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Up and away
Nothing can prepare you for that first rush of wind as the Lift propels you into the sky. Paragliding is one of a host of activities that you can do here but climbing like a bird into the sky is an adrenaline blast you are unlikely to ever forget. It’s also an amazing way to see the French countryside. For beginners you simply need to admire the view, as a trained pilot instructor is harnessed to you and ‘at the wheel’ all of the time. Natural thermals are renowned in the Dordogne Valley and make it a fantastic place to have your first try, or for the more experienced to learn piloting skills. An adrenaline rush with the bonus of breathtaking views. Tranquillity and splendour all in the same flight - so let go and treat yourself!
Exploring the natural beauty of the Dordogne Valley is one of the key draws for so many travellers discovering this region. What better way to see it than from the air. A birds-eye view of the undulating hills, oak forests, medieval towns and the river below awaits as you soar through the pale blue skies.
Natural thermals are created when the warm air heating up the continent expands and rises meeting the colder air above it. As the warmer air rises you can catch this breeze as it propels you upwards, catching a thermal and then another as you traverse the countryside floating ever nearer the clouds.
This is the beating heart of paragliding - The Lift. You are never jumping from a mountain you are just catching your next Lift.
What’s your ride?
There are a number of paragliding companies in the Dordogne Valley. They are staffed and run by trained licensed professionals who are passionate about the sport and keen to pass on their experience. With invaluable local knowledge, they know the best spots and how to find them.
Depending on climatic conditions there are a variety of take-off sites throughout the Valley. Some take you on flights that glide over exceptionally beautiful medieval villages or famous castles in the Périgord. Other take-off sites which include Floirac, Montvalent, Le Roc and other sites in the Corrèze have you skimming over rolling oak forests hills and the steep limestone cliffs of the Dordogne Valley.
Each operator has slightly different programs but all offer the following basic options:
From 5 you can fly. For kids and for anyone looking to do their first paragliding flight, the easiest and safest way is to go tandem with a professional. Relax and take in the views as your pilot does the flying and you do the admiring. An experience that you will never forget, some operators offer GoPro videos so those memories can be cherished and shown to friends and family.
You have a choice of flights, from tandem discovery flights (take off and quick descent and landing), to longer duration tandem flights that take you over the forests and hills or villages on a sightseeing adventure.
Tandem learning: A great way to fly
Some operators offer day-long courses on becoming a pilot and also more intensive courses on mastering the plethora of skills needed to gain mastery over the air currents and your wing. For thrill-seekers it’s possible to co-fly under the expert instruction of your pilot. Your pilot will explain ‘live’ flying signals, how to turn correctly and how to climb higher. Flights can always be adapted for your needs and your tastes. Sporty or relaxed, choose your way to fly.