Extreme Sports in Turkey for Beginners and Pros
Thrill-seeking junkies who love pushing boundaries should definitely look at extreme sports in Turkey. Over the last 10 years, the revolutionised industry has become an ideal destination for adventure sports that totally redefine the limits of the human body.
Whether you are a seasoned pro looking to replicate the fix from your last venture, or a beginner who is wondering what all the hype is about, Turkey delivers expertise, out of this world locations, and an addictive thrill factor in bucket loads.
The dictionary doesn’t have an exact definition for extreme sports, but experts generally say, activities involve one or more of the followings; speed, intense physical participation, mental skills, height and/or specialised gear. Many extreme sports are also solo activities, but in Turkey, you are never alone because the country has its fair share of extreme sports enthusiasts who take living in the moment to another level.
Extreme Sports in Turkey for Beginners and Pros
Canyoning has been around for centuries but is still relatively new in Turkey. Mainly done as a method to get somewhere or for survival, this sport needs participants to show a mixture of techniques including abseiling, climbing, swimming, and diving.
The best time for canyoning in Turkey is from June to September when water levels are lower and warmer and thanks to the geographical landscape, canyoning enthusiasts can choose from an enormous range of destinations.
Beginners and novices tend to start off in the Kas region, where guided tours with expert canyoners are popular. Various destinations include Kaputas Canyon. Mostly renowned for its stunning beach, the canyon section is less explored and perfect for beginners.
Otherwise, more experienced canyoners go further afield and off the beaten track to Yaci near Safranbolu or Horma in Kastamonu. Otherwise, Usak Canyon in the Aegean Denizli region is still relatively unexplored and making a name for itself with Turks who want to explore places less known.
Extreme Water Sports
From land to water, Turks have wholeheartedly embraced extreme water sports which isn’t a surprise because the country has more than 8000 kilometres of coastline. Adrenaline sea sports mainly take place on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. Both are holiday hotspots and from May to October evoke typical summer vibes that encourage water-based activities.
Most resorts have scuba diving schools offering beginner lessons as well as PADI exams for experienced divers. However, parasailing has taken the limelight in recent years. Gliding through the air while wearing small parachute-like gear and being towed by a boat attracts beach-goers and anyone looking for a quick 30-minutes thrill.
Certain regions have also earned strong reputations as experts, and a good example is Kekova. Every summer, eager sea kayakers descend on the resort to navigate over sunken city ruins and across the sea from Ucagiz to Simena that boasts of a stunning Byzantine castle and fantastic coastline views.
Alacati in the Izmir region is a windsurfing mecca, but to kick it up a notch, kiteboarding has really taken off in Gokova bay on the Mediterranean coast. The ultimate fix for water fans though is white water rafting on the Koprulu river of Antalya. This really is a white-knuckle adventure.
Heli-skiing and Snowboarding
Despite popular myths, heli-skiing does not involve jumping out of a helicopter. Instead, an incredible amount of skill is needed, hence the sport is only for experienced skiers of the highest order. Helicopters take skiers to remote locations with no marked tracks for them to experience the ultimate of Mother Nature’s most unexplored terrains.
This relatively new sport is only sold in three locations. Ayder and Ikizdere bases in the Kackar mountains standing at 4000 metres above sea level are the best places but also try, Yayalar, further east in the Artvin region.
Otherwise, if heli-skiing is out of your price range, snowboarding has taken off in waves with the younger generations of Turks. Two hip and cool places to hang out are Mount Erciyes near Kayseri and Uludag near Bursa. Also try Palandoken, the best skiing place in Turkey.
What is the best time of year for skiing, heli-skiing and snowboarding? The best snowfall is from December to April but check weather and snow conditions before you book.
Without a doubt, the most popular adventure sport is paragliding. Although some areas like Pamukkale are ideal for a bird's eye view of beautiful landscapes, the Oludeniz and Kas region is synonymous with the sky-high sport.
This is mostly because all centres sell tandem rides with experienced gliders and this attracts novices and beginners, who want someone else to take the reins. Indeed, look at any travel brochure for the Mediterranean coast, and paragliding from Babadag mountain to land on Oludeniz beach is the top recommended activity.
Other extreme sports in Turkey include mountain biking, caving and mountaineering but watch this space because in years to come, Turkey wants to be the number one adventure destination in the world and we will see more choices of adventure activities on the market.
Adventure seekers will also like the following articles….
Eco Tourism in Turkey: The best destinations for being at one with nature and tips on how to be a responsible tourist.
Skiing Holidays in Turkey: Despite the country’s reputation for sun, sea and sand, it is also taking off for winter skiing holidays.
Best Diving Sites in Turkey: Exploring underwater of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas is an alternative and thoroughly delightful way to get to know the country.