The ruins of Olympos Kemer


25 km from Kemer are the ruins of the ancient city of Olympus. The city received its name in honor of the ancient Mount Olympus, which is now called Tahtali. This is one of the most interesting places on the Antalya coast. The city was founded in the III century. BC, was a member of the Lycian League. Coins were minted in the city, the oldest of the coins is dated to the 2nd century BC, it is this date that appears in the ancient manuscripts of Olympus. The city served as a refuge for Cilician pirates. They surrounded the city with fortified walls and lasted until the 15th century.

Around 42 BC the city was captured by the Romans. It was at this time of Roman rule that the city quickly flourished. But already in the following centuries, when the Byzantine Empire ruled, the city fell into decay and the inhabitants left it. In the 7th century, the city was subjected to raids by Arabs.

The remains of the ancient city are hidden in dense vegetation. From the acropolis there was only one wall and a door. The walls of the Byzantine basilica, the support of the bridge and the ruins of the Roman theater have survived. In the necropolis, you can see the ancient tombs and sarcophagi.

The main attraction of Olympus is Mount Chimera. Fire constantly breaks out on the mountain due to the fact that gas leaks from the ground. Here you can admire the ruins of an ancient antique temple. This place is described in the famous Iliad. According to the story, Bellerophon killed the Chimera (a monster with a lion’s head, a snake’s tail and a goat’s body) with an arrow and then threw the monster inside the mountain. After that, mysterious flames began to appear on the mountain.

Olympos is currently part of the National Park and is under the protection of the law, according to which mass tourism is prohibited in the area. The ruins of the city, surrounded by dense greenery of laurel trees, flowering oleanders, wild figs and pine trees, are fascinating. Olympos Monument are the doors of the ancient temple, which is located west of the river. The ancient theater reminds of ancient times, and the Middle Ages left their mark here in the form of city walls and towers in the bay.

Olympos beach is unusually beautiful, it is an ideal place for a relaxing holiday. On this beach, on warm summer nights in the moonlight, sea turtles lay their eggs and return to the mysterious underwater world ...


Ираıralı village is not only the best beaches in Turkey, the "nesting" of large sea turtles and the legendary Chimera, but also the ruins of the ancient city of Olympos.

25 kilometers from Kemer are the picturesque ruins of the city of Olympos, which was built in ancient times, it settled in a shady bay by a mountain river, cut through the access to the sea in an impregnable mountain range.

Olympos received its name in honor of the monastery of the ancient Greek gods of Mount Olympos (Olympus), which today is called Takhtaly, on the southern slope of which it is located. “Olympos” is a pre-Greek word meaning “mountain”.

The ruins of the city of Olympos are considered one of the most interesting sights of the coast of Antalya, where the ruins of the ancient world, Lycian civilization, the era of the Roman Empire, traces of medieval Arab raids and the presence of the crusader knights are kept by Time.

The history of Olympos

The ancient city was built above a small bay in a deep gorge, along a small river and in the II century. BC. became a member of the Lycian League.

Olympos is believed to be the first Lycian city mentioned in historical records. This happened in 78 BC, when the Roman governor in Cilicia, Servilius Vatius, defeated the pirate leader Zenitsetis in a naval battle.

Olympos is often called a pirate city, before the Romans came to these lands, Olympos was a refuge for Cilician pirates and only after the Ottoman Empire came here the robbers no longer dared to attack.

Its coins were minted here, the oldest of which dates back to the 2nd century BC. The whole city, divided into two parts by the river Hex, was surrounded by powerful fortress walls, which allowed to protect Olympos from the Romans.

But in 42 BC, the Romans managed to capture the city. It was thanks to the rule of the Romans that the city survived the heyday. With the advent of the Byzantine Empire, the city fell into disrepair and the inhabitants began to leave it.

In subsequent centuries, the city was subjected to raids by various tribes and armies, including Arabs.

The ruins of the ancient city of Olympos today

Today, the ruins of the ancient city are hidden by dense vegetation, no more than 50 meters have been recaptured and cleared from each side of the mountain river, dividing the city in half.

The imagination is striking both that which has been cleared, and that which can be seen in the dusk of dense thickets and interweaving of vines.

Among the thickets you can see the remains of the walls of the Byzantine fortifications, the outlines of the Roman theater, fragments of the Byzantine basilica, as well as several tombs and sarcophagi.

The large city, protected from the sea by a fortification wall, had hundreds of stone buildings - both private and public, at least one stone bridge over the river, dozens of streets, both banks of the river flowing through it were “dressed” on the stone embankment. The greatness, grace and quality of buildings of ancient times are amazing.

But not only the ruins attract tourists. The main and most mysterious attraction of Olympus is Mount Chimera. Flames regularly erupt on the mountain, as there is gas underground that leaks to the surface.

