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Comfortable, peaceful and a perfect vacation intertwined in the history in Olympos ...

The Saban pension welcomes the weary traveller with wooden tea houses, pillows, blankets, bean bags and a happy smile. In my case it also welcomes the traveller with kırmızı şarap (red wine). This seems to happen to me a lot. 

The pension is located close to the museum and beach end of the one street town of Olympos. There is a little creek ford just before the pension (if you’re coming from the highway) but if you like keeping your boots dry I recommend the swing bridge 20 metres earlier. It bounces quite enjoyably. The creek itself winds clear and bubbling right past the pension. 

The pension itself is clean and efficient and for 25 lira you will get a room in a dorm and a very generous breakfast and fantastic buffet dinner. The few nights I was there the owner specially catered for vegetarian guests – whipping up amazing fritter kinds of things one night and also ensuring that the vegetable dishes were plain vegetable – no picking out the bits of chicken here. Apart from the bread everything appeared to be gluten free as well. 

If you’re a solo female traveller in low season you’ll probably also be shown your way to a private bungalow instead of the dorm room you’ve paid for These are comfortable and incredibly cute. The small timber buildings are framed by arches of blossoming orange trees, absolutely laden with scent and flowers. Olympus is also famous for it’s tree houses and the Saban has some – they are very sweet and rustic but a bit chilly before summer hits. 

Olympos is supposed to be more of a party style backpacker-y place but during my visit (April) there were few guests and many of these were walking the nearby Lycian way. Others were just visiting the chill out and visit the ruins and beach. 

The Olympos ruins are not particularly impressive in themselves but the remains of the houses, churches, Roman temple, mortuary stones and fortifications are secreted in the encroaching forest, which makes them an enchanting place to wander around in for hours. For some reason I kept thinking of The Secret Garden. I was also lucky enough to stumble across an older man who was working on the excavation and was able to point out any number of interesting features and facts. He was also good at spotting turtles in the reeds. 

The ruins also have some particularly interesting trees. My new friend explained that locals had bent the trees to grown completely horizontally so that they could serve as bridges across the meandering creeks so that the villagers could easily access the little islands. Rather a long term project. The results are impressive – one can happily skip across the creek on the wide back of a tree and find oneself in a delightful forest of fig trees. Unfortunately none were yet ripe. I really want to come back in a few weeks to gorge. 

The beach itself is a wide sweep of pebbles and blue, there is a wonderful view of it from the top of the Roman fortifications. Unfortunately on the day I visited the beach itself was absolutely drowning in rubbish. It was pretty disappointing and unpleasant. I found a big bucket (size of one of this big commercial plastic paint buckets) and was able to fill it with plastic rubbish within about 15 metres of walking along the beach. On the upside others who has been there for a week or so said that they hadn’t seen this much rubbish before – perhaps it was the tides. I swam out pretty far and it was clear there, cool and salty. A new friend and I had an icy dip in the creek to wash the salt off – that was ridiculously clean and clear. Then back to the Saban for a deliciously hot shower and another huge buffet dinner. 

Website: TheClimbersWife

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