France, Annecy

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Our paragliding holidays in France have proved extremely popular since 1991. Group size is small and therefore early booking is recommended. Places are on a first come basis. Book early to take advantage of cheaper airfares. These holidays take place in September to take advantage of the smooth, large gentle thermals and reliable weather and relatively un-crowded airspace. Non-flyers are welcome to join us and, provided they have taken out  insurance, tandem flights can be provided by the current British Tandem Champion and International Competition Pilot, Tony Delaney. (these must be pre-booked in the UK)

Inclusive of all transport, return flight to the UK. Based on two are sharing per room in single beds (separate room/chalet available on request). Coaching and site guidance is provided at no extra charge.

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The Accommodation 

La Nubliere camp site is situated on the shores of the famous Lake Annecy at the foot of the French Alps.

We stay in a beautiful camp site right next to the sandy shore of Lake Annecy and nearest to the main and very large landing field.

A fantastic area for a camping holiday, with mountains, water and a wonderfully mild climate. You can walk straight to the beach from the level grounds, unless you prefer to take your towel and lie on one of the lawns. Either way you will have wonderful views of the lake and the enormous mountain peaks. It's only a few steps to the restaurant for a drink, an ice cream or a snack.

You can rent surfboards or sailing boats or go water skiing in the little harbour close by. If that's not exciting enough there is rafting and parasailing close by.

You must not miss Annecy; a beautiful historic centre with small bridges, flowers on every balcony, quaint shops and excellent restaurants. It's more peaceful in the mountains; wonderful walks, rock climbing or mountain biking! Doussard is located on the south side of Lake Annecy, so the highest peaks in the Alps such as Mont Blanc are only a short distance away in the direction of Ugine, Megeve and Bourg Saint Maurice.
 

What is included

What is not included

  • Equipment (this is included with beginners courses)

  • Instruction (unless you have booked the beginner or intermediate level

  • Flight to Geneva (often the best is Easyjet)

  • Food and drink

  • Insurance (contact us at least 4 weeks before departure if you would liek us to help you)

The Flying 

For the beginner - (Anyone below CP rating)

Vast open meadows provide perfect landing fields to start your early training. Once you are able to safely take off and land, you will progress onto flights of three thousand feet. After one week you should be a very competent pilot.  Although possible for the able beginner to attain Club Pilot standard within the week, it is more likely for most to reach advanced Elementary Pilot standard. Flights from 3000 feet are expected. Obviously we cannot guarantee that you will attain any rating within the week - that is down to your natural ability, planning, preparation and of course the weather..

Reduced price with special training package)  Plus insurance and flight BOOK NOW

Includes  instruction. Tandem flights may be available as a training aid at no extra charge.

For the Improver and advanced pilot (Above CP at least 25 hours & mountain experience)

Flights of 3000 feet are available in the locality with plenty of thermal and cross-country potential for the more advanced. The area was  used for the 1999 World Championships  and offers massive XC potential.

 

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Using your own kit and requiring Guidance and site advice only - not instruction.

For the Advancing Pilot - (At least  Pilot standard)

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Using own kit or hiring (list below) and requiring only transport and guide. Must be  Pilot rating or higher. Absolutely no instruction included. 

For Non-flying Partners

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Non-flyers are welcome to join us and, provided they have taken out  insurance, tandem flights can be provided by the current British Tandem Champion and International Competition Pilot, Tony Delaney. (these must be pre-booked in the UK)

*accommodation shared with another pilot unless you have booked private room and paid the extra cost. Group will share fuel costs.

How do you get there ? 

Once you have reserved your place with us we will advise of available pick up times from Geneva airport to the destination.

Prices

Prices are only guaranteed for reservations made up to 8 weeks before departure.

******************* All courses exclude insurance ************************

You may provide your own, but it must provide complete paragliding cover including helicopter rescue, hospitalisation, repatriation, third party liability. You should ensure that a copy of the relevant cover is provided at our office 4 weeks before departure. If your insurance is not valid, we reserve the right to cancel your holiday. If less than 4 weeks before departure there will be no refund. We are able to arrange this on request, no later than 4 weeks before departure at a cost of £65 for one week. 

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Parapente - French Alps Revisited

Date ....3rd September

Location....Liverpool Airport ( a portacabin on the banks of the Mersey with a runway short enough to test the spot landing skills of a EP)

Our mission ... a week in the French Alps with Airborne

The story......

Liverpool Airport security were alerted to some dodgy characters lugging around rucksacks and excessively overweight hand luggage. Tension mounted as they took over the queue for the EasyJet flight to Geneva but it soon became apparent that they were not an extremist rambling association break away group but Airborne International on their most recent foray into the French Alps.

The 8 intrepid adventurers, fed up with "flying" in good ol' blighty, had signed up for a weeks thermalling continental style in the birthplace of parapente (that's paragliding for the francophobes amongst us) with our trusted alpine guide - Tony. The flight over was event free (and food free), 2 hours long, with a chance to see some fantastic cloud formations and practise the franglaise. We landed at Geneva and met up with the final member of the party, Roger, who had the great fortune to fly in luxury from Luton, centre of the aviation universe.

Once reunited with our canopies we made our way to the minibus. We knew this was going to be a classy trip.... a brand new blue Mercedes minibus stood waiting for us. After an initial inspection we realised that this was not a minibus but was in fact the Tardis.....10 people, 9 paragliders and assorted hand luggage into a bootless 9 seater Mercedes does a Tardis make. Tony's eye glinted with a sadistic satisfaction safe in the knowledge that the bus would never be the same again as John and Steve leapt upon it's virgin roof to strap on as much luggage as we thought would avoid the attentions of Hertz and the Swiss Police.

