What is the itinerary?
Day 1 Kathmandu
We will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the Hotel. The first evening we will visit and have a dinner together at the temple Boudanath stupa.
Day 2-4 Pokhara
This is the main paragliding site of Nepal and a tourist destination. Sarangkot mountain (1450m) is an easy and busy thermal spot with amazing views of the Annapurnas and Machapuchare. Takeoff and landings (next to a lake) are ready for all levels. We will adapt the flight plan depending on your skills, from easy smooth thermal flights to the most popular XC routes around.
Day 5-7 Sirkot
40km south of Pokhara, we will ride a jeep to the lodge on the top of the ridge. Sirkot offers soaring but also great xc flights. The lodge, managed by an X-Alps nepali pilot, has one of the best sunrise views ever!.
Day 8-10 Pokhara
Near of Pokhara we have alternative takeoffs to explore different ridges and flying possibilities.
Day 11-12 Bandipur
We will travel during the morning to a beautiful small village with an afternoon soaring flight. Bandipur is a beautiful and typical old village on top of a ridge. It is situated in between Pokhara and Kathmandu.
Day 13-14 Kathmandu
The capital of Nepal has a lot of temples and markets to offer. Before going back home it’s great to have a walk around the most famous areas like the Monkey temple, Durbar square or even the neighbourhoods of Patan and Bhaktapur.
What days should I arrive and depart ?
The dates shown on the calendar are Arrival and Departure dates only.
The course starts the following morning. i.e. our calendar EP course dates 4-10 march. Arrive with us on Sunday 4th to settle in, the course starts early on Monday. The course finishes on Friday evening, your departure travel day being Saturday 10th.
Courses vary, such as the Zero to Hero ppg course, Please check dates carefully.
If you arrive outside those times we can help organise either a taxi or point you to a bus or car rental.
What time do I have to be at the airport to get the free shuttle?
The shuttle is at the airport at 1pm on your day of arrival. Please aim to land by 12:30 to be clear of the airport building by 1pm (Spanish time). On departure day (Saturday) it leaves the village at 11am and drops off at the airport for 1p.m. Flights leaving after 15:00 give plenty of time to check-in. If you can't coordinate your flights within these times, alternatively grab a taxi or hire car.
What level of pilot is the Zero to Hero Paramotoring course aimed at?
Complete beginners looking to qualify.
What exactly is a Paraglider?
A paraglider may look vaguely like a parachute or commonly confused with a parasail or parasailing because most folk have been to the beach or what some daft operators on You tube.
Paragliding is now at a very exciting stage in its development, from being just a fun method of decent from hills, paragliding now offers the pilot the sensation of true free flight for hours upon hours. Using modern high strength materials a canopy only weighs about 7kg and packs neatly into a rucksack. This makes this "aeroplane in a bag" totally portable and can complement other sports such as skiing and mountaineering.
The paraglider wing is an inflatable structure. It consists of a row of tubes open at the front and closed at the back joined together side by side. The wing moving through the air keeps these tubes (or cells, to give their correct name) inflated. The air goes in the front but can't get out the back. These cells are cut into the same cross sectional shape as an aeroplane wing and it is this "aerofoil" section that provides the lift to our wings. The pilot is supported underneath the wing from a web of lines, each one with the strength to support the pilot alone. These lines are then attached to risers, a strap like device that is then itself attached to the pilots harness.
The harnesses we use for training are very simple but the ones used by the experienced pilots can look like a bucket seat taken from a racing car. These incredibly comfortable harnesses can come with airbag back protection systems to protect the pilot from unplanned hard landings, built in reserve parachute systems and all sorts of electronic instrumentation ranging from digital altimeters to global positioning systems. Cross-country flyers can look more like astronauts than paraglider pilots! The pilot holds a control handle on each side to steer the glider into turns. The control lines run to the rear of the canopy from these handles and by pulling smoothly down on one line at a time, one side of the wing slows down there-by turning the glider. With these controls you can perform anything from a gentle turn, to a screaming spiral dive, slow the wing down for landing and damp out turbulent air.
