One of the absolute highlights of my time in Turkey was actually a hostel. This hostel was so great that it goes by the backpacker reputation of, “everyone extends there.” You get to sleep in an actual treehouse at Bayrams Hostel!! Granted, it’s cold as fuck, but still cool. The vibes are incredible, everyone eats breakfast and dinner together…because they’re included in the $18 price. They have a bar, fire pit, and the bus into/out of town picks you right up outside the hostel.
Find a Secluded and Private Oasis
The one full day that I spent there was magical. Firstly, this little town is secluded. When I say secluded, I mean: bus from Fethiye to Kas that took 4 hours (remember everything takes longer in Turkey), waited 1 hour for the bus to Antalya, got off after two hours at the top of a hill (there was an actual station there) where I still could not see the village of Olympos. Then a bus took me and two other people 20 minutes down a hill and dropped me off in front of Bayrams (for $1).
Waking up around 10 the next day, I gauged the breakfast…where they have an omelet maker. Next was an afternoon spent blissfully at one of the most charming beaches I’ve encountered in Turkey. See the photos below. The beach is situated between Olympos and Cirali. It’s low key with small rocks and crystal clear water. That describes many beaches in Turkey but the sheer lack of people, due to the small/inaccessible towns, and the surrounding mountains gives this beach the charm of which others are bereft.
Visit Mount Chimaera
Primarily, you need to go to Bayrams Hostel, second is the beach…but the final thing to do in Olympos is visit Mount Chimaera. Natural flames emanate from the ground and locals bring up their barbecues during the evening to chow down at this phenomenon. It’s less than $1 to enter and totally worth the walk through town. Bayrams will set up a bus for you and other guests if you want to go at night too, which I would highly recommend. If you hike up far enough you have incredible views of the sea.
A negative aspect is that you have to pay $5 in order to access the beach…because they’re hidden through the coastal ruins. The ruins themselves are cool but it’s a five minute walk through to see them all. The most impressive ones are on the actual beach where you can see thousand year old ruins and take in the Mediterranean sun simultaneously. I got the one day pass but apparently if you buy it with other travelers it can be cheaper and spread over multiple days. Do not let this hindrance distort your view of Olympos, it was the slam dunk highlight of southern Turkey for me.
"Harvey Falcon" is the the senior adventure corespondant for Ski Bum Van Life. From Europe to Asia to South America and beyond Harvey offers an exciting take on adventure travel. Read all his stories here.