How to get to Çirali
Before arriving in Turkey, please check whether or not you need a visa to enter. Most countries will need to apply for an E-visa (click here), however some countries are exempt or can enter with an expired passport or with a national card (see here).
You can obtain a visa upon arrival, although this may cause unnecessary stress or delay and will cost more. This document provides a price list for the Turkish visa by country.
Getting to Çirali from Antalya by bus
From Antalya airport: To get from Antalya airport to Çirali by bus, you will want to catch the ‘Antobüs’ 600 shuttle bus, which stops at all terminals, and ask the driver to go to Antalya Otogar (central bus terminal). The shuttle bus will cost you around 4TL and runs every 30 minutes between 6:00am and 23:30pm.
From Central Antalya: To get from Antalya city center to Çirali, you will need to catch the ‘Antray’ tram from Ismet Pasa station. This is found about 10 minute walk north from Hadrians gate. You will need to buy an e-ticket from the ticket office at the end of the platform to go to Antalya Otogar; it will cost around 4TL.
From the Antalya Otogar: you will need to go to the ‘Ilçeler’ Terminal on the left-hand side. Most buses going towards Kas will stop at the
Çirali juction, but it is worth asking which bus to get. We recommend the ‘Antalya Tur’ service, but there are others. This will cost around 15TL each.
When you get on the bus from Otogar, tell the driver which junction you want to get off at and be sure to listen out for when he calls the stop, or else you may miss it. This journey should take just over an hour.
From the Çirali junction you will find a small Dolomus (minibus) in front of a small wooden hut. This bus will take you from the junction to your pension or hotel for around 6TL. However, you will have to wait until the bus is full before it leaves.
In total the journey should cost you no more than 25TL and could take around two and a half hours depending on the Çirali Dolomus.
Where to stay in Çirali
Çirali is full of various hotels, pensions and campsites and there is undoubtedly enough variety to suit every9one. Here a few we recommend if you are looking for a place to stay in Çirali:
Oleander pension – Ideally situated near shops, a cafe, a fruit market and the beach, you’re unlikely to be disappointed for its location. What’s more, this delightful, clean pension gives quality service along with a decent sized breakfast and dinner. Doubled as one of the best restaurants in town, this place is definitely worth spending the money for.
Sima Peace pension – As the name suggests, if you’re looking for peace, somewhere to chill and relax then this is the place for you. You’ll have to forgive the rustic look and the shabby tree house style rooms as it all adds to the homely feel. Hosted by an eccentric woman, Anyur and her comical parrot, Koko, you’ll definitely have a stay you’ll remember. What’s more, Anyur is renowned for her home cooked dinners which is enjoyed together by all the guests.
Canada Hotel – With one of the best reviewed hotels in Çirali, this hotel offers great service and a comfortable stay. Although this hotel may not be best situated from the beach, it does however offer a swimming pool; a luxury in this picturesque, seaside town. Additionally, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out, with the main strip of cafes and restaurants just a 5 minute walk away.
What to do and see in Çirali
The beach – This has to be number one. When you arrive, make sure to drop your bags, get into your swimwear as soon as possible and head down to the stunning beach. Surrounded by mountains and crystal clear water, it’s what makes this place special; it never gets old.
Olympos – Olympos beach is situated on the far east side of Çirali beach. This is where these two pretty towns are married together, making the the total length of the beach just over 2 miles long (3.5km). Olympos also holds ancient Lycian ruins, which can be seen for 6TL each. Well worth a look whilst you’re here.
Chimaera flames – These are definitely an unmissable sight. Fuelled by the natural gases in the mountin rock, these flames are majestic. Another ancient Lycian site, it is believed to be the origins of the Olympic flame. The best time to see them is at night, but be sure to take a torch and some decent footware as it involves a 30 minute hike up mount Chimaera. It is also a local tradition to take wine and marshmallows. Entrance costs a small fee of 6TL per person.
Turtles – Çirali is also famous for it’s turtles. During the late spring and early summer, Caretta (Loggerhead) turtles come to nest on the beach. If you arrive in August or September, you may be lucky enough to catch the baby turtles hatching in the early morning. However, please read our post about the Caretta Turtles before you do so, as it provides advice on how to behave towards this endangered species.
What to do and see around Çirali
Alhough there are interesting things to do and see in Çirali, we recommend hiring a car or scooter and adventuring out. There are a few gems that are worth a mention:
Phaselis – This ancient Greek and Roman city was founded by the Rhodians in 800BC! With the old streets and amphitheater still intact, this is a breathtaking trip back through time. As you stand and wonder what life must have been like all those centuries ago, you can see detailed carvings on the stone that looked like they were made yesterday. At a cost of 10TL, this fascinating place doubles up as a popular beach resort. This may or may not be your ideal way of seeing a historical treasure, but you’ll certainly find it hard to resist a dip.
Lycian Way – Çirali is conveniently situated on the Lycian Way, a famous 540km footpath from Antalya to Fethiye. If you walk from the West side of Çirali, up the mountain, you will come across various coves and beaches. Away from the tourists you’ll feel a sense of calm out here.
Where to eat in Çirali
Places to eat in to Çirali come in abundance. Most pensions have their own restaurants and there are certainly some quality, cheap and authentic food to be found. Here are our top picks:
Yörük – A decent blend of quality, authenticity and affordability. Their impressive 10 inch long pida (Turkish pizza) for just 10TL is hard to be beat, along with a selection of Mezes and a variety of home cooked dishes, you are truly spoilt for choice. An added highlight was the funk and jazz music to bop your head to whilst you gorge on your delicious complimentary flatbread. At the end of your meal, you’ll feel even more satisfied when the bill arrives.
Ceylan – An authentic restaurant with Turkish women making gözlemes in the centre; a great place to come and relax. The friendly staff and modest prices make you want to spend time here. Their fish dishes are cooked and served on a hot plate together with onions and potatoes – they’re really worth a try.
Simge – A hipster bar and restaurant with quirky decor, this place is very chilled. Known for its great music and delicious food, it’s not surprising this is one of the best rated restaurants in town. However, if it’s just a drink or a sisha you’re after, then you won’t be disappointed either.
Have you ever been to Çirali? What else do you recommend? Please comment below and ask any questions, we’re happy to help.