Paragliding in Olu Deniz (Turkey)

I have just returned from a week of flying in Turkey by the sea in Olu Deniz. The scale of this place is breathtaking and the climate is perfect; sunshine, light winds and thermic conditions – not to mention the spectacular views over the sea and surrounding hills! Each morning we would catch the truck up the mountain called Baba Dag (‘The Father Mountain’) and it would take about 50 minutes.

On the second morning I walked up with Pete from the town. We left at 4.30am and it took a good 4 hours to get to the middle take off where we met with the others. They had taken our gliders up there in the truck – thankfully! There are three take off areas on Baba Dag – a southern lower take off at about 5,400 feet, a middle one at about 5,800 feet and a northern take off at 6,400 feet.
I took the photo below looking down towards the lagoon at Olu Deniz in the distance. One is able to see the dusty track leading up to the top take off. The lower take off is where the road doubles back on itself.

The top take off can be seen to the left of this photo below…

On the day that I walked up with Pete, I took off first. There was very little wind so I did a forward launch off the middle take off and flew towards the top take off where I immediately found strong lift. I soon was at 10,000 feet and I was glad of my warm layers as it was cooler up at this height. I flew right out to the plateau opposite and found sink so I retreated back to the main ridge. I was lower than the top take off but I soon found more lift under a juicy looking cloud and was booted back to base again. I bimbled around up here before heading down to the beach for a beer after a couple of hours in the air. This is the life!

Sunset at the end of the day as seen from the lower take off looking towards the bay at Olu Deniz… Beautiful!