A fantastic new flying area: Paragliding above Anamur’s banana fields and many more.
A fantastic new flying area is to be met with you. We marvelled at this gem with open mouths on our first visit and couldn’t believe that we could discover this forgotten paradise more or less on our own. The more we saw about the region and learned about the background, the more confident we became. Anamur is one of THE SECRET POINTS we want to introduce to you for a holiday in Turkey.
Anamur, the farthest district from the provincial capitol centre Mersin. It is approximately 230 km from the city of Mersin and 265 km away from Alanya, the other neighbouring province.
Anamur’s name originates from Greek and means Anemourion (Anamorium), which means ‘Windy Nose’.
Until the population exchange in 1923, the town was a settlement mainly composed of Greeks and Christian minorities. In the years following the population exchange, people from other cities and members of Yoruk tribes settled in this region.
Located by the sea, this district is 17 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea and 76 kilometres (40 nautical miles) from the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). Therefore, Anamur is the closest point in Turkey to TRNC. There are also ferries from Anamur.
As of the end of 1960, the influx of European tourists (mainly German tourists) in Turkey also took its share in Anamur. Many tourists have travelled by road to the villages and towns of Turkey. Big all-inclusive-5star etc. hotels travelled around these places before the resorts were built.
In the face of intense tourist interest, the people of the district tried to modernise Anamur by focusing on infrastructure. As a result, when we walk around the neighbourhood, we come across many old buildings and facilities from those times but maintained in places.
Anamur, which has a wealthy historical heritage, was home to Phoenicians, Hittites, Assyrians, Iranians, Romans and finally, Byzantines. It is possible to see the heritage of these cultures in and around Anamur.
Getting to the District
Located right in the middle of Mersin and Antalya provinces, Anamur’s access to Anamur by road has come of age with the Mediterranean Coastal Road Project between these provinces. Consisting of 34 tunnels, 83 bridges and viaducts, this new road has dramatically relieved the transportation to Anamur. In addition, it made it easier for tourists to reach this district from both directions.
A partner city in Germany: Bingen-Anamur.
This small district also has a partner city in Germany. Since 2011, reciprocal visits have been organised with Bingen am Rhain in Mainz. The Bingen-Anamur Sister City Association (Freundkreıs Bingen-Anamur e.V.), an association established to exchange culture and information, is actively working.
Climate and Geographical Structure.
Because it is located in the Mediterranean climate zone, Anamur’s summers are hot and humid. The winter months are windy and rainy. It receives an average of 75 days of rain a year.
Since the Middle Taurus Mountains branches enter this district, the region can be called mountainous. When you go 5-10 km inland from the sea coast, 500-1500 m high mountains begin.
In fact, 62% of the district is covered with forests. Unfortunately, in recent years, some forested areas have been burnt in the fires. However, with the intensive efforts of the Anamur Forest Management Directorate, sapling planting started immediately. As far as we have witnessed, tree planting is still continuing, said Ismail Gübeş, Forestry Director of Anamur District.
Approximately 67 thousand people live in this tiny Mediterranean district. However, the population increase decreased to negative in the 2021 census. The region’s leaders are trying to enable young people to stay here by developing new projects to open their horizons.
Bananas, tropical fruits and greenhouse cultivation
Due to the climate structure, most of the district’s economy is based on agriculture, namely greenhouse cultivation. Anamur is far ahead in banana and strawberry production.
60.9% of bananas grown in Turkey come from Mersin. Anamur is the first district in banana production.
Therefore, we encounter bananas and banana by-products everywhere in the district. We even land on the paragliding landing area by passing over the banana fields. Then, while we pack up and wait for the takeoff transfer vehicle, we shop for bananas from the small shops there.
Strawberry is the second most produced fruit after bananas. Its intense aroma and smell immediately distinguish it from strawberries in other regions.
After seven years of R&D work in the district as of 2022, Safiye Derya, a woman entrepreneur from Anamur, grew a Peruvian apple for the first time. After mango, passiflora, pineapple, papaya, dragon, papino, and Peruvian apple took their place among the tropical fruits grown in Anamur.
14th International Culture and Banana Festival
The festival, held between 22-24 July, included concerts, folk dances, swimming, table tennis, chess and beach volleyball. The primary purpose of this agricultural festival is to show the historical and natural beauties of Anamur to local and foreign tourists by creating a quality time interval where all age groups can have a pleasant time. Anamur Municipality and the local people have been endeavouring to do this for 14 years.
