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Discover the fascination of paragliding

Even if “grounded people” might see it differently: The Alps are not just there for hiking and mountain biking. Mountain and valley winds make the airy kingdom around the three thousand meter high peaks of Tirol’s Ötztal a popular and quite challenging area for paragliding fans. Anyone who wants to plunge into a memorable adventure starting with a run-in, even without a private flying license, can trust in Ötztal’s paragliding experts. They offer tandem flights for beginners and experienced alike and even incorporate action-packed flying maneuvers on request.

Floating between heaven and earth

Paragliding Austria

The launch site in Hochoetz towers around 1300 meters above the valley floor. It is one of several official paragliding starting points in Ötztal that are very easy to reach. Both from Oetz and Sölden the ascent is easy by mountain lifts and after a short walk the tandem paraglider is ready to go. It is quite possible that you feel a little queasy if you have never flown before. However, the experienced pilots of the Ötztal Flying Schools skillfully dispel any last doubts and questions. Once you have started running up and taking off gently, you can relax in the comfortable flying chair and let the 360-degree panorama high above Ötztal inspire you.

Special tip: Even if most passengers hope for a bright blue sky, don't be sad if it is cloudy on your tandem flight – quite often it is particularly good flying weather.

Ötztal’s three thousand meter peaks from a bird's eye view

Paragliding Austria

Altitudes of 3000 meters and beyond are fairly usual here in Ötztal. The paragliding pioneers already appreciated the basin in lower Ötztal as a first-class thermal flying area and it has remained so to this day. In good conditions, you can even see the mighty peak of Acherkogel from above. At such high altitudes, however, the pilots must be familiar with the current aviation rules by correctly assessing the wind and weather conditions at all times.

More details & Flying schools

3 frequently asked questions about paragliding in Austria

First of all, a good mood, looking forward to a new kind of experience and having fun amid nature. Make sure you have good shoes with grip-soles and enough support for your ankles. The clothing strongly depends on the season, and you should not underestimate the altitude with cooler temperatures when taking off and flying. Further equipment such as overalls, helmets and gloves is usually included at the flying schools in Ötztal (ask when booking). You don't need any previous experience for a tandem flight, but you should feel physically and mentally fit. Children are usually allowed to fly from 25 kg body weight, adults should not weigh more than 100 kg. To get off to a smooth start, you should be able to run 10 to 15 steps at a fast pace.

Special tip: Sunglasses protect against the high level of UV radiation in the mountains and the airstream while flying.

It depends on the altitude of the starting point and the thermal currents. In Ötztal, for example, you can choose between a gliding flight, thermal flight and ultimo flight, which take between 0.5 and approx. 2 hours of flying time. The difference is in the degree of difficulty and the feasibility during the year: While gliding flights are offered for everyone and all year round, some tandem flight experience is required for thermal flights between March and October. Ultimo flights require prior experience and take place between April and September. The flying schools in Ötztal will be happy to provide you with more detailed information.

Don't worry, you don't have to strain yourself to enjoy flying and floating in Ötztal. Conveniently, the starting points are located close to the mountain lifts which effortlessly overcome the lion's share of the ascent. For example, you can take a ride on Acherkogel gondola from Oetz to Hochoetz and the tandem paraglider is stowed in two rucksacks that only have to be carried to the starting point for around 15 minutes. The easy hike is suitable for everyone. In Sölden, Gaislachkogl and Giggijoch mountain gondolas (in winter) also take paragliders directly and comfortably to ideal jumping heights. Please find more detailed information about paragliding in Ötztal HERE.