Things to do in Cirali and Antalya
Antalya and our region around Cirali offer a variety of sightseeing opportunities, amazing nature, relaxing days at the beach or on a boat trip and endless options to do sports! Join a snorkeling tour or dive with sea turtles, that have been visiting our beaches for more than 40 million years. Go on a fun bike or hiking tour in the mountains such as on the top of Tahtalı Dağı or on the Lycian way. If you just want to relax, that is fine too! We have plenty of beaches and our retreat is perfect for a chill-out week! Interested in ancient cities and culture? Olympos, Phaselis and original bazaars in Kumluca and Tekirova are perfect for a visit. Lastly, you may want to go sightseeing in the city of Antalya while spending your holidays with us!
Fantastic sightseeing in historic Antalya
The second largest city on the Turkish Riviera, Antalya offers everything you may wish for in a memorable city-trip. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Taurus Mountains and the Gulf of Antalya you will find some of the finest sightseeing-treasures in this lively Mediterranean city.
Visit the lovingly restored historic district Kaleiçi at the heart of Antalya. Winding lanes and faithfully refurbished Ottoman mansions carry you off into a long gone world. When walking along the old Roman Harbour, be sure to take in the view of the mountains watching over Antalya. Then, get ready to let stylish restaurants and trendy shops bring you back to the here and now.
Antalya has many sights worth seeing but if you have to choose, stop by the outstanding Yivli Minare Mosque, the monumental Hadrian’s Gate, and the massive Düden Waterfalls at the coast.
A day trip to Ancient Olympos
Once an important city in the Lycian League, Olympos is widely known these days for its long, pretty beach. Make sure to relax at the beautiful coastline after visiting the ruins of this formerly great city!
Located within the 700-square-kilometre Olympos National Park, the city’s remains are cozily tucked-in between two river beds. Enjoy the fittingly eerie atmosphere created by the romantic overgrowth and lush green pine trees that have reclaimed the site. Looking at the derelict remains gives you a sense of the impressive construction work that went into the old city.
Built during the Hellenistic period, Olympos was a celebrated member of the Lycian League in the 2nd century BC. Throughout the following centuries, the ancient city was captured by Cilician Pirates, the Romans, Rhodians, Venetians, and Genoese until it was abandoned.
Ancient Olympus is the place to see for all wanderers, backpackers and history-buffs! Today, you can still stroll through the ruins of the:
- bridge and temple
- Byzantine basilica
- Roman theatre
Retracing historic footsteps on the Lycian Way
Hikers search no more! You have found what you were looking for. Located on the 540 km Lycian Way, Cirali is a natural haven for all wanderers and trekkers.
The trail consists of several ancient paths as well as backcountry roads. In the Cirali section, the pathway splits in two branches. You can choose between the breath-taking costal and the equally great mountain trail.
Following the inland path, you walk from the Ulupinar village via the fire-breathing Chimera Mountain to Cirali, or the other way around. If your hike ends in Ulupinar, you should make a stop at one of the restaurants next to the waterfalls. There is no better way to end a wonderful day than with a marvelous view.
A more strenuous footpath leads you to the ancient city Olympos and the gorgeous Cirali Beach via the somewhat challenging Mount Medusa. You will be rewarded with spectacular views and a sublime scenery. The Cirali area also offers a wide variety of hiking trails off the Lycian Way.
Treasurable Memories: Turtle-Watching at Cirali Beach
Cirali Beach gives you a unique opportunity to watch the endangered Caretta Caretta turtles, also called Loggerhead turtles. They are the largest hard-shelled sea turtles in the world.
Every May until August, sometimes even September, these fascinating reptiles use Cirali Beach as a nesting ground. After the eggs hatch, you can see dozens of tiny baby turtles scrambling across the sun-warmed pebbles as they make their way to the sea. Hatching season usually begins in mid-July.
