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Annecy: Paragliding Heaven

On any given day in the quaint lakeside mountain town of Annecy you will see a plethora of colorful parachutes dotting the skies above town. Jumping from the signature cliffs and wafting down above the picturesque lake looks both exciting and peaceful all at once. The conditions are perfect in the valley for paragliding and the scenery is hard to beat as you get jaw-dropping panoramas of the Alps and views of the alpine lake below.

I spent a summer in Annecy, indulging in daily swims in the lake, walking along the lakeside boulevard, shopping in town and hiking in the nearby mountains. I did not, however, ever strap myself into a parachute and jump from the mountaintops above town. I wish I would have. When my parents came to visit me during my time abroad in Paris, we jetted down via TGV to Annecy, where my dad was immediately transfixed by the possibility of paragliding. Watching the parachutes circle and fly got his adrenaline pumping long before he even jumped. Paragliding (or parapente en francais) is not cheap, however. It will cost you at least a few hundred dollars for one tandem jump. If you are up to spending the cash, however, I can not imagine a more memorable or exciting way to spend a few hours in this great Alps town.

In fact, Annecy is one of the paragliding capitals in the world. The wind and weather conditions from the mountains and the lake below combine to create a great updraft for paragliders. There are also 5 take off and landing areas in the valley, which help novice paragliders take off on a carpeted surface and prevent lines from snagging. There are several companies in the area that are also willing to do beginner tandem flights, so you can soar high above the lake with someone who really knows what they are doing.

Here is a list of companies that will help make your paragliding wishes come true:

Aerosport Less Passagers du Vent
Landing place of Perroix
Paragliding school,twin-seater flights in Planfait and Col de la Forclaz.
Courses for beginners and non-beginners all the year. Training at your choice.(D-4)
Tel/fax : 04 50 60 71 21
GSM : 06 80 03 74 21
>>For more information visit,

Ecole des Grands Espaces
Landing place of Perroix – Planfait – Col de la Forclaz (D-4)
Tel : 04 50 60 79 06
Fax : 04 50 60 53 98
>>For more information, visit


Landing place of Perroix in Talloires and Doussard.
Tandem flights,private courses,SIV Piloting courses,all year.
Tel : 04 50 52 50 13 ou 06 25 98 31 26
>>For more information, visit