Paragliding is one of the newest air sports around, and one of the easiest ways to achieve the dream of flying. This sport has been intensively developing and expanding in the last fifteen years, and it is growing in the realm of sports aviation.
All you need is good will and a little free time, and in return, you are rewarded with big adventures, travel, challenges, and the chance to look at the incredible beauty of the landscape over which you are flying.
Required equipment can be easily packed into a backpack (about 15kg), and requires some form of transport to the nearest suitable hill. When you find a suitable location, it takes less than ten minutes to prepare. After a few steps running along the hillside and with good air flow, you may take off immediately. One great advantage of the sport is that there is no need for airports or any other expensive infrastructure. The pilot decides where and when they’ll take off. Landing only needs a small meadow free of obstacles. There is no easier way to fly.
1. Oludeniz, Turkey
Oludeniz is located in the heart of the southwestern coast of Turkey, in the area quite justifiably called the “Turquoise Coast”, because of the unreal blue of the sea and the sun-drenched beaches of the Aegean Sea. The Belcekiz beach, three kilometers long, was rated as one of the “most beautiful beaches in the world” by several renowned travel magazines, British and European newspapers, and websites dealing with travel.
Adventure paragliding in Oludeniz begins with departing from the beach on a thirty jeep safari ride, which by itself presents an unsurpassed adventure. The ride ends with the arrival at the place of departure, at 1,900 meters above sea level. Here, after a few running steps and good air flow, you may take off immediately. While flying, you’ll be able to enjoy the fascinating mountain landscape on the horizon. The flight usually lasts about 45 minutes, and it is followed by a calm and steady descent, drawing circles, specifically eight figures along the coast.
2. Annecy, France
Paragliding in France receives its own special place among the other sports. First of all, France is the home of paragliding. The infrastructure for paragliding in the country is of a very high level. The resort town, Annecy, is 40 km from the famous ski resort of Chamonix and the highest peak in the Alps – Mont Blanc, with a very large number of pilots, including tandem flight pilots, paragliding schools and instructors, and specialty stores you can’t see anywhere else. Annecy is a kind of “Jerusalem” for paragliders, and the alpine village is also known among paragliders for good conditions and safety. The views of all the mountain lakes and alpine meadows will be remembered for a lifetime. Annecy is definitely the right place for those who want to improve their ability to control air flow, as well. Overall, this is one of the best destinations for paragliders.
3. Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany is not just great for paragliders, it seems designed for those who want to enjoy the sprawling vineyards and the hills covered with green carpet. And after the flight, it’s not uncommon to enjoy a glass of aromatic wine in open air. Flight can easily be combined with a wine tour in Italy.
3. Algodonales, Spain
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced pilot, you will find everything you can dream of. With the area between Gibraltar to the south-west of Granada and Sierra Nevada in the east, it is one of the most spectacular places in Spain. The hills around it make it possible to catch the wind in any direction, for pilots of all skill levels.
One undoubted advantage is its proximity to Marbella, so there’s a wide choice of places for accommodation, shopping, and entertainment. In Algodonales, you can come with your family, and everyone will find their own fun activity.
4. Tyrol, Austria
Head up the slope, spread a parachute and have fun. While paragliding in Tyrol, you can see all the beauty of the landscape with a bird’s eye view, no matter whether you own a license for flight or not. Floating in the crystal-clear mountain air of Tyrol, you will see the country from above. Sites for takeoff and landing are plentiful and more than enough, but some are very popular ones. One paragliding hotspot in recent years that has been growing is the region of Wilder Kaiser.
5. Lovcen, Montenegro
Provides all the necessary conditions for planning and admiring the beauty of the coast and the mountains with a bird’s eye view. Currently, you can also record your flight on camera to always remember it. It is a sea of adrenaline and an unforgettable experience!
With the altitude in Lovcen, you can see almost all of the city and the coast beaches, the beauty of its mountains, and the alpine meadows. When planning a paragliding trip, you can truly admire all the beauties of Montenegro! It will definitely be an unforgettable event for you and your family.
6. Taucho, Spain
Every day, at least, one person takes off on a paraglider in the mountains of the Adeje municipality, located in the southern part of Tenerife, which is considered some of the best areas in Europe for practicing this sport. Taucho is certainly one of them and the leader in the number of flight hours per year.
This is a very attractive place, constantly attracting people from all over the continent, but it is recommended for the most experienced pilots, because this area is very different from others, resulting in flights that are operated leeward.
