Olympos, Turkey

Following our Blue Cruise, we set up camp at the Bayrams Tree Houses in Olympos, Turkey. Other bloggers have said to stay in nearby villages to avoid the hoard of backpackers, but I thought Olympos itself was very pleasant. To each his or her own.

Our treehouse was 50 Turkish Lira per person per night. That was about 19 USD per night each. This rate included breakfast AND dinner. It did not include lunch, BUT breakfast was huge and went till 11, so there wasn’t really a need for lunch if you treated yourself to a gozleme or a banana shake at some point in the afternoon to hold you over. Dinner was exceptionally generous as well. Elisabeth and I kept joking that we were going to roll home due to how much food we had consumed in one week.

We didn’t have the best beds (a thin mattress on the floor) in our treehouse, but it was quiet, as was Bayrams in general. There is a nice social area when you first passed through the fence. There were pricier tree house options, if you felt so inclined, that had raised beds. Some even had air con. We had a fan and that’s all we really needed at night.

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After arriving and setting down our bags, we settled into a bungalow and read the rest of the day.

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The following day, we meandered over to the Olympos ruins and each went our own way. If you are a resident of Turkey and have a MuzeKart, you can enter the beach and ruins with that card, otherwise you need to purchase a beach card. Someone gave me a card and our treehouse had leftovers from other travelers, so I didn’t have to buy one, but I remember it was cheap… Something like 7 TL for 10 entries, or 15 TL for 20 entries. Buy one card for your group and you are set.

I really love exploring ruins, but I always get frustrated when everything is roped off and I can’t wander freely. The Olympos ruins are now one of my favorite spots because I DID have the liberty to walk wherever I pleased

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After a lot of climbing in the wrong shoes (Old Navy flip flops), I went for a swim at the beach.

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I wish I had a water camera so that I could post the view from in the water. Olympos is a breathtakingly beautiful place.

That night we went to see the flaming rocks, Yanartas.

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We paid 20 or 25 TL each to have a dolmus take us there and wait for us while we hiked up, looked around, and walked back down. I think the walk was about 2km each way. I could be wrong. We organized this through Bayrams, but I’m absolutely certain there is a way to get there on your own for cheaper. We just didn’t bother to look into it. This was our only option through Bayrams and we liked that it was at night. We were given a flashlight for our walk and what we paid included our entrance fee (which was only 6 TL, I believe).

If you’re interested, I believe there is a way to get to the mountain and do a full hike without a dolmus taking you up as high as they did for us. Just laying out the options for you…

I enjoyed seeing the flames, but it didn’t blow my mind. Alex was like, “So basically we just saw nature’s version of a gas stove…” I would have enjoyed it more if we had packed some marshmallow and made s’mores like real Americans!

The rest of our time at the tree houses was very low key. We went back to the beach a couple times, read a lot, and just relaxed. One night, Elisabeth went out with some Aussies (always risky business) and had to nurse a hangover the next day. When I went to check on her in the treehouse, she was very insistent that she needed a tuna sandwich.

“I want a Tuna sandwich…”
“I don’t think they have Tuna…”
“But I want a Tuna sandwich…”
“Okay… I’ll go see what I can find you…”
“So here’s how it needs to go… Ask if they have Tuna. If the answer is no, ask if they have cold sandwiches. If the answer is yes, ask for tuna…”

That girl had me cracking up. So, like a true friend, I went to the bar and requested tuna. I delivered her the unfortunate news that there was no tuna via Whatsapp. She consented to a burger and then the barman offered to personally deliver it to her…The same man who kept calling her cok (very) sexy the night before. Elisabeth assured me that I was not permitted to allow that.

That night, Elisabeth and Alex went out with a couple from the blue cruise that were staying at a different place. When I finally made my way back to the treehouse, I got ready for bed and went to turn off the lights when I was startled by a lizard.

I sent message after message to Elisabeth… “Elisabeth… There’s a lizard… There’s a lizard in our treehouse… It’s looking at me… Oh, gosh… Why is it moving its tail that way… It jumps… It definitely jumps…”

The next day was my 27th birthday. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it due to that lizard situation the previous night, but I survived and Elisabeth treated me to a banana smoothie after a birthday swim in the sea and a dip in a fresh water pool that flowed from the mountain.

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I REALLY wanted to swim to what looked like a giant pirate cave, but I got nervous by the size of the waves crashing into the rocks… I love to swim, but I’d never say I’m a good swimmer. I didn’t think I was strong enough to handle those waves, so I settled on staying close to shore.

My companions flew back to Istanbul that evening and I stayed another night and tried to decide what I would do next. Rather than making a loop around Turkey as I had originally planned, I decided to stay along the coast and work my way back towards Fethiye.

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