Total price £845 + Travel
Book by paying a £200 deposit
Join us for a mountain flying trip to the island of Corsica, flying over wild mountains up to 2700m.
The price includes: accommodation, home cooked food, up to one XC retrieve at the end of each day. The price does not include travel, but we can collect you from Ajaccio airport or port, and we can take your wing for no extra charge. You may also travel with us by car from the UK for £200 return, but be aware it’s a two day journey. Please don’t book travel until you get confirmation from us.
West coast of the french Island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean – We’ll be staying near the flying site of Vero, not far from Ajaccio. There will be a mixture of high mountain flying, coastal soaring, and wonderful beaches. Be aware that Corsica is rugged and wild. This is not like paragliding in the grassy northern alps: landings may be challenging, as many slopes are covered in thorny bushes called “maquis”. Thermals may be strong even early or late in the season, as it’s much further south than mainland France.
Why Corsica? In France Corsica is known as “L’ille de Beauté” – the island of beauty. It is a stunning, wild, and sparseley populated mountainous island. Although part of France, Corsicans have their own strong national identity and culture. Flying here you will definitely be off the beaten track. The main flying site of Vero has a bar at the landing field, and San Bastiano near the coast has a beautiful beach as one of the landings. But if you go XC north into the higher mountains, you’ll enjoy vast wild spaces – deep forests, epic steep mountain cliffs, valleys with footopaths rather than roads, and the odd mountain refuge being the only sign of humanity. This is an exotic and adventurous destination.
Which sites will we fly at? We’ll be staying closest to the site of Vero – with a carpeted launch and a bar by the landing field. For a launchpad that gets us more quickly into the high mountains, we may go up the valley to Vizzanova. For coastal/mountain flying we’ll head down the valley to San Bastiano. There are plenty of other sites we may wish to explore. Ending the day with a swim at the beach will be a highlight – we suggest packing your swimwear and towel each day in the back of your harness.
We can take your wing by car for free.
If you wish to look after the planet and avoid flying, we recommend travel from London to Marseille by train (book on SNCF.com) and then an overnight ferry to Ajaccio with Corsica Linea. You may wish to coordinate with us in order to share cabin costs on the ferry.
The most convenient option is an Easyjet flight from Gatwick to Bastia. At the time of writing, Easyjet flights are under £200 return. Make sure you tell us when your flight gets in, so we can coordinate collecting you from the airport. Alternatively, you may wish to take the train towards Ajaccio, alighting at Carbuccia, which is a wonderful experience.
You could also fly to Ajaccio, which is much closer than Bastia, and we would again be happy to collect you from the airport. However, there are no direct flights from the UK to Ajaccio. You could Eurostar to Paris, and then get a direct flight from there.
If you’re hiring a car, then you won’t mind so much which airport you arrive at: Ajaccio is very close, but Calvi, Figari, and Bastia are all possible.
Finally, you could travel by car with us, in return for a share of costs. Bear in mind it’s a two day journey.
We can assist with booking travel if you wish.
Albatross Paragliding – a BHPA registered Air Experience School. The Chief Instructor is Dave Harvey, assisted by the very experienced Michel Carnet. Please note our instructor qualifications are for tandem flying rather than teaching newbie solo pilots.
We will not be offering guiding or instruction on this trip. Rather, we will be flying as a group of friends – sharing information and making decisions together. We speak French, and so we’ll liaise with local schools and pilots, and share what they tell us. Making decisions together leads to better safety and learning.
We request that XC pilots attempt to make their own way back (or nearer) by hitching or public transport (but not expensive taxis). We find that hitching works very well in the mountains especially with a paraglider shaped rucksack. At the end of the flying day we will collect anyone who is still not back. Extra points if you can fly to the beach or straight back to the holiday house.
Pilot-rated pilots looking for an adventure in a wild mountain environment, mixed with some more relaxing coastal soaring and some time at the beach. You should be prepared to walk up to an hour with your glider – as if you land out you may be some distance from a road. Please talk to us before booking if you’re not sure if you’re ready for this trip.