Here are the ruins of an ancient temple. Mention of this place can be found in the famous epic "Iliad." According to the legends, the terrible Chimera with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a snake, Bellerophon killed with his arrow and dropped it inside the mountain. After this event, the mountain began to illuminate with mysterious flashes of flame.

Visiting the ruins of Olympos

Today Olympos is part of the National Park and is under state protection.

According to the law, mass tourism is prohibited here. The ruins of Olympos, surrounded by wild figs and lush laurel trees, will not leave anyone indifferent.

Archaeologists have been working in Olympos for about 100 years, finding ever new fragments of the history of the city. It is forbidden to work with a solid tool in order not to damage the finds. But most of the city has not yet been cleared and, one might say, impassable.

After visiting the ancient ruins, it is worth taking a walk along the beach of Olympos, which attracts tourists here with its special charm and beauty.

It is an ideal place for a relaxing, secluded holiday. At night, you can see how large sea turtles lay their eggs here and return to the sea.

Visit Olympos on your own, how to get to Olympos:

From Antalya you can get by car, go towards Kemer, and then, along the same highway D 400, to the sign leading to Olympos.

There is also a shuttle bus and the opportunity to book a tour, as part of which a walk around the city of Olmpos and Phaselis. If you take a regular bus, you need to get out on the highway, but the old town is still 7 km along a mountain road.

Every season, transport to Olympos runs every hour, and in winter there may be “surprises”. The most convenient, of course, is to rent a car. From Antalya to Olympos about an hour away.

To get to Olympos and Cirala on your own, you need to focus on the city of Antalya. From the central otogar (bus station) of Antalya, you can get on buses going along the D 400 highway. Buses to Finike, Kas (Kaş) are suitable. There are a lot of buses, they often go. On the windshield, as a rule, you will see the inscription Olimpos. You need to get out on the track. BUT, there are two stops with the name Olimpos. If you need to Cirali - get on the 1st (if you are coming from Antalya). If you are going to the village of Olympos, then you need to go to the 2nd.

The village of Olympos from the highway D 400, on which you landed, another 7 km. towards the sea. At the beginning of every hour from this stop (a landmark is a roadside cafe) at the beginning of every hour from 8 to 17 go dolmushi to Olympos. Back from Olympos to the track - every hour. To лыıralı some kind of transport also runs from the highway periodically.

If you are going to Olympos from Cappadocia, then you need to focus on Antalya. At the bus station in Goreme, in the timetables on the scoreboard displayed at the offices of bus companies, you will see that there are buses to Olympos. Do not flatter yourself. This implies that you will be put on a bus, from which you will then have to change trains in Antalya. Or you will be dropped off on the D 400 at the bus stop. You will not be taken to Olympos itself.

The ruins of the city of Olympus

Each tourist at least once in his life was attracted to mysterious places where history was once forged. The ruins of the city of Olympus is just such a place, because here the flow of time is felt most strongly, the pulse of legends and the smack of mystery are felt.

The ruins themselves are located near the city of Kemer. More specifically, this Kemer attraction is 25 kilometers away. The city itself got its name in honor of the famous Mount Olympus, which appeared in almost all Greek myths. It was founded in the 3rd century BC. In the city there was even an independent coinage. The oldest of these coins is subsidized by the 2nd century BC.

After, at the turn of our era, the Romans came to the city, to whom the population was indebted for the flowering of their homeland. The city quickly grew and developed due to the latest technologies that the Romans brought with them. However, later, this territory passed into the possession of Byzantium, which could not cope with it. As a result, Olympus fell into decay.

Today, only the ruins are left of the famous city. Here we can only see the wall and door of the Acropolis, the Roman theater, as well as the remains of a Byzantine temple. It is noteworthy that the ruins themselves are hidden in dense thickets. Sometimes tourists get the impression that, having passed through these thickets, they travel in time and fall into a completely different world.

Also nearby is the famous Mount Chimera, which is also repeatedly mentioned in myths and legends. It is noteworthy that it is from this mountain that the most striking and beautiful view of the remains of the famous city opens. Olympos beach is also beautiful, which is famous for its crystal clear water and magnificent views.

To get to these attractions of Kemer is most convenient by car. As mentioned above, it’s not far from Kemer, only 25 kilometers. It is also wonderful that you can visit the remains of the famous city on any day of the week. However, it is best to do this with an experienced guide who will tell you in detail the history of this enchanting and magical place. Everyone should visit this historic place, because an unforgettable atmosphere reigns here.

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MotorwayTake D-400, then turn to Olympos, 10 km down the road.

The ancient city of Olympos, located in Turkey near Kemer, is not as famous as its "neighbor" - the ancient city of Phaselis, however, its history is no less interesting. In addition, the lack of crowds of tourists and numerous sightseeing buses makes visiting this place even more attractive. And being near the Olympos beaches of Cirali, one of the best on the coast, creates an excellent reason for a trip for the whole day.

