The resort of Olu Deniz is famous for its beautiful blue lagoon but one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery is by indulging in a spot of paragliding. Many people, the brave and the not so brave, are tempted by this breathtaking sport, with jumpers ranging from age 4 to 84 years of age! While the thought of it is quite scary, in reality it is a serene and wonderful experience.
As you witness daring holidaymakers descend gracefully, like great colourful birds down the mountainside, the feelings of fear are soon replaced by a yearning to experience this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for yourself. You are advised to pre-book and not leave
paragliding until your last day because flights are dependent on weather conditions.
The 45 minute journey up Babadag Mountain from Oludeniz Beach is an experience in itself, an interesting but somewhat bumpy truck ride, dodging various potholes, and contrasting sharply to the smooth descent that follows by paraglide.
On alighting at the take-off points close to the summit, everyone is assessed to see who will make the best pairing with each co-pilot, because having the optimum combined passenger weight is important. You are provided with a flying suit and helmet so all you need to bring is a sturdy pair of shoes such as trainers, your sunglasses, a bottle of water and your camera.
Once strapped to your experienced co-pilot, he waits for the right moment and then instructs you to run or take a few steps, and suddenly you find yourself off the mountain, dipping, diving and rising to catch the thermal. This is probably as close to flying as you can get, and it can seem like an eternity before you eventually settle into the thermal and begin your descent. It takes anywhere between 25 and 45 minutes to reach the beach at Oludeniz and the Blue Lagoon, and the views literally take your breath away. It’s much later that you truly take in that you have jumped off a mountain from a height of approximately 6500ft!
When people book holidays in Olu Deniz, I’m sure many don’t plan to embrace the whole paragliding experience, but seeing the constant stream of colourful canopies soon changes your mind. It really is an experience not to be missed and once you’ve been once, it is tempting to want to rush straight back up and do the whole thing again!
Olu Deniz is not the only place where people choosing Turkey holidays can try paragliding, further along the coast, Kas also has the ideal updrafts, vistas and landing pads needed for this exciting sport.