Paragliding from Mount Babadag
Late last summer, as part of a girls holiday in Oludeniz, our group decided to take a trip up Mount Babadag to enjoy the mountains famous paragliding. We were having a truly amazing time on our trip, and were already beautifully tanned, relaxed and happy by the Wednesday, when we decided to visit Babadag. Mount Babadag forms part of the Taurus range of mountains that runs across southern Turkey. Unusually, Babadag rises directly from sea level, to a staggering height of 1969m.
We had first begun discussing the possibility of paragliding off Mount Babadag in the airport minibus transfer from Dalaman airport. As there were seven of us on the trip, we had decided to pre-book a private minibus transfer, rather than a shuttle transfer or private taxi. We chose Holiday Taxis for our Dalaman airport transfers, and we were glad that we did. It was a smooth, painless journey from the airport to our accommodation in Oludenix, and we arrived in relaxed and positive frame of mind.
Almost all of us had been up for the adventure from the beginning, although a couple of the girls were scared of heights. We agreed that there was no reason to put those two girls through the experience if it was going to scare them. It was arranged that they would simply sit together and watch, take photos and generally point and laugh at the rest of us. This is one of the moments that I feel most grateful to be a woman: I can imagine that guys would be under so much more pressure to get involved, regardless of how they felt about the experience!
We were picked up from the paragliding companys office, which was within walking distance of our hotel. They then took us in their truck up the mountainside. This was a pleasure in itself, with some beautiful scenery all along the route. The guy told us that the mountain is also a popular place for hiking, although I cannot imagine hiking up that mountain in the thirty three degree heat that we were experiencing!
Once we reached the top, we were all strapped into our flying suits and helmets. We had all been told beforehand that we must wear trainers or other suitable footwear. This, unfortunately, was a problem for one of our group who had nothing but heels or flip-flops to wear, and so she had to sit out with the other two non-flyers. I think she was pretty disappointed… dont let this be you!
Anyway, you fly in tandem with a trained paragliding professional, running a few feet along a gentle slope until the wind catches the parachute and you take off! The first few minutes, I seem to remember swearing quite enthusiastically. I did apologise to my pilot afterwards. He laughed, and told me not to worry… he was used to it! However, once I got used to the feeling of being so far off the ground, and reassured myself that I was perfectly safe, the flight became a completely transcendent experience. Soaring through the air like a bird, I had never felt so free and weightless. The sea underneath glittered a translucent turquoise, fading into blue where the shallows gave way to deeper water. We were in the air for twenty five minutes or so, but it felt like just a few moments. It was such an incredible experience that I was buzzing for days afterwards.
The whole group felt the same. Paragliding off this beautiful, Turkish mountain was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and one that I will remember fondly for the rest of my days. It was the first time that I had done it, but I am looking forward to my summer holidays this year when I can do it all over again in another beautiful location somewhere on the planet. Wherever I choose to visit for my next holiday, I will also definitely be booking my holiday transfers with Holiday Taxis. I cannot fault the excellent transfer service I received to and from Dalaman airport. As they serve eight thousand destinations worldwide, I am sure that they will be my first port of call once my next trip is booked.
The majority of my Turkish holiday with the girls was spent lounging around, soaking up the sun and enjoying the bars and clubs. As all holidays with friends invariably are, we had so many laughs and came home with fond memories of our time in Turkey. However, nothing compares to our day of paragliding from Mount Babadag.