The city of Olympos is located 25 km from Kemer at the foot of Tahtalı Mountain (the second name is Olympos), which is a popular attraction. It is built in the depths of a long narrow harbor, which is formed by a river that has made its way through the mountains. Once the river was full-flowing and ships could pass through it. Now it has become shallow and most of the time it is a ford, filling with water only in the spring. Two villages are located near the ruins: ираıralı - a tranquil resort for families and Olympos, which was popular with backpackers and hippies.

The history of Olympos is much less known than other ancient cities located in Turkey. Presumably, it was founded by pirates around the 3rd century BC. e., which attracted a secluded place in the river valley for the storage of the loot. Due to its strategic position, the city grew rapidly and became one of the largest in Lycia, here they even minted their coins.

He became the first of the Lycian cities mentioned in historical records. They are dated 78 BC. e., when the Roman governor Servilius Vatius defeated the pirates here, however, the Romans finally settled in Olympos in 42 BC. e. With the advent of the Romans, the city begins a new round of development. Most of the remaining buildings relate specifically to the Roman period.

Here new buildings, water supply, baths are being built, roads are being paved and infrastructure is being developed. The entrance to the temple is still preserved, the dimensions of the door opening of which are more than 4 meters in height. By the size of the opening, one can judge the gigantic dimensions of the entire building.

In 129, the city was renamed Adrianopolis in honor of the arrival of Emperor Hadrian. The city continues to flourish thanks to trade, however, the pirates seize it again. They erect a fortress wall, the remains of which are still visible today from the sea. There are still traces of the Byzantine presence - the ruins of the basilica and the house of the priest.

After the capture of the territory by the Ottoman Empire, the city becomes desolate. Historians still can not say why people left Olympos, despite such a convenient strategic position. Quite possibly, the reason was the elevation of the ports of Antalya and Alanya.

What to see

Archaeological excavations continue in the city, the cleared area is gradually increasing, however, now there is a strip of width of about 50 meters on each side of the river, which divided Olympos into two parts, free from the forest. Archaeologists have to work slowly and carefully, as the soil is very soft and the structure of the walls can easily be broken.

However, the open part of the city is amazing. It is easy to imagine what the city was like during its heyday. You can see the remains of an amphitheater, fortifications, several Lycian tombs and sarcophagi. Archaeologists have restored a section of the water supply so that visitors can see the engineering thought of the ancient Romans. On the banks of the river, the remains of stone embankments, as well as at least one bridge, can be traced.

The city of Olympos is part of the national park. Around them are laurel and fig trees, in the shade of which you can still see ruins that have not been excavated. Nearby is Olympos Beach - one of the best wild beaches on the coast. An ideal place for a relaxing secluded holiday. At night during a certain season, you can see how sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand.

Ticket price - 5 Turkish lira per person. The passage turnstile is open from 08:00 to 17:00.

Please note that contrary to information spread on the Internet, there is a turnstile at the upper entrance (from the highway) and on the beach. Therefore, you can’t get free.

How to get there

The ancient city of Olympos is located near the modern village of Olympos, near the resort town of Cirali, about 40 km south of Kemer.

There are two entrances to the excavation site: the upper and the lower.

The "upper" entrance is located in the villages of Olympos and is convenient for traveling by car or public transport.

The "lower" entrance is suitable for those who live in Cirali and can walk along the beach towards the ruins of the ancient city.

From Antalya and Kemer you need to move along the road D-400. Then there are two options. The first is through the village of ираıralı.It is necessary to turn off the highway to the left according to the corresponding sign. After 7 km, the road rests on the beach. If you go along the beach to the right of about 500, there will be an entrance to Olympos, the so-called "lower" entrance.

The second is through the village of Olympos. From the road you need to turn off at the sign for Olimpos (it is a little further than the sign for наıralı). Next - a serpentine about 10 km, which will lead to the central "upper" entrance to the ancient city.

By public transport

Two options are also possible here. Via Cirali and through Olympos. In any case, you need one of the buses plying along the D-400 highway (to Finike, Kas, Kemer, Antalya, etc.) - on the front window, find Olympos among the inscriptions.

Then you can go either at the turn on Cirali, or at the turn on Olympos. From the highway about once an hour go dolmushi (minibuses) to the villages. A more reliable option is with minibuses to Olympos, because during off-season in могутıralı minibuses may not go, or go with long breaks. The cost of dolmush is about 5 lira.

All coast taxi drivers know the address of Antik Olimpos and will take you to the central ("upper" entrance). The cost of a trip from Kemer is about 50-60 dollars. If you are traveling with a company, this can be beneficial. In Turkey, there is a special service with which you can calculate the cost of a taxi and the distance. Of the online taxi call applications in Turkey, the BiTaksi service works.

Antique city of Olympos onGoogle panoramas

Video about the ancient city of Olympos, Kemer, Turkey