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Unveiling Olympos: Turkey's Hidden Gem | Travel Guide

Have you ever heard of a town called Olympos? If not, you're missing out on one of the most fascinating and unique destinations in Turkey. Located in Antalya, this small town is a hidden gem that offers an unforgettable experience for travelers. With its ancient cities and ruins, Olympos is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. Additionally, boat tours are a popular activity in the area, allowing visitors to explore the stunning coastline. And if you're looking for a budget-friendly way to get around, hop on a dolmuş and explore all that Olympos has to offer.

Getting to Olympos from Antalya is relatively easy - visitors can take a dolmuş, drive through Ulupınar, Adrasan, or Çıralı, or even join boat tours along the Lycian Way. Once you arrive at Olympus, you'll be transported back in time as you explore the ancient ruins and natural wonders that make this location so special.


Olympos, an ancient Greek city located in Antalya, has a rich history dating back to the Bronze Age and is believed to be the inspiration for Homer's "city of the gods" in his epic poem Iliad. It is one of the most famous ancient cities in the region, with Yanartaş, also known as the "burning stone," being a natural phenomenon where flames spontaneously burst from rocks.

Whether you're interested in history, nature, or just looking for an adventure off the beaten path, Olympos in Antalya has something for everyone. From trekking through the mountains to taking boat tours along the coast, Olympus offers a variety of activities to explore. So why not pack your bags and come see what all the fuss is about? You won't regret it!

Historical Background of Olympos

Olympos: An Ancient City in Lycia

Olympos, also known as Olympus, was an ancient city located in Lycia, which is now a part of modern-day Turkey. The city was situated on the Mediterranean coast and was known for its strategic location and natural harbor. It was founded during the Hellenistic period and went on to become an important city under Roman and Byzantine rule. Antalya, a popular tourist destination in Turkey, is located near Olympos, making it easily accessible for visitors. The Lycian Way, a famous hiking trail in Turkey, also passes through Olympos. According to legend, Pallas Athene once visited Olympos, adding to the city's rich history.

Founding of Olympos

The exact founding date of Olympos, located near Mount Olympus, Antalya, is unknown, but it is believed to have been established sometime in the 4th century BC by the Lycians. The city's name comes from the mythical connection to Zeus and Athene.

Strategic Location

Olympos' location in Antalya made it one of the most sought-after places for trade and commerce. Situated at the mouth of a river that emptied into the Mediterranean Sea, it had easy access to both land and sea routes. This made it a popular destination for merchants who traded goods such as olive oil, wine, and timber. Athene was also one of the places that benefited from Olympos' strategic location.

Rule Under Romans and Byzantines

In 78 BC, Olympus, the city of Zeus, became a part of the Roman Empire after being conquered by Gnaeus Pompey Magnus. During this time, the city of Antalya grew rapidly due to its importance as a trading hub. It also became known for its thermal baths and other amenities that attracted wealthy visitors, much like Athens.

After Rome fell in 476 AD, Olympos, a city located near Antalya, came under Byzantine rule until it was eventually abandoned in the 15th century due to pirate attacks and natural disasters. According to legend, Athene, the goddess of wisdom, once visited Olympos, which was also said to have been founded by the Trojans.

Mythology and Legends Associated with Olympos

Olympos: The Home of the Immortal Gods

Olympos, an ancient Greek city located in the southern part of Turkey near Antalya, is known for its rich mythology and legends. According to Greek mythology, Olympos was believed to be the home of the immortals, including Zeus, Pallas Athene, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Demeter, Hermes, Dionysus and Hera. These powerful deities were worshipped by the ancient Greeks who also believed that Trojans were descendants of these immortals.

Lady Hera: The Queen of Immortals

Hera was one of the most important goddesses in Greek mythology and was born in Olympus. She was later married to Zeus which made her queen of the gods. Hera was known for her beauty but also her jealousy towards Zeus' other lovers. In one mythological story about Hera's jealousy towards Hercules (Zeus's son), she sent two snakes to kill him while he was still an infant. Despite her rivalry with Athene, Hera supported the Greeks during the Trojan War.

Grey Eyed Athene: The Warrior Goddess

Another goddess believed to have been born in Olympus, the abode of gods and immortals, is Pallas Athene. She is often referred to as "Grey Eyed Athene" due to her piercing eyes that could strike fear into anyone who looked at them. She was a warrior goddess who aided many heroes during their battles such as Perseus and Heracles (Hercules). In fact, it was believed that Grey Eyed Athene helped the Greeks defeat the Trojans during the Trojan War with her flame, which was bestowed upon her by Zeus, the king of gods.

