Paragliding in Zell am See Kaprun

If you like mountains, besides hiking and biking, there is a third way to experience the beautiful nature of the Pinzgau. A very beautiful third way for sure: paragliding. People with a license and their own equipment naturally will fly solo here. For others it is super relaxed and safe to fly together with a tandem pilot and his (or her) professional equipment.

At the small airport in Zell am See, just past the golf course, you regularly see skydivers coming down. You can do that here too (solo or tandem) but paragliding is something else entirely. We  start on top of the Schmittenhöhe and after a short run you fly away quietly, like an eagle over the ridges. In the summer season you often go up more than down, due to the thermals, to finally land down in Kaprun-Fürth at the official landing site. That's pretty much in our backyard.

Solo Flying

To solo pilots, of course, we don't have to explain anything about this wonderful sport, except maybe that the Schmittenhöhe and then the "Pinzgauer Spaziergang", behind Piesendorf on the way to Mittersill, is one of the most beautiful areas for paragliding pilots flying their first distances. Ample thermals, but not too turbulent. In the Alps you won't find better. Of course, there are some rules for takeoff and landing. 

Tandem flying

The Dutch tandem pilot Hajo Smit who is active in this area with his company is more than willing to talk to solo pilots about the local ins and outs. And this brings us to the possibility to experience paragliding with him or one of the pilots in his team as a tandem flight. As the very important passenger you sit in front and the tandem pilot behind you. So you actually experience the flight just like a solo pilot. You are also welcome to steer a bit yourself. You will get explanations from your pilot. You can also have a nice chat during the flight. Try that with a parachute jump.

If you book on the website of VIP paragliding you will get all the instructions for the right clothing and the meeting point and where any spectators can best watch. Good binoculars are available. With the longer all-in flight it is possible to fly over Piesendorf, but also, for example, over Lake Zell am See or the Maiskogel. So: just give it a try and see if you get infected with the paragliding virus. Whether you want to learn solo or just go tandem on a regular basis.