Visit Cirali With Kids: A Guide to Turkey’s Relaxing Seaside Town

Planning a trip to Cirali with kids is an easy choice, as there’s so much to do in this beautiful seaside town. Whether you’re looking for a place to lounge on a pristine beach, hiking through the mountains, or visiting the famous Olympos ruins, you and your family will have an enjoyable time in Cirali.

Read on to learn how to travel through Cirali with kids, from travel tips to activities and accommodations.

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running.

Table of Contents

Cirali Fast Facts

BEST TIME TO GO
April–October
LANDSCAPE
3.5 Km Secluded Beach
CURRENCY
Turkish Lira (TL)
PLUGS
Standard C | 220 V | 50 Hz
CLIMATE
Hot humid summers
Mild spring & fall
Cold rainy winter
BEST TRIP TYPES
Beach
Historical
Hiking

Cirali, Turkey Essentials

Museum Pass Mediterranean | 360 TL

Get access to over 40 museums to visit over 5 days in the Mediterranean region. The pass will give you access to the ancient ruins of Olympos while you’re visiting Cirali. Learn more about the Museum Pass

Download the Museums of Turkey App

history of cirali

History of Cirali, Turkey

Cirali is situated in the Antalya province, nestled up to the Mediterranean Sea. It’s found in the ancient Lycian region, about two hours from Antalya via car. Despite having a rich history, Cirali is a relatively young town. Before the 1960s, this town was mainly nature-filled with marshes and forests. In the 1960s, families in the nearby town of Ulupinar began moving to Cirali. In the first ten years, Cirali only held three homes.

Then, in the 70s, a shift occurred, which prompted the population to increase to 90 families. Cirali was primarily an agricultural town, with villagers using fruit trees and greenhouses to make a living. There was no electricity until the middle of the 1980s.

A large part of the appeal of this rural town is that while many people visit during the year, it has not become overwhelmed with tourists. It remains a safe, quiet place, providing a welcome location for families. This quiet atmosphere is mainly due to a lack of nightlife.

Additionally, Cirali is known for housing the large Caretta Caretta sea turtles that lay eggs every May through August, causing additional rules and regulations to occur on the beach, especially at night (like restricting bonfires). These beach restrictions help keep the area quiet and peaceful.

cirali beach with kids

Why Visit Cirali with Kids?

As mentioned, this getaway is on the quieter side, making it an ideal destination for families with children. The activities and attractions available range from educational (historical ruins) to relaxing. A trip to Cirali means you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful nature views and scenery regardless of the activity you choose. Below are some additional reasons to visit Cirali with children.

Family Outdoor Activities

As mentioned, this getaway is on the quieter side, making it an ideal destination for families with children. The activities and attractions available range from educational (historical ruins) to relaxing. A trip to Cirali means you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful nature views and scenery regardless of the activity you choose. Below are some additional reasons to visit Cirali with children.

Learn About the Local Culture

Since this town is on the smaller side, it affords you and your family the opportunity of learning more about the local culture. From staying at a family-owned accommodation to visiting the beaches and cafes, you’ll be living like a local when you stay in Cirali.

See our Guide to Antalya with Kids.

How to Get to Cirali

Cirali is a more remote town, so getting to this idyllic holiday destination can be challenging. The below section will guide you on how to reach this charming town so you can start planning a trip.

Antalya to Cirali By Car

If you’re traveling from further parts of Turkey or outside the country, you’ll need to fly into Antalya. The Antalya International Airport is the closest option to Cirali, sitting about 94 km (58 miles) away.

Those already traveling around Turkey will find the flights to Cirali relatively cheap and short. For example, a trip from Istanbul to Antalya only takes about an 1 hour to fly. Once you arrive at the Antalya International Airport, you can rent a car.

A car rental allows you the freedom to travel to Cirali at your own pace. Plus, if you’re planning any outings during a stay in Cirali, like a day trip, you’ll have the rental car available at your convenience.

Private Transfer

Alternatively, if you aren’t comfortable driving in Turkey, you can arrange a private transfer from the airport to Cirali. You’ll need to arrange this beforehand, though you can opt for a bus or car to pick you up. This is especially helpful for larger groups who are traveling to Cirali.

Bus

Nearby the airport, you’ll find the local bus or tram you’ll need to take to reach the main coach station in Antalya. From here, you can take a minibus that leads you to an exit for Cirali. As a note, you’ll need to alert the driver that you want to get off here. The journey finishes with another short bus ride that takes you into the middle of town.

