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Yanartas (Chimaera), known as the place of flames, is a fascinating natural rocky formation located along Cirali village, on Mount Chimaera slopes, close to Olympos Valley, about 35 km. from Kemer. Yanartas is called as eternal fire that the flames burn right on the rocks without any apparent fuel or heat source. The region is situated on a track famous for hiking lovers on the Lycian Way.
The Legend of Chimaera
According to one of the great myths of Greeks, the monster called the Chimaera (Khimaira) was a fire breathing monster, part lion, goat and snake.
Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. It has three heads, none of them is that of a goat, only a main human head, a lion’s head facing forward and placed on the chest of the lion’s body, and a snake’s head placed at the end of the tail.
The Lycian King sends the young boy named Bellerophontes to fight with the fire breathing monster. Bellerophontes goes to the fight with his horse with wings named Pegassos. While Chimaera attacks Pegassos rises and when Bellerophontes goes down, he hits Chimaera with his spear and buries the monster into the seven depths of the ground. Chiemaera continues to breath fire since than.
How to Get & What to Expect?
Yanartas is situated on the site of dozens of small fires that burn constantly from vents in the rocks. After passing the bridge at the entrance of the Cirali, you’ll continue along the pensions and orange groves about 3.5 km. and reach the entrance of Yanartas with ruins. Visitors may see the ruins of the temple of Hephaistos, the Greek god who was associated with fire through his role as the blacksmith to the gods.
From here, you’ll need to climb about half an hour (about 1 km.) by taking the 1200 steps along the slightly curved pathways. While climbing you can take a break and sit on the banks overlooking the Cirali bay and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
When you reach Yanartas, you’ll find the magnificent natural beauties and burning stones. There is an admission fee of about 5 TL. Most of the travelers prefer to visit the site at night.
A hike to the famous Yanartas and enjoy the nature, legend and eternal fire is a great attraction and also one of the best things to do in Kemer for the holidaymakers in Kemer, Antalya.