Urla, Turkey - Kite & more

Vlad Madaras
538
Overview
  • Peak season: end of May - mid September
  • Wind: 15-25 knots
  • Level: beginner, intermediate, advanced
  • Style: freestyle, freeride, wakestyle
  • Air temp: 30+°C
  • Water temp: 26°C
  • Suitable for: Family, Solo Traveler, Group, Couple
  • Ambiance: Relaxed
Pros and Cons
+ Amazing flat and shallow water
+ Great for all level riders
+ Strong wind
- Wifi connection not reliable at the spot
- No food or drinks available at the spot, however pizza or soft drinks are available for order a few times a day
What makes this place special?
Friendly people at the spot and perfect conditions to learn or improve your kiteboarding
How to get there?
By car:
  • 15-16 hour drive from Bucharest


By plane:
  • Fly to Izmir
  • Rent a car or arrange a transfer to your hotel (the distance between Izmir and Urla is about 70km)
Summary
Spacious bay, super flat, shallow water and consistent wind (Meltemi) make for the ideal kite conditions for both beginners and advanced.

There is much to explore when you are not riding aswell: Urla & Alacati, old fishermen villages, with stone houses, cobbled streets, charming landscapes, vineyards & hot springs.

If you want even more action, Izmir metropola is less than one hour drive from the spot.
Wind, Weather and Water
The spot is powered by the Meltemi wind. It is the same wind as in Greece and the rest of Turkey, with just one big difference: the wind is usually softer and less gustier than in other spots.

This is because the wind comes directly from the sea instead of over land. It’s usually blowing 20-25 knots in the morning and progressively decreasing in the afternoon.

The windy season runs from May to October with July and August as the best months. Generally you have an 80% chance of wind in these months.

The weather is quite hot (30-35C during summer months), the water temperature is around 25-28C, so you won’t need wetsuit, you can ride in boardshorts & lycra.
The Spot
The kitespot, Urla Kite Center is situated in Gulbahce, a small Turkish village in the municipality of Urla, an hour drive from the airport of Izmir.

The spot is in a large bay with excellent conditions for all levels of kitesurfing. The water is shallow and the wind is usually sideshore. The shallow part is more than 1 kilometer wide and it remains shallow till about 250 – 500 meters from the coast, depending on the location. It then deepens towards the other side of the bay, which is more than 5 kilometers wide.

In the middle of the bay you’ll find a small island where, if you feel like it, you can also sail around.

Across the bay, about a 20 minute upwind ride, you will find a beautiful sandbank. This is the ‘secret spot’. The water here is incredibly flat and perfect for a small number of kiters. The wind is often offshore there, so take a rescue boat with you.
Accommodation
There are different options of accomodation in the village: you can choose to stay in a boutique hotel (Burla Han Hotel), located few minutes drive to UKC spot or you can rent an apartment or a house on Airbnb.

Also, if you want to be closer to restaurants, pubs or clubs, you can stay in Urla (15 km away from Gulbahce village), there are plenty of options on Airbnb or Booking.
Food & Drinks
Turkish cuisine is really simple and delicious: try oven baked pide (a local pizza) or lahmacun (minced meat kind of pizza) with a glass of ayran or coban salad (turkish shepard salad).

The fruits and vegetables are very tasty there. Also, because Urla is an old fisherman village, I recommend you to try fish & sea food restaurants.

As about the drinks, try their local Raki (a alcoholic drink resembling to ouzo)
Nightlife
Restaurants and bars, pubs (with live music) and clubs are available in Urla (10 km away from Gulbahce) or Alacati (30 km away)
No wind activities
  • Urla, Alacati & Cesme touristic area - very nice old towns full of charm
  • Wineyard visit & wine tasting - Urla is a famous wine region in Turkey
  • Hot springs
  • Izmir visit - Izmir is a metropola with 4 million inhabitants, so you will find there attractions for all tastes: museums, bazaars, aqua parks, spa services or shopping malls
Good to know
Buy a mobile router and use a Turkish sim card for internet, this way you will have internet at reasonable price (20 Gb for 200 TRY) and it would be available for more people in the group. Roaming internet is expensive in a non-EU country.
Useful contacts