With their diverse relief Slavic countries are a jewel for paragliders from near and far. Snow covered mountain summits, evergreen coniferous forests, colorful valleys, azure seas, emerald rivers, sunken hollows and even wild taigas – we have it all! Whichever spot you pick to paraglide won’t leave you disappointed, but some areas do outshine the rest. Curious to know which are the best places to paraglide on Slavic territory? Keep on reading.
Lake Ohrid – Macedonia
Spanning over not one, but two countries, lake Ohrid is among the largest and deepest natural basins on our planet. It also happens to be the absolute deepest lake on the Balkan Peninsula and an official UNESCO World Heritage site. With an impressive coverage of 358 square kilometers, several mountain ranges and tons of colorful rural settlements at its shores, the lake is irrefutably the best paragliding spot on the Balkans. A few paragliding clubs are offering single and tandem flights over the lake and some flights even last for nearly 2 hours!
Mount Kazbek – Russia
Contrary to popular belief, Russia doesn’t have only 11 volcanoes (not that 11 is a small number for volcanic activity by any means!) – it literally has hundreds of volcanic formations. Menacing in size, they’re still impressive even though most of them have been extinct for millennia. If you’ve wanted to visit a volcanic site, but you don’t actually want to set foot on the caldera and the craters, you can fly over the dormant stratovolcano that has formed Mount Kazbek near the Russian border with Georgia. And hey, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous and you have the funds for it, you can even opt for a real volcano tour on Russian grounds – yes, such mind-blowing volcano tours really do exist.
Lake Bled – Slovenia
Slovenia is often regarded as a piece of heaven on Earth and the majestic lake Bled is a splendid fraction of that piece. An excellent way to enjoy the natural wonders of the area without having to deal with the irritating factors of the flocks of tourists is to fly above the crowds. Paragliders will get their breath completely taken away by the lake’s immensity and its lush, succulent surroundings. Despite the highly varied terrain below your feet, the flight is actually categorized as easy, so you don’t have to be a pro if you want to book it.
Kvarner Gulf – Croatia
The Kvarner Gulf encapsulates eloquent sceneries that transcend the ones of most paragliding locations. If you choose to paraglide here, the bay’s Adriatic islands will grant you with memories for a lifetime. By default Croatia is gorgeous any time of year, but due to the gulf’s oceanic climate and air currents, some paragliders might want to stick exclusively to mountainous flights. In case of the latter option, Croatia’s Dinaric Alps won’t disappoint even picky travelers.
Julian Alps and Soča river valley – Slovenia
Some say the best way to explore the Soča river and its route is to kayak down its course. Others, however, are explicit in their theory that the river valley is at its most beautiful when seen from a bird’s eye point of view. Or in other words – from a paraglider’s point. While the jeweled focal point of all Soča paragliding clubs is the river, the valley and the Julian Alps beyond it significantly contribute to the stupendous sights.
Regardless of your experience with flights and equipment, make sure you always listen to every single aspect of the regulations. Picturesque panoramas are understandably distracting, but if you’re not being concentrated and careful even during tandem flights with professional instructors, you can still hurt yourself in the process.