Paragliding is a popular extreme sport because it pushes your athleticism to a whole new level. It is not something that you can just do on a whim. It needs preparation, dedication, and focus. It is also not a sport that you can easily do wherever you please. You should be able to choose the right place to be able to fly safely.
Can You Paraglide Anywhere?
You can paraglide in many locations, but you can’t paraglide anywhere. While paragliding is one of the most accessible air sports, you are not allowed to launch your paraglider wherever you choose. In addition, there are specific rules on where you can and can’t paraglide.
These rules are set forth to ensure your safety and the safety of other people. You are also not allowed to paraglide anywhere in respect of the privacy and ownership of certain lands and properties.
Can You Paraglide on Flat Ground?
It would be very difficult to take off and paraglide on flat ground. In order to take off, you would need to have a jump-off point to help you start flying. It’s not impossible to paraglide on flat ground, but you need a tow to provide a lift.
If you are a beginner, learning to paraglide on flat ground is not recommended. It would take you a lot more time to learn how to launch your paraglider and take flight.
Can You Paraglide Up a Mountain?
You can definitely paraglide up a mountain. In fact, mountain areas are usually the chosen locations of paragliders, both old and new. This is because the height of the location makes it easy for paragliders to take off.
Paragliding up a mountain can also give you the most amazing experience, no matter your skill level. But remember only to do the sport when the wind is light. At times, the air currents on top of the mountain can be very powerful. Taking off with strong winds can result in danger and injuries.
Can You Paraglide From a Plane?
Technically, you can paraglide from a plane. However, you need to be an incredibly skilled paraglider to pull this off. This jump is so special that it is called in different names such as “Paraglider Jumping,” “ParaDiving,” and “D-Bagging.” Jimmy Hall is said to be the first person to do this jump in Hawaii.
Admittedly, paragliding from a plane is very cool. But if you are a beginner, this jump is obviously not for you. While it looks jaw-droppingly fun, it carries a lot of danger. A lot of things could go wrong that can make your adventure go sideways.
What Is the Ideal Height of Ground to Perform Paragliding?
There is not much discussion on the “ideal height” or elevation that a flyer has to reach to paraglide. Some paragliders have successfully launched their paragliders in slopes below 1,000 meters (1093 yd) above sea level. Meanwhile, more experienced paragliders have launched in mountain tops 3,400 meters (2.1 mi) above sea level.
Your success in paragliding does not depend on the mountain height or elevation. If you read the wind and weather well, you can launch your glider successfully, no matter from what height. It will also help if you know how to accurately spot wind flow and thermals.
What Countries Have Paragliding?
So, you want to start paragliding, but you don’t know where to go? Worry not because there are a lot of countries in the world that offer paragliding. Basically, all continents in the world have their fair share of amazing paragliding sites.
Some countries with paragliding sites in Asia are Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Nepal.
In Europe, there’s Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Iceland, Greece, Spain, and Portugal.
Of course, there is also no shortage of paragliding locations in the United States of America and Australia.
Which Country Is Famous for Paragliding?
It is hard to pick just one country known for paragliding. But many would agree that France is one of the most famous countries for this sport. This is because the French adore paragliding. So much so that France is known to be the country with the most locations for paragliding.
While it is a long trip for many people to get to France, the long journey proves to be worth it. Paragliding enthusiasts will enjoy some of the most amazing paragliding sites in the world.
Which Country Is Best for Paragliding?
It is difficult to narrow the list down to a specific country because all countries have their charms as paragliding locations. If time and money will allow, going to many countries would be paramount in your journey as a paraglider. Paragliding in different countries would enable you to experience a mix of new things, making you a better paraglider.
Paragliding in Asia means you would be doing the sport in perfect weather all year round. As a result, you would be greeted with amazing views of the mountains and oceans. Some of the best locations in Asia are Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia. You should also check out the paragliding spots in Indonesia, Cambodia, and Nepal.
From snowy mountain tops to the scenic view of the ocean, paragliding in European countries will astound you. Check out the paragliding sites in Switzerland, Italy, France, and Germany. You will also have amazing paragliding experiences in Iceland, Greece, Spain, and Portugal.
If you happen to be backpacking across South America, you should also check out the paragliding sites in Ecuador, Brazil, and Argentina. You can also find other locations just as great in Chile and Peru.
Africa also has its fair share of paragliding meccas. Visit the ones in South Africa, Namibia, and Madagascar. If you want to paraglide across the vast desert, then be sure to head out to Morocco. Mauritius, Mozambique, and Togo will also give you once in a lifetime paragliding experience.
North America and Australia also have some of the best regions for paragliding. The views vary from picturesque mountains to blue oceans. In most cases, learning to paraglide is easy. The hard part is choosing where to go.
