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If you like views from the air, then paragliding is something you should do. It’s flying, hanging in the air with a parachute.
Tip: there are many adventures to do near Geneva like rafting, canoe raft, stand up paddle, paragliding and much more. I booked paragliding with rafting.ch and they also offer other activities. There are different companies that offer nice activities. I suggest you read reviews and take a company that matches your values.
The company I chose allows people from 7 until 80 years old. They go every day depending on the weather conditions and you need to book in front. They will bring the harness and helmet.
- Price: 140 euros (150 CHF)
- Duration: 30-45 minutes
What is paragliding?
Paragliding is when you wear gear with a parachute, it’s like a lightweight aircraft which is called paraglider, and you jump from a height using the wind to ‘fly’.
The paraglider itself is like a light ‘aircraft’ with a parachute as the wing that is attached with many reinforced lines. This is all connected to a backpack harness that you need to wear to do paragliding.
To start paragliding the pilot needs to run down a slope and fill the parachute with air until you hang in the air. By gravity and the current you are ‘flying in the air’. The pilot controls the direction by shifting their weight and using the lines that are connected to the parachute. For landing the pilot turns the paraglider in the wind direction so it will slow down when it reaches the ground.
Nice to know: the first paraglider was built in the 1960s, but it had a different purpose back then. The parachute was made by a NASA consultant and it was known as Sailwing to retrieve NASA capsules. In 1988 the first European Paragliding Championship was held in France.
What to wear when you go paragliding?
It’s important to know which season you go paragliding and to check the weather before you go. You are hanging in the air and there could be a lot of wind so make sure you are dressed warm enough.
Make sure to wear good, closed shoes because you will run to take off and hang in the air. Don’t wear things that might fall. If you have long hair, I suggest you bring a hair tie because you are going to wear a helmet and you don’t want to have your hair blocking the beautiful views.
What you can wear to go paragliding:
- T-shirt and sweater
- If you are cold wear a jacket or down jacket
- Short or sport legging
- Closed shoes
- Sun protection: sunscreen, sunglasses (that are tight)
- Hair tie for your hair
Things you should bring when you go paragliding (ask if you can leave stuff behind):
- Water and snacks for after paragliding
- A strap for your phone so you can wear your phone around your neck if you like
- GoPro that you hang safely around your wrist. Bringing a GoPro is not always allowed because you need an insurance in case it falls down.
My experience with paragliding
I always wanted to go paragliding and doing this near Geneva is just perfect. You will have some incredible views over Lake Geneva, Geneva city, Annecy and if you are lucky even the Mont-Blanc.
We met with our guide at the bottom of the cable car called ‘Telepherique du Salève’ at 5.30 pm. You can get there by car or by bus. There is a parking there so you can park your car. For the bus you need to take bus 8 until the last station ‘Veyrier Douane’ then you walk 5 minutes to the cable car.
My friend and I had a car so we could drive up the mountain by car. When we reached the top it was time to go paragliding. Our guide was setting everything up and we were eagerly waiting to go in the air. Unfortunately, we could not go in the air on the same time.
I put on the harness and stood in front of the guide (the guide sits behind you). He said just run down the slope to the direction of the road you see below and sit when I say sit. I ran and before I knew it, my feet were of the ground and WOW what a view. We were flying in the air it was so relaxing and peaceful. I could stay up for hours. He asked if I was comfortable and if he could do some tricks. Of course I wanted this and he sped up doing some crazy tricks going from left to right. It was AMAZING.
Then it was time to get the feet back on the ground even though I wanted to stay in the air. When we got closer to the ground I needed to stand up and start running. Before I knew it, I was back on the ground.
This was an epic experience that I will never forget. After paragliding I felt so peaceful, you should definitely try it out. It looks scary but it’s more relaxing than scary.
If you want to know more about all the things you should visit in and around Geneva, read the blog 12 must visit in Geneva.