Written by Jhilik Chakraborty.
Skydiving is the sport or activity of jumping from an aircraft and performing acrobatic manoeuvres in the air under free-fall before landing by parachute. Skydiving is an established adventure sport around the world and is in its nascent stage in India.
If you want to skydive in Europe you have spoilt for choice over 550 drop zones. And with many beautiful, historic destinations oozing culture and throbbing with nightlife, it’s hard to decide where to go for a spot of skydiving European style.
Before we start, we should say that there are many factors that make a good skydive destination. Some are simply beautiful locations, others are blessed by perfect conditions or excellent facilities.
However, some drop zones are great simply because they are conveniently located near popular destinations. Some of the best drop zones in the world are in Europe.
With multiple coastlines, mountain ranges, cultures and languages all just hours apart, there is much to explore in this part of the world. Some of the best breathtaking skydiving destinations of Europe are:
1. Algarve, Portugal
With some of the most beautiful coastline in Europe and blue skies year round,there is plenty to see and do in Portugal.
The Algarve, in the south, is all about beaches, seafood and historic sites. At the drop zone, you’ll find a cafe and gear store as well as a spectacular view of the Portuguese coastline. It is located in the coastal town of Alvar, Southern Portugal Skydive Algarve offers the best skydive experience.
Whether one is an experienced jumper or not, the team is highly professional who will provide a thrill and experience of freefalling from 15000 ft(4600 m).
It is located 40 minutes drive from Faro airport and not far from Portimao and Lagos. The Tandem skydive jump is the most popular skydive, ideal for those who have never jumped before. The bodyweight limit is 100 kgs and the lower age limit is 16 years.
The parachute centre and Drop Zone for Skydive Algarve is run by the Swallows family-well known and very respected operators of Skydive Hibaldstow for over 20 years and Skydive Spain for 10 years.
2. Bled, Slovenia
There is no spectacular way to visit and admire the nature of a country than from its skyline. Slovenia is enriched with mountains, valleys and rivers, which make the Slovenian region one of a kind.
For those curious to see this panoramic perspective from above and also feel an adrenaline rush while doing it, skydiving near Bled is a perfect combination. Once you arrive at the airport near Bled, the tandem pilot equips with a suit, helmet, gloves and goggles.
The instructor introduces all the needed equipment and provides information on how to position the body in a free fall and how to land safely in a parachute.
The flight lasts about 20 minutes. The plane rises up to 4000 metres high and while the aircraft gains the needed height, the tandem pilot will keep informed on the level above ground, making sure to enjoy the beautiful scenery taking care of safety.
The tandem jump provides a feeling of easy levitation at speed of 200km/hr. At an altitude of 1500 metres, the tandem instructor opens the parachute and from there on, the wind speed is replaced by peaceful sailing through the air and one can enjoy the spectacular view.
3. Interlaken, Switzerland
Interlaken, Switzerland is known for its outdoor and adrenaline-filled adventures.
The ultimate bucket list adventure, aeroplane skydiving, is the best way to get up close to the Swiss Alps. The adventure will start with an approximately 15-minute flight as the jump plane climbs to altitude.
One can enjoy the views of Interlaken’s two lakes and the incredible Swiss Alps, including the famous peaks Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. The flight is followed by a 45-second adrenaline-pumping freefall from an altitude of 4000 m(13000 ft).
Once the parachute is deployed, a deep breath is taken and a 5-7 minute canopy ride is enjoyed which will take you safely to the ground.
The total duration of the trip is 2 to 3.5 hours. The team at Switzerland Skydive didn’t mess around. They are professionals and know what they are doing. One can see the spectacular view of snowy mountains, rolling clouds, green fields and a blue sky.
4. Fano, Italy
Le Marche is one of the twenty regions of Italy that has cliff backed bays,white-pebble along the Adriatic.
Here, skydivers get the bird’s eye vantage point that gives an amazing view of the Adriatic Sea and Apennine mountains while driving.
Skydive Fano is a great skydiving school where we can get many facilities. Skydive Fano has been providing ideal skydiving facilities to tourists and travellers for years and can be trusted blindly.
5. Empuriabrava, Spain
Skydive Empuriabrava is the brand that has been commercially operating Empuriabrava Aerodrome since 1985. Since it began operating its main activity has been skydiving although it also offers photo flights, aerial and tourist advertising and runs a school of aviation for private pilots.
It offers tandem skydiving, beginner’ flights and aerial photography work. The school offers formation skydiving courses for beginners and advanced students,free-fly canopy, wingsuit flying, formation skydiving for many competition.
Since 1973, weekends have been a time for skydiving at Empuriabrava Aerodrome, managed by the Para club Girons section of Aeroclub Girona.
