On the Antalya-Kumluca highway, signposts leading to Cirali and Olympos will be seen and Olympos can be reached by following either route. Cirali is the name of the village near Olympos with many sweet smelling orange groves and long unspoiled beach. Olympos, which was a port city established in the 2nd century and which continued to flourish until the 15th century A.D.
Olympos was one of the most easterly of the Lycian cities (see Xanthos) and takes it’ s name from Mount Olympos of Lycia, now known as Tahtali Dag. The city was dedicated to Hephaestus, god of f ire, to whose presence was attributed the ever burning flames of the Chimaera, located the other side of Cirali.
Cirali beach, extending for three kilometers (2 mi.), is one of the few protected beaches where the Caretta caretta sea turtles lay their eggs. The Çirali Beach on a moonlite nights. Caretta caretta return to these shores where they are born after they reach maturity to lay their eggs, having travelled thousands of miles to get here. This ritual that has continued for millions of years will continue to take place as long as we protect the environment on these beaches.
An hour’ s walk from Olympos brings you to the natural phenomenon of Cirali. Known by the local inhabitants as the “burning mountain” (Yanartas), it is a result of escaping natural gas, whose flames have been shooting heavenwards for centuries. Homer’ s Iliad tells the tale of Chimaira as well. It tells the story of how Bellerophon, who had been exiled from Argos, was sent to Lykia riding on Pegasus and how, after coming to Olympos, he killed the lion-headed, goat-torsoed, and snake-tailed Khimaira with his arrow. Bellerophon then threw the monster into the mouth of Mount Olympos, which is said to be the reason why there is an eternal flame in Çirali.