This post is also available in: French
Do you want to take your mind off your everyday routine ? Are you looking to experience new sensations in an idyllic setting ? Then, I’m going to suggest you an adventure and nature escape for a weekend in France.
Last year, at the end of summer, we spent a weekend in the Regional Natural Park of Chartreuse in the French Rhone-Alpes region. We stayed at a camping in Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet but the highlight of our weekend was the whole family going on a paragliding flight, parents included. It wasn’t my first flight. I had already done paragliding in the Pyrenees when I was 10-12 years old. But here, we were all going to fly together.
We planned our flights with the St-Hilaire paragliding school Prevol. We had three instructors for our family group. They were all nice and very enthusiasts.
Chocks away and tally-ho!
At this moment, you have to run, and run down the hill and even when your feet don’t touch the ground anymore, you have to keep running.
Observe that cow in the picture. She doesn’t seem stressed at all that objects/people are flying over her field all day.
We have taken-off, now we can sit in the seat-backpack. And let yourself go with the flow while admiring the scenery. Yes, the instructor is in charge, so you don’t have anything to do but just enjoy the flight.
The instructor will make you fly over different places: over plains and houses, above mountain ranges, over a forest or up in the clouds… The flight will be cool and peaceful. Nothing to be afraid of, even for people afraid of heights. Just let yourself glide.
However, if you’re looking for a bit of adventure and sensations, the instructor can offer you to turn like a torpedo. He will pull strongly on the strings on one side. This will make you rotate on yourself several times very fast. It feels like a bird smashed on the parachute and that we are crashing, but the instructor is always in control. A good adrenaline rush that lasts 10-15 seconds. Can be repeated twice or thrice.
When landing, there is no need to run. Just make two steps and you’re done. Be careful not to twist your ankle or to land too heavily on your knees. For the laziest or more fragile persons, you can lift your legs and land on your bottom.
There were a few big grey clouds during that day, but in the end, we didn’t catch any rain. It was a wonderful day to go on a paragliding flight.
For anyone who seeks sensations, adventures ou just nature walks, I recommend you to try this small town to escape for the weekend. St-Hilaire-du-Touvet is also a small family ski resort during winter, but, like I said in a previous post, you will have more fun in the summer.
Have you ever done a paragliding flight ? In which region did you do it ? Have you already attend the Icare Cup ?
All aerial photos were taken with a GoPro Hero 3 and a few others with a Drift camera.
Prevol paragliding school: 14 chemin du funiculaire – 38660 St Hilaire du Touvet (France)
Paragliding tandem flight: 80€
Photos – video souvenir : 15€ (you can also bring your own GoPro).
Other activities in St-Hilaire :
Hiking trails: try the Pal de Fer hike, for example
Via-Ferrata : it looks pretty epic. We didn’t get the chance to do it because it was closed when we were there. A week earlier, a rock collapsed and one person died.
Icare cup : Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet home to the famous Coupe Icare. It’s a festival for all aerial sports which gathers a lot of people each year. This year, the Icare cup will take place September 17-20 2015.