Olympos is worth to a visit during your Turkish coast Blue Cruise between Fethiye and Anthalia. In Lycian times the ancient port city of Olympos was one of the members of the Lycian Federation. Because of the wealth of Olympos, it had three (compared to less wealthy cities that had only one) seats in the federation. During this period the city was subject to raids by pirates. Later, the city was rescued by the Roman commander Isauricus. The city’s wealth was due to its strategic trading position – it benefited from Genoese and Venetian traders who took advantage of the city’s natural harbour. Moving seventeen centuries on, Olympos is now the destination of those seeking tranquillity in aesthetically pleasing surroundings, during their “blue cruise” along the coast of Turkey.
Although it is all so easy to get submerged in a place steeped in such history, it has to be remembered that it is not just the past that attracts people to Olympos. The translucent water of the Mediterranean is too tempting to resist. A swimsuit is an absolute must when visiting. Peering in to the sea from a boat the pebbles appear within hands-reach; they’re probably twenty feet away from the tip of the finger !Looking up from the seashore, the city’s ancient acropolis is clearly visible on the side of the mountain. Those who wish to rid themselves of the salt after swimming should paddle in the stream that flows through the valley, and then meanders through the Lycian ruins, before eventually reaching the sea. Whilst strolling through the ice-cold stream a sarcophagus comes into sight amongst the ruins of the city. The sarcophagus is that of Captain Eudomos - there is an embossed boat figure and an inscription in his memory. The path that cuts through the pine forest leads to the Roman temple. Chimera is situated 8kms from Olympos. Scientists are as mystified as the people of ancient times as to how fire spontaneously erupts from holes in the mountain. Chimaera was another Lycian city, and is named after the mythological son of Typhon. Legend has it that the Chimaera was killed by Bellerophon who mounted Pegasus and bombarded the Chimaera with molten lead. From a realistic viewpoint, the most logical reason for the flames is that it is natural gas seeping through cracks in the earth – although scientists are still unable to discover the compounds of the gases. The mythological reason for the fires is far more interesting than the scientific one – let the visitor decide! To truly appreciate the effects of the Chimaera it is best to visit the area in the evening. The almost pyrotechnic effect is most impressive during the hours of darkness. Looking away from the magic of the fires there is the added bonus of spectacular views of the Lycian ruins above. That’s why Olimpos is one of the favourite destinations during Turkish Coast Blue cruise on board on one of our wonderful gullets.