Visit Yanartaş (Chimaera) in Olympos: Access, Tours, and History

Last Updated by Ezgi on August 2, 2021
yanartas in Antalya in Turkey

Yanartaş is about 1.5 km from Cıralı in Kemer and approximately 55 km south of Antalya. It's located on the Lycian Way, a popular trail for hikers and walkers.

Yanartas, whose ancient name was "Khimera", has always been a sacred place throughout history. It is generally believed that Yanartaş is the ancient Mount Chimaera, where the Olympic fire was lit for the first time.

In this article, we'll share all the useful information you need to know before visiting Yanartaş (Chimaera), including how to get there, tourist tips, history, and tours.

çıralı yanartas in Antalya in Turkey

What Can I Do in Yanartaş (Chimaera)?

There is a 5th century church at the entrance of the site. Yanartaş is at the top of the hill and can be reached from the entrance of the ruins with a slightly inclined pathway in about half an hour. This pathway is shaded by trees. From time to time you can stop and watch the beauty of the valley and the Çıralı coast. The legendary volcanic field is worth the effort.

What are some other activities in Yanartaş?

Yanartas Chimaira in Cirali in Antalya in Turkey by Thomas

Eternal Flame of Yanartaş (Chimaera)

Yanartaş has a permanent fire caused by methane emissions. This fire that never extinguishes in the large volcanic area has been burning since ancient times and is just 100 m. above the city ruins.  

The Flames are created by cracks in a natural gas reservoir that reach the surface of the earth. These cracks were formed by earthquakes. The fire, which was once more powerful, later turned into more flames with less power. It is most impressive to watch the faint flames when it gets dark.

Cıralı Yanartas in Antalya in Turkey in Turkey

Temple of Hephaestus

Immediately below the fires are the remains of the Temple of Hephaestus, the Greek god who was associated with fire, through his role as the gods' blacksmith. Hephaistos was the chief god of the city of Olympos in the Roman Period. Hephaistos was the ugly and crippled son of Zeus and Hera in mythology. Ashamed of the child, Hera threw him down from the Mount Olympos.

According to another legend, Hephaistos was thrown down the mountain and injured by Zeus, who was angry at him for taking his mother's side in an argument. After that, Hephaistos was engaged in blacksmithing and improved himself, and began to make very valuable weapons and jewelry for many gods. He made a throne for his mother and brought it to Olympos. When Hera sat on this throne, the throne took her captive. Only when Zeus stepped in, Hephaestus finally released Hera and descended from Mount Olympos as the God of Blacksmiths.

Some inscriptions and altar remains from this temple have survived to the present day, but a basilica was built over the temple in the Byzantine Period after the beginning of Christianity. There are also other structures from the Byzantine period in the region. 

The fountain structure from the Roman period is another important ruin. There are 2 more places where you can find fire burning in the area.

Yanartas Chimaira in Cirali in Antalya in Turkey by Thomas

Entrance, Tickets, and Tours

  • Entrance: Yanartaş can be visited day and night. Visiting hours may differ depending on the season.
  • Tickets: There is an entrance fee to visit Yanartas in Olympos National Park. It's around 10 TL.
  • Tip: To book amusement parks, museums, and tour tickets in advance of your trip to the Antalya region, don't hesitate to check out the deals in our official shop.
Yanartas Chimaira in Cirali in Antalya in Turkey

How to Get to Yanartaş (Chimaera)

By Car: To reach Yanartaş, you first need to get to Çıralı. It's about 82 km from Antalya to Çıralı and takes about 1.5 hours by private car. If you are going to Çıralı from Kemer, it's an average of 50 minutes travel time. The journey from Olympos to Çıralı is about 30 minutes. In the direction of Kumluca, cross the bridge at the entrance to Çıralı, which is about 28 km from Kemer, and continue. When you pass the road that stretches between the hostels and orange groves for 3.5 km, you reach the beginning of the road leading to Yanartaş. To Rent a Car in Antalya, follow our guide.

By bus: Get on the Antalya-Kaş bus and say you want to get off at the Çıralı crossroad. Your journey to this point will take approximately 1.5 hours. There is a minibus stop at the Çıralı junction. You can get to the Yanartaş entrance by taking the minibuses at this stop.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Where is Yanartaş (Chimaera)?

Yanartas is 1.5 km from Cıralı in Kemer, that's approximately 55 km south of Antalya. 

What can I see at Yanartaş (Chimaera)?

Eternal Flame of Yanartas ( Chimaera)

Yanartas is characterized by a permanent fire caused by methane emissions. The fire that never extinguishes in the large volcanic area has been burning since ancient times is just 100 m. above the city ruins.  Flames are created by cracks in a natural gas reservoir that reach the surface of the earth. These cracks were formed by the earthquakes. The fire, which was once more powerful, later turned into more flames with less power. It's most impressive to watch the faint flames when it gets dark.

Temple of Hephaestus

Immediately below the fires are the remains of the Temple of Hephaestus, the Greek god who was associated with fire through his role as the gods' blacksmith. Hephaistos was the chief god of the city of Olympos in the Roman Period.

What is the legend of Chimaera?

According to one of the great myths of Greeks, the monster called the Chimaera (Khimaira) was a fire breathing monster, part lion, goat, and snake.

Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of the monsters Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. It was in the form of a lion that had three heads of different animals. The main head was a lion. From the lions body, a goat head protruded from its back. The creature also had a tail with a snake’s head at the end. The Lycian King sent a young boy named Bellerophontes to fight the fire breathing monster. Bellerophontes went to the fight with his winged horse, Pegassos. When the Chimaera attacked, Pegassos rises and Bellerophontes hits Chimaera with his spear from above and then buries the monster into the seven depths of the ground. Chiemaera has continued to breath fire every since.

How can I get to Chimaera?

By Car : To reach Yanartaş, you first need to get to Çıralı. It's about 82 km from Antalya to Çıralı and takes about 1.5 hours by private car. If you are going to Çıralı from Kemer, it's an average of 50 minutes travel time. The journey from Olympos to Çıralı is about 30 minutes. In the direction of Kumluca, cross the bridge at the entrance to Çıralı, which is about 28 km from Kemer, and continue. When you pass the road that stretches between the hostels and orange groves for 3.5 km, you reach the beginning of the road leading to Yanartaş. 

By bus : Get on the Antalya-Kaş bus and say you want to get off at the Çıralı crossroad. Your journey to this point will take approximately 1.5 hours. There is a minibus stop at the Çıralı junction. You can go to Yanartaş entrance by taking the minibuses at this stop.

Yanartas Chimaira in Cirali in Antalya in Turkey

The History of Yanartaş (Chimaera)

The site was identified as the ancient Mount Chimera by Sir Francis Beaufort in 1811 and described by T.A.B.Spratt in his Voyage through Lycia, Micias, and the Cybirate, in the company of Reverend E.T. Daniell. The debate over the connection between the myth and the exact location of Chimera originated in 1844 by Albert Forbiger. George E. Bean was of the opinion that the name was originated somewhere else, further west where similar flames burned. 

Yanartaş is also the title of a 1970 novel by Turkish writer Mehmet Seyda, however it has no relation to this location.

Contact

  • Address : Çıralı, Ulupınar, 07982 Kemer/Antalya
  • Public Transport : The easiest way to visit this place is with a rental car or guided tour. All other options include several kilometers of walking or changing the bus several times. 

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