Paragliding is an outdoor activity that offers unique freedom and lets you detach yourself from the constraints of the earth for the duration of a flight. Paragliding can be practised in many places around the world, but France is undoubtedly one of the best destinations, given its incredible geographical diversity. If you're a paragliding enthusiast, or if you're looking for extraordinary sensations, Adrénaline Parapente can show you some of the most beautiful sites in France.
Mont-Blanc, Chamonix - The summit of Europe
At 4806 metres, Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps and in Western Europe. Its incredible height makes it an ideal location for paragliding, offering the most impressive views of the majestic surrounding reefs. Paragliders who take off from Mont Blanc in Chamonix discover snow-covered peaks that seem to stretch as far as the eye can see. Flying over these sharp peaks, contemplating their almost immaculate appearance and observing the lush green valleys below, makes for a much more memorable experience.
To reap the full benefits of this activity, choose between September and October, the magic months for paragliding at Mont Blanc in Chamonix. This period is renowned for its favourable weather conditions for aerial adventures. During these months, the days are mostly sunny and the winds at altitude are moderate, guaranteeing a smooth flight. What's more, visibility is much better than in other seasons, when the weather is unpredictable and less clement.
For those new to paragliding, Haute-Savoie is full of specialist schools where you can learn the ropes. These establishments often offer training courses as well as tandem first flights for novices. They will do their utmost to introduce you to paragliding in complete safety and help you discover the joys of flying over the region's snow-covered peaks.
However, paragliding in Chamonix is subject to certain rules and regulations. During the flight, for example, pilots must respect the priority given to paragliders flying to the right of the mountain. It is also strictly forbidden to fly over certain nature reserves, as this could scare away animals and upset the balance of the local fauna. Paragliders using this site are also required to avoid disrupting helicopter traffic, which generally circulates in the area.
Lake Annecy - Europe's paragliding Mecca
Lake Annecy is the place to be when it comes to paragliding in Europe. This vast expanse of water in south-east France covers more than 2,000 hectares. Surrounded by the proud mountains of the Alps, the lake's crystal-clear blue water is a delight for both water and air sports enthusiasts. Flying over the region, you can also admire the lush green meadows and picturesque buildings on the banks of the lake. All these visual elements form an idyllic picture that enriches the experience.
Another reason why Lake Annecy is an ideal site for paragliding is that the thermal winds of the region are favourable to the practice of aerial activities. The updrafts in the area are particularly stable during the summer season, making the equipment easy to manoeuvre. It's precisely for this reason that we recommend you book our best paragliding flights for this summer, so you can enjoy the activity in the most suitable conditions in Annecy.
For complete beginners, it's possible to take tandem flights at Lake Annecy alongside experienced pilots. This is an excellent opportunity to discover the joys of this much-loved aerial sport, without any previous experience and with the reassuring advice of a professional. For the more experienced, the region frequently hosts paragliding competitions, attracting pilots as talented as each other. The hectic atmosphere at these events adds spice to the experience and gives paragliders the chance to express their full potential.
La Dune du Pilat - Between sea and forest
Considered to be the highest dune in Europe, with a height of 103.6 m² in 2023, the Dune du Pilat is a dream meeting place for paragliding enthusiasts. This imposing sand formation, which forms the boundary between the sea and the forest, offers a fabulous setting for aerial sports. By choosing the site as a departure point, paragliders can enjoy breathtaking views over the Atlantic Ocean and the splendid Arcachon Basin. Added to this are the wooded expanses of the Landes de Gascogne forest massif, which provide a charming contrast to the whole.
The site's sea breezes offer the best conditions for extended free flights. They allow pilots to rise easily into the air and glide for longer periods. There are multiple flight routes, giving every paraglider the opportunity to tailor their experience to their preferences and skill level.
To explore the Dune du Pilat by paraglider, make sure you find out about the weather conditions beforehand. To minimise the impact on the local flora and fauna, certain sensitive areas should be avoided when flying over, and take-off and landing zones should be chosen with care.
The Volcanoes of Auvergne - The geological spectacle
The Auvergne Volcanoes provide an exceptional backdrop for paragliding. The gigantic extinct craters of this site form striking reliefs and offer a spectacle like no other. Every moment spent flying over this astonishing place is an unforgettable moment that will stay with any paraglider.
The most captivating part of the area is the Chaîne des Puys, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2018. This group of nearly 80 volcanoes stretches over more than 45 km and shows off all its beauty from the air. It adds a unique visual interest to the experience and captivates the pilot's attention for every second of the flight. The region's gentle, steady winds combine with this enchanting landscape to create excellent flying conditions and make the activity even more enjoyable.
Normandy - Fly over the cliffs of La Manche
One of Normandy's most distinctive features is its coastline, which has been shaped by nature over the ages and is now an almost unmissable location for paragliders. The white cliffs of this site offer an excellent starting point for paragliding flights. Taking off from here, you can enjoy a full view of the blue waters of the sea on one side and the greenery of the overhanging meadows on the other. You can also fly over medieval castles and the remains of the Second World War. This diversity of landscapes gives hang-gliding in Normandy a rare singularity.
The region also offers high-quality training for paragliding enthusiasts. Specialised establishments are dotted around the region to introduce novices to the pleasures of this aerial sport in complete safety. For those who are ready to take the plunge, Normandy has a multitude of spots that guarantee optimum flying conditions and allow you to push back the limits.