This trip is open to all autonomous pilots qualified to at least CP level. The sites we propose to visit all have excellent launches suitable for all pilot levels. We will be aiming to go XC every day, but as with all of our trips its really up to you when (and if) you launch and when you decide to land. Generally, whilst thermic, the conditions are very friendly and accessible for low-air-timers. We also plan, where conditions and time allow to grab some evening soaring flights. The flying arenas in Macedonia have lots of big flat easy landing options.
Temperatures during the daytime are usually hot (above 30°C) on the plains but can be a bit chilly when you get up to base.
Our Flying Arena for this trip
The main area we’ll be exploring is the middle south west part of Macedonia. It’s home to the biggest flat-land area in the country called Pelagonia. Flanked to the north, west and east by three independent mountain chains, the south of Pelagonia opens up to Greece and is thus influenced by the mild Mediterranean climate.
July and August is the time of year with the biggest diurnal temperature differences, which typically leads to thermal activity starting at about 10am and dropping off at about 5pm or so. At this time of year, it typically rains only 4 times per month (usually short sharp showers) so like neighbouring Greece, it’s very dry. Rain is rarely a problem.
The prevailing wind is north-west, but strong wind is not a problem here. Local east winds set-up in the morning providing exceptionally dependable flying conditions along the mountain chain through the morning. As the north wind feeds into the flat lands later, permanent thermic cycles become established. The flying weather here is very easy to understand and predict.
We have the best hotel in town!
We’re staying at the brand new and the best hotel in town: Hotel Panorama Spa.
Best of all, we have free use of the spa facilities – the perfect way to relax after a day of cross country flying.
We will be staying in the magical mountain town and living museum of Krusevo. For most of the week we’ll be using the local sites (located a very easy five minutes (!!) from the Hotel). They’re the best and most reliable sites in Macedonia. We also want to see a little bit of Macedonia so we also hope to visit some other sites, for example, the site at Treskavec (Mount Zlato) and Lake Ohrid (See the photos above).
Lake Ohrid is without doubt one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. Here, pilots regularly achieve XC flights along the mountains running north-south on the west lake-facing slopes.
Mount Zlato is home to another great site, where a recently paved road takes us all the way to the 1422m launch right next to the 13th-century Treskavec Monastery. It’s a great evening site and just across the valley from Krusevo.
- Arrival: meeting at Skpoje International Airport in the early afternoon
- Travel to Kruševo.
- Full briefing.
- Afternoon/evening flight if time allows
Day 2 – 7
- Fly as much as possible!
- Early morning transfer to Skopje International Airport.
You will need to bring the following:
- Passport (most people don’t need a visa but please check here)
- Paragliding insurance (essential if you want to fly!) Bring insurance documents with you!!
- Certified wing.
- Certified harness with fitted and recently re-packed reserve parachute.
- Paragliding helmet.
- Sturdy flying shoes/boots.
- Radio (or get in touch early if you want to rent one)
- Unblocked mobile telephone
We also recommend you bring the following:
- Sunscreen – It will probably be hot and sunny during the day!
- Sun-glasses – It will probably be hot and sunny during the day!
- Hat – It will probably be hot and sunny during the day!
- Summer clothing – It will probably be hot and sunny during the day!
- Warm clothing for flying. It can get quite chilly up at cloud-base.
- Vario – very useful paragliding tool
- GPS – another very useful paragliding tool.
- Camera – Great photos assured.
Please book flights to arrive at Skopje (Macedonia’s main airport) on the first day of your safari and depart on the final day to qualify for free airport transfers. For example, if your trip is Wednesday to Wednesday then your flights should arrive and leave on those days. Flights should arrive by mid afternoon.
Please wait for your booking to be accepted before booking flights. Please also let us know your proposed flight times BEFORE booking those flights. Alternatively you might like to spend an extra day or two in Skopje at the beginning or end of your trip. Please get in touch if that is your preference.
Transfers are all included. We’ll meet you at the airport at the beginning of the week and drop you back there at the conclusion of your trip.
Arrival in Macedonia
After clearing customs (a very simple process) you will exit into the main airport lounge where there is a seating area (to the right) which is where we’ll be waiting to welcome you. If you arrive early, find cash points, toilets and cafés in the waiting area.
Paragliding Skills Preparation
Ground handle, ground handle, ground handle! The top pilots in the world spend hours every month playing with their wings…on the ground! The happier you are with your ground handling, the better you will understand your wing (e.g. pitch, roll, yaw and pressure control), the safer will be your launches, the safer will be your landings and the safer you will be in the air. Those good at ground handling also tend to spend less time “stuffing up” their launches and so tend to spend more time in the air. They also tend to be the more confident on launch and can therefore concentrate on the flying!! To maximise your safety and the safety of those in your proximity (!), to maximise your enjoyment – ground handle ground handle and then ground handle!!!
We require you to have insurance that covers repatriation. Please make sure that your insurance is valid for Macedonia and of course that paragliding is covered! Please bring insurance documents with you. You will not be allowed to fly without proof of insurance!!
Hotel accommodation with breakfast is included in the price of this trip. Panorama Spa Hotel is a 4star hotel is located at the top of the small medieval town of Krusevo. It also offers excellent evening meals, a bar and free wifi throughout. It’s brand new, very clean with very professional English-speaking staff. It’s quite possibly the best hotel in the whole country!!
Rooms are twin (double rooms for couples). If you’d prefer a single room for the week, there are a limited number available for a supplement. Please get in touch early to reserve a single room.
The Macedonian currency is the dinar. There are about 65 Dinar to the pound or approximately 60 Dinar to the Euro. Usually the easiest and most cost effective way of obtaining local currency is via an ATM at Skopje airport on arrival. There are also ATMs in in the town of Krusevo. Prices for food and beer are generally half (or less) the prices found in West Europe.
Safety and Medical Facilities
Safety is our absolute priority. We continually assess flying conditions in our passionate endeavour to keep you as safe as possible. However, please understand that although we will do all we can to ensure your safety, you should know your own level of ability and as a qualified pilot when it comes to flying understand that it is your decision to fly, and yours alone! A basic first aid kit will be kept in the vehicle at all times.
Here’s some cool links to explore some of the areas we’re planning to visit:
- Accommodation at Panorama Spa Hotel and breakfast (sharing two per room unless you request single in advance)
- Full guiding service (3 expert guides flying with you including air to air radio guiding to help you fly further)
- Comprehensive retrieve service
- Daily briefs and flight debriefs
- Airport Transfers
- A 3G Flymaster Tracker (safety, retrieve and post-flight analysis)
- Daily briefing and post-flight analysis
Not included are return flights, insurance, lunch and dinner.
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