paragliding in Chamonix, France with Paracrane.com

Europeanparagliding tours

European paragliding tours

June, early July and September are perfect times for a paragliding tour of the Alps of Austria and nearby Slovenia, and the Dolomites of Italy. Spring conditions tend to be a bit stronger with the best XC potential. By September the crowds of summer have passed, but the thermals remain. The legendary thermals of the Dolomites become flyable for us mere mortals. While there are hundreds of paragliding sites within our circle we have chosen some of the best, most scenic and unique sites for our tour. “Best day ever!” “Best flight ever!” “Awesome, awesome tour!” were some of the comments from pilots the last 7 years.

We will meet in Salzburg, the start of the X-Alps competition, home of Mozart and the setting for The Sound of Music. Options the first day include some sightseeing in the historic town and/or a glass off flight at the Geisberg, start of the X-Alps race. Then it’s an easy hour drive to Zell am See.

Paragliding in the alps!

Zell am See will be our base for 3 nights, where we’ll stay at the base of the Schmittenhöhe, a classic ski mountain in the winter with access to great paragliding. The mountain was the finish line for the 2021 X-Alps race. A 62 passenger Porsche design cable car will zip us to launch, about 4000 feet above the valley, with the storybook town and lake below. The launch has access to both an east-west valley system and the north-south valley route. Heading west we follow the route where Chrigal Maurer has had his some of his longest flights of various X-Alps competitions. It is a simple XC route where even less experienced pilots can clock up spectacularly long flights. The thermals in September are not as radical as those in spring and early summer, so we will experience smoother flying conditions. If you fly XC down the valley there are numerous huge fields for landing, and a local train you can catch to return to Zell am See! There is an afternoon glass off site just west of the lake at Zell am See called Ginsberg, that provides beautiful views of the Pinzgau valley and into Bavaria. Within an hour of Zell am See is the wonderfully situated launch above Werfenweng, with a 3000 foot gain up the gondola and spectacular 360 degree views over the Dachstein range, reminiscent of the Dolomites. Kössen, an hour to the west has a gondola that takes us up about 4000 feet overlooking Bavaria and the Austrian Tirol. Other nearby options depending on weather and wind are the Zillertal, Kitzbühel and Dachstein areas, all an easy drive from our base.

Next we will swing southeast driving over the most magnificent mountain pass in the alps, the Gross Glocknerstrasse. It’s about a 3 hour trip into Slovenia, for several days in the spectacular beauty of the Julian Alps at sites near Kobarid and Tolmin. Our tour continues to the Italian foothills to Bassano del Grappa. Some pilots take the one hour train to Venice for a day of site-seeing. From Bassano it is a short drive to the heart of the Dolomites where we will be flying in the most picturesque and awe-inspiring mountains in the world! We plan to fly in the Sella group, and Sassolungo and near the queen of the Dolomites the magnificent Marmolada! Our exact itinerary is flexible to catch the best local flying conditions. Some years we have flown in Germany above the Neufschwanstein castle that the Disneyland castle was modeled after.

Paragliding in France, Switzerland and the Coupe Icare

The Switzerland and France tour starts in world famous Annecy and includes a few days at the amazing Coupe Icare. It's an amazing festival of free flight, part circus, part trade show, and totally entertaining. Some years tour members fly with the hot air balloons in the early morning. Other years we have had nice flights the day after the festival when the crowds had dwindled. Depending on the weather we have numerous possible sites to explore. We have had some great flights near Interlaken in Grindelwald, Murren and Vercorin, as well as Annecy, Saint Hillaire and Chamonix, France. Most years we fly in Passy, near Chamonix, some years Gourdon and St Andres in southern France and above Monte Carlo, Monaco. Fall 2019 we flew in northern Italy at a magnificent site on the south side of the Matterhorn. In 2021 we had great flights in Annecy, Saint Hillare, Passy, Chamonix, Grindelwald and Vercorin. By keeping an eye on the weather and remaining flexible we follow the good conditions. I rarely know where we will be 4 nights in advance, but with that flexibility we end up flying instead of parawaiting!

After our last day of flying, we will all drive to Salzburg or Annecy. If you are flying out of Munich we can take you to the train station. Fees are $3200 per person and include double room, all guiding, coaching and transportation from Salzburg or Annecy. Meals and ski lift fees are extra. Single room $400 extra. Non-flying friends and partners are welcome to come at a discounted rate. Come with Paracranetours for the paragliding trip of a lifetime! Check out photos from Paracranetours to Europe here!

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