Ölüdeniz in Southern Turkey offers everything for the great escape: Paragliding, enchanting blue lagoons and Turks with a British accent...
About a month ago, my boyfriend surprised me with two plane tickets to Dalaman. I didn't know anything about Dalaman, but he said it didn’t matter because we wouldn’t spend any time there anyway. We would go straight to Ölüdeniz. Ölü.., what?
Until that day, I had also never heard of Ölüdeniz. before. It's actually good that I'm writing and not talking about Ölüdeniz, because I have no idea either how to pronounce that town. Nevermind.
A week later, I was ready to go. Oh boy! I wasn't disappointed at all.
The gorgeous little town Ölüdeniz is located on the Mediterranean coast of Southern Turkey, 15 kilometers from Fethiye and about 70 kilometers from Dalaman Airport.
I was quite impressed when we arrived at the beach. I had heard this place is one of the most photographed beaches on the Mediterranean sea. Once I got there, I understood why. A long white pebble beach, surrounded by mountains and seawater that reflected all shades of turquoise and aquamarine. It was magnificent.
The scenery was even more spectacular from above. Ölüdeniz is known as one of the world's best place for paragliding. I couldn't ignore the hundreds of paragliders coming down all day. After watching them for some time, i was psyched! Suddenly I knew, I was so going to do that as well. Forget sunbathing on the beach when you can fly like a bird and get a tan in the sky...
The next day, I checked some of the travel agencies that offers Tandem Paragliding. There were plenty of them in town. I finally decided to go with Reaction because they seemed the most professional ones to me. They only offered Tandem Paragliding, unlike other agencies that sold anything from Paragliding to boat trips and sun glasses.
The office of Reaction is located right on the beach. Victoria, a friendly young lady and one of Reaction staff members sat down with me and told me that their pilots fly about 25 times a week for about 6 months a year. That's the time of the season in Ölüdeniz, from April to October. When the season is over, some of them continue paragliding in South Africa, Brazil or Nepal. For a second I thought, that's actually a pretty cool job.
Victoria also mentioned that their pilots had never gotten into any accidents. (I did my research, she was right!)
After that conversation, I felt secure, but also excited. Couldn't wait to fly myself. Or ... I mean in a Tandem.
A staff member from Reaction picked me up the next morning with a mini bus, that carried a group of people, mostly guys. At that point, I became extremely nervous. Not because of the guys of course. I was anxious to fly. Plus, the ride up to the top of Mount Babadag was anything but relaxing. We were driving right to the narrow cliff edge and the view was a mix of stunning and terrifying.
Honestly, I was scared to do the paragliding, but I would have been even more terrified to get back in that mini bus and endure the drive down the mountainside.
I felt pretty relieved when we reached the top of Mount Babadag which was 2,000 meters (6,500ft) in height.
Finally, I got introduced to my pilot, a guy called "Dirty". Funny nickname. I wondered where he got it from, but I was too distracted to ask.
He looked more like a Californian surfer dude, but eventually he made me believe that he's Turkish. He seemed like a cool guy and I had no doubts that he would bring me safely back to the ground at sea level.
Dirty gave me a quick, but good briefing prior to take off. Unfortunately, he took my flip flops away and gave me the ugliest sneakers you could imagine. So just for the record, the shoes I'm wearing on the photos are not mine. (So make sure to bring your own sneakers, their shoe selection might not fit your style ;)
The take off was easier than I thought. I was strapped to him, so I couldn't run away anymore or change my mind about doing the jump. Thank God I didn't have to run to the edge of a cliff! Actually, I had to run for about 2 meters and then we were lifted gently up into the sky.
I didn't know that we would go even higher. Dirty told me it was possible to get up to 2500 - 3000 meters. First it was amazing. Then I thought I need to throw up. Then it was amazing again. Dirty tried really hard to keep me entertained and after a few minutes I was fine and could really enjoy it.
From that point on I was like on drugs. It was just surreal. Looking at the blue lagoon below us and having the sun above, shining on us was truly out of this world. I was so amazed that I forgot to take pictures.
The view over the bay of Ölüdeniz, the mountains and the national park was simply breathtaking.
After some time in the air, Dirty told me we could extend it to 40-45 minutes, but since I felt a bit nauseous (but also amazed!), I said I would rather land sooner.
The touch down was perfect and smooth. We landed on a green strip, next to the beach in front of the Reaction shop. As much as I loved the experience of flying, I was happy to set my feet back on the ground.
To sum it up: I loved it. The Tandem Paragliding was so much fun, a must do adventure in Ölüdeniz! It's a lifetime experience!
I absolutely recommend to fly with Reaction! All their pilots are professional and have at least 8 years of experience. Have a look at their website if you plan to do Tandem Paragliding in Ölüdeniz.
The price for a Tandem flight is about 75 EUR.
The rest of my time in Ölüdeniz was relaxing. Mostly hanging out on the beach and swimming in the beautiful blue lagoon. I really fell in love with this little town, even though Ölüdeniz is anything else than a traditional Turkish village.
It's very popular for British tourists. Many places display their rates and prices in pounds. The funny thing is that many Turks working there speak English with a British accent. That was slightly confusing for me, I have to admit that.
All in all I loved our 8 days escape in Ölüdeniz, I liked it so much that I will consider going back next year, rent an apartment and stay over the summer. Let's see where the wind will blow me.
Thank you for reading.
PS: My friend Ryan just went the day after me to Ölüdeniz and did the paragliding. Check out his post Flying high at 6,000 feet!
If you're looking for great accommodation in Ölüdeniz or nearby, please check Agoda, they have a wide selection of hotels and resorts, from budget to 5 star and discounts up to 75%. I highly recommend them!
For a complete list of all sightseeings and activities, check out Tripadvisor.
Have you been to Ölüdeniz? Did you meet the Turks with the British accent? Tried paragliding? Tell me about it. Just comment below.
If you like this article, please share.
Thanks to Reaction for the great adventure! I received a media rate on my Paragliding Experience. All opinions are, as always, my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sabrina Iovino is the founder of JustOneWayTicket.com. She's half German, half Italian and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe. She feels weird to write about herself in the third person, so she'll switch now. Phew...much better! Let's restart:
Hi, I'm Sab! This is my blog and I write about the things I love. Mostly.
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