The northern French Alps are home to some of the best flying sites in Europe, and the Chamonix region towered by the famous Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain, is known as the centre for mountain sports and includes paragliding and hang gliding!
Paragliding and hang gliding have been established in this area since the late 80's and the many local sites have easy access either by road or cable car! The area is massive and the well organised flying sites all have wind socks and information boards.
There are a number of launch sites ranging from 700 - 3700m above the valley floor and from January to October we average 24 flying days a month with thermals rising above 3500m asl.
The out and returns, triangles and open distance possibilities are almost endless! The daily thermic flying window especially in spring and summer is long, and unlike ridge flying we don't have to wait for the wind to be just right before launching. Thermals start to rise as soon as the sun heats the valley and continue until sunset allowing long flights.
In our local valley, close to our base we have three drive-to launch sites; Plaine Joux and two other exclusive sites that are accessible by road or cable car. These purely thermic sites 750m, 1050m and 1250m above the valley floor cover most eventualities as regards to thermic and wind conditions. The bonus: in the heart of the valley there are three landing sites!
Close by is Chamonix PlanPraz accessible only by cable car and 1050m above Chamonix town. it's one of the best cross country starting points, especially early in the day.
Also found in Chamonix Valley and accessible only by cable car are Les Grands Montets launch site 3200m asl and the famous Aiguille du Midi launch sites at 3700m asl. When the weather is good and the winds are light then the flights from both these sites are absolutely spectacular!
Just an hour away is the beautiful lake Annecy: we try and visit there once each week and not far from here there are a number of other interesting sites. For details of these and others please see the Sites Guide on this website.
Thermal courses, refresher and introduction courses, fly guiding with coaching and accommodation are all available. Please see this website for the details.