There is no better way to explore the beauty of the place than paragliding. If you find repose in nature, and have a taste for extreme sports, then this adventure might be right up your alley. Harnessed and strapped one soars across clear skies, witnessing unprecedented bird-eye views to the cities and valleys that spread below. There are many ways to enjoy paragliding; while seasoned paragliders can take to the skies on their own, first-time fliers can opt for instructor- aided flights for their experiences. There are a great many fantastic paragliding destinations scattered across the map. Here are a few to choose from:
Hautes Alpes, France: The winter Alps is known for its snow sports; in summers, however, the mountain range becomes a haven for paragliders all over the world. Although experienced fliers can always take to the mountains on their own, there are several schools here that train first time fliers as well. Commanding unprecedented views of the snow-clad alps, paragliding here can be quite a rewarding adventure.
Queenstown, New Zealand: Owing to its diverse geography, Queenstown reserves the title of the adventure capital of New Zealand. One of the many extreme sports offered here, paragliding is best enjoyed in the town of South Island in Queenstown. With the mighty Southern Alps forming a backdrop to the city, paragliding here can prove to be extremely exhilarating. The sport can be tried by experts as well as beginners. Paragliding can be done in Queenstown throughout the year, although winters are generally too cold.
Bir Billing, India: Nestled in a small valley in Himachal Pradesh, Bir Billing is often dubbed as the paragliding capital of the country. Here, one can enjoy a variety of paragliding flights, whether it be guided or independently taken. Taking off from the Dhauladhar ranges, paragliding in Bir Billing comes with the added bonus of breathtaking valley views. The sport is generally conducted between October and June, when the weather is most favorable. Check out the Thrillophilia reviews section to learn more about paragliding in Bir Billing.
Pokhara, Nepal: Nepal’s Sarangkot Hill, located just across the Phewa Lake in Pokhara, is one of the best paragliding destinations in South Asia. The stable weather and incredible views here make paragliding a popular winter sport here. Although the activity can be tried throughout the year, mid-winters are generally deemed to be the best time for it, for not only does the weather remain pleasant this time but the skies too stay completely clear.
First, Switzerland: Blessed with stunning snow-capped peaks, Switzerland is ripe for paragliding adventures. However, First remains one of the best places in the city for the sport. Flights at First take off from a height of above 7,100 feet, and offer clear uninterrupted views of the towering Mount Jungfrau. The training for paragliding in the Swiss Alps is generally very rigorous, and first time fliers can comfortably opt for a tandem flight with aid. Check out the Tripadvisor reviews for more information about this.
Kerio Valley, Kenya: Soaring across the Elgeyo Escarpment, the views that accompany paragliding in Kerio are quite unparalleled. A part of the Great Rift Valley that runs through the continent, paragliding in Kerio Valley involves flying across a 62-mile ridgeline. Thus, paragliding here is best suited to experienced fliers who have no problem navigating great lengths on their own. However, instructed paragliding is also possible here.
Iquique, Chile: With its dry deserts open into a bright blue stretch of ocean, the coastline of Iquique can be one of the most magical places to enjoy paragliding at. There are several different flying sites within Iquique, and one can choose that which best suits them depending on their level of expertise. There are several schools here that offer training for first time fliers. The scanty rainfall in Atacama also means that there is very little chance of the activity being hampered by sudden showers.
Olu Deniz, Turkey: For postcard perfect views, Oludeniz might just be one of the best paragliding sites in the Mediterranean. Mount Babadag is the place to head to for paragliding activities. Upon setting off, one is greeted with breathtaking views of the striking-green blue islets below. The Taurus Mountain range, which envelopes the peak on all sides, adds to the charm of the views here.
Valle de Bravo, Mexico: Valle de Bravo is not only Mexico’s top paragliding site, but is also known across the world for its steady wind conditions. There are two well known flying sites here- La Torre and El Penon. La Torre is just above town, rising atop a lake and most popularly used for commercial tandem flying. The latter, on the other hand, has slightly more challenging routes and is generally sought out by expert paragliders.
Gudauri, Georgia: Flying above snowclad mountains is generally not the traditional way of paragliding, but that is exactly how it is done in Georgia. Here, trained flights take place throughout the year, offering unparalleled birds eye views to the mountains below. The weather conditions here are generally stable throughout the year, making it a perennial go to destination for fliers from across the world.