Paragliding and Anamur
Paragliding is actually a new sport for this city (it has a history of 15 years). However, it quickly became famous in the country. There are 3 take-offs in total in the district. Each of these take-offs is different from the others. Some are more suitable for experienced pilots, and some appeal to all levels. For example, from some take-offs, you pass over banana greenhouses, then reach the landing above the Mamure Castle, built in the 3rd century BC. Or you glide over the ruins of a 2600-year-old ancient city and land on the coastline. Or you soar on the sensational flying area called Anamur’s Öüdeniz, (as the dear Hüseyin, who discovered this take-off and flew for the first time, first described this place to us (Hüseyin Atlı – AKYAS (Chairman of the Mediterranean Paragliding and Adrenaline Sports Club)).
In addition, studies are constantly being carried out for new take-offs. According to what we have been informed, feasibility studies have been completed. Finally, the last stage has already been reached, and the necessary documents for their opening are awaited. It is possible to fly not only single but also in tandem. If you are not a pilot or self-flying but also want to share the same experience with your loved ones, it is the right time to contact us.
Projects for young people in Anamur
Problems awaiting young people exist in Anamur, just like everywhere else in the world. Due to its location far from big cities and lack of activities for young people, young people may tend to bad and harmful habits.
For this reason, a very lovely project has been initiated in this district. The main aim was to give 13-14-year-old children the habit of doing sports, to utilise their free time but most importantly to keep them away from bad habits. The project was successful. These young people learnt paragliding with enthusiasm and still continue to do so.
Although all the people of the district supported the young people, wealthy business people from Anamur became the main sponsors. This way, young people can attend tournaments at home and abroad, buy equipment and cover their training expenses.
Therefore, this project continues to be a great source of motivation for both young people and locals.
A success story Ferhat Erol. A paragliding journey in Anamur
Ferhat, who started training with 40 friends in 2017, has come a long way in a short time thanks to his discipline, interest in sports and correct and professional guidance. In 2021, he left 50 athletes behind in the PGAWC World Paragliding Target Championship held in Serbia and achieved 2nd place.
This path led by Ferhat is and will continue to be a guide for many young people from Anamur. The training is limited, and challenging conditions did not demotivate the young people and their trainers; on the contrary, it excited and enthused them even more. This has been a great source of pride for parents, trainers, sponsors, and many others who do everything they can for their children. Last but not least, his two main sponsors are Mehmet Nehir, owner of an automobile trade and fishing business, and Mehmet Ibret, a businessman.
A detailed report on Ferhat Erol’s story with an interview will follow soon…
Kitesurfing and Windsurfing
This town, built on the seaside and named after the windy cape, is stunning for kiteboarding and windsurfing. Anamur is suitable for both sports with its warm Mediterranean waters, steady, non-tropical on-shore wind and wide sandy beaches. We strongly recommend that enthusiasts contact us for the right spots 🙂 Of course, it is also possible to swim in the sea from almost every part of this long coastline consisting of sand and fine pebbles.
Trekking, Nature walks
Anamur offers many options for those who enjoy nature walks accompanied by sea views. Since many branches of the Middle Taurus Mountains passing north of Anamur extend towards the city, there are many route options for trekkers. Enjoyable climbs are possible on mountains ranging in height from 650 m to 2013 m. These climbs should be done with guides who know the region. We can help you with this.
Bananas, tropical fruits and greenhouse cultivation
Must-see places in Anamur
There are many places to see in Anamur, with its history and natural beauty dating back to centuries before Christ. Here are some of them:
Apart from Mamure Castle (3rd century AD), which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, there are Çoban Castle (17th century AD), Boncuklu Castle, Filir Castle and Kudret Castle. Some of these structures are in perfect condition, but some have turned into ruins over time.
This antique city was built on a hillside by the sea in the southwest. It first appeared in a document in which the harbours were written in 4 century BC. The foundation date of the city is much older. It was a trade city due to its location. The town has a theatre, odeon (concert hall), 3 baths and a church. In addition to these, Anatolia’s best-preserved necropolis area is also here. The tombs, of which there are about 400, deserve to be visited. Until 2000, excavations continued and took their present final form. It can be seen for a fee.
Titiopolis Ancient City
Located about 5 km northwest of Anamur city centre, this ancient city is as exciting and worth seeing as Anamuryum. It is necessary to go to this big city, which is spread over a vast area and under the trees, by private car until a certain point and then continue on foot through the forest for about half an hour.
