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.
Visit Turkey with Atlas Obscura Trips
Istanbul: Exploring the Tastes of Two Continents
On this week-long culinary experience in collaboration with Culinary Backstreets, we’ll be studying the city of Istanbul through its kitchens—investigating the disparate influences that form the great mosaic that is modern-day Istanbul cuisine.