Ballooning, flying, skydiving and paragliding in Portugal!
Discover the romance of hot air balloons, the heart stopping thrills of skydiving or the magic of paragliding in Portugal!
Portugal has a great climate for flying with favourable conditions common all year round so it is ideal for student pilots looking to work on their skills and we have instructors available. These sports also make a truly unforgettable holiday experience and a chance to admire the beauties of Portugal from a whole new angle!
Increasingly popular with Portuguese free spirits, these sports have to be one of the most exhilarating ways to explore Portugal's coast and countryside! In hang-gliding you lie underneath a rigid frame while paragliders sit upright in a harness underneath flexible fabric wings. Hang-gliders can go faster (up to 90 mph or 145kmph), go better in stronger winds and for longer distances, while paragliding is easier and quicker to learn, goes better in light winds and the equipment is cheaper.
There are clubs all over Portugal. If you are in central Portugal there are popular sites around the Serra de Montejunto around Alenquer and the Serra do Socorro near Torres Vedras, both just north of Lisbon and the Serra da Arrábida near Setubal. Further north you can take to the skies in Linhares da Beira near Guarda, and the Serra do Marão near Vila Real. On sunny days in the Algarve paragliders can be seen floating gracefully over the sunbathers on Falesia beach near Albufeira and Quarteira or over the hills near Loulé. Come and give it a go! We can book tandem paragliding flights in the Algarve and near Lisbon as well as paragliding courses.
In July you can see some of the world's best paragliders at play at the Open de Parapente paragliding in Montalegre in Northern Portugal.
Parachuting and Skydiving
If you have a head for heights and nerves of steel then I dare you to go skydiving!
You can skydive in Portugal all year around and it is increasingly popular with skydivers from all over Europe who are happy to take advantage of the mild winters and come to our fantastic boogies! There are drop sites in the Algarve, near Lisbon and near Porto.
Free-fall skydivers jump from 3000 to 4000 metres (9840 to 13,125 feet), reaching terminal velocity at 193 kmph (120 mph)
when the sensation of falling ceases and floating starts and generally opening their parachute at around 750 to 900 metres (2500 to 3000 feet). You can then control the direction and speed of the fall using the steering lines. On some modern parachutes a computer monitors the dive and if the parachute hasn't been opened by 260 metres (850 feet) it'll automatically do so.
If you're a beginner you'll be given a short introductory briefing before steeling yourself for your first tandem jump but don't worry you'll be safely strapped to an experienced instructor who'll take care of everything. If you want to jump solo then you can complete a day's instruction in safety, freefall manoeuvres, parachute operation and landing procedures, then jump in company with two experts.
Microlights offer you the freedom of the skies combining incredible 360º views with the power and ability to go exactly where you want. These open two seater aircraft are nippy and fast but safe. In Portugal when you book a flight with a qualified, experienced pilot just bring a camera for amazing aerial photos. Or, if you are interested in a fun and affordable way of learning to fly, even take microlight lessons. In order to start learning to fly you must be over 14 years old and to get your first license you must pass a theory exam and have at least 15 hours flight instruction.
Hot Air Balloons and Scenic Flights
If you're tempted but daredevil stunts are not really your thing then why not try not take to the skies in a hot air balloon, helicopter, light aeroplane or floatplane?
All you need to do is relax and enjoy the breathtaking views. A distinctly civilised thrill it could be the perfect way to impress your business associates, celebrate a family birthday or a hugely romantic surprise-ideal for marriage proposals! Hot air ballooning is particularly popular in the Alentejo in the South and the Ribatejo (near Lisbon) where you can gently drift over lovely wide open countryside as the wind takes you. Did you know that when ballooning it's traditional to enjoy a champagne toast on landing? Any excuse!
Booking a helicopter or light aircraft tour gives you the freedom to choose exactly where you want to go and then feel like a VIP doing so. If you like trying to catch glimpses of Portugal's countryside from standard plane windows then just imagine the panoramic views you could enjoy from a small aricraft. A must for photographers you'll fnd scenic flights surprisingly affordable. What's more as Portugal is quite a compact country with a bit of careful planning you could enjoy spectacular bird's eye views over the city, countryside and coast all on one trip. After all this is how Portugal's millionaires find the perfect location for their villas! We have scenic flights available from aerodromes in Lisbon and the Algarve.