The International Ölüdeniz Air Games – Fantastic!

Each year, in October, the Fethiye events calendar features the International Ölüdeniz Air Games. We always try to get over there for at least one of the days just to soak up a bit of the atmosphere, take a few photos and enjoy the last throes of the summer season on the beach. If the weather’s playing nicely, this is usually our last swim of the season in the sea, too.

The Ölüdeniz Air Games Hub

Belcekiz Beach is the main host of the annual Ölüdeniz Air Games

These days, whilst the Ölüdeniz Air Games are taking place we have a sizeable mob of friends and their friends holidaying in Fethiye. They’ve worked out that October is a great time to be in Turkey!

If the weather behaves for us, what better than a day in Ölüdeniz, looking up at the sky, beer in hand, marvelling at the colours, patterns and swirls being created by the pilots taking part.

Paraglider Landing At The Air Games

It’s a steady flow of paragliders coming in to land

International Ölüdeniz Air Games

Ahh, what a difference a bit of sunshine and clear sky makes, eh? You wouldn’t believe how often the weather has broken for this event in the past.

On occasion, it’s become almost like a Bank Holiday weekend in Britain. Great weather in the run up to it and then, just as holiday fever kicks in, everyone’s plans are up in the air because the thunder and rain decide to put in an appearance and come to say hello.

But, for the most part, the Air Games are a great end of season boost for the area.

Ölüdeniz Air Games Paraglider

There’s a lot of looking up to be done at the Ölüdeniz Air Games

A Great Turn Out For The Air Games

It’s always great to see so many people in the bars and restaurants along Belcekiz Beach so late in the season. Great to see so many people on the beach and along the promenade – most of them looking up at the sky. And great to hear the commentator explaining to us all what we’re witnessing in the sky – who the pilot is, their nationality, the moves they’re performing.

Paramotors At Ölüdeniz Air Games

It’s not all paragliding at the Ölüdeniz Air Games

It’s not all about the paragliders, either, at the International Ölüdeniz Air Games. Anyone who knows the Fethiye area will know we’re no strangers to he odd paramotor cruising a few metres above the shorelines around the coast.

At the Air Games, it’s always a treat to watch the paramotor formation teams – flags trailing below them – cruise the length of the beach before heading out to the bay and making their return.

International Ölüdeniz Air Games

Why not promote a bit of diving in the area, too?

Motorised hang gliders join in the spectacle, too.

Programme Of Events

When you go to the Ölüdeniz Air Game there’s usually a programme of events posted somewhere so you at least have some idea of what you are witnessing in the sky above – and around you. Remote control aeroplanes fly low and dodge around passersby.

Paragliding Display

These two guys put on a great formation display as they descended

The formation paramotor team often make an appearance at sunset – perfect lighting as their silhouettes glide across the bay.

For us, we usually just let the other events happen around us. It really doesn’t matter.

Because that’s the best way to enjoy the International Ölüdeniz Air Games. Get yourself down there for the day, get a spec on the beach, go for a wander, get a good spec in a bar along the front so you can still see what’s going on above, head back to the beach, have a swim or a paddle.

Paragliders Landing At Belcekiz

The landings were controlled and smooth

And all the time, while you’re doing all of this, the sky is completely alive with the vibrant colours of the canopies of paragliders and parachutes.

Some are soaring with the thermals until they’re barely visible. Others are making their descent. Some pilots gliding gently whilst others swirl, spin and roll as the commentator guides your eyes between the aerobatic displays.

Parachutes At Ölüdeniz Air Games

Colourful parachutes also shared the sky above Ölüdeniz

Would You Do It?

Some pilots are solo, whilst others are doing team displays. And, in the meantime, should you happen to be in Ölüdeniz and you fancy hurtling down the steep hills of the take off points on the high slopes of Babadağ, well of course, you can have a go for yourself.

International Ölüdeniz Air Games

Scores of paragliders against a vibrant blue sky throughout the day

The International Ölüdeniz Air Games are also a great end-of-season business boost for the paragliding companies who specialise in giving tourists the paragliding experience. What better time of year to paraglide from the summit of Babadağ then when you are sharing the sky with some of the world’s top pilots?

