Sandwiched between mountains of pine forest, icy rivers and creeks and overlooked by the majestic peak of Mt Tahtali, is the rural village of Cirali, an area protected by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The 4-kilometre wide pebble beach is a nesting area for Caretta Carretta, an endangered species of Loggerhead Sea Turtles, their nesting sites are roped off for protection from May to October when camping or making fires on the beach is prohibited. The beach continues past the edge of the village, below sheer cliff face, to meet the mouth of a river and the first ruined buildings of the ancient Lycian city of Olympos. Cirali is one of the last unspoiled areas on the Antalya coastline and hikers love this location. The famous 500 kilometres Lycian Way, Turkey’s first long-distance marked hiking trail, passes through this quiet village.
Following the red and white markers and stone piles can take you past Chimaera, a naturally occurring phenomenon, where small flames burst from gaps in the rocks, flickering silently throughout day and night. Just two hours hiking can take you to the Village of Ulupinar, famous for its freshwater and Trout Farm restaurants, or you could take a seaside trail to some of the nearby secluded beaches, explore an abandoned mine and enjoy a marvellous view over the glistening Mediterranean coastline. Here the tranquil waters take their colour from the surrounding forests giving the sea a stunning emerald green glow.
Cirali is far less developed than its coastal neighbours, Olympos and Kemer, however, the village still has a decent choice of Guesthouses, Pansiyons and campsites, as well as a handful of seaside fish restaurants and a few small grocery stores. The quaint village offers its visitors a peaceful retreat although there are still plenty of options in the area for climbing, kayaking, trekking and quad biking for the more adventurous guests.