reignite themselves if you attempt to put one out. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight with you on the walk up- you’ll want to go at night for maximum effect, and some of the trails can be treacherous in the dark.
As the town of Olympos is under government protection which severely limits modern construction, facilities are limited. Fortunately, the owners of the many pensions here recognize this and will cater for most of your needs, including food and alcohol. There’s an ATM and a small supermarket, but plan ahead by bringing the majority of the supplies you’ll need from Kaş or Antalya.
Take a bus from Antalya (some 70 kilometers to the north) or south from Kumluca or Kaş. The larger buses won’t take you all the way down to Olympos proper and will instead leave you roughly 10 kilometers outside of town at a junction featuring a great view and a cafe. Dolmuşes from this point are frequent, so you shouldn’t have any trouble completing the trip into the valley.