Olympos: the very best of the Turkish Mediterranean.

Olympos Travel Blog

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The afternoon beach in front of Olympos.

STILL DAY SEVEN of the Beaches & Ruins Road Trip: OLYMPOS.

Because of the small “temporary” spare tire on the car, I drove sloooowly (not over 80KMH) from Uçagiz to Olympos. It would NOT be good to get another flat since I am quite sure we need four tires to continue on, and at this point we have no spare. Fingers were crossed the whole way.

We were trying to get to our hotel, but we turned too soon and ended up at the entrance to Olympos. Olympos is the site of yet another ancient ruin, which we planned to visit after checking in to our hotel.  

The area surrounding the entrance could only be described as BIZARRE. Some of the buildings had a Wild West look going on, with wagon wheels and rough-hewn aged wood construction.
Mosaics in the ruins of Olympos.
So it was a little bit like Tombstone, Arizona in this respect, but with the pine trees and mountainous landscape it also reminded me of Colorado. But then people were wandering around the forested area in bikinis! The whole thing just seemed weird.
 
We had driven all the way down this rough and rocky road (hang in there, little spare!) before we realized we were in the wrong place. So we drove back out and went down the highway until we found the sign for Cirali, which is where our hotel is located. We drove quite a ways down a winding road to find Olympos Lodge. Just to continue the weirdness, we were met at the parking area by… peacocks. Lots of peacocks, which were roaming the grounds and showing off their plumage.

To make a long story short, we didn’t like the hotel, which we felt was terrible overpriced for what it was, so we left.
Light peeks in to a tomb at Olympos.
We left the car at a nearby restaurant, and walked along the beach to Olympos, deciding to figure out the hotel situation later. 

This is where things got really good. It was 6pm, and the dusky light on the beach was beautiful. Despite the fact that the tanning hours were over, there were lots of people hanging out and enjoying the beach. I was confused because I was expecting to see another ruined city, and here I was in the middle of Spring Break!

We continued on and found a sign posting the entrance to Olympos. We followed the wide main path into the forest (the ticket booth was closed so we got in for free!) and learned that this road went to the Wild West entrance we had found earlier. There was a steady stream of beach people going to and from the beach to the parking lot and hotels on the other side.
Trying to capture the last light. Olympos.
Sprouting off from this main path were smaller paths, signposted as ruins. We ducked off onto one of these and found ourselves in the quiet solitude of a dense forest. It was so strange to find this complete silence so close to the touristy, busy beach area!

The forest felt like ours alone, with picturesque ruins grown over by the trees and bushes, all spooky and dark. It felt immense and ancient, and begged reverence. The fragrance was woodsy and wonderful, like decayed leaves and pine, and something else I couldn’t pinpoint… if I could capture it I would sell a lot of potpourri. We explored the rough paths, photographed the overgrown walls in the dying light, and admired a super-clear stream. We were occasionally reminded where we were by the anachronistic bikini-clad visitors we ran into on the paths.
Meanwhile, back at the beach...
 

The different between Olympos and the other ruins we have seen is that Olympos has not been dug up or restored in any way. These ruins were in complete ruins! You might be walking along and find yourself treading on a half-buried two thousand year old lintel. (I am not 100% sure what a lintel is, but I am pretty sure I walked on several of them at Olympos.) It is a really spectacular site, and by far my favorite of all the ruins we have seen this far. We all just loved it.

Because we arrived late we didn’t have a lot of time to explore. We left reluctantly, back across the beach (still people there) and to the car. We were without beds for the night, and decided to press on to Antalya to find a hotel. We set off not knowing how incredibly challenging this would prove to be during high season on a Friday night.
 
skippyed says:
This one is on my stop, I look forward to seeing it!
Posted on: Mar 26, 2010
Deats says:
Haha, sorry :)
Posted on: Jan 13, 2009
cmgervais says:
OK, back on the list it goes!
Posted on: Jan 12, 2009
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The afternoon beach in front of Ol…
The afternoon beach in front of O…
Mosaics in the ruins of Olympos.
Mosaics in the ruins of Olympos.
Light peeks in to a tomb at Olympo…
Light peeks in to a tomb at Olymp…
Trying to capture the last light. …
Trying to capture the last light.…
Meanwhile, back at the beach...
Meanwhile, back at the beach...
The beach in front of Olympos ruin…
The beach in front of Olympos rui…
Steve and I take the dry route.
Steve and I take the dry route.
Lisa on the path to Olympos.
Lisa on the path to Olympos.
Tomb at Olympos.
Tomb at Olympos.
Educational signs at Olympos.
Educational signs at Olympos.
Bridge at Olympos. The stream was …
Bridge at Olympos. The stream was…
Me, in ruins.
Me, in ruins.
Olympos ruins.
Olympos ruins.
Olympos ruins.
Olympos ruins.
The path (and ancient drainage dit…
The path (and ancient drainage di…
Main path thru Olympos.
Main path thru Olympos.
Beach meets ancient city.
Beach meets ancient city.
Roman temple at Olympos.
Roman temple at Olympos.
Lots of people coming this way.
Lots of people coming this way.
Near the main entrance at Olympos.
Near the main entrance at Olympos.
Near the main entrance at Olympos.
Near the main entrance at Olympos.
Lisa at Olympos.
Lisa at Olympos.
The beach outside Olympos.
The beach outside Olympos.
The beach outside Olympos.
The beach outside Olympos.
Olympos
photo by: findmeabeach