Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One of the main reason why people come to this place is the long secluded less crowded beach of Olympos with its laid-back relaxing atmosphere.

Olympos is under a protective conservation program thereby limiting the surge of mass tourism in the area which in turn preserves its natural condition and also to protect the endangered loggerhead turtles nesting on the beach during the summer months.  The abundance of wildlife, several species of flora and fauna, makes it the ideal paradise for the nature-seeking travelers.

Yesterday, I wandered around the forest to see the ruins and while sitting at the pebbled beach I could hear voices yelling from up above the mountains shadowing the bay, and I was certain that there is a way going up the peak.  When I headed to the beach this morning, I passed by the ruins again, but this time I came looking for the route going up the rocky hill.

I meander through the forest tramping along reeds and bushy footpath, I have to brush through thorny shrubs and it was a good decision I wore a long sleeved shirt this morning.  I almost stepped onto a big turtle slowly crossing my path and I was hoping that there aren’t snakes slinking along the way or dangling on some trees.

I almost stepped on this turtle HA HA.
I reached the top and clambered onto big sharp edged rocks to really get to the uppermost spot where I could get a good view of the beach on the other side.  Well, not that easy as I got stung by a bee and the thorns of some plants got stuck on my shirt.  I reached the top, and it was a spectacular sight above there. The endless blue ocean and the full length of the beach from Olympos to Cirali with the tip of Mount Olympos or Tahtali Dag in the distance.

With no shades or facilities, the beach looks almost empty,  it isn’t the typical beach resorts filled with holiday-makers.  You will not find big hotels or resorts lining its shoreline, no bars, restaurants, and parasols except for a hut in one corner that sells drinks,  other than that, it’s just a long clean pebbled beach in its natural state, turquoise waters surrounded by lush green mountains.

People who come to this beach are either staying at the pension houses offering wooden bungalows and tree houses which is less than kilometer walk away OR at the nearby village of Cirali.

For those who are staying at the village of Olympos – like me – getting to the beach means paying the entrance fee at the gate located at the end of the dirt road and what makes it more interesting is the walk from the gate to the water line.  It’s about 10 minutes of enchanting walk through the Lycian ruins so most visitors wander around the forest to see the remnants of a once opulent ancient city – member of the Lycian confederation – along the Akcay Creek before finally heading to the beach at the end of the footpath.

Olympos is along the Lycian Way trail (the 300 - 500 kilometers hiking trail), so expect to see hikers with their big backpacks passing along on the way to the village.

Getting to Olympos:

From Antalya’s main bus terminal, catch a (Antalya Tur or Bati Antalya) bus heading along the highway to Kas or Fethiye.  Travel time is approximately 1 and half hours and costs TL10.  Be sure to ask the driver first.  The bus will drop you off at the highway junction (café) where a dolmush (shared van) will be transporting you down to the town or village of Olympos, costs TL5.

From Fethiye, take the Bati Antalya bus heading to Antalya and (same as above) get off at the highway junction café.  Don’t forget to tell the driver or his assistant that you’re heading to Olympos.

Accommodations in Olympos:

There are a lot of wood bungalows and tree houses lining the street of the main village mostly offering half-board (breakfast and dinner included).  

Popular ones which are nearer to the main entrance to the ruins and the beach are:

1. Saban Pansiyon
2. Olympos Orange Pension
3. Doga Pansiyon (one of the nice ones)
4. Olympos Ruya Pansiyon
5. Baram's Pansiyon & Treehouses
6. Zeus
7. Zakkum Pansiyon & Restaurant (beside the entrance)
8. Pehlivan Pansiyon and Restaurant (beside the entrance)
9. Hassan's Pension Restaurant and Treehouse (this one is exactly at the entrance to the ruins).

Located after the swinging bridge and therefore a bit far from the entrance to the beach or ruins are:

1. Moonlight Pension, cafe bar and restaurant
2. Robina Pension
3. Kadir's Treehouse
4. Camlik Pension and treehouses.
5. Alaturka Pension
6. Ada pension and camping
7. Turkmen Treehouses
8. Deep Green Bungalows

9. Divasa Pension


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