Your best chance to see the Carretta Caretta is during the early morning hours. Although you should refrain from touching the turtles, we encourage you to take as many photos as possible of these lovely creatures and the awe-inspiring nature. The friendly members of the Ulupinar Nature Conservation Cooperation are more than happy to help you watch the turtles safely. They can lead you to the right nesting places.
Additionally, you can dive or snorkel with turtles on a boat trip along our coast. We are happy to assist you with finding the right turtle tour for you!
Enjoy this once in a lifetime experience!
Authentic Shopping at the Turkish bazaars
Smells of exotic spices, brightly coloured fruit and bartering noises are what comes to mind when we hear the word bazaar. Selling fresh produce and tall kinds of textiles at weekly markets has a long-standing tradition in Turkey – a tradition you should not miss!
If you are in the mood for some market shopping, you can either visit the popular Kumluca Bazaar or the smaller market in Tekirova. Both are situated off the beaten tourist path, which is why they send off friendly vibes and a likable down-to-earthness. Indulge in this fun experience by observing the locals and talking to the vendors. Sweet Turkish Delight and tastily sticky Baklava are always worth a try!
The Eternal Flame of the Chimera
Near Olympos stand the ancient rocks of Yanartas, the flaming stone. Strap on your hiking boots and see the spectacle yourself. Take in the friendly atmosphere of locals and tourists enjoying the phenomenon together.
The fire-breathing rocks were accredited to the Greek fire god Hephaistos. In his honour, the people of Olympos built a temple at the site. The glory of the temple faded, but the flames continued to burn. You can still climb the old rock stairway to the temple ruins.
Originally, the curious spectacle was named after the fire-spitting monster of Greek mythology, the Chimera. At Yanartas, you move between flames that have been burning for over 2500 years.
While the Chimeran fires are barely visible throughout the day, sailors used to navigate by them at night. Nowadays, you can have a picnic and brew your tea on the natural fire. Night is the best time to see the flames as they burn ever so brightly.
Tracing ancient footsteps in Phaselis
The 2700-year old city of Phaselis slumbers peacefully at the Lycian coast. Founded by the Rhodians, the city was once a boasting commercial hub for merchants and sea traders. Take a walk through the old ruins of this formerly great city and learn about the daily lives of its Roman and Greek inhabitants.
Now a wonderfully atmospheric open-air museum, the site invites you to take a seat in its stunning Roman Amphitheatre. From the top rows you can overlook the ruins, the pine woods and the giant Tahtali Mountain.
Looking at the gorgeous and well-preserved aqueduct you get an impression of the architectural skills the Phaselisians used to build their city. After you finished your sightseeing-tour we recommend you take a swim in one of the city’s three bays. They used to be busy harbours, bustling with sailors, merchants and locals.
Discover new worlds on a diving tour at the Three Islands
Üc Adalar is one of the best-kept secrets along the breath-taking Turkish Riviera. Visiting the Three Islands is a must-do for divers! Plunge into the underwater paradise where you will see a huge variety of colorful fish. Ask the local diving centers in Cirali and Kemer for the best locations or book a class and learn how to dive. The magical sea world is also perfect for snorkeling.
From Cirali you can take a boat tour to the Three Islands. Different providers follow different routes to the islands. While you are there, make sure your tour stops at the uninhabited Water Island Suduada. There you should stroll along the marvelous beaches and feel the soft sand under your toes.
Hiking and walking to the peak of Tahtalı Dağı
Standing at the top of the Tahtali Mountain the world appears to lie at your feet. 2365 meters high, Tahtali is said to be Europe’s highest mountain near the coastline. Due to its outstanding height, the Lycian people named it Olympos, home of gods and mythical animals.
The mountain cable-car takes about 10 minutes to bring you to the peak, where you will have a magnificent panoramic view. From here you can see the rugged coastline of the Turkish Riviera and the vast sea.
There are several scenic walking and hiking trips you can pick from, as well as a Mediterranean restaurant. For more action, you can go
Avid hikers walk all the way up the mountain and camp in the woods overnight. At the foot of the Tahtalı Dağı lie the ancient ruins of Olympos and Phaselis. Both are well worth a visit!