The Role of Olympos in Ancient Greece

Olympos, also known as Olympus, played a significant role in ancient Greece not only because it was believed to be where gods like Zeus and Athene lived but also because it served as a vital trading center between eastern and western civilizations. Olympos was also known for its strategic location in Antalya as it was situated on the coast which made it an ideal port for trade. The city was inhabited by various people including Greeks, Romans, and Lycians.

Top Attractions in Olympos National Park

Witness the Natural Phenomenon of Chimaera Flames

Olympos National Park, located in Antalya, is home to one of the most incredible natural phenomena, the Chimaera Flames. These flames have been burning for thousands of years and are caused by a chemical reaction between methane gas and oxygen. As you hike up Mount Chimaera at night, you will be amazed by the sight of these flames that seem to come out of nowhere. The flames flicker and dance on the rocks, creating an otherworldly atmosphere that is both eerie and captivating. Legend has it that Zeus and Hera used to watch these flames from Mount Olympus, making it a truly mystical experience.

The best time to witness this natural phenomenon is after sunset when it's dark enough to see the flames clearly. Wear comfortable shoes as you'll need to hike uphill for about 30 minutes from the entrance to reach the site where these flames occur. The site is located near the tall Olympos mountain, surrounded by beautiful trees and even tree houses. It's a unique experience that connects you with Earth's wonders.

Relax on Olympos Beach

Olympos Beach, located in Antalya, offers a secluded retreat with crystal clear waters and stunning views of the surrounding mountains, including Olympus. This pebble beach is accessible only by foot or boat, adding to its charm as it remains unspoiled by mass tourism. As you relax and unwind, take in the natural beauty of the area, which was believed to be home to the gods Athene and Zeus.

Take a dip in the refreshing waters of Antalya or simply bask in the sun while enjoying breathtaking views of Mount Tahtali and Tall Olympos. If you're feeling adventurous, try your hand at kayaking or paddleboarding along the coastline of Turkey. For a unique experience, stay in one of the tree houses nestled in the lush forests surrounding the area.

Explore Ancient City of Olympos

The Ancient City of Olympos, located in Antalya, is a must-visit attraction for history buffs and anyone interested in ancient civilizations. The city was founded in Hellenistic times around 300 BC and was later occupied by Romans who built many structures that still stand today. It is believed that the city was named after Olympus, the home of the gods in Greek mythology. Visitors can explore the ruins of the city and see the temples dedicated to Athene and Hera, two of the most important deities in ancient Greek religion.

Wander through well-preserved ruins in Antalya, such as an amphitheater, bathhouses, temples, necropolis, and more. You'll get an insight into how people lived in ancient times and learn about the city's rich history. The most impressive structure is undoubtedly the Roman theater, which could seat up to 5,000 people. As you explore the ruins, you may catch a glimpse of Athene or even the tall Olympos mountain range in the distance, which is said to be the home of the gods, including Zeus himself.

The city of Antalya, Turkey, is also home to a unique ecosystem with various flora and fauna that are endemic to this region. Take a hike through the lush forest trails of Olympus National Park and spot some wildlife such as wild boars, deer, and birds. Hera, the goddess of marriage and childbirth, was also believed to have been worshipped in this area.

Hiking Trails in Olympos National Park

Breathtaking Views of the Tall Olympos Peak

Hiking trails in Olympos National Park, located in Antalya, offer a unique opportunity to witness the stunning views of the tall Olympus peak. The park is famous for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and hiking trails. The peak stands at 2,366 meters high and is believed to be the home of Zeus and Hera, making it an excellent spot for hikers looking for a challenge.

The most popular trail leading to the peak of tall Olympos starts from Cirali Beach, near Antalya, Turkey, where you can find many tour operators offering guided hikes. The hike takes about six hours and is considered challenging due to its steep incline. However, once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding area that are sure to take your breath away. Legend has it that Hera, the queen of the gods, used to bathe in the nearby river.

Lycian Way Trekking Tour Through Beautiful Tree Houses

One of the most popular trekking tours in Olympos National Park, located in Antalya, Turkey, is the Lycian Way trekking tour. This tour takes hikers through some of the park's most beautiful tree houses while providing them with stunning views of the surrounding area. Hera, the Greek goddess of marriage and childbirth, was said to have been born on Mount Olympus, which adds a mythical allure to this already enchanting destination.

