The Eternal Fires of Chimaera, Turkey

About 80 km south-west of Antalya, near the town of Çıralı in south-western Turkey, there’s an eternal flame. It comes from the Earth and burns already for thousands of years.

During our journey to South-West coast of the Turkey, we’ve marked this spot as a must-see destination for ourselves. And we were not wrong in doing this.

Chimaera - Beautiful fire

Chimaera – Beautiful fire

If you decide to visit this place, you should better do it at night. Then you will have a chance to fully enjoy magnificent fire-show of the nature.

During the day, the mountain looks like many other mountains around: covered with pine trees, quiet and steep. After climbing a 1 km of the steps we came to the fires place. There were only 4 flaming vents there,

but there are more all over the mountain though.

Of course we couldn’t resist taking a picture.

Chimaera - We couldn't resist to picture near the flames

Chimaera – We couldn’t resist to picture near the flames

The flames are created  by chemical reaction, when the gas that is coming form the ground meets the air. Until today there’s no knowledge of exact chemical structure of the gas. This is because of the difficulty of collecting samples of it, as it will burn immediately, when exposed to the open air.

During our visit we’ve noticed one scientist on the site, with small pumps and plastic tubes trying to take the samples. This means that there are still attempts to understand this phenomena.

But to enjoy the beauty of the flames we don’t have to understand their nature.


Chimaera - Eternal flames coming out of vents

Chimaera – Eternal flames coming out of vents

Here is a short video of the flames:

Near the vents we could noticed the remains of the temple. The whole mountain was a holy place for people in the past, the place to worship the Gods and the Earth.

Chimaera - The remains of the anciant temple



It is believed that the anciant myth of the “Chimeara” was born because of this fires.

“The Chimera , also ChimaeraChimæra; Greek: Χίμαιρα Chímaira) was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of three animals — a lion, a snake and a goat. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ended in a snake’s head” (Wikipedia)

The mythical creature - Chimaera

The mythical creature – Chimaera

When we climbed up to the top of the mountain we could see the beautiful scenery of mountains and sea,


Chimaera - View from the Chimaera Mountain

Chimaera – View from the Chimaera Mountain


Chimaera - On the top of the Chimaera

Chimaera – On the top of the Chimaera

The mountain is also well observed from the sea, and sailors for the long time used the fires of Chimaera as a lighthouse, which helped them in navigation.

Now we can tell for sure, and from our own experience, that this place is one of a kind. So if you are planning a trip to the South-Western Turkey, make sure that you include Chimaera in your must-see destinations list.

 Where is it?


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One Response to The Eternal Fires of Chimaera, Turkey

  1. I love witnessing the raw power of the earth … it reminds me how fragile we all are before the forces of nature!

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