Paragliding in Ölüdeniz is a must!
There is no better way to see the beautiful curved bay of Ölüdeniz, surrounded by the gorgeous Mount Babadağ, than from the sky! With flights possible of lasting up to 45 minutes, paragliding is a truly engrossing way to get the famous bird’s eye view of this unique paradise. We joined Reaction, one of the pioneering paragliding tour companies to start up in the once secluded sandy bay, to take a memorable flight.
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Soar above the clouds
A lot has changed in Ölüdeniz since I first visited in 2007, including the number of paragliding companies that line the coastline. They look more professional too, with actual buses to drive you up the precarious mountain. Open plan, consultation rooms now line the beachfront and gone away are the cheap sun-bleached signage promising “THE BEST TIME EVER”. Instead, these modern dentist lounge style rooms welcome you in to prepare for the big flight.
We headed to Reaction paragliding, the same company that I had flown with when I was here eight years ago and one of the longest running companies to have operated in Ölüdeniz. I choose to fly with Reaction because I know their reputation is great, and not just because the’ve told me, even talking to the locals, they’re considered the top choice. We met Alfie at the front desk, he’s a character, who soon became our paragliding guru. He explained what we would expect from the day, including the drive up, how our harnesses worked, the landing and helped to alleviate any other concerns Millie had.
You can sometimes find space on the day but if you want a truly memorable flight, Reaction offers sunset flights that are well worth the wait so we suggest you head on down a couple of days before you wish to fly and book in.
On the day of your flight wear something comfortable, including shoes you can run in. You’ll then drive up the 1,969m that is Mount Babadağ with a bunch of other flyers, your pilots and your tandem glider. It’s about a 40 minute drive up the mountain, which – as I mentioned earlier – has since I previously visited been improved drastically and feels a lot safer.
Once you arrive at the take off point, the view is breathtaking and almost worth the trip in itself. There’s even a restaurant to enjoy the panoramic views, as you watch the paragliders sprint off the runway. Gone are the old run-offs of loose rocks. In its place, a new neatly paved launch area makes for a much easier take-off.
Your harness is like a baby car seat that’ll scoop you up as you brace into flying position. You’ll sit comfortably when in flight and have plenty of straps that secure you in. For those needing that little bit of extra reassurance, the pilot does also carry an emergency shoot.
We flew with two of Reactions most prestigious pilots, Naci Paksoy and Dora Göksal. Naci was Millie’s pilot and is one of the most experienced in the bay. My pilot, Dora, was a pro paraglider who broke the national record for the longest distance flight of more than 300km in eastern Turkey – so we were in pretty good hands!
Paragliding is an iconic attraction for visitors venturing to Ölüdeniz. Many paragliding enthusiasts travel to the unique panaromic views of Mount Babadağ as it claims to be the best in Europe, we’re no expert but we can see why! It is truly a pleasent way to see such a picturesque part of Turkey’s gorgeous coastline and highly recommended.
You can find Reaction social pages below.