EGMA Sinkhole (Peynirlikönü Cave-sinkhole):
Peynirlikönü Cave, the deepest cave in Turkey with a depth of 1429 m and a length of 3,118 m, is located about 50 km north of Anamur. This natural formation, which is also one of the deepest caves in the world, is one of the favourite destinations of local and foreign tourists. However, since flooding occurs in the cave with the ice melting in the spring, it is necessary to be very careful. However, it is possible to descend into the cave’s depths with professional equipment and teams.
Köşekbükü (Asthma) Cave
This cave, which has a history of about 2000 years, is 9 km from Anamur. Since it is thought to be good for asthma patients, the cave is also called Asthma Cave. There is also a rumour; Anna, the asthmatic daughter of the Roman Emperor Antiochus, overcame her illness by staying in this cave for a while.
Caretta carettas come to the 12 km coastline between the ancient city of Ören and Pullu forest every year to nest. Hundreds of nests where they lay cages protect their eggs. These sea turtles, which only come ashore during egg laying, prefer the area around Mamure Castle, where there are no people. To protect the turtles, efforts are being made to raise awareness among the locals, especially during the five months they lay eggs.
Mediterranean monk seal
One of the 12 rarest mammals in the world and numbering between 600 and 700, about 100 of these seals live in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions. In 2010, 25-35 inhabited the beaches of Anamur, while today, this number has unfortunately decreased a little more. However, they can still be seen. This seal species, which has a 20-30 years lifespan, is under threat since people can reach it everywhere.
Anamur Museum has a section with ethnographic and archaeological artefacts, a library, a photography room, a laboratory and an art gallery. The museum displayed artefacts from Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods excavated from Anamur excavations. Unfortunately, however, it was closed for technical reasons.
The new world order, changing and difficult living conditions lead people to spend more and more time alone with nature. Anamur, a small Mediterranean coastal town, is proud to offer many options to nature lovers. By the sea, among the greenery or in the highlands where we can breathe the fresh mountain air, it offers camping places that take work to come across. As a result, Anamur has an entirely different place in the eyes of nature lovers.
Here are some of these camping sites:
At the entrance of Anamur, right next to the castle built by the Romans in the IV century AD, a 17-year-old campsite with a sandy beach. There are 16 wooden bungalows in the camp built under the Okuliptus trees, but you can also stay in a tent or caravan. There is a shower, WC, electricity, BBQ area, market, Wifi and a restaurant. It is a great camping place for families with goats, ducks, roosters and dogs. In addition, watching the sea turtles laying eggs and watching the baby turtles reach the sea from the eggs is not a camping activity that everyone will be blessed with. The camp is located right in front of the paragliding landing area. In this respect, it is a camping area frequently preferred by pilots.
This campsite also has bungalows located right next to Camping Paradice. The 4+1 bungalows are air-conditioned, with two bedrooms, a living room, and a small kitchen with a mini fridge, TV, shower, and a WC. In addition to WC and shower, electricity, washing machine, dishwashing areas, and refrigerator can be used for an additional fee. It is also possible to eat Anamur local dishes prepared by women cooks from Anamur in the restaurant in the camp. In addition, you can bring your dog and cat to the campsite, where alcoholic beverages are also sold.
Pullu Nature Park:
Another of Anamur’s magnificent camping areas is this campsite operated by Anamur and Pullu Municipalities. Pullu Nature Park is located directly on the beach, under the pine trees, like the other campsites we recommend. It is also used as a daily picnic area. Although there are more campers with tents, caravan campers are not overlooked. They also offer the possibility of renting a tent. There is a WC, a shower and a restaurant. Electricity and fridge are rented. This camping area at the entrance to Anamur is also very suitable for paragliders. The camp is located in a bay 200 m east of the landing beach. It can be pretty crowded during the season and especially on public holidays.
Abanoz, Akpınar and Kaş plateaus:
It is a great pleasure and habit for the people of Anamur to go to the highlands during the hot and sweltering summer months. Camping in these plateaus, where the population increases up to 40 times in summer, is entirely different. In these camping places, which can be reached by minibuses from Anamur, countryside restaurants and markets serve in summer. Surrounded by fir, cedar and juniper trees and formed above 1500 m altitude, there are also wonderful viewing terraces where you can relax and watch the sea view while climbing these plateaus.
TRNC (Northern Cyprus) Water Supply Project
Anamur is at a critical point in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus water supply project. The project, officially opened in 2015, transfers 75 million m3 of water annually as drinking, domestic and irrigation water.
Within this project’s scope, Alaköprü Dam was built in Anamur, and 80 km of sea passage line was constructed and put into operation with a piping system 250 m below sea level.