Tandem paragliding in Ölüdeniz, Turkey

After starting my Turkey trip on such a high note with the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, I wasn’t sure if the rest of my trip would be able to keep up with the hot air balloon ride experience.

But I was wrong – the tandem paragliding experience in Ölüdeniz was just as amazing that it almost made me forget about the hot air balloon ride!

So my day 2 in Turkey was going up 900m on a hot air balloon, then day 3 in Turkey was flying at 2000m – not a bad way to start off the trip ;)

I have done tandem paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland before and I personally loved the paragliding experience in Ölüdeniz way more (the view of the blue lagoon is breathtaking, the ride is longer, and cheaper).

Booking the tandem paragliding experience in Ölüdeniz:

Advanced booking is highly recommended, especially if you are going on a high tourist season.

*Tandem paragliding just means that you are flying with the pilot, not by yourself. I will refer to tandem paragliding as paragliding throughout this blog post as it’s shorter to refer to ;)

I did my paragliding with a company called Gravity. Click here to visit Gravity’s website.

There are many companies in Ölüdeniz that do paragliding, but I liked Gravity, because from my research, they were the most reputable company with pilots that have years of experience. When I was eating lunch and watching other company’s paragliders land, they were landing in sand or on the road (instead of on grass, where they are supposed to land), because their pilots were not as experienced.

The paragliding companies offer pick-up and drop-off service to/from your hotel as well, so you don’t need to worry about getting to/from Ölüdeniz.

What happens before/during/after paragliding:

  • Before paragliding, you will be picked up at your hotel by the paragliding company. For me, I was staying at a hotel in Fethiye, so they came to pick up from the hotel and also picked up other people that booked with their company from Fethiye. Once we got to Ölüdeniz, they took us to their office where we were asked to sign waivers and wait for our pilots to come.
  • You are asked to leave your bag and other belongings in their office, including your phone and camera. For liability reasons, they don’t allow you to take your own camera or phone on the ride. Instead, the pilots all have a GoPro that they take pictures and videos with. After the ride, you can purchase them.
  • We were put into a group of people with a group of pilots. We all got into a van to go up to a mountain nearby (where we will be starting the paragliding) – it took about 20minutes to get to the top of the mountain. During the van ride, they asked us to pick a ball from a bag and the ball had the name of the pilot. So it was a fun way of picking who you will be flying with.
  • Once you get to the top of the mountain, they put on the paragliding equipment on you and explain the process. Basically, that you have to keep on running fast and you will be in air. It sounds simple, but that is basically what happens! You just run for less than 30 seconds and boom, you are flying!
  • When you are up in the air, you just sit back and enjoy the ride :) The pilot will take lots of pictures for you and they will also give you an opportunity to control the ride. The ride lasts about 30minutes.
  • You have to wear a helmet when you take off and land. During the ride, you can take the helmet off – so your pictures won’t be funny looking with pictures of you in a helmet!
  • For landing, you just follow the pilot’s instructions and if you are with an experienced pilot, the landing will be very smooth. After you land, you will go back to the paragliding company’s office, where they will show you pictures that they took on the GoPro.
  • When I went (June 2015), for video + photos, it was 130 Liras. If you decide to purchase the videos + photos, then they will put them on a CD and give to you.  But if you have a USB key or a memory card, they can also put the videos and photos there as well.

Tips:

  • Similar to the hot air balloon ride, paragliding is weather dependant – if it’s rainy or too windy, the ride will be cancelled (so higher chance of being able to ride it during the summer time when there’s less rain).
  • Wear shoes that won’t fall off (so no flip flops). My friend was wearing sandals that had beads and they didn’t let her wear those shoes, because they said it could be dangerous during landing.
  • For girls, it’s probably best to tie your hair than to leave it down, because it will be windy and your hair will get messy!
  • The pilot will take lots of photos of you, but since you can’t monitor which pose looks good as the pilot takes them, try out multiple poses. The pilot will take as many as you want during the ride.
  • Enjoy the experience – it’s not often that you get to fly 2000m in the air with a scenery like this, so just enjoy every moment of it!
  • If you are debating whether or not you should do this, because you are afraid of heights, I can tell you that it’s really not scary at all! It’s not like bungee jumping or sky diving where you jump and you fall fast. Paragliding is very slow and you go down gradually. You only live once and you’re in Turkey – so don’t miss this opportunity! I guarantee you that you won’t regret it!

Photos from my paragliding experience:

 

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To see a video of my paragliding experience, click here.

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