Tahtalidag, which was called "Tasolyma" in antiquity, is one of the biggest members of "Tahtalidaglar" chain that lies north-south of Antalya Bay. It rises sharply from the sea and reaches a height of 2366 meters, so it can be seen from every direction with its full magnificence. There is no other mountain above 2300 meters and so close to the sea.
The parts which are 1700-1800 meters from the sea level are covered with forests. Above 1800 meters, rocky areas begin. The main summit shapes the peak like a conical hat. Some flat areas on the way to the summit are suitable for camping. Since it is difficult to find water in May, campers should take some water with them. Next to the flat areas there are lime holes called "dolin". The sight of those lime holes when filled with snow in the winter is magnificent. Its southern part is slightly sloping. Although the east and the west sides are steep, the north is rocky. Incline is 70 degrees from place to place, only at certain places it is 50-80 degrees. For this reason a climber should have suitable equipment with him before an attempt to climb the north side of this mountain. There are some other heights of more than 2000 meters around Tahtali. They are; Dazkir Tepesi (2014 m.) and Teke Dagi (2155 m.). Both of them show the physical characteristics of Tahtali mountain very well.
HOW TO CLIMB TAHTALI
In order to climb Tahtali, the first place one has to get is Beycik Koyu in Kemer. Beycik, which is 830 meters high from the sea level, is a pretty village in a pine forest. It is reached after traveling on the Antalya-Finike highway for 65 kilometers taking the side road that leads to the village. The road is asphalt for about 4 kilometers. After spending a night at the village, one has to get up early. By following the path, passing through the pine forest first and then the cedar forest and going up, one gets to the bare area at a height of 1700-1800 meters. Before leaving the village, the villagers should be consulted about the path that lead to the forest. There is a well watered highland called Emzik Cesme at the border of pine and cedar forests at a height of 1270. On getting to this highland, where the local people come to spend their summer, and where there is a fountain with pergolas around, one sees that there is only one path leading up. If the red marks on the paths are not followed the mountain can not be climbed, because only this path goes through a pass on the east side of the mountain. There is no other pass except this one. On passing through this passage and reaching the flat area, a huge cedar tree of 100 years old welcomes you. At the end of this pass and upon turning left, the cedar trees are passed and a bare area of 1700-1800 meter height is reached. If one goes up from here it is not difficult to get to the ridge that extends along east to west. After getting there, the main summit of 2366 meters can be reached in 4-7 hours.
PLACES TO BE OBSERVED FROM THE SUMMIT
The summit of Tahtalidag is not very wide, besides it is open to every kind of air current. Unfortunately there is not a diary on this summit, because all the diaries placed here in the past were lost. Whatever the weather conditions should be, except for unusual conditions, clouds usually cover this mountain. It may be because of its closeness to the sea. Tahtalidag is covered with clouds even on the sunniest days, while no other mountain has any clouds. Naturally this prevents the observation of this mountain. If the weather conditions are suitable, one can perfectly see the beautiful coast that extends from Serik to Manavgat in the east. In the south, Finike Bay is in front of you. Various size inlets ( Phaselis, Olympos, Ceneviz Harbor), bays ( Adrasan, Finike), beaches, sandy coasts and shores between Antalya and Finike offer spectacular scenery. In the west, central Bey Daglari, and towards the north Bakirdaglari presents a fantastic sight. Especially the scenery of Tuncdagi (2649) and Bakirtepe (2547) is wonderful. The highest point in Antalya is Kizlarsivrisi (3070) and can easily be observed at the central part of Merkezi Beydaglari, but not as a sharp point but similar to a fist. It is seen as a sharp point only from the west.
A MYTH ON TAHTALIDAG
A few kilometers after passing Beycik turn, a road sign shows a left turn to Cirali. Following the road down about 7 kilometers, Cirali Koyu is reached. On going north from Cirali about 2 kilometers, one comes across a U shaped mountain. The side of this mountain which faces the sea is green, but the other side is not. It is only soil. After you pass the last row of houses, a road consisting of two wheel tracks of carriage attracts one's attention. If you follow this road you will enter this U shaped area. When this road ends, pine forests begin. From this point on, if you follow the path with red signs for about half an hour, you will arrive at a place of 250-300 meters high where a group of fires is flaming. According to Anatolian mythology these interesting, widespread fires have been flaming for over 3500 years.
Bellerophon, the son of the king of Argon, kills his own brother at a hunting party by accident and so is sent into exile. He crosses the Aegean sea and comes to Anatolia and starts a new life. He works as a servant for one of the kings in the area. He is said to be very handsome by several sources. For this reason the king's wife falls in love with him. She shows her love to this young man, but he is honest enough not to have an affair with her. He refuses her proposals. The queen gets angry and accuses him of forcing her to have an affair and that she hardly saves herself. The king becomes furious, but doesn't want to kill him. Being falsely accused by the wife of this king, he is sent to the court of Iobetes in Patara, carrying with him a sealed letter requesting that he be put to death. Bellerophon comes to Xhantos and delivers the letter to the king. When the king gets the letter he is very surprised. He is affected by Bellerophon's honesty and purity, and so the king doesn't want to kill him. By way of executing his commission Iobetes sends him to destroy the monstrous Chimera that used to live in Tahtalidag. Chimera is a creature that has a head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a snake. Scorching flames rush out of its mouth and nose. Accepting this mission, Bellerophon sets out. On the way he catches Pegasus and flies to the site to meet Chimera. Chimera, on seeing them tries to kill them by sending his scorching flames. Bellerophon observes every movement of this monster near the summit of the mountain. He prepares his arrows and has an attack on this monster. He throws his arrow with such a great force that the leaded arrow goes through its mouth. The stomach of the monster is scorched. This awful monster falls down and dies but even now flames still continue to come out of his mouth, although its body is decayed.
Some sources have claimed that the first sacred fire used in the Olympic games was brought from here.