You can also make Cirali Beach a stop on your way from Antalya to Kas.

relaxing at cirali beach

What to Do in Cirali with Kids

While Cirali is on the quieter side, it does not lack in the activities department. Here are some of the best Turkey (Cirali) activities for families.

Hike the Lycian Way

The Lycian Way is a famous hiking trail with turn-offs for Cirali and Chimera. This trail begins in Fethiye and ends in Antalya. Right in the center, you’ll find Cirali. The full trail is quite long, 500k, so most people only walk a section of the trail. Regardless of which part of the trail you explore, it offers pretty nature views.

cirali eternal flames

Hike to the Eternal Flames

The Eternal Flames, also known as the Eternal Flames of Chimera or Yanartas, are a popular attraction in Cirali. This area is steeped in myths and legends due to the flames that continuously burn. These flames occur because methane gas leaks from the ground producing small flames which have been burning for about 2,500 years.

The Story of the Chimera

The infamous Homer wrote about the backstory of the myths that surround the Eternal Flames. According to the story, Hipponoes accidentally kills his brother. Because of this tragedy, he is pitted against three challenging tasks. One of the tasks involves taking down Chimera, a beast that breathes fire.

In the story, Hipponoes can take down the beast and buries it underground. However, cracks in the ground let the fiery breath of Chimera through. Because of this triumph, it is said that an event was created which entails runners lighting torches at Chimera and running to the ancient city of Olympos. This event is likely where the Olympic ritual was developed.

Since this is a unique activity, you’ll want to include this on your itinerary when traveling to Cirali with your family.

ancient ruins of olympos turkey

Explore the Ruins of Olympos

Olympos’s ancient ruins are one of Turkey’s most interesting historical sites. It was initially built in 300 BC and was once one of the six Lycian leagues. Due to its location along the water, it was used as a shelter for traveling pirates. However, it eventually became part of the Roman Empire once Julius Caesar conquered the city.

Now, you can view the impressive ruins of temples, streets, baths, necropolis, and more as you walk through Olympos. You can easily reach this attraction via Cirali Beach or by driving about seven miles from Cirali. The scenery surrounding the ruins includes a lush forest which helps create a unique atmosphere.

Make sure to wear comfortable shoes when visiting, as you’ll walk quite a bit.

Olympos also features a beach where you can fish, swim, or sunbathe. If you want to extend your time in Olympos, consider bringing a swimsuit or fishing gear and ending the day at Olympos Beach.

cirali beach turkey

Sandy Beach Days at Cirali Beach

A trip to the pristine Cirali Beach is one of the top Cirali, Turkey things to do with kids. Crystal clear waters and a pebble-covered shore help contribute to the serenity found at this beach. If you’re visiting during the months when the Caretta Caretta (aka Loggerhead) turtles are laying their eggs, you can potentially catch a glimpse of the baby sea turtles hatching.

There are sun loungers along the shores that are free to use, or you can swim in the water. Since the shore is made of pebbles, not sand, you’ll want to bring water shoes. There are also many cafes and restaurants nearby the beach that you can head to for refueling before sunbathing at the beach.

mount olympos turkey

Exploring Mount Olympos

Another popular activity while visiting Cirali is spending time at Mount Olympos. It’s only about a 40-minute drive from Cirali, making it an easy day trip. This mountain is found in the Beydaglari Coastal National Park and offers incredible panoramic views of the surrounding area.

You can reach the top of the mountain via multiple methods like a cable car or walking. If you’re planning on hiking up the mountain, you’ll need to plan for a 4-6 hour hike. The terrain is rocky, so it’s a more challenging excursion. At the top of the mountain, you can grab a bite to eat at the onsite restaurant as you enjoy the views.

mediterranean boat trip

Boat Trip

If you’re wanting to get off the beach, a boat trip on the Mediterranean Sea is a fun way to spend an afternoon with your family. There are many Turkish gulet boats that will go out for 3-4 hours down the coast from Cirali to stop and swim, see the views from the sea and usually they’ll cook and serve a nice fish lunch on the boat.

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Where to Stay

Since Cirali is a smaller, more remote area, many available accommodations are family-owned, from hotels to pensions. Staying in Cirali family hotels makes it easy to be immersed in the local culture, as even your accommodation puts you in direct contact with locals.

