If high adrenaline and life memorable experiences sound exciting for you we recommend to try paragliding in Oludeniz (Ölüdeniz), on the south western coast of Turkey.
The stunning landscape is a perfect blend of high mountains (Babadag mountain reaches 1960m/ 6500ft above the sea level), long sandy beaches and clear blue sea, which makes Oludeniz seem like heaven.
Paragliding is a sport with a long tradition in Oludeniz and attracts many experience paragliders, both as instructors and as sky adventurers.
Interested? Then read below more useful information and tips.
How to get here:
Oludeniz is not far from the Dalaman airport, which is very well connected with many destinations, either by direct charter flights or via Istanbul, Turkey’s main city and air hub.
From the airport you can rent a car or take local buses/minibuses to Oludeniz. There are many tourists in this part of the Turkish seaside, so you should be able to get locally any assistance or more information in English. However, it would still be useful to have a language guide or dictionary at hand.
When to go:
The good weather starts early in spring and lasts until end of October. Summers can be quite hot, but the breeze and the high mountains near make the summer more acceptable. Prices are of course better if you go early or late in the season.
Where to stay:
Oludeniz is not a big resort and the hotels closest to the beach are also the priciest in general. The further from the beach you go, the more reasonable prices become. There are even some nice low cost hotels that can be very cheap and spotlessly clean, offering basic condition.
Ten minutes drive from Oludeniz, higher in the mountains, there is also the Ovacık village, that is more quiet and can offer more cost effective accommodation, including private villas. However, transport to the beach will be needed. If you don’t want to rent a car there are also local minibuses, but these might be crowded.
Whatever you choose in terms of accommodation, we recommend you to check the reviews on the internet to make sure they are well managed. Hotel standards in Turkey are not always audited, so there might be surprises if you don’t check reviews.
Where to book a paragliding experience:
There are more companies offering paragliding flights. If you are not an experienced paraglider, then you should chose the tandem paragliding, where you will be guided and accompanied by an experienced instructor during the entire journey.
We booked with Sky Sports Paragliding and we were very happy.
What to expect:
At the scheduled time you would be picked up by the team’s minibus that will take you to the take off area. You will also meet your instructor who will give you more information about the procedures.
The drive to the top will already raise your adrenaline, as the road is narrow and goes around the mountain close to the edge.
Don’t be surprised if when arriving to the takeoff place you will find a big crowd and you will have to wait in line for your turn to take off.
The instructor will give you all equipment, including thick jackets, because at almost 2000m high it is very windy and cold. You will also have the rest of the briefing before taking the jump.
Don’t worry, if the weather conditions are not good (lack of wind or too strong) the instructor will not allow the takeoff and will reschedule the paragliding flight to a more favorable time. But in general, Oludeniz offers very good conditions for such experiences.
The moment with maximum adrenaline is when you have to run to the edge of the mountain to take off, but right after the wind takes you up and everything becomes a perfect and amazing calm fly.
The flight takes about 30-40 minutes in total. It can be very calm, with spins that offer almost 360degree views. If you want more adrenaline the instructor can speed up the flight by taking spiral dives, but that also shortens the time you get to stay in the air.
It’s an opportunity to take incredible pictures of the area and you also have the possibility to buy the pictures and videos taken by the company. For us they were worth it.
Landing on the beach was very smooth and the only thing you can think about is how exciting the experience was.
Some useful tips:
- Dress warmly, with more layers, even if you get the jacket from the instructor, because it is freezing cold on the top. You can take off the extra layers after you land on the beach
- If you plan to take photos of your own make sure you have the camera safely tied to you to avoid dropping it during the flight. Also make sure all your personal belongings are in a safe place and you don’t risk losing anything
- Tell your instructor if you are not comfortable or if you want more information, they are there to fully support you and they are very experienced
- The cost of the paragliding experience is about 80 EUR/person and includes transport, instructor, flight and insurance. In general the photos/videos taken by the company are charged extra. But it’s better to double check the cost and what is included when you make the booking, as this might vary
- Check the reviews for the paragliding company you are choosing. The most important is their reputation to offer safe flights and highly experienced instructors.
Other things you can do in/near Oludeniz:
- Enjoy the blue lagoon and the perfect sandy beach, well known world wide for its beauty
- Take a boat tour to visit butterfly valley and St Nicholas island
- If you have more time in the area you can also take a boat tour from Fethiye to explore the 12 islands near.
Overall paragliding in Oludeniz was surely a lifetime experience, even surreal, as it seemed like there were no boundaries between sky, sea, mountains and land, just thin air. We strongly recommend it!