Olympos Coastal National Park (Çıralı) – Kemer, Turkey - Atlas Obscura
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Olympos Coastal National Park (Çıralı)

Roman ruins, natural methane fires and a lovely beach. 

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There is true power in the ability of a landscape to capture a person’s imagination enough to midwife legend that still remains after millennia. Olympos Coastal National Park, home to scattered Roman ruins and a picturesque beach, is the site that inspired a number of legends of Greek mythology, most notably the Chimera.

Olympos’ name is derived from Mount Olympus, a site which more than 20 mountains now hold claim. However, one legend of the area is more probable than Turkey playing home to the 12 Olympian Gods. A short hike from Olympos beach, is Mount Chimera, located in the ancient region of Lycia. Referred to as Yanartaş today, the area features a number of vents spread out over 1.2 acres that spew methane gas, and subsequently fire.

In ancient times, this volcanic phenomena was unexplained, and led to the myth of Chimera, a massive lion-snake-goat monster that breathed fire. Today, the legend is simply myth but the vents still spew fire and the area is well-trafficked by hikers looking for Roman ruins and a look into the birth of a Greek myth.

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