Olympos and the Fires of Chimaera - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Olympos and the Fires of Chimaera

Olympos and the Fires of Chimaera

The ancient site of Olympos dates back to Hellenistic times when it was an important Lycian city and became famous as a place of worship honouring Hephaestos or Vulcan, the God of Fire. Located on a beautiful sandy bay, the ruins are spread out on either side of the Ulupinar River and include a Byzantine bathhouse with mosaic floors, a marble temple entrance, a theatre, and some excavated tombs. The shoreline is also a major protected nesting site for sea turtles. On the rocky slopes above the ancient city are a series of eternal flames issuing from cracks in the rock, caused by the combustion of natural gas seeping out of the mountain. It is possible to extinguish them briefly, but they will always re-ignite and are most impressive in the dark when at their most visible. The fire that comes out of the ground is said to be coming from the mouth of Chimaera, a mythical fire-breathing monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and a snake's tail, who was slain by the Lydian hero, Bellerophon on his winged horse, Pegasus.

Information & Facts

Turkish is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.

The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (TRY), which was introduced on 1 January 2005, whereby six zeros were dropped from the TL and the sub-unit New Kurush was created. Currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange booths, post offices, airports and ferry ports; banks have the worst rates and highest commissions, but will exchange lesser known foreign currencies. Banks open mainly Monday to Friday, but some are open daily in tourist areas. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, but Turkish ATM keypads usually do not have letters of the alphabet on their keys. Most bank branches have ATMs which accept Cirrus and Plus. Major credit cards are widely accepted; the most popular are Visa or MasterCard, but American Express is accepted in many of the more expensive places. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at some banks and currency exchange offices, but are not as welcome as cash or credit cards. US dollars or Euros are preferred. Some pensions and hotels in the most popular destinations accept US dollars as payment.

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