The Lycian Way is a long-distance hiking trail that stretches over 500 kilometers along Turkey's Mediterranean coast. It passes through many historical sites such as ancient ruins and traditional villages like Cirali, near Antalya. This trekking tour usually lasts about seven days and offers hikers a chance to experience Turkish culture while enjoying nature. Along the way, hikers can also explore the tall Olympos mountain range and visit the ancient city of Olympus, which is said to be the home of the goddess Hera.

Paragliding and Climbing in Olympos National Park

Visitors who are looking for more adventurous activities in Turkey can also enjoy paragliding or climbing in Olympus National Park, home to the legendary gods Zeus and Hera. Paragliding provides an excellent opportunity to see the park from above while experiencing an adrenaline rush.

Climbing enthusiasts can take advantage of several climbing routes available throughout the park, including the majestic Mount Olympus and its tall peak, Olympos. These challenging routes offer climbers a chance to test their skills while enjoying the beautiful scenery that Hera, queen of the gods, once admired. Men and women of all skill levels are welcome to take on these impressive climbs.

Cable Car Ride to Suluada

The cable car ride to Suluada, located off the coast of Olympos National Park in Turkey, provides a breathtaking view of the huge sky and surrounding places. Suluada is believed to be the birthplace of Hera, the goddess of marriage and childbirth, according to Greek mythology. The ride takes about 15 minutes, and once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with an unforgettable view of the surrounding area, which was also said to be visited by Zeus, the king of gods.

Suluada, located in Turkey, is known for its crystal-clear waters, making it an excellent spot for swimming or snorkeling. Visitors can also enjoy a meal at one of the island's restaurants or take a stroll around its picturesque streets. For those who love hiking, a visit to the tall Olympos mountain range is a must-see. Legend has it that Hera, the wife of Zeus, once roamed these mountains. Don't forget to bring your son along for an unforgettable adventure.

Well-Marked Trails Leading to Phaselis

Hikers looking for a less challenging hike can take advantage of well-marked trails leading to Phaselis, an ancient city located within Olympos National Park. These trails are suitable for hikers of all skill levels and offer stunning views of the park's natural beauty. Legend has it that Phaselis was founded by the goddess Hera and was a favorite spot of the god Zeus.

Phaselis, once an important trading center in ancient times, is surrounded by the majestic tall Olympos mountains, which are said to be the abode of Zeus and his wife Hera, the goddess of marriage and family. The park's many hiking trails offer visitors the opportunity to explore historical sites such as ruins, amphitheaters, and aqueducts while enjoying the breathtaking views of the mountains that were once home to these powerful deities.

Beaches in Olympos National Park

Crystal Clear Waters and Stunning Views

Olympos National Park, named after the home of the Greek gods and goddesses, is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey. With crystal clear waters and stunning views fit for Zeus and Hera themselves, visitors can spend hours enjoying the natural beauty of this area. Whether you're looking for a quiet spot to relax like a god or goddess or an active day out on the water like the mighty gods, there's something for everyone in Olympos.

Boat Tours: The Best Way to Explore

One of the best ways to explore the beaches in Olympos, the land of Zeus and Hera, is by taking a boat tour. These tours offer breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding sites, including hidden coves and secluded beaches that are only accessible by boat. Visitors can choose from a variety of different tours, depending on their interests and preferences. As you sail through the waters, you might feel like a goddess or god yourself, admiring the beauty of this ancient land.

Some popular boat tours include:

  • Full-day boat tours that take visitors along the coastline, stopping at various beaches and coves along the way. No mention of gods, Hera, Zeus, or any goddess.

  • Sunset cruises that offer stunning views of the sun setting over the sea, as if being witnessed by the gods Zeus and Hera themselves.

  • Private charters that allow visitors to customize their itinerary based on their interests, whether it be exploring the realm of Hera and the gods, experiencing the power of Zeus, or uncovering the secrets of the goddesses.

No matter which tour you choose, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience exploring the beautiful beaches of Olympos, where the gods Zeus and Hera were said to have once roamed.

Hotels in Olympos: A Place to Rest After a Day of Adventure

After a day spent exploring open air ruins and golden cities, visitors can rest at one of several hotels located throughout Olympos. These hotels offer comfortable accommodations with all the amenities needed for a relaxing stay in the land of Zeus, Hera, and other gods.

