Paragliding in Fulpmes in the Stubai Valley, © Tirol Werbung/Maren Krings
Paragliding in Fulpmes in the Stubai Valley, © Tirol Werbung/Maren Krings

Paragliding in Tirol

Experience the mountains of Tirol from a new perspective on a tandem paragliding flight with a trained expert. The region has many excellent places to try out this thrilling sport.

Just a few quick steps are enough to fill the mighty canopy with air and whisk you off your feet into the sky above. There are few better ways to experience the freedom of flight than paragliding. Many beginners are surprised how calm and peaceful this sport is. Indeed, Tirol is recognised as one of the top destinations for paragliding and draws many enthusiasts keen to take to the skies at one of the numerous local take-off points.

With Tirol being home to so many high mountains, the flight time from the top down to the valley is often much longer than in flatland areas. Experienced flyers can use the thermals to stay in the air for several hours at a time and even fly over the Italien border to the province of Alto Adige. Those new to the sport will find plenty of paragliding centres where experienced pilots will be happy to take them under their wing and introduce them to this fascinating sport practised in both summer and winter.

The region's regular paragliding get-togethers and competitions create a spectacular sight in the skies high above Tirol. The most well-known include the annual Stubai Cup in March, the Super Paragliding Testival and Expo in Kössen, the Alpenrosencup in Westendorf and the Zillertal Open hosting the Austrian Championships.

Paragliding is permitted in almost all parts of Tirol, though in recent years a number of areas have developed into popular hotspots. We have put together a list of some of the best places for paragliding in Tirol.

Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis: Insider Tip in the West of Tirol


The Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis region is known first and foremost for its family-friendly ski resort in winter. However, it is also a popular hotspot for paragliders. One of the best take-off spots is the Schönjoch ridge, from where paragliders will find good thermals both to the north and the south. The ridge can be easily reached using a cable car. Indeed, children as young as 6 years can experience the thrill of tandem flights. In winter there is the unique experience of paragliding with skis or a snowboard strapped to your feet.

Stubai Valley: Hotspot with Excellent Thermals


Thanks to its many mountains over 3,000m and its exceptionall good thermals, the Stubai Valley is one of the most popular places in Tirol for paragliding. Flying is possible all year round. Thermal conditions are best from February onwards. There are plenty of ski resorts with lifts and cable cars giving easy access to the mountains. In the Stubai Valley there are several paragliding and hanggliding centres offering tandem flights for novices.

Achensee Lake: Hang Gliding & Long Distance Top Spot


Soaring above Achensee Lake, © Fly Achensee

Achensee Lake is situated in a fiord-like canyon, making it a perfect spot for paragliding. An updraft of air created by the mountain range’s walls keeps paragliders in the air longer. With several adventure companies offering lessons for first-timers and tandem flights, you’ll be catching wind in no time. The lake’s Karwendel Range side in Pertisau is the hang gliding spot for novices. At an elevation of 1,500 meters, the take-off point lies next to the top terminal of Karwendelbahn Gondola. If flying high on thermals is already your kind of game, hit the spot on the edge of Rofan Range for an experience you’ll never forget. From Maurach, ride Rofanseilbahn Gondola to its top and take the short walk to nearby Mauritzalm Alpine Pasture Hut, situated 1,831 meters above sea level. Catch an updraft and enjoy Achensee Lake’s blue waters and spectacular mountains that look even better from a bird’s eye view. Special Bonus: This spot is well suited for long-distance flights.

Zillertal Valley: Lots of Take-Off Spots and a World Cup Location


With its many take-off spots high in the mountains and landing areas on the wide valley floor, the Zillertal Valley is a top destination for paragliders. This pretty valley is home to plenty of centres offering tandem flights as well as training courses for those who want to fly solo one day. The village of Zell am Ziller, which has hosted World Cup events on several occasions, is the main hub for paragliding in the valley. On clear days, even in winter, you can see many specks of colour set against the deep azure blue of the sky. Fügen, Mayrhofen and Tux all have ski lifts open in summer giving access to good take-off spots.

Alpbachtal-Wildschönau: Excellent for Beginners


The relatively gentle slopes of the Alpbachtal-Wildschönau region are ideal for paragliding throughout the year. The 1,450m Markbachjoch ridge is one of the most popular take-off points and is particularly suitable for beginners and those getting back into the sport. Indeed, it is one of the most popular paragliding mountains in Tirol. The altitude difference between take-off and landing is just 600 vertical metres, and the mountain's location in the Alpbachtal Valley means it is protected from the strong winds which often blow in the Inn Valley. There are several schools and centres offering tandem flights and courses for those who wish to complete their paragliding license and fly alone.

Wilder Kaiser Mountains: Gentle Take-Offs, Craggy Peaks


Paragliding at the Hohe Salve mountain, © Tirol Werbung/Paul Kranzler

The Wilder Kaiser region is a haven for paragliding enthusiasts. The Hohe Salve and Choralpe mountains are two of the most popular take-off points, though on days with good thermal conditions many paragliders can also be found on the Hartkaiser mountain. Paragliding is practised throughout the year in this part of Tirol, which has plenty of gentle take-offs and several paragliding centres offering tandem flights - the perfect opportunity for beginners to admire the stunning Kaiser Mountains from the air.

Lienz: Flights to Italy and the Großglockner Mountain


The exceptionally stable weather conditions around Lienz in East Tirol make this quiet region a hotspot for paragliding and hanggliding enthusiasts. The most popular take-off spot is Steinermandl in the Zettersfeld ski resort at 2,200 metres above sea level. As well as excellent thermals, tandem flyers can enjoy fantastic views of the Dolomites. Indeed, experienced pilots use the thermal conditions to fly as far as the region of Alto Adige in Italy and the Hohe Tauern mountains with the Großglockner, Austria's highest mountain. Maximum flying altitudes of over 4,000m mean they can even fly higher than this mighty peak.

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