We followed up our paragliding trip to Greece with an SIV course in Turkey, organised by Peter Boyer from the Australian Paragliding Centre.
Peter was our first paragliding instructor and when we heard that he planned to organise an SIV course in Turkey, we couldn’t miss the opportunity. We arrived in Fethiye via ferry from the Greek Island of Rhodes. A taxi to Oludeniz takes only 20 minutes.
The SIV course with Peter was all inclusive, including accommodation and tuition.
For many paragliding pilots, Oludeniz does not need any introduction with Mt Babadag standing at 2000 metres tall, close to the beach and famous for the quality of its launches. The SIV course spanned a period of 7-days with most of our launches from the 1800 metre. This is one of the best launches that we have seen, with its very large area paved with cobblestones. Next to it, a café/restaurant with bathroom facilities, is ideal for parawaiting. Flying conditions were close to perfect every day, so instead of parawaiting we used the café’s terrace to watch the launches of the Red Bull team during the Oludeniz Air Games.
The taxi ride from Oludeniz is about 35-40 minutes and you can book a ride from the many paragliding businesses in town, which have regular shuttle buses between the beach-side landing zone, back to the top of the mountain. During our stay we used the professional services of Sky Sports Paragliding to store our gear and take us to the best launch of the day.
The top of the mountain has four official launches at various altitudes, with three pointing in various directions making launching possible in all wind directions. The launch sites are generally quite busy, with private pilots, professional pilots and many commercial tandem pilots that operate from Oludeniz.
The site is ideal for an SIV course as it allows pilots to arrive over the water with at least 1300 metres in altitude. That offers plenty of height to practice all the desired manoeuvres safely over the water, with many safety boats available. If thermalling, it is possible and quite easy to reach over 2000 metres above sea level.
Peter was very efficient in providing us with flotation devices and support on the launch, while he was guiding us in performing our manoeuvres from the recovery boat out at sea.
The landing area is right on the beach, in front of at least 20 bars and restaurants that are perfect for providing refreshments. Landing is possible both on the sand or on the large grassy areas in front of the restaurants. Considering the number of paragliding pilots, Oludeniz provides a landing co-ordinator that is always on the landing zone making passers by aware of incoming landing paragliding pilots.
We were spoilt with the annual Oludeniz Air Games being held during our stay, watching Red Bull pilots in wing suites, acro pilots and base jumpers launching with tandem paragliding pilots, all day every day. Some incredible skills!
Oludeniz provides plenty of different restaurants, entertainment venues and accommodation from backpackers to 5-star options. Flying is best in August/September/October when almost every day is flyable.
Recommended hotel: Mozaik Apartments.
How to get there: Dalaman Airport is 1-hour away and provides easy access to international flights.
Local currency: Turkish Lira.
Oludeniz is an international city with many British expats and virtually everybody speaking English. The area provides many other attractions, being one of the best paragliding destinations in the world for non-flying partners.
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