Flying into the blue over the Aegaeis
Related to our recommended paragliding roundtrip, “fly into the blue of the Aegean”, below are some inspirations in the Key-Location along the advised journey. To us, this journey is one of the major highlights of our roundtrips. A mind-changing must-do’s in your (paragliding) life. Collect an idea about the spirit and general taste of the targeted region.
Visit the modern pulsating Westen of Turkey.
A round trip in the area will lead you to the impressive antiquity cities. Some of these are Ephesus, Pamukkale, and Smyrna (Izmir) – to name a few.
You will experience life on Turkey’s vibrant west coast in Izmir and Bodrum. Numerous significant flight areas along the route leave plenty of possibilities to plan your journey.
Culture and history
It is impossible to outline the cultural, trade, and religious, historical meaning of the area of the Aegean Sea. However, all great cultures and religions have left their footprints on the landscape and had their influence on the modern civilization in the area.
Besides the classical monuments like Ephesus and other meaningful archaeological sites, several antique trading routes are connected in the area, such as the Lycian Way and the Carian Way. Moreover, the historical streets which have bound the Antik cities for hundreds of years are well known as trekking routes for cultural and historical interested guests from all over the world or a global destination for pilgrimage connecting memorials of many different religions.
The Aegean cuisine of Turkey is one of the most diverse cuisines in the country. Ottoman food traditions have merged with Hebrew, Armenian and Greek flavours and cooking styles. You can literally taste all Mediterranean countries connecting here.
In general, the Aegean region of Turkey is famous for olive trees and herbs. Everyone knows – or at least should understand after visiting this area – the local herbal-based vegan foods cooked in olive oil. Mostly these dishes are served cold.
Of course, all kind of fish and seafood is a big part of the Aegean food culture.
Promise – during a holiday in the Aegean, you will dine from one culinary highlight to the next.
İzmir – lateinisch Smyrna
Turkey’s third-largest city is Izmir, the second largest in the Aegean Sea after Athens and the crowdest city in the Aegean area. Around 4.300 million people live in the city and its provinces.
The most common myth for its name goes back to the leader of the Erectids. He was married to “Smyrna”, an Amazon woman, and named the city after her.
The oldest archaeological excavation discovered dates back to 925 BC to 900 BC.
As the biggest harbour city in the region, Izmir has a great history of exchange with other civilizations, which left its imprint on the art and culture. The people from the province of Izmir are known for their very relaxed lifestyle, sometimes conflicting with other more conservative areas in Turkey.
Due to the nine prominent universities in Izmir, Izmir’s population is relatively young. Therefore, many Festivals and international sports events are being held in Izmir.
Watersport in Izmir – Çeşme und Alaçatı
Çeşme and Alaçatı are the strongholds for water sports in Turkey. They are known as wind-safe short-trip destinations from Europe for wind-driven water sports such as kite surfing, windsurfing, or sailing.
Ödemis, with a population of 132.000, is embedded in the two mountain lines “Boz Dağları” and “Aydın Dağları“. Both are reaching more than 2000 m altitudes. Located there, the area of Ödemis has an exceptional local microclimate, and the landscape is rather craggy with many canyons carrying waters, such as the Küçük Menderes River, down the valley. It is located in a kind of dead-end in between the mountains. The area didn’t play a role in the inter-regional traffic of Anatolia. Probably that’s why cities and landscapes in this area are more genuine and original, even if it is located only 110km away from Izmir.
Gökova / Akyaka
The Gulf of Gökova – a maritime paradise
The area around the Gulf of Gökova was declared a nature reserve in 1988. In the tributaries, cuttlefish, lobsters, dolphins, and otters have their home in the Gulf of Gökova. In addition to the extensive pine forests typical of the area, you can even find rare incense trees here.
The area has generally remained untouched by mass tourism and countless bays with moorings, even in front of remote villages with their small authentic restaurants, making the region a paradise for sailors. The landscape with cliffs rising to 1000m, which close off the gulf in the northeast, is rich in impressive impressions. Even though Bodrum is not far away as one of the tourist centres, real sailing enthusiasts, for whom the love of water sports is paramount, are among themselves here. The Greek island of Kos lies directly in front of the gulf. It can be reached by a short sailing trip, for instance.
