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We will send regular newsletters to our members who have signed up for receiving it during the registration. In 'mymerhaba' newsletter, our editorial staff provides updates, with regard to any information related to places worth visiting, viewing, or otherwise worth knowing, for those who care to know more....

Living in Çıralı

by Carrie Akkelle

My life in Çıralı, how can one describe such awesome beauty in print? It can only be described as a much more simplified life style away from the noise and pollution of the big cities.

My name is Carrie and I have lived in Turkey for 6 years after moving here with my family from Calgary, Canada. I have the great privilege of living with my family in the most breathtaking area of Turkey. Where is that phenomenal beauty one might ask? Here in Çıralı!!

Here my husband (Åžaban) owns and runs Canada Hotel, our family hotel, and Deniz Pide/Pizza Restaurant. This is where we spend our weekends and summer holidays away from Antalya.

Çıralı is the name of the village near ancient Olympos with many sweet smelling orange groves and long unspoiled beach. Çıralı and Olympos, situated in the Olympos National Park can be found 80 km southwest of Antalya and is between Kemer and Kumluca. After passing Phaselis on the Antalya-Kumluca highway and one signpost leading to Çıralı and can bring you here after 7 km.

As you drive down this little winding country road you are immediately greeted by the wonderful sights, sounds, and smells that the natural forest provides. During the winter months and early spring the creek runs rapidly on the left of the road. As you travel down the road you will see the local villagers houses with their remarkable little gardens. And once into the center of the village you will be taken back to a different time away from the busy and crazy masses of the large cities. You will see only small restaurants, shops, hotels and family owned pensions. Here time stands still for moments and you will notice the pure and simple life that we all long for.

The local villagers like my mother-in-law, Hatice, grow and cultivate the vegetables and natural herbs all chemical and hormone free. Here such herbs as oregano, spearmint and bay leaves grow wildly and offer their own natural scents. Also in her gardens are groves of orange, lemon, apple, plum, and apricot trees that my children love to pick and eat fresh. Each season provides us with many wonderful and different flavors. During February, March, and April, you can dine on local foods prepared with a mixture of local herbs and by this time, the orange trees will have stopped producing fruits and started blooming. The trees natural perfume fills the air and the smells are fantastic and overwhelming.

Çirali is situated between two environmentally protected sites, one nature preserve to the north and one archaeological site to the south. The beach of Çıralı is about 3 km long and is secluded and unspoiled were the seawater is crystal-clear. My children love to play at the beach and here they can also meet new friends from other countries in a safe and clean environment. Adding to it's many beauties of this magic place, is that here every year between May and September the sea turtles (Caretta caretta) come to these shores to lay their eggs. The World Wildlife Federation and the Natural Life Protection Association (Doğal Hayatı Koruma Derneği) protect them.

Çıralı is also known for being the home of the antique city of Olympos, which was a port city, established in the 2nd century and continued to flourish until the 15th century A.D. This ancient city is situated on both sides of a brook, which dries up in the summer. The site is heavily covered with bushes and trees The ruins here are from the Lycian period up to the Byzantine times.

About one kilometer from Olympos brings you to the natural phenomenon of Çıralı the Chimaera. A hidden paradise to the world. Known by the local inhabitants as the YanartaŞ (burning stone), it is a result of escaping natural gas, whose flames have been shooting heavenwards for centuries. The famous myth of Bellerophontes is said to have taken place here. There is a special romanticism about this place that draws people to climb the mountain and view the natural wonders along with the evening sky. Here in the summer many tour buses come and go into Çıralı bringing tourists to this famous spot. But I recommend that you visit the YanartaŞ during the spring or fall when it is not as hot or as crowded.

Also nearby to Çıralı is the Ulupinar region, which is rich in rivers and creeks. Escape the scorching heat in the summer by walking along the Ulupinar creek. You may even be tempted to take a swim in the freezing cold water of the small pools that you may come across. Here you will find many local restaurants specializing in fresh water trout dishes.

I hope that I have given you an insight into my life and experiences that hold me captive for the little village of Çıralı. In ÇIRALI the combination of history, culture and the incredible beauty of nature are among only a few touristic paradises left in the world. These qualities must be preserved not only for us but also for future generations to come.

With best regards and warm hearts from Çıralı...

[email protected]


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Latest comments about this article

 By Fred Moore  10.7.2006

Your home sounds like a Turkish paradise and your description makes for an enticing call to visit. My very best regards, Fred Moore

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From Members' Pen
A Weekend Escape to Edirne
Siirt in Istanbul
Lemon Cheesecake
A Bus Tour to Antakya
A Food Trip to Antakya
A Jazz Night in Ankara
A Visit to Aya Yorgi and Heybeliada
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Ah Istanbul!
Alanya Properties
Angelique's Ankara
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Cheap Shopping in Istanbul
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Defining Feng Shui
Dinner at Ortaköy
Driving to Fethiye from England
Flying Broom by Sara
How to Maximize Your Rental Potential
Golf in Bodrum and More
Gümüşlük - Bodrum
Gündogan - Bodrum
Kathy's Thomas
Letter from Istanbul
Living in Çıralı
Moments from the Summer
Ms. Who's Apollon Temple
Mystery Solved
Pastoral Life in Yaniklar Village
Reiki
Remmick's Watch Repairer
Smiley's Blacksea
The Blue City of Ms. Who
The Pomegranate - A Gift from Heaven
The Three Graces
The Warm Heart of a Megapolis
Thousand Years of Culture
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