How to Get from Antalya to Olympos / Cirali (By Public Transport)

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Antalya's heritage tram
Antalya’s heritage tram

A recent trip to Turkey saw me flying into Antalya before catching the bus down to Olympos, one of Turkey’s favourite backpacker hangouts. I’ve visited Olympos a few times before but always from the other direction.

I couldn’t find any information online about how to get there from Antalya. It’s not complicated, but I spend an hour or so trying to find the correct tram/ticket info so I thought it would be useful information to share for others in this position.

So here are the steps you need to get from Antalya to Olympos by public transport.

I’m going to take a punt and assume that you’re staying in Kaleici in Antalya. This is the historic quarter, the Old Town area, and the most popular place for independent travellers. If you’re looking for a place to stay I can personally recommend Sabah Pension which is friendly, conveniently located, and has a pool for those roasting hot summer days.

The main road running along the outside of the Old Town is Ataturk Boulevard. This is where you will find buses, trams and ATMs. To reach Olympos you’ll need to take a tram to Antalya Otogar (that’s the main bus station).

However, there are two tram lines in Antalya – the heritage line, which runs along Ataturk Boulevard, and the modern tram.

To reach the Otogar you need to the modern one, not the heritage tram – which despite its vintage looks was only built in 1999. 

The easiest place to catch the modern tram line from Kaleici is the stop called Ismetpasa. Basically, keep walking north up Ataturk Boulevard until the heritage and modern trams meet at a corner junction. This is Ismetpasa.

You’ll need to buy a ticket/Antalyakart before you get on the tram. You can buy these at any machine along the tram tracks. There are instructions in English though they are not entirely clear.

I purchased the disposable limited ticket (1YTL) with 1 journey (5.50YTL) for a total of 6.50TL. The official website is over here if you want more info on ticket types.

At Ismetpasa you’ll have to pass your ticket through a barrier to get onto the platform. There is a tram map on the platform. It’s 8 stops from Ismetpasa to the tram stop for the Otogar (bus station).

You exit the tram stop (which is underground) into the car park of the Otogar. It’s a large terminal with two buildings, though this isn’t immediately clear if you don’t read Turkish. The first entrance is for long distance buses.

Keep walking to the second terminal which is for local buses. There are bag scans on both entrances. If you need Tourist Information there’s a desk in the first terminal.

Both buildings have desks for all of the bus companies. But just ask around and they’ll point you towards the next bus to Olympos. In peak season it runs every hour or so. No need to buy a ticket at the desk, you can pay on the bus. It’s a minibus-style dolmus rather than large coach. I paid 15 YTL.

Journey time is just under 2 hours. 

The bus drops you off at a suitable point on the main road nearest the turning for Olympos. You’ll know it when you see it because the dolmus pulls over into the car park of a cafe where you can wait for the next dolmus to take you down to Olympos.

It’s a winding 8km – too far to walk. These roadside cafes always do great gozleme (pancakes) in my experience. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Olympos then I can recommend Bayrams, which is a popular place for solo travellers visiting Turkey.

I waited 20 minutes for the dolmus down and it cost 5YTL.

When the time comes for you to leave Olympos then your accommodation will help you out with arranging the dolmus back up to the main road and then a bus on to your next destination. When I visited in June they were running frequently – every half an hour. 

The buses along the main road go to Antalya in one direction, and Kumluca/Finike/Kas/Fethiye in the other.

The main road is pretty wide and new, don’t worry about the windy mountain roads. 

If you’re staying in Cirali then the directions are the same only you get off at the stop before the cafe for Olympos, and take the dolmus down a different road.

And there we have it. I hope you have a great time in Olympos or Cirali.