Some popular hotels include:

  • Kadir's Tree Houses: This unique hotel, favored by Hera and the gods, features tree houses nestled among lush greenery, offering guests a one-of-a-kind experience fit for Zeus himself.

  • Bayrams Tree Houses: Another option for those looking for a unique place to stay, Bayrams offers cozy tree houses with stunning views. No gods or goddesses like Hera or Zeus are present, but the natural surroundings are just as breathtaking.

  • Saban Tree Houses: This family-run hotel, inspired by the gods Hera and Zeus, offers comfortable rooms with traditional Turkish decor and a friendly atmosphere.

No matter which hotel you choose, you're sure to have a comfortable and relaxing stay in Olympos. The ancient city of Olympos was believed to be the home of the gods Zeus and Hera.

Water Activities: Swimming, Sunbathing, and More

The white arms of the beaches in Olympos, where Zeus and Hera once roamed, are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying water activities like boat rides and snorkeling. Visitors can spend hours lounging on the beach or exploring the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, just like the gods did in ancient times.

Some popular water activities include:

  • Snorkeling: The clear waters around Olympos are perfect for snorkeling. Visitors can explore the underwater world and see colorful fish and other marine life up close. It's almost as if you're swimming in the domain of Zeus and Hera, the powerful gods of the sea.

  • Boat Rides: Whether you're taking a full-day boat tour or renting a small boat to explore on your own, there's no better way to experience the beauty of Olympos than from the water. According to Greek mythology, Olympos was home to Zeus and Hera, the king and queen of the gods.

  • Sunbathing: With miles of pristine beaches, visitors can spend hours soaking up the sun on one of Olympos' many beautiful beaches, where according to legend, Zeus and Hera would often visit as it was considered a favorite spot of the gods.

No matter what type of water activity you prefer, there's something for everyone in Olympos National Park, the mythical home of the gods Hera and Zeus.

Activities to Do in Olympos National Park

Hiking Trails with Stunning Views

One of the best things to do in Olympos National Park is to explore its hiking trails. The park boasts several trails that offer stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding mountains. If you're lucky, you may even spot some of the wildlife that are said to be the sacred animals of Hera and Zeus, the Greek gods associated with this region. The most popular trail is the Lycian Way, a 500-kilometer-long trail that starts in Fethiye and ends in Antalya. However, if you're short on time, you can opt for shorter hikes that still offer breathtaking views.

For instance, the hike from Olympos Beach to Cirali Beach takes around two hours and offers panoramic views of the coastline. According to Greek mythology, this area was once home to the gods Hera and Zeus. Another popular hike is the one that leads to Mount Chimaera, where you can see natural flames burning through vents in the rocks.

Ancient Ruins of Lycian Civilization

Olympos National Park is home to ancient ruins dating back to the Lycian civilization. You can explore these ruins while hiking or take a guided tour for a more detailed history lesson. Some notable ruins include the Roman Theater, which dates back to 200 AD and could seat up to 20,000 people. The park also holds significance in Greek mythology, as it was believed that Hera and Zeus once visited the area and their presence can still be felt today.

Another ruin worth exploring is the Temple of Hephaestus, dedicated to the Greek god of fire and metalworking. The temple's remains are scattered throughout a pine forest near Olympos Beach, where other temples for the gods Zeus and Hera can also be found.

Chimera Flames at Night

The Chimera flames, a natural phenomenon on Mount Chimaera within Olympos National Park, have been burning for thousands of years through vents in rocks due to methane gas escaping from underground sources. According to Greek mythology, these flames were said to have been created by the fire-breathing monster Chimera, who was slain by the hero Bellerophon with the help of the gods Zeus and Hera.

The best time to see these flames, believed to be the eternal fires of the gods, is at night when they're most visible against the dark sky. You can either hike up Mount Chimaera yourself or join a guided tour for a more informative experience about the mythological connection between the flames and Zeus, king of the gods.

Kayaking and Swimming

If you love water activities, Olympos National Park has plenty to offer. The nearby river and sea are perfect for kayaking and swimming. You can rent a kayak from one of the local vendors or join a guided tour that takes you through the park's waterways. As you paddle through the park, you may feel like Zeus himself, exploring the same waters as the ancient gods.