As we toured the road network of Switzerland it became apparent that the Swiss did not want us to leave for France due to the complete absence of road signs. But despite the combined efforts of John (map reader extra-ordinaire) and Tony (the Mikka Hakenen of the minibus world) the party arrived at Mieussy. Madame Bouffant and Rene Artois (aka our hosts) welcomed us with scepticism to the Hotel L'Acceuill Savoyard as pilots and baggage brought reception to a standstill. Dinner was waiting for us - full board for the week was a wonderful thing for hungry pilots. It was a mixture of table d'hôte and DIY, the hungry soon learnt to fry their own minute steaks or turn their hand to the French equivalent of Fondue. Meals were 4 or 5 courses with plenty to squabble over and an excess of local cheese, wines and coffee. The rooms were great with on suite facilities, all with alpine views and the hotel boasted an outdoor swimming pool for the brave, the fool hardy or Pete!

Our first day dawned and after copious cups of coffee and croissants we set off towards Samoens. Those of us used to the more relaxed Delaney 10.30am Tenerife starts were a bit shocked at the "up and at 'em" 9.30am kick off but low airtime pilots and those with hangovers soon realised the advantage of this - beautiful smooth flying! Samoens gave us all the chance to get to grips with paragliding alpine style - nil wind forward launches proved something of a novelty for the "I can launch in 20mph winds" reverse launch pilots... so practise those "big legs".

The local scenery is stunning with views to Mont Blanc.Every other field in the valley is a potential cop out landing site, but that's no excuse when the main landing sites are massive, manicured all with spot targets, wind socks, club house/shop and vehicle access. Luxury!!. The valley sides are forested and quickly give way to shear rock faces up to a thousand feet high, the white rock being an excellent thermal trigger - in addition to that well known thermal source - the river bed - experienced at Samoens. The launch sites are grassy, well laid out and top drivable ( at least for the mad buggers from Team Rally Airborne who just prayed that Hertz didn't do tyre checks)

Typical top to bottoms are 3000ft and provide a 15 - 20 minute morning or evening smooth glide for those who want to take in the views. Mid day thermal activity and anabatic wind give limitless potential for the more experienced pilots. Low airtime CP's can get their first taste of 10km out and return flights and most people got 2 -3 hours airtime a day. The Arcus Display Team (aka John, Steve, Roger, Pete) treated themselves to a 14km XC from Mieussy to Samoens. It wasn't planned but John decided he wanted to buy a "I've been to Samoens" T shirt - and the rest just followed. How they ever managed to navigate themselves down that long straight valley remains a mystery. John just beat Steve to "goal" by an unorthodox route through the trees. Rowan also went along for the trip but it was never certain whether he was after the T shirt or just going to the Super Marche for more gin.

The team flew everyday and the weather was warm (no need to pack the damart) with blue skies building to spectacular cumulus clouds - but watch out for the 'orriblegraphic just before lunch - compasses are recommended. After a while we got bored with 2 hour flights so when arriving at the landing field with just 2,500ft to spare the B- line boys decided to find out just what all those lines really did. The next few days saw a procession of B- line stalls, wing overs and spiral dives. John even decided that this was the place to go for a full stall but for some reason no-one followed him!

This aerobatic display necessitated the invention of a competitive scoring system - from which was born the sphincto and colongraphic rating. Winner of the week was Julian who's impromptu spiral dive and fastest top to bottom earned him a score well into " change into clean underwear" and new lederhosen for the Dutch trainee EP's who happened to have ring side seats. (Rule No1 for Alpine flying - check those lines before launch). Second by a rasping fart was John who's dedication to finding 101 ways in which to make a perfectly good flying canopy resemble a bag of washing had us reaching for the Andrex.

The highlight of the week had to be Tony's historic reconstruction of the first ever parapente flight. Our host, Rene, had produced what resembled a shopping bag from his cellar and proceeded to explain that it was his own parapente dated 1985 - he had in his day been one of the pioneers of parapente. Having cleared out the moths and wiped off the mildew those of us with our feet firmly on the ground declared the 9 cell "Mighty Mac" airworthy and it was presented to Tony for a "bit of ground handling".   Next time we looked the Mighty Mac was airborne at 3000ft and making for the landing field. Pilots cleared a hole in the sky as Tony and the Mac glided (or was it falling with style) at a 1 in 2 glide ratio - the cruciform figure of Tony a testament to the tight fitting, minimalistic but totally authentic 1985 harness. And for a finale Mr Delaney cleared the trees and landed a mere 10 metres from the spot - smiling in triumph and only slightly compromised in the "wedding tackle" department.

After each day's flying, tired but satisfied!!, we capped off the evening on the gin balcony - with enough alcohol to fill lake Geneva. The back drop of mountains was spectacular and a steady flow of Dutch trainee pilots over head provided the early evening entertainment- what more could you want!!

Six days of top alpine flying saw us at the end of our trip and our mission completed. The week had allowed us all to experience the French Alps in our own way and had provided great flying for all pilots, ranging in skills from CP +2 to experienced pilots. We'd also met pilots from France, Holland, Germany and the States and got to know new fellow paramaniacs from the UK. We'd seen stunning scenery, experienced off roading in a Mercedes minibus and DIY dinners, flown at the birthplace of parapente and bought the T -shirt!

Are we going again?... you bet!

(Er...there will be another trip won't there Tony?)