You can stay at many camping spots if your family enjoys spending time in the wilderness. Otherwise, you can check out the below hotels when visiting Cirali with kids.

Arcadia Hotel

Within walking distance of Cirali Beach, you’ll find the Arcadia Hotel. This is one of the best Cirali Hotels due to its secluded location among mountains. This beautiful hotel allows you and your family to stay in bungalows that are furnished and decorated in a minimalistic style. You can enjoy the garden or a private beach area outside the bungalows.

Mountain and sea views help this hotel stand out. Other amenities include a free library, complimentary tea/coffee services, and free bikes available for use.

Etenna Beach Bungalows

The Etenna Beach Bungalows is situated on Cirali Beach, providing an idyllic setting for a getaway. You’ll stay in bungalows (like the Arcadia Hotel) at this hotel. Nearby the bungalows, you’ll find a lovely garden where you can relax.

Each bungalow features a private balcony, helping offer the perfect spot for scenic views of the beach and nearby mountains. It’s also close to various attractions like Olympos, Olympos Beach, and Lycian Way.

A restaurant onsite serves freshly squeezed juice in the mornings and traditional dishes throughout the day. A coffee and tea service is available in the afternoons during a stay at Etenna Hotel. 

Ugur Pension

You’ll find the Ugur Pension bungalows a few minutes from the beach. These bungalows are spacious and include free Wi-Fi and parking spots. Each morning, you’ll wake up to a large breakfast spread that includes local products/ingredients like fresh jam. You can also find authentic dishes at the a la carte restaurant onsite.

Like the other two accommodations, Ugur Pension has a garden onsite. However, this stay includes hammocks and swings to enjoy. There’s also table tennis, a playground, and a volleyball court available at Ugur Pension to help keep kids occupied during a stay here. Other activities you can partake in during a stay at a bungalow include bike tours (for an extra fee), walking tours, and fishing.

The rooms are kept simple, with wooden details throughout. TVs, private bathrooms, and lovely garden views are available at this accommodation. However, it books up quickly, so it’s best to schedule a stay here as early as possible.

cirali turkey with kids

Final Thoughts on Cirali with Kids

Cirali is the perfect place for a calm, beachside retreat for the whole family. A long list of available activities, comfortable hotel stays near the beach, and options for delicious traditional food help create an unforgettable trip. While many towns and cities in Turkey have become overcrowded with resorts and tourists, Cirali has remained true to its roots. Plan a trip to Cirali with kids for a fun, relaxing Turkish trip.

For more fun things to do in the Antalya Province, see our guide to Kas with Kids

See our top tips for traveling to Turkey with kids

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running.

cirali with kids turkey travel guide
guide to cirali turkey

Join the Conversation

10 Comments

  1. I find it interesting that there have been flames burning for over 2,500 years. I also enjoy your photos.

    1. Thanks so much Amy! The eternal flames hike is fun to take around sunset. It is pretty amazing to see for yourself! 🙂

  2. I will not go because of the beach. Mount Olympis and the eternal flames are much more interesting for me.

  3. I have not heard of Cirali before, but I would love to visit this town. I like less touristic destinations. The views and beaches are fantastic. Such exciting seems to be hiking the Lycian Way and hike to the Eternal Flames. I would love to photograph those flames.

    1. Yes, hiking in Cirali is quite popular and you can’t beat being right there by the Mediterranean Sea.

  4. Being a fan of lesser known places, I loved reading about Cirali. It seems like the perfect little spot for a quiet getaway. Also, I am now fascinated by the idea of the eternal flames and would love to see them someday!

    1. Cirali is such a relaxing place to go. The eternal flames are a great bonus to the whole area!

  5. Kids or not, I feel like everyone would enjoy Cirali! I would love to especially visit the beach. Turkey is on my bucketlist!

    1. Cirali is a great place to have a relaxing beach holiday – no matter how old you are! 🙂

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Family Travel to Turkey: Enes and Dania

Hi, we're Dania & Enes

We’re an American Turkish couple who’ve worked in the tourism industry and traveled extensively in Turkey. We understand that it can be overwhelming to plan a trip to Turkey when you don’t know where to go, where to stay and the best way to get there. We’re dedicated to helping you confidently plan a trip to Turkey and have a more authentic experience when you get there.

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