A completely different Turkey: Cirali, Olympos, Phaselis and Adrasan

Совсем другая Турция: Чиралы, Олимпос, Фазелис и Адрасан

An unusual Turkey is on the air, which impresses with its ancient cities, vast beaches surrounded by mountains and pine forests, amazing landscapes of the Lycian trail, tree houses, hippie places and charming boarding houses: this is the name of private houses and small hotels filled with comfort, beautifully decorated and surrounded by trees and flowers. All this is an hour’s drive from Antalya, which is familiar to many.


  • Chirals
  • Olympos
  • Phaselis
  • Adrasan

How to get there

The easiest way to get there is by car: the distance from Antalya is only about 80 km, and from Kemer — 40 km. It will be problematic to move without a car: although the distances between the objects are small, they cannot be overcome on foot or by public transport. So I definitely advise you to rent a car for the dates of the trip. 

For clarity of the picture, you need to understand the following: in a few days you can have time to see all the places from this collection, because they are in close proximity to each other, while each location has its own special character. It is better to settle in Chiraly or Olympos (based on the fact that you want a secluded vacation or a party), and then quietly ride around the area. Well, now I will tell you in more detail about each location.

Совсем другая Турция: Чиралы, Олимпос, Фазелис и Адрасан

The easiest way to get there is by car: from Kemer — 40 km. Photo: Resul Muslu/Shutterstock.com


For whom: for lovers of romance, privacy, stylish restaurants and poetic relaxation in boutique hotels and boarding houses with wonderful gardens (not to be confused with Soviet sanatoriums).

What to do: a leisurely vacation in the style of Dolce vita. Cirali is a small, charming and photogenic village located on the Mediterranean coast surrounded by mountains. Here you can enjoy your holidays in nice boarding houses. Those who appreciate tranquility and beauty come here instead of the all-inclusive format.

The beaches in Chiraly are sandy and pebbly, equipped with sun loungers, the water is clear and clean, despite the fact that there are private yachts and fishing boats here. Thanks to the latter, you can always taste delicious seafood with a glass of local Sauvignon blanc in restaurants near the coast. I really love Azur Aida Restaurant, there are several other stylish establishments with good service nearby. Swimming at night after a delicious dinner and admiring the stars in the sky is a mandatory part of the program. It is also home to caretta turtles, which lay eggs in the sand. 

Where to stay: in small hotels and guest houses.

Mount Chimera

From Cirala, you definitely need to get out to look at the “burning rock” Chimera, aka Mount Yanartash. It is located just 3.5 km from the village. The mountain is known for the fact that a fire is burning on its slopes, and this is not a barely visible spark, but a full-fledged bonfire, only it does not feed on firewood, but on natural gas. Fire occurs when a substance coming out of the bowels comes into contact with air.

Совсем другая Турция: Чиралы, Олимпос, Фазелис и Адрасан

You definitely need to get out of Cirala to look at the “burning rock” Chimera, aka Yanartash Mountain. Photo: boyoz/Shutterstock.com

The Legend of the Burning Rock

There is a legend that fire is nothing but the breath of the Chimera monster that threatened ancient Lycia. The mythical hero Bellerophon killed the Chimera by riding the winged horse Pegasus and pouring molten lead into the monster’s mouth. Since then, the Chimera can only manifest itself in flames. By the way, the name of the neighboring city of Kemer is also associated with this mythological creature. 

The best way to look at this beauty is in the evening: come after dark and go to the top of the mountain. The road will take 20-30 minutes of steep climbing up the steps, be sure to take water and a flashlight or a charged phone with you, because there is no lighting here. But this path is more than compensated by the pine forest, gorgeous stars and flames, especially atmospheric looking at night. The entrance fee is from 28 to 40 liras, depending on the season (80-115 rubles).


For whom: for fans of the hippie atmosphere, caravan houses and trekking enthusiasts.

What to do: enjoy life and make new friends. If Chiraly has a comfortable and charming character, then Olympos is a village that has been favored by backpackers since the early 2000s (after all, Olympos is located on the Lycian trail) and modern hipsters. After their invasion, campgrounds, glampings, tree houses, hipster restaurants and shops with handmade clothes in the style of hippies and boho gradually appeared here. Imagine a place where young girls and boys are stomping from the beach directly to the bar, and the sounds of regular spiritual gatherings can be heard from motorhomes. Everything is focused plus or minus onon the same street, there are campgrounds, restaurants, and coffee shops. I like The Beaver Coffee Shop and the restaurant at Base Bungalows.

