If you are eager to experience each place you visit in a way that not many people have done, then paragliding will be a great way for you to meet Macedonia. From above… starting at 1,000 meter and higher...
Paragliding has a certain tradition in Macedonia. Thanks to its specific terrain configuration, easy accessibility to the mountains, and weather conditions that allow flying almost all year around, Macedonia has become a place of pilgrimage for paragliding pilots around the globe. It has grown rapidly as a sport as well as a tourist attraction enabling almost everyone to get that amazing feeling of flying like a bird.
You wanna know what the top 3 flying locations are ☺? Well, opinions differ on the subject because we have many beautiful mountains, but I will try to focus on the most famous ones that are definitely worth visiting.
The center of the ‘party’ is Krushevo, the highest town in the country at 1,350m above sea level. It rises above Pelagonia, the biggest valley in Macedonia. That is the place with perfect conditions for flying on most days of the year as well as for landing in the valleys around. Both professionals and beginners just love to fly from here. Different international flying competitions are held here every year, so most of the time you will find pilots from all around the globe hanging out and flying high….
All year around, Krushevo town hosts many paragliders, including members of the Macedonian paragliding clubs, their friends and clients for tandem flights.. They all enjoy the heights, the beautiful nature, hanging out and having good food.
Another famous destination for flying is Ohrid, or, more specifically, Galichica mountain. Here you can enjoy tandem flights during the entire summer. Starting at around 1,700m above sea level you will see amazing views of Ohrid lake, a mountain and the old town of Ohrid. The adrenalin runs high and you get a sense of both nature and freedom at its best.
The third famous location of my choice is Shar Mountain… Starting at 1,600m altitude some pilots reach even 3,000m and higher. As an extra bonus, you will meet a stunningly beautiful mountain that will take care of you at high altitudes...
Of course, if you are not able to go as far as Ohrid or Krushevo or Shara, then Skopje flying area is also a place that offers tandems both from Vodno Mountain and from Skopska Crna Gora.
If you decide to explore Macedonia through paragliding adventure, there are a few bigger and lots of smaller paragliding clubs in Macedonia that do training and tandem flights.
My club is Paragliding Club Vertigo, the first and only certified paragliding school in Macedonia. They offer tandem flying all year around from all mountains where there are good conditions for flying. I fly tandem flights with them few times a year and as a photographer I love to take my camera with me and make amazing pictures.
If you want to try paragliding, the starting positions will be determined by the weather conditions. During the summer, tandems are mostly done in Ohrid area, but in good weather conditions Vertigo’s experienced pilots can take you everywhere across the country. You can find more info about tandems and other activities at their web page or facebook page.
All of the places you will visit when paragliding will offer you extraordinary and unique views of Macedonia. Even if you don’t fly, you can just enjoy the nature and company of interesting people and pilots. But the best thing and feeling is when you manage to overcome the fear and let yourself experience what it’s like to be ‘free as a bird’. As my friends from Vertigo love to say - adventure never stops! And it keeps you very much alive.