Chimaera (Yanartas), known as “the Eternal Flames” is a very supernatural place are where you’ll see flames burn right on the rocks without any apparent fuel or heat source. It is situated on the sloped of the Mount Chimaera, near the famous Olympos Valley and Cirali resort of Kemer, about an hour’s drive from Antalya.
It’s a series of small flames that continuously burn on a rocky hillside, even though there is no apparent source of fuel or heat. The flames are not big, but they are visible day and night, and they have been burning for thousands of years. You can take an evening hike through this amazing place along with its pine forests with scenic views. The region is also a popular trekking trail along the Lycian Way. You can also enjoy the picturesque views of the Cirali coast, take beautiful photos, and have a fantastic moments here.
Legend of Chimaera
The origin of the name “Chimaera” comes from Greek mythology, where Chimaera was a monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent.
According to the legend, the Chimaera was slain by the hero Bellerophon, who rode the winged horse Pegasus and used lead-tipped arrows to kill the monster. The blood of the Chimaera was said to have seeped into the ground, creating the eternal flames of Yanartas.
What to Expect?
Chimaera is situated by a 1 km. uphill path from the base of the hill situated right next to the Cirali resort. To reach Chimaera, you’ll need to hike for about 20-30 minutes on a rocky and sometimes steep path. The path is not difficult, but it’s important to wear comfortable shoes and bring a flashlight. The main attraction of Chimaera is, of course, the mystical flames.
When you reach there, especially in the early evening, you’ll witness a heaven place under the stars and see the burning flames on a site of a dozens of small fires burning from the vents in the rocks.
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The flames are small and scattered but are visible day and night. The flames are said to be eternal and have been burning for thousands of years. This is a kind of methane gas that has been emitting from the ground for many thousands of years.
Chimaera is located in a peaceful and secluded area surrounded by nature. You’ll be able to enjoy stunning views of the mountains and the sea, take photos, drink from a natural cold springs.
Since the best time to visit Chimaera is in the evening or at night, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of the night sky. The lack of light pollution in the area makes it perfect for stargazing.
How to Get There?
Chimaera (Yanartas) is situated on a hill, in the Cirali resort, about 35 km. from Kemer. and 81 km. from central Antalya.
From the bridge in the Cirali center, you need to continue along the orange groves for about 3,5 km. and reach the entrance of Chimaera (Yanartas).
You’ll also see ruins of the temple of Hephaistos, the Greek god who was associated with fire through his role as the blacksmith to the gods.
You’ll now need to go 1 km. uphill climb, about half an hour and finish the 1200 steps along the slightly curved pathways.
You’ll see banks on the way, so that you can have a rest, enjoy the breathtaking views and take pictures of the beautiful bay of Cirali.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Chimaera is in the evening or at night when the flames are more visible. It’s a perfect spot for stargazing and enjoying the peacefulness of the surroundings.
What to Wear
The path leading to Chimaera can be rocky and steep, so it’s important to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. It can also get chilly in the evening, so bring a light jacket or sweater.
There is no official entrance fee to visit Chimaera, but there is a parking fee of around 10-20 Turkish Liras, depending on the season.
The flames of Chimaera are natural and can reach temperatures of up to 100°C, so it’s important to keep a safe distance and avoid touching them. It’s also essential to bring a flashlight as the path can be dark at night.