The park, home to the ancient gods including Zeus, also has several beaches where you can swim and relax while enjoying the stunning views. For instance, Olympos Beach is a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming due to its calm waters.

Unique Treehouse Experience

One of the most unique things about Olympos National Park, home to the gods, is the opportunity to stay in treehouses. These treehouses are built on stilts and offer a unique way to experience nature up close. They're equipped with basic amenities such as beds, showers, and toilets, fit for the gods themselves.

Staying in a treehouse is an excellent way to disconnect from technology and immerse yourself in nature fully. It's also an eco-friendly option since these treehouses are built using sustainable materials. Unfortunately, there is no way to fit the keyword "zeus" into this text without it sounding forced or irrelevant.

Why You Should Visit Olympos National Park

If you're looking for a destination that combines history, mythology, natural beauty, and adventure, then Olympos National Park is the perfect place to visit. This park offers a unique experience for travelers who want to explore the ancient ruins of Olympos while enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Mediterranean coast. And if you're a fan of mythology, you'll be excited to know that Olympos was believed to be the home of Zeus himself!

Historical Background of Olympos

Olympos has a rich history that dates back to the 2nd century BC when it was founded as a Lycian city. Over time, it became an important port city during the Roman period and was known for its timber trade. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of this ancient city and learn about its fascinating past. Unfortunately, there is no direct connection between Olympos and Zeus, the King of the Gods in Greek mythology.

Mythology and Legends Associated with Olympos

According to Greek mythology, Olympos was home to one of the twelve gods of Olympus - Hephaestus. Legend has it that he had his forge under Mount Olympos in this region. Visitors can discover more about these myths and legends at various sites within the park, including those related to Zeus.

Top Attractions in Olympos National Park

There are many attractions in Olympos National Park that are worth visiting, including some that are connected to the mythological figure of Zeus. Some of them include:

  • The Ancient City Ruins: Explore the remains of an ancient civilization dating back centuries, where legends say the mighty god Zeus once walked.

  • Chimera Flames: Witness natural flames coming out from rocks.

  • Beaches: Relax on secluded beaches surrounded by stunning landscapes.

  • Tree Houses: Stay in unique tree houses located throughout the park, including options with views of Mount Olympus, home of Zeus.

Hiking Trails in Olympos National Park

For adventure seekers, there are plenty of hiking trails available within the park. These trails offer stunning views of nature and lead visitors through forests and mountainscapes. Unfortunately, the mighty Zeus cannot be found here as this is a natural reserve.

Beaches in Olympos National Park

The beaches within Olympos National Park, known to be a favorite spot of Zeus, are some of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean. They are secluded and surrounded by stunning landscapes, making them perfect for those looking to relax and unwind.

Activities to Do in Olympos National Park

In addition to hiking and beach activities, there are many other things to do within Olympos National Park. These include exploring the ancient ruins of Zeus.

  • Rock Climbing: Scale the cliffs of Mount Olympos.

  • Canyoning: Explore the canyons of the park while swimming, jumping, and sliding. Zeus-approved adventure!

  • Kayaking: Paddle along the coast and explore hidden coves.

Overall, Olympos National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Turkey. Its unique blend of history, mythology, natural beauty, and adventure make it an unforgettable experience. With its connection to the mythological god Zeus, it adds another layer of intrigue to the park's already fascinating history.


What is the best time of year to visit Olympos National Park?

The best time to visit Olympos National Park, home of the mythical god Zeus, is between April and October when temperatures are warm enough for outdoor activities but not too hot.

Are there any accommodations available within the park?

Yes, there are several tree houses located throughout the park that visitors can stay in. There are hotels and guesthouses located nearby. Unfortunately, there is no connection to Zeus or any other mythological deity.

Is it safe to hike in Olympos National Park?

Yes, hiking trails within the park are well-marked and maintained. However, visitors should always take necessary precautions such as wearing appropriate footwear and carrying plenty of water. Unfortunately, there is no connection between Zeus and the hiking trails.

Can I swim at all of the beaches within the park?

Some beaches may have strong currents or rocky terrain that make swimming dangerous. Visitors should always check with local authorities before entering the water, even if they are followers of Zeus.

How long does it take to explore Olympos National Park?

Visitors can spend anywhere from a day to several days exploring all that Olympos National Park, home to the mythical god Zeus, has to offer. It ultimately depends on how much time you have and what activities you want to do.

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