What Is the Best Place to Do Paragliding?
If it is still hard for you to pick a place using the list above, then here is a more specific and detailed list of which destination to go to. The places on this list are in no particular order. The list also includes places from all over the world.
Queensland, Otago in New Zealand
If you’re looking for a spot in New Zealand where you can paraglide whenever you want, then come to Queensland. Located in the South Island, Queensland attracts all sorts of tourists, including avid paragliders. This is because you can paraglide in this town all year round.
The jump-off point is usually one of many spots in the Southern Alps surrounding the town. In the air, you would be amazed at the views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding areas.
Danyang in South Korea:
Seoul is arguably the most popular destination in Korea. But this Asian country has other spots that will amaze you, especially if you love paragliding. Danyang is a few hours away (two and a half hours by car) from the capital of South Korea, and it is considered to be a paraglider’s paradise.
Danyang has two jump-off points, namely Mount Yangbangsan and Mount Dusan. It would be hard to choose between the two jump-off points. This is because they equally offer amazing views of the mountains and the valleys while you are in the air. Danyang is also a great location if you want to paraglide all year round.
Dune du Pyla, Gironde in France:
France takes paragliding seriously. They are known to have the most number of paragliding sites in the world. All of these sites are equally beautiful and will surely give you a fantastic paragliding experience.
One of the most famous sites in France and all of Western Europe is Dune du Pyla. This is a beautiful location that is suitable for more experienced paragliders. It is an excellent paragliding location because of the weather and wind condition in this area. You can come and paraglide in Dune du Pyla all year round.
Hautes Alpes in France:
Hautes Alpes is another location in France that you should not miss out on. Located in Southern France, in the Cote d’Azur Region, Hautes Alpes is the home of several paragliding spots. These spots include Couchon d’Ancelle Haut, Les Richards, Ancelle Cuchon, and Le Vieux Chaillol.
You can also choose to paraglide in the Pays des Ecrins resorts, namely Puy Saint Vincent and Pelvoux-Vallouise. These are two of some of the best jump-off points in Hautes Alpes. Whether you choose to paraglide in the summer or winter, you would be in awe of the amazing scenery in this place.
Mont Blanc in France:
Mont Blanc is usually included in the top paragliding spots of many paragliders. Many paragliders, both old and new, dream of flying in this iconic destination which is known as the highest peak in Europe. To get to the jump-off point, you have to ride a ski lift that offers breathtaking views.
Paragliding is offered in both summer and winter in Mont Blanc. If you are a beginner, you can still fly with the help of instructors that provide their expertise. However, if you are still not confident with your skills, you can choose tandem paragliding. This way, you would thoroughly enjoy the experience without relying on your beginner skills.
Pokhara in Nepal:
Located 1,592 meters (1 mi) above sea level, Pokhara is a popular paragliding destination in Nepal. It is known as one of the top tandem paragliding destinations in the world. There are other paragliding destinations in Nepal, but Pokhara stands out. This is because it has amazing weather, convenient jump-off and landing zones, and scenery that will take your breath away.
Beginners would surely enjoy flying in Pokhara. It is easy to find instructors to guide you because there are a lot of paragliding companies around Pokhara. They have been in the industry for many years, so your safety is practically guaranteed.
The peak paragliding season in Nepal is September to November and to March, but you can always visit Pokhara year-round.
San Gil in Colombia:
Known as the adventure capital of Colombia, San Gil is the place to go for activities that will keep your blood pumping. Located in the Santander Region, San Gil is known to offer many adventure activities, including paragliding.
If you are a beginner or new to Colombia, you can choose to book your flight with paragliding operators in San Gil. They have been in the business for many years, so you can be confident that you will be well-taken care of.
The cost of your flight may vary depending on how long and how high your flight will be.
Valle de Bravo in Mexico:
Often referred to as the Mexican Aspen, Valle de Bravo is known all over the world as a top paragliding destination. Located two hours away from the capital of Mexico, Valle de Bravo welcomes thousands of paragliders and hang gliders all over the world. They often flock to the area in between the months of December and February.
When you come to Valle de Bravo, you can choose to take off in either La Torre or El Penon. La Torre is more famous for tandem paragliding, and you will be soaring above the town. Meanwhile, if you choose to take off in El Penon, you have to travel about 45 minutes away from the Valle de Bravo town proper. El Penon offers a more challenging flight and is usually taken by more advanced paragliders.
Where Is Paragliding Most Popular?
While paragliding is popular in most countries in the world, it is considered to be most popular in France. This is because many people in France and those in neighboring countries flock to the many amazing sites here.
Paragliding is such a beloved sport in France that is practiced by many, no matter the age and skill level. So, when you visit this country, you will indeed have a lot of options to choose from. And whichever you choose, you would definitely have the time of your life.