Once you experience the complete freedom of flying high up in the bright blue sky with the wind blowing through your hair, and enjoy the magical view of the fertile plains, verdant mountain slopes and enchanting beaches of Attica spreading out beneath your feet, hang gliding is bound to become your favourite sport!
You will feel renewed confidence in yourself and your own strength as the open air rushes by, giving you the thrill of a lifetime. Greece is the ideal setting for you to take flight, where the cloudless sky, the dry climate and thermals (rising currents of warm air) all make it possible for you to hang glide to your heart’s content.
This remarkable extreme sport first appeared in the 1970s in the United States and Australia, and soon became very popular. It was introduced to Greece in 1978, and in 1979 the first Hang Gliding Association was founded in Athens. The Hellenic Hang Gliding Commission was founded in 1985, and in 1999 the Hellenic Air Sports Federation was founded, which now covers all air sports.
The hang glider (craft) is usually made of a rigid aluminium frame and a triangular fabric wing made of strong synthetic material (Dacron sail). All materials used are suitable for aircraft. “Hang gliding” gets its name from the way the pilot is suspended, or “hangs”, from the frame of the glider in a harness. The pilot steers by displacing the weight of his body and taking advantage of the thermals, updrafts and downdrafts, just like birds do. With no shortage of natural sources of lift, hang gliders can fly for many hours (up to 10).
The best weather conditions for amateur hang gliders are steady headwinds, ranging between 10 and 15 kilometres per hour. Only after a lot of practice can one start looking for greater adventure with some acrobatics in unstable weather conditions!
Before you take to the mountains and prepare to take off with your hang glider, you must first undergo regular training with experienced instructors at established Air Sport Clubs, so that you can safely and effectively pilot your glider.
Some of the hang gliding take-off points in Attica are on Kithairon, Anavyssos and – less frequently – Parnitha.
Who to contact:
• The Hellenic Air Sports Federation: www.elao.gr
• The Athens Hang Gliding Association: www.enara.hang-gliding.gr
• The Hellenic Hang Gliding Commission: www.hang-gliding.gr
• The Air Sports Club of Athens and Olympus: www.aerodata.gr
Fly With Us Over Attica!
Take off into the bright blue sky with a paraglider and let the air currents carry you while you enjoy the incredible Attic landscape from high above. Paragliding (parapente) is an extreme sport that can offer you thrills and serenity at once, along with a unique sense of freedom as you leave your distractions behind you on the ground. It is definitely worth a try!
Man has always wanted to fly as free as a bird (like Daedalus and his son Icarus in Greek mythology). Today, the paraglider (parapente, from the French words para, from parachute, and pente, meaning slope) can make this dream come true!
There are schools in many areas near Athens that can provide you with the necessary equipment and instruction for you to safely enjoy paragliding and the spectacular view from high above.
Paragliding was introduced to Greece in 1987-1988. It soon became a favourite among extreme sport fans and was incorporated in Air Sport Clubs throughout Greece. The first National Paragliding Championship was held in 1992.
According to instructors, paragliding is the most accessible air sport in terms of ease of learning, operation and transport, and also the simplest when it comes to two-seater flights. It does not require exceptional muscle strength because it is mainly a matter of technique, so it is great for the adventurous of all ages. Of course, paragliders need to be fit and, above all, keen and motivated!
However, in order to fly safely and be independent, you must undergo basic training in theory and practice, including basic knowledge of aerodynamics, meteorology, air traffic regulations and flight techniques, all of which are taught by experienced instructors. Once trained, you will know how to prepare your gear, judge weather conditions and take off and land safely.
Paragliding is off limits to people with heart problems, vertigo or other health problems.
Where to paraglide in Attica
In the Attica region, paragliding lessons and flights take place on Kithairon (a beautiful mountain on the borders of Attica and Boeotia), on the Kantili mountain range in Megara and in Anavyssos. For your safety, it is best to get information from skilled instructors at the relevant schools. If you do not have any experience in the sport, you can still get all of the thrills and views by flying on a two-seater paraglider piloted by an experienced, certified instructor-operator.
Paramotor – Paratrike (powered paragliding)
If you are looking for an added thrill, try a paramotor-paratrike, which is equipped with a motor to provide extra thrust. It also allows the paratrike to take off and land on the same spot. Weather permitting, flights take place all year round in Attica. You do not need any experience when flying on a two-seater paratrike, as you will be sitting in a special seat fitted in a secure frame. Leave the rest to the instructor-pilot. You can just enjoy your flight without feeling stressed or tired, take photographs or videos and enjoy the amazing view! Flights take place in the area of Anavyssos and Sounion, near or above the Temple of Poseidon. It will surely be an unforgettable experience!