24.09.2011 - 04.10.2011 32 °C
Cirali is about 1.5 hours out of antalya and 12 hours bus from Istanbul. The buses available are great though and have television and waiters on board to serve refreshments. When we finally got to cirali our pansiyon - ugur pansiyon was the second to Lawton the street and was across the street from the beach. Cirali is a tiny village with lots of family run pensions, a few mini supermarkets and restaurants and that's about it. It's quiet, a good spot for family holidays or camping as there are heaps of camping grounds and the ocean is as good as flat. There are also loggerhead turtles which hatch on the beach before dawn around august to September and we were lucky enough to see some hatch while we were there. Cirali turned out to be a great spot, it was walking distance tot the famous Olympus - though it was rather hot walking during the day as in august the temp was 38 degrees celcius, it was 3 lira to get in and once through the gates you are free to roam around the ruins. The signage wasn't amazing and to be honest neither were the ruins but still worth a look.
Also close by was the Chimera which the Romans believed were a flaming beast which was made of a snake, goat and lion. Nowadays it's best to go up at night to see the flames properly. It's a hike up a hill to get there, but once there, there are flames burning on the side of the mountain which have been burning for 2000+ years.
The beach at cirali is so peaceful, the water is warm and great for a dip before dawn or just after sunrise after watching the baby turtles struggling to get into the water. Our little guy almost made it but was scooped up by the doc before he cooked in the sun. The water is so clear and even when you are out quite deep you cam still see the bottom, we bought a mask from the local shops and could see a couple of fish under water, they love it when you churn the stones with your feet and swim over to get the food.
Our pansiyon (ugar pansiyon) had bungalows or rooms, we had 3 to a room as ange met us in istanbul and travelled down to cirali with us. The property had a huge garden, hammocks, wifi in the garden and 5 cubby/treehouses that weren't in trees with cushions where the wifi was available. We ate most meals in there cooked by the family and had many cold beers there too. The family also drove us down to Olympus and to the chimera which was great. Breakfast was buffet if usual Turkish breakfast consisting of fresh bread, cheeses, olives, jams, fruit. Lunch and dinner had no menu, just tell them what you want and they'll make it. They served up the best freshly made hummus one night, sprinkled with paprika mmm.
The history if cirali is quite interesting and like the rest of turkey has a long past, the bay used to house pirates and of course Olympus was a place of power for the Romans. Worth reading up on before you go.
Next stop was pamukale by bus, there are 2 reasons to go to pamukale and the whole place can be covered in a day so 1 night is enough, we booked 5 and it was a mistake. There is nothing else to see except for the old roman ruins which include bath houses and the old town where you can see the still standing public toilets and where the shops used to be in the main street. Also the highlight and major drawcard is the huge white terraces that you're allowed to swim in. They take up the whole front of the mountain and there are small pool that Clepatra believed would make one beautiful if bathed in. Amazingly even thought this place is protected by unesco, you can still swim in the white and pale blue waters on the calcium white washed mountain. Each pool is like a private cascading infinity pool perched on the mount and it is easy to feel like royalty while you're bathing in them.