It is one of the best places in Turkey to add a sailing trip to your holiday.
Like Ephesus, Gökova (Ula) was located directly on the sea in ancient times and has moved a few kilometres further inland over the years due to natural silting up. Today’s Akyaka is located directly on the sea – a small settlement that is little developed for tourism but offers perfect conditions for wind and kite surfing.
Ören (Milas) – almost untouched by significant tourism
Ören is a rather local holiday destination on the Northside of the Gulf of Gökova. It’s located on the river Ören, which has created a small fertile plateau in front of the rocky coastline.
Somehow Ören has not made it onto the map of significant tourism destinations in Turkey. But several privately owned family residences for holiday purposes, mainly used in the summertime by native tourists, have been established.
You will find a long gravel/sand beach in Ören. Because there are no big hotels nearby, the beaches are not crowded – even in the primary season.
A few small shops and restaurants offer everything you need during several day holidays, especially if you want to enjoy a holiday away from crowded centres in remoteness.
However, if you want to have a chance and see something different, Bodrum is 75min away…
Simple apart-hotels and motels offer rooms for relatively little money and have rooms available even in the high season.
Kuşadası (Birds Island) in the province of Aydın is probably one of the best locations in Turkey, which offers the most variety in sports and activities as well as endless possibilities for cultural and historical sightseeing. Hence Kusadasi is one of the best destinations to combine a mixed-interest holiday with all kinds of attractions; paragliding shall be involved.
With its population of 120.000, Kuşadası’s population is growing up to 2 million people during the touristic summer months.
The first traces of the settlement of Kuşadasıs goes back around 9000 years. Like many cities in this region, it looks back on a rich Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman history dating back to the 5th century BC.
21 Blue Flag Beaches in the area of Kuşadası
The Blue Flag label is a quality insurance label by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FFE). Under the premise of sustainable tourism, awarded beaches, marinas, and inland waters combine economic use by tourism with a high range of environmental standards. Some are public, and some are privately owned by hotels or beach clubs and offer their facility to their guests.
As is typical for Aegean cuisine, Kuşadası is also famous for its fresh fish in connection with herbal spaced vegetables. It can be found in any variety and price range in various regional restaurants.
Whatever your dream in your holiday – Bodrum will deliver…
Nothing is impossible, and you will find anything you are looking for in Bodrum.
Family holiday, nightlife, history, culture, watersports activities, or extreme sport… All is possible and easy to combine in Bodrum.
Beach clubs and nightlife
Turkey’s most famous beach clubs are located in Bodrum. These offer dozens of concerts, parties, and beach and sun pleasure for those who love sea holidays.
Among the selection of the best beaches on the Bodrum Peninsula are Bardakçı, Gümbet, Bitez, Güvercinlik, Yalıkavak, Turgutreis, Göltürkbükü, Aktur, Ortakent, Karaincir, Gümüşlük, Bağla and Akyarlar.
The nightlife in Bodrum is famous worldwide, and plenty of clubs entertain foreign and local guests with international DJs and artists during their events and parties. Bodrum’s Bar Street, Marina Yacht Club, and Tekilacilar Street are most famous for their nightlife. But don’t miss out on other locations away from there. According to your taste, you can find less crowded places with another spirit meeting your palate.
Outline of Bodrum
The coastline of Bodrum peninsula, originally named Halicarnassus, has around 180 km coastline, and the traces of settlement in the centre of Bodrum date back to 484 b.c.
Homer considered Bodrum as the “land of eternal blue”, and the poet and fisherman Halicarnassus, one of the symbols of Bodrum, said, “Don’t think that you will go as you came, the people before you were like that. They always left their mind in Bodrum …”.
Pamukkale / Hierapolis (cloud-castle / cotton-castle)
The ancient city of Hierapolis (“holy city”) – today Pamukkale – is one of the most precious historical sites on the globe.
Hierapolis stands out as one of the region’s great Christian pilgrimage places. St. Philip, a prophet of Jesus, was killed here, and a monumental tomb was built in his name.
The UNESCO World Heritage includes the historical site of Handis and the travertines. These are the white chalk terraces formed from crystal clear thermal water,r which rises just next to the antique site.
To discover about this unique site, click here.