7. Kobala, Slovenia
Slovenia is one of the most favorable countries for paragliding in Europe. The Julian Alps in Slovenia are a mountainous system with peaks of about 2,000 meters. Peak Triglav, with a height of 2864 meters, is the highest point of Slovenia and the most popular destination for paragliding.
Every year in Kobala, there are international paragliding competitions, and a lot of people come over to participate. The flight is awesome with a great view of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
8. Chamonix Valley, France
Chamonix is a great place for paragliding. It is said that just 50km east of the valley there is the place where paragliding was born in 1974. The sport has been quickly developing in Chamonix since 1990, thanks to significant materials development. The wings for beginner paragliders will perform very well here, with amazing results and high safety during the flights, so it is also a great place for beginners. You can also fly in tandem with a qualified pilot or take paragliding lessons that will give you the opportunity to experience the Alps from a different perspective.
The spectacular Chamonix region is the “Mecca” of mountain flying. Good temperatures, eagles, glaciers, and high peaks in the Chamonix Valley make for one of the best-flying sites in the world.
9. Interlaken, Switzerland
This place is quickly becoming the number one place for entertainment and adventure sports. Paragliding fans love it for the great opportunities, with safety and good conditions all year round. During a surveillance flight over the Alps, you can enjoy a whole alpine panorama, and the parachute jump guarantees an adrenaline rush.
Interlaken also has many unique opportunities to practice paragliding, including tandem flights. You can take a look at the lake from a bird’s eye view, together with an instructor that will help you all along the way.
10. Plose, Italy
Plose, located in the northwest of the Dolomites in South Tyrol, is a mountainous area, famous for it sports activities, mainly skiing, but paragliding as well. With a high base and a well-built thermal tube formed through a height difference of 1,700 meters, Plose is perfect for cross-country flights.
Convenient for all categories of pilots: from beginners to athletes, and a unique place for pilots – the choice of take-off direction in a 360 degrees radius, as well as a huge grassy slope offer the perfect conditions for a calm start. Choosing a place to start depends on the direction of the wind. The nearest (small) launch pad is located 200 meters from the upper cable car station in the north, at the beginning of the ski slopes.
11. Plaine Joux, France
Plaine Joux, France
The paragliding site of Plaine Joux, located in Passy, 16 km northwest of Mont Blanc, is notable for the fact that there is a start, a landing area, and a camping area. The Valley is located in the national park, with a spacious launch pad and a gorgeous view of Mont Blanc.
Pilots are few, with no crowds, unlike Annecy. Great for cross-country flights. The valley breeze blows from the south, making for the most comfortable place to start. The site is suitable for all categories of pilots, from beginners to professionals.
12. Dune of Pilat, France
Dune of Pilat France
One of the largest sand dunes, which is located near the Atlantic coast – it’s an ideal location for spectacular flights on a paraglider. Moreover, the weather is almost always favorable, so you can be sure you’ll enjoy the trip no matter during what season you choose to visit on.
13. Borzhava ridge, Ukraine
Borzhava ridge Ukraine
A favorite place for paragliding in the Carpathian Mountains is the grand Borzhavski ridge, known for its scenic beauty and spectacular views, with a great bird’s-eye view. Borzhava has a length of about 25 kilometers and a height of 1,700 meters.
Professional Paragliders can often be seen on vacation in the Carpathian Mountains, soaring over the mountain tops. This spectacle undoubtedly raises a person’s enthusiasm and an irresistible urge to try kind of leisure arises on the watcher.
14. Mountain Jura, Switzerland
Mountain Jura Switzerland
The Jura mountain range stretches from Basel to Geneva. Here, there are ideal “thermals” for hang-gliding and paragliding. If you have an international license, there is nothing preventing you from catching updrafts and enjoying carefree flying.
Even if you aren’t licensed, you can still climb into the sky in tandem with one of the pilots, a member of the Association of Swiss Paragliders, and enjoy the beauty of the Jura Mountains, lying directly under your “wings”.
15. Col Rodella, Italy
Col Rodella Italy
Paragliding site of Col Rodella is one of the most popular places for paragliding in the Alps. The incredible beauty of the landscape attracts pilots from all over Europe. Paragliding off the Col Rodella, at an altitude of 2404 meters, offers a picturesque view of the snowy peaks of the Marmolada, the green valley of Val di Fassa, and the majestic massifs Sella Ronda, Sassolungo, and the Sasso Pordoi.
And what are your favorite spots for paragliding in Europe? Share your ideas in comments below!