Dave Harvey organised the last two Sky Surfers Mountain flying trips. In 2016 we went to the Puy de Dome, and in 2018 we flew in the West Highlands of Scotland. In 2019, under Albatross Paragliding, we returned to Puy de Dome, where we also flew mountain sites in the Monts du Cantal and around Puy de Sancy. In September 2020 we did a trip to the Bavarian alps in Germany (see the video here). In October 2021 we went to St Andre in the Southern French Alps. All trips had excellent weather with flying every day in awesome landscapes.
Chris Drabble came with us to the Puy de Dome and says: “The club trip was great fun and a super way of getting to know club members with all levels of experience. We all worked together to make sure everybody felt supported and had the opportunity to fly in areas suitable for their level. I can really recommend this to anybody who wants to fly and enjoy a good holiday.”
Justin Simmonds came with us to the Highlands and said: “We flew every day and saw some amazing sights. Scotland was where it all came together for me, learning to thermal under Dave’s watchful eye and guidance. I would recommend the trip to anyone wanting to meet likeminded paragliders and learn new skills. Dave is also an amazing cook”
This trip is inspired by the trips Dave Harvey previously organised for the Sky Surfing Club. The aim is to keep it simple, friendly, and cheap. Be aware also that we’re not offering the same level of service other trips might offer: one retrieve per day, and group decisions about flying rather than guiding or instruction.
It’s important that you take out travel insurance that includes paragliding, medical expenses, and repatriation. It’s good if search and rescue costs are also covered. We will ask to see your insurance as a condition of coming on the trip. Albatross Paragliding is not covered by the BHPA’s insurance when organising trips – this is not considered a problem by the BHPA, but it does mean you need to be certain you have your own insurance. We normally use the Co-Op. Dogtag.co.uk provide better cover for search and rescue, but their prices are higher.
Breakfast: Tea, coffee, granola, cornflakes, fruit, yoghurt, pancakes, maple syrup, and (if we’re not having an early start) english breakfast or croissants.
Lunch: we provide fresh bread, sandwich fillings, and fruit for you to assemble your own packed lunches.
Dinner: simple home-cooked food such as roast chicken with mash and greens, mushroom risotto, pasta carbonara, steak and chips, etc. Local cheese and wild boar saucisson.
We’ll be staying at a holiday home close to Vero, one of the main flying sites. You may need to share a room. There will be a gardens and a swimming pool available.
Consider bringing the following extra bits of kit:
In a strong east wind, we may need to drive for a couple of hours to the other side of the mountain range.
If the weather is completely unflyable we can go to the beach, or swim and paddleboard in Lake Tollo, go gorge walking, mountain biking, via ferrata, visit some prehistoric sites, or take the train into Ajaccio.
Two weeks or more before departure you can cancel with a refund less £200.
If you wish to cancel after that, we will do our best to find someone else to replace you, but a refund will be conditional on this. In the unlikely event that the trip becomes unviable for any reason, we will offer to refund everyone in full.
The total price of this trip is £845 not including travel. You are paying a £200 deposit. The balance of £645 will be due 1 month before departure. To travel with us by car will cost an extra £200, including one overnight stay in each direction. Otherwise you can book a flight or take the train.
Please describe your paragliding experience (hours flown, any mountain flying experience) and confirm any special dietary requirements (please say whether life-threatening). We will also require an emergency contact, please provide us with a name, phone number plus any other contact details you wish to share.
Four weeks or more before departure you can cancel with a refund less £200 (ie. we keep your deposit, if that’s all you’ve paid).
If you wish to cancel after that, we will do our best to find someone else to replace you, but a refund less £200 will be conditional on this. In the unlikely event that the trip becomes unviable for any reason, we will refund everyone in full.
In order to stay safe on this trip, you should avoid groupthink and keep alert in your own decision making! You know yourself, your capabilities, fears, and desires. Just because some pilots have judged the weather to be OK, it might not be OK for you, and the weather might change, or other pilots might have missed something that you’ve noticed.
This trip does not include guidance nor instruction. As a group, we will share information and discuss options for each day’s flying, before making a decision together about which flying site to travel to. Each pilot remains responsible for their own decision making – nobody is obliged to fly, and each of us must satisfy ourselves that the forecast and flying site are suitable before taking off. Your awareness of this will help you stay safe.
The next few days look a bit too windy for paragliding.