If your next trip to Turkey includes a blue cruise along the magnificent Turquoise coast, be sure to take a few days to experience the wonders of Olympos before or after your voyage (cruises travel in both directions, to and from the charming port town of Fethiye). Only a 1 ½ hour ride from Antalya, Turkey’s 8th largest city, Olympos is easy to reach and full of things to see and do.
The ancient city of Olympos is a well-preserved representation of the past and is only a few minutes walk from a stunning beach with crystal clear turquoise waters. The secluded nearby village is full of affordable accommodation and home-cooked Turkish food. Olympos will easily prove itself to be one of the best decisions you made during your adventure in Turkey.
Minivan rides from Antalya to Olympos are affordable and enjoyable, meandering along the coastal road with some magnificent views. If Olympos is the first stop on your Blue Cruise, this is the best way to arrive. Private cars can also be hired and your reserved accommodation in Olympos may offer this service. However, if you Blue Cruise ends in Olympos, the reverse trip is just as efficient. Similar minivan services are provided from other nearby coastal towns such a Kas and Demre.
Olympos was one of the ancient cities of Lycia and is ideally located in a river valley alongside the coast. The ruins are part of Olympos Beydaglari National Park and are open for exploration for a small fee (which also includes entrance to the beach). You can explore the ancient bathouse, amphitheater, and countless remains of buildings that served as communal areas, temples, and homes.
Olympos Beach is a long, stony stretch with the ruins of the ancient city on the west end and the hamlet of Cirali to the east. It is a pleasant destination year round and during the summer you can find it full with sunbathers, swimmers, and brave souls jumping from the nearby rocks that jut out high from the sea. Sellers walk back and forth, settling cold drinks and typical Turkish snacks of corn, mussels, and baked goods.
Olympos is known for its backpacker vibe which has added to the preferred style of accommodation in the valley. Small bungalows known as tree houses can be seen along the main road that leads through town. Many offer AC, wifi, and two meals a day and provide the ideal break from long days in the sun.
Trekking, Watersports, & ATV Tours
If lounging on the beach is not of interest, Olympos has many options for those looking for a more active getaway. Olympos is full of mountain trails, perfect for trekking or ATVing with local guides. The 500km Lycian Way passes directly through Olympos and day hikers can follow the route to their liking. In town you can also find tours to the Chimera eternal flames located on a mountainside about 7 kilometers from Olympos. You will find options to do this hike in its entirety as well as to take a minivan ride for the majority of the way. Kayaking is also a great option when visiting the beach. By kayak, you can explore the coastline up close, discovering caves and ruins unreachable by land.
So if you leave a few days after your Fethiye to Olympos Blue Cruise (or vice versa), you will not regret your decision to stay and explore Olympos. It is a quiet and secluded getaway filled with history and natural beauty. This gem of southern Turkey is not to be missed.