The absolute highlight of our holiday in Ölüdeniz, Turkey, was paragliding! Something that we have never done before, but the first thing we’ll be booking to do again when we can! Everyone in our family party of six took the challenge, from The Boy (6) to Grandma! If you stay in or near Ölüdeniz, this is an absolute must!
During the buildup to our summer holiday to Liberty Hotels Lykia we were made aware of the possibility of paragliding in the resort. It was billed as being one of the highest places in the world to do it at 2000m, with spectacular scenery and breathtaking views to match. We spent the first few days of our holiday, watching the paragliders appearing over the mountain and drifting through the sky, then coming in to land right outside the restaurant of our hotel. Liberty Hotels Lykia is the only hotel with its own landing strip, everyone else has to land on the beach in Ölüdeniz. The kids were fascinated, so we regularly chose a table at breakfast with a view of the landing area, to watch the first gliders of the day landing at around 9.30am.
J and I had discussed the experience prior to the holiday but hadn’t considered allowing the kids to do it. I was worried they might freak at the top of the mountain and just thought that they were too young to make an informed decision. Once we stared talking about it and found out that the minimum age was six, the kids just got more and more excited and there was no way we were doing it without them! I contacted a friend who had taken her similarly aged children paragliding earlier that year, to voice my concerns. I realised that kids just don’t have the same fear thought process as we do as adults and are far more trusting and less sceptical or irrational. Of course, every child is different and you know your child, but if they’ve been watching it all week and are still enthusiastic, chances are that they’ll love it! Grandma (my mum) on the other hand was secretly hoping that one of the kids wouldn’t want to do it so she could offer to opt out but as they didn’t, she wasn’t going to be outdone by her six year old grandson! After much debate, all six of us were signed up and raring to go!
We chose an early morning slot and had to be ready to go by 7.50am, knowing that we would be landing around 9.30am to go straight in to breakfast. Though it was early, there was no need for suncream or anything really, just up and go, remembering to wear trainers (or any fitted shoes) so they couldn’t fall off mid-flight! Once payments had been made, we were off in the minibus, up the mountain. I’m not going to lie, the ride up the mountain was a bit hairy with a sheer drop falling away to the side of the road. I can’t even advise which side of the bus to sit on because the road winds and both sides get an equal turn! I can safely say that by the time we got to the top, there was no way I would back out of the jump, anything was preferable to going back on that road!
We were the first group of the day so arrived to an empty platform. Our pilots quickly unpacked their equipment and before we knew it, Grandma and The Boy were off!
Quickly followed by K!
Lou took off next,
then myself and finally J, it was so quick, leaving no time for questions or second thought, just run and sit, absolutely perfect!
By the time J and I were about to jump, the take off platform was busy as several busses had already arrived and more were queuing to drop their passengers.
After the initial ‘ahhhhhhhhh’ of running off the top of a mountain, the flight was beautifully calm and tranquil. The views from up there were absolutely breathtaking and the pilots were chatty, pointing out details of the view and joking with the children, K’s pilot even spotted a turtle! Towards the end of the flight, my pilot offered to do some tricks and I knew I’d regret it if I declined so:
They didn’t offer The Boy or Grandma, understandably but everyone else took a spin and loved it!
Top Tips for Booking your Paragliding Experience!
Choose the early morning time slot:
- There are so many reasons for this!!
- Firstly, it’s the coolest time of day and with temperatures reaching 48C+ in the height of the season, we struggled to do anything other than swim in that heat!
- This is a popular thing to do and that mountain road gets pretty busy so by being the first ones up there, you avoid the vehicles coming back down!
- It gets busy at the top so you will avoid this by taking a early slot.
- By taking the early booking, we were up and out and landing in time for a late 10am breakfast with the rest of our day to enjoy.
Book early in your holiday:
- This is a popular activity and it books up quickly.
- To guarantee the day and time slot that you want, you’ll need to book four days in advance during peak season. If you don’t mind the time slot you might get away with booking later
- Remember it is weather dependent so don’t book for your last day, just in case your jump has to be postponed!
If you are staying at Liberty Lykia, book there with Escape Adventures:
- Yes, it is more expensive in the hotel than if you go into Ölüdeniz and book there but we thought the extra money was well worth it!
- A minibus takes you straight up the mountain (no other pickups or stops)
- You land straight back in the hotel.
- Of course you are paying for that convenience but hey, you’re on holiday!!
- Their safety record is exemplary.
- They are very professional and have years of flying experience between them (my pilot Alper, has been paragliding for 20+ years!).
- Escape Adventures pilots were great with the kids!
- Talk to Magic (yes that is his name!) in the booking office, located near the main bar and say I recommended you!
We were not planning to buy the photos and videos but ended up buying the lot! There was no pressure to do so but with photos like these, we just couldn’t resist. As I attempt not to show the kids faces in full, on the blog, I’ve chosen appropriately for this post but we have many smiling faces in other shots. The videos show constant smiles and chatting with not one glimmer of fear! If you ask any of them what they did on their holiday, their standard answer is:
‘We jumped off a mountain, strapped to a stranger!!’
We had a fantastic time paragliding with the whole family in Ölüdeniz, Turkey! Would you consider an experience like this with young children? Have you taken your family paragliding or on another equally exhilarating experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences and/or future plans! xx