Совсем другая Турция: Чиралы, Олимпос, Фазелис и Адрасан

Everything in the city is concentrated, plus or minus, on one street, there are campgrounds, restaurants, and coffee shops. Photo: YusufOzluk/Shutterstock.com

Where to stay: it is better to choose accommodation near the beach, there are many nice hostels, treehouses and hipster hoteliers adjacent to nearby motorhomes. The second option is to settle in the mountains, where there are many glamping sites, stylish hotels and even a Hobbit—style house. 

What needs to be done in Olympos

Visit the beach. Firstly, the beach of Olympos is incredibly beautiful and is surrounded by mountains. Several springs and mountain rivers flow into the sea here, so the water is pleasantly invigorating even in the midst of the heat. Secondly, you will get to it through the ruins of an ancient city. You will have to pay the entrance fee, leave the car in the parking lot and walk to the sea about 800 meters. But it’s so beautiful: you are walking in a beach outfit, and around you is the heritage of ancient Lycia surrounded by flowers, a pond, ancient tombs and the remains of the city. In general, the beauty here is incredible and, in my opinion, worth the money. The beach is pebbly and wild, which gives it a special romance: no sun loungers, only the sea, the sun, turtles (if you’re lucky), companies of people on their wave and sincere guys selling handmade jewelry or corn. 

Совсем другая Турция: Чиралы, Олимпос, Фазелис и Адрасан

Olympos beach is incredibly beautiful and surrounded by mountains. Photo: YusufOzluk/Shutterstock.com

Take a ride on a steep cable car high up into the mountains. There is Mount Olympos in these places, it is also the current Takhtaly, to the top of which (as much as 2,365 meters!) The cable car lifts those who wish. The area around is a national park and there are many options for trekking trails. However, in the summer heat, it is more pleasant to simply rise above the clouds on the phone and freeze from the gorgeous views around: the mountains, sea and forests look amazing from a height. Tickets for an adult will cost $ 30 (2,800 rubles), and for children — $ 15 (1,390 rubles). During the summer season, DJ parties are periodically held upstairs. If you go to such a party, it is better to stay for the night somewhere near the cable car, for example at the Mövenpick Antalya Tekirova Resort.

Go to the Ulupynar stream for a meal. Ulupynar is a lot of restaurants with tents located right on the stream. To be honest, most of them look tired, but they cook delicious and you can feed the ducks while waiting for food. The cutest of all restaurants is Botanik Restaurant.

Совсем другая Турция: Чиралы, Олимпос, Фазелис и Адрасан

Ulupynar is a lot of restaurants with tents located right on the stream. Photo: Tatiana Diuvbanova/Shutterstock.com

Other non-obvious resorts in Turkey

Kash, Kabak, Fethiye, Bodrum — there are plenty of sea towns in Turkey to choose from. We simplify the task: we talked about all these resorts in a separate article.


What else cannot be missed in these parts is the ancient port city of Phaselis with a shallow sandy beach. Phaselis was founded in the 7th century BC, and its ruins have survived to this day: tourists can see ancient Roman baths and baths, amphitheaters, squares and an aqueduct that supplied the city with water from a spring on the northern hill. 

And the most interesting thing is that the ancient ruins of Phaselis lead directly to a wonderful beach surrounded by mountains and pines, and in the midst of ancient artifacts people have picnics, swim and enjoy life. Turkey, I adore you for such places! 

Совсем другая Турция: Чиралы, Олимпос, Фазелис и Адрасан

Phaselis was founded in the 7th century BC, and its ruins have survived to the present day. Photo: Alex Ovchinnikoff/Shutterstock.com

Where to stay: in the nearest village of Tekirova or in the notorious Kemer.


Everyone recommends Adrasan Bay, but the place didn’t suit my mood. However, there are two reasons to get here anyway. First: great sea cruises start from here. And this is really a great idea, because you can go on a sea voyage on a yacht, visit lagoons and coves of unprecedented beauty, swim in the open sea and have lunch with freshly caught fish. The second reason: there are sandy beaches here. However, there are significantly more people than in Cirali and Olympos, as well as tired sun beds and parking somewhere very far from the beach. 

Where to stay: in small hotels, boarding houses and glamping.

It’s so great that on the same coast you can find both five-star hotels and treehouses near quiet beaches. Just come to your favorite Turkey, explore and find something of your own. Güle Güle! 

Cover photo: Nejdet Duzen/Shutterstock.com

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