International Paraglider At Ölüdeniz Air Games

Some international paragliders came down at great speed

A few descend solo, performing tumbles and swirls as they approach land. Others make their descent in formation, gliding close together and performing acrobatics. Impressive and heart-in-mouth all at the same time as you watch them head towards land and sea.

Hang Glider At The Ölüdeniz Air Games

This pilot mixed it up with the multitude of chutes in the sky

Türk Yıldızları – Turkish Stars

If we’re very lucky, the International Ölüdeniz Air Games is occasionally blessed with a visit by the Türk Yıldızları. These guys are the Turkish air Force’s display team and there’s always much excitement and anticipation if their visit is announced.

Turkish Stars Turk Yildizlari Fethiye

Everyone loves the arrival of Türk Yıldızları

If Türk Yıldızları do attend the Ölüdeniz Air Games, their main display is usually performed along Çalış Beach – something to bear in mind if you’re ever in town for the Air Games.

The idea is to bring the whole town in on the event rather than purely in Ölüdeniz. The last time Türk Yıldızları visited us all, it wasn’t so much anticipation and excitement as worry that the display wouldn’t happen at all.

Turkish Stars In Formation, Fethiye

Turkish Stars display as part of the Ölüdeniz Air Games

Like we said above, when the October weather is in a good mood, everything is perfect. But sometimes, the autumnal storms appear right at the worst possible time.

Fortunately, we do sometimes get a break in these storms and that gave a window for Türk Yıldızları to make their move and for the spectators to brave the elements.

Turkish Stars Air Show Display, Çalış Beach

It’s always a treat to see Türk Yıldızları

So don’t forget, if you are in Fethiye for the International Ölüdeniz air Games, some events happen elsewhere around the area.

But let’s get back to Ölüdeniz.

Sunset Chill Out

Because, as the sun lowers in the sky, it’s time to take your chill out places to watch the last few paragliders make their descent. The paramators traverse the shoreline and all is perfect.

Microlight At Sunset

Silhouette of the microlight against the sunset

The hang glider soars above while the microlight heads out across the sea towards the orange glow on the horizon, returning closer to shore occasionally.

Paramotors At The Ölüdeniz Air Games

Two Atatürk flags and the Turkish flag trailed behind these paramotors

Eventually, the orange fades to yellow as the sun makes way for darkness. And still the paragliders and parachutes fill the sky. Fuschia-coloured flares are set off intermittently so the pilots can see where to land.

Paramotor Display In Ölüdeniz

The paramotors traversed in formation before doing a display

A beautiful sight. A few stars coming into view, the moon climbing into view from behind the mountains, the twinkling lights from the bars and restaurants, the ripples of the sea. And eventually, the final chutes make their landing.

Sunset At The Ölüdeniz Air Games

The displays continued til sunset and beyond

A perfect end to a perfect day…

A Fantastic International Ölüdeniz Air Games

The International Ölüdeniz Air Games are a great success, not just because of the weather playing nicely but also because of the amount of organisation that goes into the festival.

We can’t even imagine what the logistics must be of getting so many pilots from so many countries to come along; transfers to the top of Babadağ, timing of displays and then all the other aviation that takes place, too.

Sunset In Ölüdeniz

We were treated to a classic Ölüdeniz sunset as well as the air games

In some years, we also have skydivers and get to witness the It’s a huge thanks to the organisers from us and we can’t wait to see what each year will bring…

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Comments

  1. . . rather more exciting than the grease wrestling at Dalyan which was rather like watching paint dry!

  2. Fantastic sight – my dad would have loved this.

  3. Looks lovely guys, especially the sunset! And you didn’t want to try paragliding with your mate too? 😉

    • Ha ha, Joy. Barry did the paragliding a few years ago. I never say never but I can’t imagine that I’ll ever do it. Too scared. 😀 The Ölüdeniz Air Games is a good one for spectating…getting tips from the experts. 🙂

  4. And here I am wondering what the heck a paramotor is? Goes to prove that I prefer to do my flying in a closed cabin with proper wings and a pilot in front.

    • Ha ha, the paramotor is a bit of a feature of the Fethiye Ölüdeniz skyline, Mette. Think parachute with big motor resembling an electric fan at the back of the pilot. 😉 The Ölüdeniz air Games always has a display team.

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