Fodor's Expert Review Olympos

Olympos and Çirali Ruins Fodor's Choice

Shaded by tall firs and amid flowering oleander bushes, the ruins are next to a river in a mountain gorge, so they're delightfully cool in summer, the perfect time to explore. Many tombs are scattered about the ancient city. In the center of the northern half of the site is the large cathedral complex, once the main temple, which includes a much-photographed, 18-foot-high gate dedicated to Marcus Aurelius in AD 171 and mistakenly referred to by signs as a temple. Note how some walls around the site have clearly been rebuilt in later centuries with narrow arrow slits. At the beach entrance is a poetic inscription on a sarcophagus in memory of an ancient ship's captain, along with a carving of his beached boat—not that different from today's gulets. From here you can also climb to a small acropolis and some medieval fortifications where citizens in ancient times would keep a lookout for ships and pirates.

The southern side of the ancient city is best reached by crossing... READ MORE

Shaded by tall firs and amid flowering oleander bushes, the ruins are next to a river in a mountain gorge, so they're delightfully cool in summer, the perfect time to explore. Many tombs are scattered about the ancient city. In the center of the northern half of the site is the large cathedral complex, once the main temple, which includes a much-photographed, 18-foot-high gate dedicated to Marcus Aurelius in AD 171 and mistakenly referred to by signs as a temple. Note how some walls around the site have clearly been rebuilt in later centuries with narrow arrow slits. At the beach entrance is a poetic inscription on a sarcophagus in memory of an ancient ship's captain, along with a carving of his beached boat—not that different from today's gulets. From here you can also climb to a small acropolis and some medieval fortifications where citizens in ancient times would keep a lookout for ships and pirates.

The southern side of the ancient city is best reached by crossing the riverbed (sometimes dry in summer) by the land-side ticket office and heading east toward the beach along a well-beaten path that starts with a remarkable row of tombs. Farther along are shipping quays, warehouses, and a gorgeously overgrown theater, some of which lie half-buried in what feels like the floor of a jungle. Farther south along the beach are the walls of a medieval castle and church.

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Quick Facts

Çirali, Antalya  07350, Turkey

242-892–1325

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: TL40

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