6. Unterschupf, Germany
Located roughly equidistant between Frankfurt and Nuremberg, this little town is something of a hotspot for skydiving in Germany and is fully deserving of its place in the top 10 dropzones in Europe.
Take off from a small airport just outside the town and enjoy free-falling over the picturesque hills and villages of Bavaria, one of the most beautiful parts of Germany.
Skytandem is the company operating the Unterschlupf dropzone and it is open all over year-round. Jumps are from a large engine Cessna, which reaches 13500 feet(4100 m).
The dropzone is relaxed and friendly with an onsite restaurant. It is all nice and compact, with landing, take-off and packing all within 50m of each other.
7. Voss, Norway
This skydiving was founded by Odd Dagfinn Harklau.It is the largest skydiving club in Norway, with more than 22000 jumps being done at the drop zone every year.
There are more than 2000 members. They train more than 120 new skydivers every year and does approximately 1200 tandem skydives as well.
There is a sports club which is organised with a board consisting of 6 members and 2 representatives from the Norwegian Skydiving Federation.
At Skydive Voss, one can get to experience the magic combination of spectacular nature and the ‘’vossa spirit’’-an open and inclusive spirit at the drop zone.
8. Seville, Spain
In only 20 minutes from downtown Seville, one can experience the most adrenaline-inducing skydiving experience in Andalusia. Skydive Spain is the best skydive centre in the south of Spain, a region known for its amazing weather that allows skydiving almost every single day of the year.
After going through all the necessary paperwork, one is geared up for the experience. When the time comes, it’s time to hop on the EC-KTC, a twin-turbine Dornier G92.
A 13 minute flight ,enough time to gear up the courage before reaching 3100 m (10000 feet). There will be an adrenaline-pumping one minute of freefall before the instructor deploys the parachute, having to glide slowly back down to earth.
Throughout the flight, photos can be clicked and filmed, with the chance to purchase. The weight limit with clothes and shoes on is 95 kg(15 stones or 209 Ibs), each jumper is weighed when they check in on the day of the jump.
The weight has to be measured with clothes and shoes. Minors must have authorization from their parents. Participants 70 or older can participate with an authorization signed by the doctor and stamp a Skydive Spain medical certificate.
9. Siofok, Hungary
Flight is a human obsession. People have always looked at the birds and thought,” how come I don’t do that?”It’s why they have planes and it’s also why for some of us, there’s no greater joy than jumping out of a plane and free-falling like a bird in flight.
To take a skydive is the ultimate airborne adrenaline rush. Nothing else compares to that feeling of freedom. Take a skydive in Siofok, one of Hungary, most popular tourist resorts and enjoy the stunning views of Lake Balaton as there is the climbing of 4000 metres in a troop transport helicopter-almost every other skydive company in the world uses planes.
Then with a professional instructor, it’s time to take the ultimate leap of faith. One will freefall for up to 50 seconds, at speeds of up to 220km/hr before the parachute pops open.
It is advised to wear flat,closed-toe shoes. The upper weight limit is 100 kg, a maximum of 105 kg is allowed if really well built.
There are diseases, for example, epilepsy, cardiovascular system diseases, osteoporosis, which not allows jumping. Jumps are possible between April and October.
10. Toulouse, France
It’s hard to pick up just one French destination to go to the top places to skydive in Europe. For obvious reasons, skydiving near Paris, in Peronne, is hard to beat.
However, with two dropzones to choose from at Castelnau Magnoac and Pamiers-Toulouse just edges it. Added bonuses are it’s a beautiful part of the world and centre of the European aerospace industry.
11. Cornwall, UK
Cornwall is situated at the rugged southwestern tip of England. It is known for its coastlines, historic villages and soothing climate.
If you want to skydive at a beach as a drop zone then Cornish Parachute Club is one of the best skydive centers to get associated with.
Climbing to 10,000 feet and then absorbing the breathtaking view of the Cornish coastline before jumping towards the Atlantic at 120 mph speed are the experiences that Cornwall has to offer. It totally provides an adrenaline rush and the best views of the United Kingdom.
12. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. Budapest is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe. It is known for its dramatic skyline with 19th-century architectural sights alongside the Danube river.
For all these reasons Budapest has become one of the top sights in Europe to enjoy skydiving. Skydive Balaton is a drop zone in Budapest which is situated at a 90 minutes drive from the main city.
The drop zones offer many amenities like camping grounds, accommodations and restaurants. Skydiving will surely be a highlight of your Budapest trip. Hungary is also a more affordable country than Uk and therefore the experience of skydiving is all worth the money and expense.
So if you are planning to go for an amazing skydiving experience in Europe, don’t forget to keep these important destinations on your wishlist. These wonderful places will help you fulfil your dreams of skydiving.
Feature Image Credit- WheelPower
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