Flying against the backdrop of the Ercies Mountains
Beginner (limited), Advanced, XC
all year round
1155 – 1751 m ASL
Accessibility of the starting places by…
Transfer or Hike & Fly. Ascent in the transfer only for pilots
You have to master strong thermals. The landing site with strong thermals and surrounding light poles is challenging.
Ali Dag – among the local pilots one of the most famous flying areas in the heart of Turkey with huge thermals and XC potential. The flight over the high plateau in the urban city of Kayseri in front of the white mountain line of Erciyes Mountain with over 3900 meters above sea level offers a very special landscape. Strong thermals have to be mastered during the active times of the day, especially in the summer months.
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Above the urban city of Kayseri in front of the panorama of the Ercyes Mountains
The flight over the urban city of Kayseri against the backdrop of the Ercies Mountains becomes something special when the volcanic kone rises beneath you after turning up. The mountains in the background are often covered in white until early summer. A scenery that is second to none.
The flying area is considered to be challenging due to the strong thermal development, especially in the summer months.
A visit to the landing area with its very own pitfalls is mandantory before the first take-off.
Due to the excellent thermal conditions, Ali Dag has been an integral part of the Turkish Paragliding Championship tour for years.
The main launch site facing north. It is the only official and approved launch site so far. Other starting places, even if they are sometimes used by locals, are not permitted and mostly located in a restricted military area.
The access is only possible with local transfer buses. In general, mountain Ali Dag is not allowed to access by car except for pilots. A ascent for trekking enthusiasts and of course for hike and fly is possible at any time.
The expansion of the flying area is in preparation. Launch sites to the west and south are being planned and preliminary work has already begun. A cog railway up the mountain is being considered and at least has already been selected by the authorities.
Ali Dag / Kayseri is located near the ancient cities of Cappadocia. It is therefore perfect for combining a great flight experience with a visit to the ancient cities and cave settlements of Cappadocia.
The launch site at Ali Dag in Kayseri at a glance
Flying over the urban city of Kayseri – Landing with surprise factors
So far there is only one developed launch site where you launch on the north side of the cone-shaped volcanic mountain in the direction of Kayseri. The dry, rather barren surroundings and the city with its concrete surfaces give a good lift when the sun is shining.
Some sources mention a launch site with orientation SE. Please note that this is NOT an OFFICIAL take off! It is located in a restricted military area and is not accessible to civilians. Entering a restricted area can have serious legal consequences.
Ali Dag, Kaisery, N, 1751 m ASL
Spacious compact dirt track
|N 36°32’20.74″ E 29°10’10.98″
|Authorized transfer or Hike & Fly
|Landing at public sport area
N 38°41’06” E 35°32’30”
|Strong and high-reaching thermals. Can be challanging, if you fly here in active times of the year and day.
Strong and high-reaching thermals against the backdrop of the Ercyes Mountains
Ali Dag near Kayseri offers incredible thermal conditions in the heart of Turkey. the scenery might be ot the most beautiful flying area of Turkey, but nearly every paragliding pilot in Turkey is looking forwand to the annual XC event on Ali Dag. In the thermal active times of the day you have to have some experience here in order not to lose the the enjoyment in the witch’s kitchen. Anyone who can handle demanding thermals will surely experience great hours in the air here.
The touristic value of Kayseri is certainly somewhat limited. However, the proximity to the vast expanses of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cappadocia are only 30 minutes away. Definetely a must to visit once you are in the area.
In winter, the flying days are certainly shorter, but suitable for less experienced pilots. The near by Ercyes Mountains skiing area invites you to a combined paragliding and skiing holiday.
Inspecting the landing area before the first flight is advised. It is a public sport arena that is used by everyone for leisure activities. Watch out for the lighting poles and the high-rise buildings around the landing field. The urban canyons create wind channels and turbulence. A plan B (and C) for the landing approach should be ready in your mind. Strong thermals can give you a good boost in the last few meters for an unplanned landing pattern…
The wind on the way to the landing site can also develop in a short time. Local pilots recommend class B or higher paraglider to access the landing area at the required altitude for a safe approach when the wind is picking up.
The north-facing main take off is large and well prepared. Directly above is the grandstand for various competitions. The extension with an east- and south-facing take off is planned for the near future. A cog railway up the mountain and other infrastructure is also being planned and would ultimately provide the flight area with everything that is necessary to develop broad paragliding tourism.
Independent pilots, minimum requirement IPPI P4
The take off is spacious and has a medium gradient. Independent pilots who do not yet have much thermal experience should avoid the thermally active times. In the mornings and evenings, however, there are still good opportunities for quiet flights. Local schools advise even for beginner gliders in the low B class for better wind penetration. These ensure that the landing site can still be easily reached even when the wind picks up. Please note the DHV recommendation for glider classes for beginners / pilots with little experience. A modern A-wing, well trimmed and flown in a reasonable weight range, always does this with sufficient reserves in conditions suitable for beginners.
Landing at the public sports field
Landing on the public sports field requires a bit of practice so that you can keep the necessary calm between the recreational athletes and picknik-enthusiastic spectators even in the event of spontaneously strong turbulence.
Guiduing: Availability & Pricing
Ali Dag / Kayseri offers everything your thermal and XC heart desires. A return transport should be organized in advance, or one should not stray too far from the main road network for a successful return journey.
Tandem flights / Passenger flights
Some local tandem pilots offer passenger flights for locals and guests. These are conducted by professional passenger pilots in English and Turkish.
You can book a tandem flight at Ali Dag for as little as 800.- TL (approx. 40.- € in March 2023) including transfer to the takeoff.
Paragliding lessons are offered by a local flight schools. This is certified by the Turkish Paragliding Association and offers you the training as part of the issuance of a Turkish flight license.
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