The Portes du Soleil is a beautiful area, from the ground but also from the air. The area has several possibilities for paragliding. Soar like a bird over the Abondance valley and the surrounding mountains and enjoy the beautiful views.
What is paragliding?
The French word parapente (in English paragliding, in German gleitschirm and in Dutch schermvliegen) comes from the word parachute where the last part of the word "chute", which stands for "fall" is replaced by "pente", or "slope" because parapenters leave from mountain slopes and fly around them. With a parachute jump, the parachute ensures that the fall is slowed down, with paragliding it is about staying in the air as long as possible. Paragliding is possible for all ages and you do not need any special physical condition or experience.
What does a paraglider look like?
A paraglide is a flexible wing, similar to a kite, and consists of 2 parts: the screen and a seat for the pilot. The front part of the screen has openings through which air enters. Because the air cannot get out at the back, the screen remains under pressure while flying. The inflated paraglider looks like an airplane wing and with a wingspan of about 11 meters you are lifted effortlessly and you can float as long as the weather conditions allow.
A paraglide, unlike a parachute, is easy to control. With the two steering lines, the right or left side of the wing can be braked so that you can steer to the left or right. This also allows you to reduce the speed.
Different types of flights with the paragliding
Paragliding is supervised and is done together with a qualified instructor. In the beginning, duo flights are made in which the instructor and the paraglider are attached to each other. You run together down a mountain from where the flight starts. There are 3 types of flights possible:
- Discovery Flight or Vol découverte: This flight starts at an altitude of approx. 1600m. You will float between the mountains for about 10 to 12 minutes. From a great height you can see the villages below you and you have a beautiful view of the mountain slopes. After more than 10 minutes you land back in the valley. This jump costs about € 70.
- Great Flight or Grand Vol: For this flight you start about 400m higher, at 2,000m. The flight takes between 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the weather. The costs are approx. € 100. Because you are now departing from a higher altitude, the views are even more impressive. You will see the mountain massifs of the Cornettes de Bise, the Mont de Bise, the Mont de Grange, the Mont Blanc and the Swiss Alps.
- Thermal Flight or Vol Thermique: This flight takes about 45 minutes and is only possible if you have already made a duo flight with an experienced instructor. With the Thermal Flight you make use of the thermals present, the rising air. During the flight you go further up through the rising air after which you float down peacefully.
During the flights you can choose to have photos taken. More information about these flights can be found at the Tourist Office of La Chapelle d'Abondance.