From a distance, this rocky landmass looks like any other mountain. But climb to the top, and you’ll realize this is no ordinary place.
Flames flicker from gaps in the side of the mountain. They’ve been burning for at least 2,500 years, fueled by methane seeping through the vents.
It’s said that in the past, sailors used the mountain as a sort of burning beacon, the blazes providing an easy-to-see landmark. In modern times, hikers use the ever-present fires to brew tea or toast marshmallows.
The mountain is also linked to the legend of the Chimera, as it’s believed the flaming landscape inspired the fiery monster in Homer’s Illiad. According to the myth, a beast with a lion’s head, goat’s body, and a snake as a tail lived on a mountain. The King of Lycia sent Bellerophon to the mountain to kill the monster. He rode his horse Pegasus there, and when the Chimera started to attack, he speared the creature.
Know Before You Go
To reach the flames, you'll need to climb stone stairs. There are no arrows pointing where you should go, but it's easy to find because there is no other way. The climbing takes 15 to 20 minutes, at the end of it you'll get very tired and probably sweaty, but it's worth it.
It's better to go there at night to see the flames. It will be dark when you climb but you can use a flashlight (your phone's light is fine). At night the flames look better. You can bring marshmallows or sausage to cook there. And a little wine to make it perfect. The most important thing is to bring water with you, as you'll get thirsty. Wear sneakers or other shoes suitable for hiking. Bear in mind that the park closes after 8 p.m.