Are you adventurous? Do you like to have a new experience in life? If you answered yes to either one of these questions, then you must try paragliding. New experiences, new adventures are what makes life enjoyable and memorable. The thrill and the feeling of flying is truly an adrenaline rush!
While visiting Ölüdeniz, our friend Chris said that one of the reasons he selected this area of Turkey to live is because Babadağ Mountain has one of the highest tandem drop zones in the world. Adventure and thrill seekers ascend the Babadag Mountain which reaches an astounding 1,969 meter above sea level. From this point, they paraglide over the top of the white sand beach and turquoise blue water of the Turkish Riviera.
Paragliding is a recreational sport of flying, lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no motorized engine. A pilot is harnessed to suspended ropes that are connected to a fabric wing. The wing shape captures the pressure of air entering vents int the front of the wing, and the aerodynamic forces of the air flowing over the outside. Paraglider flights can last many hours and cover hundreds of miles.
Paragliding tandem is when you are harnessed in front of the pilot and all you have to do is just sit and enjoy the view while the pilot handles the wing and all the maneuvers while in flight.
Things to know before you paraglide
- Paragliding needs wind so it is a seasonal sport. The best time of the year for paragliding in Ölüdeniz is between April and November. Summertime is the best time to paraglide.
- If you are staying at a hotel in Ölüdeniz or Fethiye, make arrangements with the paragliding company to pick you up on the day of your flight.
- Wear a short-sleeve shirt to protect your arm from the ropes. Shorts are acceptable. You will need to wear sneakers or some type of close-toe shoes. No sandals!
- You can wear sunglasses and it is advisable to bring a bottle of water with you.
- Pre-book your excursion. Most operators offer five flights a day, so you have several time slots throughout the day available. I suggest booking the first flight of the day.
Preparing for Launch
We selected the best top-rated paragliding company in all of Turkey, Sky Sports Paragliding. Sky Sports has a proven safety record and has highly experienced pilots. Most of the pilots that work for other companies in Ölüdeniz have been trained by Sky Sports Paragliding. Although Sky Sports rates might be slightly higher than their competitors, they are worth the extra few dollars because of their expertise, safety records and they are the most respected outfit in this sport.
Upon our arrival at the Sky Sports office in Ölüdeniz, my husband and I were a little nervous about the adventure we were about to embark on. After reviewing a few notable insurance documents and brief instructions on our equipment, it was time to load up in the van and start our drive up to Babadag Mountain.
I must warn you, the drive on this skinny, narrow road, that zigzagged around the mountain was scarier than paragliding. I tried to keep my eyes looking forward but occasionally when I looked out the side window, I could see that it was a straight drop-off down the mountain. I couldn’t wait to get to the top so I could put my feet on the ground.
The beautiful blue sky and fresh air at the top of Babadag Mountain were breathtaking. Here, we observed the construction of the new SKYWALK cable car lift that is being built, which will carry passengers from the base in Fethiye to the top of Babadag Mountain. At the top, there are (4) restaurants already open and we were told recently that the food is great. There is also a very nice launch platform for the paragliders.
As our pilots unpacked their equipment and prepared for take-off, Omar, and I both started to get a little more nervous but also very excited.
It was time to launch! A couple of running steps forward and up, up and away we went into the blue sky.
Gliding in the Air
OMG! I kept saying it over and over coupled with “Wow, this is so beautiful!”. It literally takes your breath away. Soaring through the air is probably one of the funniest experiences I have had doing an extreme sport. My pilot, Can (pronounced John) would always ask me how I was feeling all the while he was explaining the beautiful landscape below.
From here we had a bird’s eye view of Butterfly Valley, historical ruins that were high up on the mountainside, as well as private resorts for the rich and famous. Seeing the blue lagoon and the coastline of Ölüdeniz turquoise blue water was absolutely gorgeous.
Omar and I would occasionally get to see each other up-close while paragliding as our pilots would come together for pictures and give us a chance to wave at each other.
Coming in for Landing
After gliding around in the air for about an hour, it was time to come in for a landing. I was a little worried about landing as I had heard from other friends that had paraglided before, this could be difficult. I expressed my concerns with my pilot who assured me that the landing will be soft and effortless. He said, “just stand when I tell you to”, and sure enough that was all I needed to do as the flight comes to a stop… This was unbelievably smooth and most certainly effortless.
As we flew over the coastal area of Ölüdeniz, getting closer to our landing spot, I could see other paragliders who had recently landed and were watching us. My pilot asked me to hold on to the GoPro, while he maneuvered the wing to bring us down for safe landing.
Omar and I were all smiles and very happy with our new experience. We absolutely loved it and had the best time and will most certainly do it again.
If you visit Turkey, do not leave without visiting Fethiye and paragliding over the Ölüdeniz coastline. You will walk away happy and will forever smile as you recall the thrill of your flight. It is certainly an experience of a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the age requirement to fly?
Age 4 and older have flown with Sky Sports. No age restriction
- Is there a weight restriction to fly?
Sky Sports currently enforces a weight limit of 105kg. Your pilot will carefully match you (based on your weight) with the correct canopy.
- How long will you be in the air?
Depending on the weather conditions, a minimum of 25 minutes and up to an hour.
- Will I need to be trained before my flight or have experience at flying?
No experience required. A short briefing will occur before you take-off.
- Am I insured through the paragliding company during the flight?
If you go with Sky Sports, you are fully covered on the insurance policy up to 1,500 TL for medical care in TURKEY. Check with the operator to find more insurance information.
- What is the cancellation policy?
You will need to check with your operator. Sky Sports will refund your money when cancellation is given 24 hours before the flight. If you get to the launch pad and decide to change your mind a small fraction of the funds will be refunded. You will need to clarify these details with your operator.
- What is the cost to paraglide?
The cost includes transfer, entry fee onto the launch pad, and insurance of $115 (they will charge in euro). You can pay with a credit card.
- Will I be able to take pictures and videos?
The pilot will take care of all this for you so that you can enjoy your experience. He will utilize his GoPro and other cameras to record your experience. The cost to purchase the pictures and videos is approximately $35 pp. You will need to pay in cash to the pilot. He will upload all this to your phone.