With almost 130,000 take-offs every year, Annecy is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations for paragliding enthusiasts. This aerial sport is an integral part of the region's identity and has become one of the town's main attractions. Here you can explore some of the take-off sites that make Annecy a paragliding mecca.
Why is paragliding so popular in Annecy?
Annecy's topography is one of the main reasons why the region is so popular with paragliders. The town is surrounded by a number of majestic peaks, including the Genevois hills, the Bornes massif and the Aravis massif. These peaks are ideally suited to paragliding take-offs, giving you the best possible view of the surrounding landscape.
During their flight over the region, paragliders also have the pleasure of contemplating Lake Annecy, renowned for its exceptional crystalline appearance. As well as the breathtaking scenery, the region has a climate that is ideal for paragliding. During the summer, temperatures are mild and the wind blows moderately, adding safety to the flying experience.
Another reason why Annecy is so popular with paragliders is that the town has been involved in the sport from its very beginnings. This aerial sport was created just a few kilometres from Lake Annecy, and the region has been a beacon for thrill-seeking adventurers ever since. The town's reputation in this field has been further enhanced by the major competitions held here every year, which bring together fans of this aerial sport from all over the world.
Paragliding also has a major influence on Annecy's economy. The schools dedicated to teaching this activity and the equipment rental structures set up in the region help to create jobs. The large number of tourists wishing to fly over Annecy also generates considerable economic spin-offs through increased demand for accommodation and local businesses. It's fair to ask, "Where else can I paraglide outside Annecy?" when you have all these favourable conditions in one place.
Preparing for a flight: safety and regulations
The conduct of a paragliding session in Annecy is conditioned by certain rules that are important to take into consideration. To ensure that paragliders are fully aware of all the measures to be taken to guarantee their safety, briefings are often given before the flights begin. The focus is on the weather conditions, the specific features of the site and how the equipment works.
To enjoy this activity without breaking local laws, you must maintain a minimum altitude of 300 metres above dwellings. You must also stick to the authorised air zones and respect the right of way between aircraft during the flight.
You should also find out about the weather conditions before you set off. The best time to fly is from April to September. However, due to the high number of visitors during these months, we advise you to book our must-see paragliding flights over Annecy in advance, without running out of space.
Clothes are another element that should not be overlooked for optimum comfort during the experience. You'll need clothing that's adapted to the temperature variations at altitude, sunglasses to protect you from the sun and dust, sturdy sports shoes and, if necessary, hats and gloves.
Take-off sites around Lake Annecy
The area around the lake offers paragliding enthusiasts perfect sites for take-off. Each of these locations has unique features that add a special touch to the experience.
Col de la Forclaz: the classic
This site owes its fame mainly to its breathtaking beauty. Situated at an altitude of around 1,147 metres, the Col de la Forclaz offers breathtaking views of the sparkling waters of Lake Annecy and the proud reefs of the surrounding area. Taking off from here will make it easier for you to immerse yourself in the spellbinding beauty of the region. The orientation of the site and the flying conditions are more than favourable, making for an unforgettable aerial adventure.
Planfait: the alternative
Although less frequented than others, this site still deserves a place on the list of the best take-off points in Annecy. Planfait reveals all its splendour at sunset, making it a good option for paragliders wishing to fly over the region in the evening. Planfait also has the advantage of being close to well-equipped landing zones, quality schools for beginner paragliders and restaurants where you can recharge your batteries after a long flight.
Entrevernes: a well-kept secret
This little-known commune is also a dream location for paragliding take-offs. Entrevernes has a number of elevations that provide excellent starting points for a highly enjoyable flying experience. The valley below and its unspoilt natural beauty provide a soothing backdrop for aerial adventures, while the low crowds mean you won't be too bothered by other pilots. However, it is advisable to opt for this site only if you are sufficiently experienced in paragliding.