Why It Was So AwesomeThe Hostel I don't normally name drop, but the hostel we stayed at was a big part of what made Olympos what it was for us. So I'll tell you. We stayed at Bayrams Tree Hostel. Now the treehouses were not what you are thinking. They are just simple buildings without foundations. Not really anything to do with trees at all. But they had perks!
- All you can eat oranges. They are just growing all around you. Pick what you can eat, and few more for the beach.
- Free Tea and Coffee. All day long.
- Comfortable tables with access to wi-fi and electricity.
- Wood space heater, to keep you cozy
- Buffet Style breakfast and supper. Both of which are delicious, and suitable for both vegetarians (like us) and meat eaters too.
The Sights Although we did spend our fair share of time just chilling and working playing on the computer, we didn't spend all of our time inside. There are three main attractions within walking distance. The Ruins: Olympos was a prominent Lycian city. Around 100 BC it was invaded and occupied by Cilician Pirates until 78 AD where it was captured by Rome. Today it's pretty much in ruins. Still remaining are several burial tombs, some stone sarcophagi, a theatre, and a lot of stone walls. There is an entry fee to get into the ruins, but it's fairly minimal. You can buy a 10 pack of entries for 7.50 Lira ($4 CAD). The posted price is 5 lira for a single entry (which is also required to access the beach), so make sure you buy the unadvertised 10 pack. On your first walk through the site can seem small. Especially if you are just following the path towards the beach. But, there is a lot more there. Walk a little ways into the wooded areas (along paths) on either side to get a feel for how big the site truly is. A lot of it has been cleared, and many buildings are undergoing active digging and preservation. When we were there, the biggest area of cleared and restored buildings was roped off to the public from the main path, but following a side path, we ended up walking through it anyways. None of the workers seemed to mind much.
Chimaera. The flames are naturally occurring and have been burning for at least thousands of years. If the name is accurate, I suspect they will continue to burn for eternity. You can get there by following the Lycian Way, or the road. Taking the road took us an hour and a half to get to the entrance. After paying the fee of 4 lira ($2 CAD) each we were free to walk up the hill following the not-so-groomed path to the ruins and lower flames. Don't expect huge, knock-your-socks-off flames, because you'll be disappointed. Do think about their history and how long they've been there and you'll be impressed. We thought they were pretty damn cool. You can even roast marshmallows on them if you want (you'll have to plan ahead and bring some, but they have some cheap German-style marshmallow-like things for sale in most of the convenience stores around the hostels).