Buckle up because it’s time to go on your next adventure: paragliding in France! Let me introduce you to the 5 best spots. Annecy and Chamonix are to be found in the West, Verdon and Millau in the South and finally Normandy in the North of France.
All 5 of these places offer exceptionally good conditions for paragliding in France and there are different things to see in each one of them. Whether you’re in the mood for a little history lesson while soaring over Omaha Beach and other sites from the Second World War, or just want to take in the beauty of nature around the world-famous Mont Blanc, you’ve got it all right here in France!
Paragliding in Annecy
Annecy is a city in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, in the southeast of France. It lies at the northern tip of the beautiful Lake Annecy. However, to get the best conditions for flying and the prettiest of views, you’ll first have to go to the lake’s southern tip, to the village of Doussard, as this is where most of the local paragliding providers have their bases.
You can choose between several types of tandem flights: standard, thermal, long-distance and even acrobatic flights. There are also special kids’ flights for children aged 3 to 14. You’ll be taking off from the Col de la Forclaz mountain pass, at an altitude of 1,527 metres. While soaring through the airs of Annecy, you’ll see what makes this spot so special: the view! The area has an impressive landscape including the high cliffs of La Tournette and the majestic Dents-de-Lanfon mountain. You may also see the Duingt castle, located on a small peninsula on Lake Annecy, or, if you’re lucky, you might even see the snowy summit of the famous Mont Blanc.
Paragliding in Chamonix
Some of you may already know Chamonix as a famous ski resort, located near the Swiss and Italian borders. I can tell you that even when the snow has melted, Chamonix is just as popular with fans of the outdoors as it is a great paragliding hotspot! The offers here are quite varied: you’ll find anything from standard and thermal to acrobatic and high-altitude tandem flights. Just like in Annecy, local providers also offer special kids’ flights for children aged 4 to 12.
Most of the flights start from the Planpraz mountain (2,000m) which you’ll reach with a cable car. Right after take-off, you’ll be gliding with the wind and marvel at the amazing landscapes of the Chamonix valley, including the Mont Blanc and some of the longest glaciers in Europe such as the Mer de Glace (“Sea of Ice”) and the Géant Glacier.
Paragliding in Verdon
While the famous Verdon Gorges undoubtedly offer a lot of activities on the Verdon River (rafting, canyoning, kayaking, and more), gazing at the area’s amazing sights from above is an unforgettable and picturesque experience. Most flights start in or around the village of Barrême and will take you over the Verdon Regional Nature Park and Lake Castillon.
The offers here also include standard, thermal and long-distance flights along with exciting gyroplane flights, making use of a small and easy-to-manoeuvre helicopter. With the Gyroplane, you can cover a bit more ground and fly over the emerald waters of Lake Castillon, over big lavender fields, or even over Lake Sainte-Croix which marks the end of the Verdon Gorges.
Paragliding in Millau
My next recommended spot for paragliding in France is Millau, a commune in Occitany, in the South of France. It is mostly known for its viaduct, the Millau Viaduct, the tallest bridge in Europe. You’ll be able to see this impressive bridge from a totally unique angle! Apart from the viaduct, paragliding in Millau will also give you a beautiful view of the Regional Natural Park of the Grands Causses.
The providers in Millau have four possible take-off sites: Puncho d’Agast (840m), Brunas (720m), Novis (870m) and Pic d’Anda (840m). Important to mention is also that our paragliding providers only offer acrobatic flights at this location, meaning that if you want a calm flight to enjoy the view in peace, this might not be for you. However, if you’re looking for a rush of adrenaline, you’re in the right place! SAT, 360, wingovers, loopings – you might not know all these tricks but maybe you soon will! The acrobatic flights over Millau are a guarantee for strong sensations, reaching speeds of over 100 km/h – nothing for the faint of heart.
Paragliding in Normandy
Last but surely not least on our list of the best spots for paragliding in France is Normandy. The region lies in the North of France, right next to the Channel Islands. Our local providers offer standard, thermal, acrobatic and long-distance flights. Amongst the varied offers, you’ll also find a special kids’ flight for children aged 5 to 11. The providers have numerous take-off sites around Carolles, Commes, Granville and Clécy.
However, the exciting and interesting part about paragliding in Normandy isn’t the take-off but the view. The timelessly beautiful tidal island Mont-Saint-Michel, historical D-Day landing beaches such as Omaha Beach, other emblematic sites of the Second World War including artillery batteries and American cemeteries, but also Granville and the Chausey archipelago – the list goes on! Needless to say that you’ll want to go back up as soon as you’ve landed because there are just so many fascinating things to see.