Paragliding is an extreme year-round sport and outdoor activity. The name comes from the words "parachute", "to glide" and "moving".

In paragliding, you fly in the air on a special non-powered aircraft. You sit in a harness or lie supine in a cocoon-like bag suspended below a wing controlled by slings. However, to start paragliding, a beginner needs a lot of preparation. First, we recommend flying in tandem with a professional instructor to see how he controls the paraglider and understand your feelings. If you still decide to learn paragliding, then you need to master the theory: learn how a paraglider works, how air flows go, what are emergency situations and how to get out of them. After this, you need to undergo ground training: learn how to raise a paraglider, control and lower it to the ground, practice rising into the air a few meters, and landing. Finally, you can go to the mountains and try to take off on your own. All this must be done in sports clubs — flying alone, even on low mountains, can be dangerous.

People usually choose relief scenic areas for paragliding such as snow-capped mountain peaks, evergreen forests, picturesque valleys, and so on. World-famous paragliding sports are Ohrid Lake in Macedonia; the Soča River Valley in the Julian Alps in Slovenia; Algodonales in Spain; Chamonix in France; Interlaken in Switzerland; Oludeniz in Turkey; Queenstown in New Zealand; Pokhara in Nepal; Napa Valley in the USA, and many others.

Paragliding can be practiced in any season with good weather conditions, including wind speed, gusts, and direction. Many schools even specifically start training beginners in the winter to practice landing in snowdrifts.

The main pleasure of paragliding is the ability to make an aerial journey using natural conditions (mountain slope and wind) and a relatively small set of light equipment.

Read Mini guide to paragliding with


Text: Ivan Kuznetsov. Natalia Kirasheva contributed to this guide

Cover photo: Juliette G / Unsplash

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