Add an engine to your back and you have paramotoring, a simple foot launched aircraft whihc again packs into most cars and without needing any big runway or storage hangar you can fly; outside of airspace and within the safety of the weather, anytime and anywhere you like.
What do I need to bring to Nepal
January: mild temperatures in the valleys during the day (22 degrees), cold in the nights (7 degrees).
Warm leggings or flying suit in case of no pod harness.
Medium warm gloves
Shoes: usually is dry land.
Smartphone with free sim card option (buying a nepali prepaid sim card is very cheap and efficient for our trip).
GPS or compass for flying.
GPS tracker (garmin inreach, spot…).
Water purification tablets or light water filter (https://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/equipment-c3/water-treatment-c24/water-filters-c165/befree-water-filtration-system-0-6l-p7645). But it's almost always possible to find bottled water.
Earplugs (for quite nights).
1 photo for the Nepal sim card.
1 photo for the flying permit
What's the lowest age limit to learn and qualify in paragliding?
Paragliding Ep beginners courses or paramotoring make for a great family activity holiday. You can now qualify at age 14 but you can learn to fly earlier with an adult present depending on your weight and fitness.
We’d only encourage children to do what they felt they were happy to do so if they felt too nervous with high altitude then they could stop there. There are issues with weight, so in truth any student pilot under 35 kilos would probably struggle. Drop us a line if you are unsure
Do the paragliding courses ever get cancelled due to lack of numbers?
We’ve never cancelled a beginners or Cp course in paragliding or paramotoring, we have a full-time staff here super keen to go out and work and get you flying. When you give us a deposit we pledge to be here to teach you!
Who is the Paramotoring CP Conversion suitable for?
Any pilot who's already achieved a paragliding hill or tow rating to at least Ep beginners level.
Visas & arrivals for Nepal
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARRIVE
In the airport:
If you have made the Nepal visa in your country, you can go straight in to the line of visa checking
You can also fill a pre-visa form through this official website: https://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa
If not, there are now visa registration machines in the immigration hall which, after inserting your passport, will automatically fill out the visa form for you.
Then you need to go to the line of payment (pay in main foreign currency, but in dollars might be easier).
After that go to the line of visa checking.
Remember: Your passport must be valid for at least six months and you will need a free page for your visa.
It's possible to do a visa extension in Pokhara if you decide to stay longer.
Go downstairs to find your bag.
On the way out you will need to show your baggage tag, to prove is yours.
Sometimes it takes long to get your baggage. Look around in case somebody put your baggage in the floor, in a corner.
If you don't receive it complain and we will help you to get the process to recover it. In 8 years they never lost my gliders, it looks chaotic but it works!
Out of the airport
There is a group of people across the street of the airport exit with hotel names. Look for the FlySpain sign, maybe also with your name. The taxi it’s already paid.
If you don't find the driver, ask around. If it's not there for any special reason you can take your own taxi to Sacred Valley hotel, in Thamel. You should pay 600 rupees or 5$ more or less.
Where are the courses run?
Our Head Quarters is at the 'Vultures Nest' in the village of Algodonales, southern Spain, meetings normally start around 9am. We use a variety of private and public hills & fields to teach our paragliding and paramotoring courses.
What if I have to cancel or move my booking?
Due to the popularity of our courses, they are regularly fully booked often months in advance. Our CP paragliding and paramotoring courses are limited to small numbers of pilots and two instructors hence no refunds. However see below for how we will help.
We encourage you to take out holiday insurance from the get-go, if you have to move your booking and we get Four Weeks notice then no problem, we’ll refund you 90% of your booking. If we get less notice, then we’ll try and sell your place or provide you with a receipt for your holiday to give to your insurer.
My ground handling is poor, will I get a chance to practice on that?
Of course, yes, we consider it a crucial part of paragliding, good ground skills make a top pilot. So given the chance we’ll include a proper session for ground handling.
Can I do top landings?
Yes we have some private sites that allow you to top land, not all are appropriate but ask an instructor if you’d like to practice.
What level of pilot is the CP course aimed at?
A recently qualified EP student. Ep Student refers to a British pilot but any student paraglider pilot with 3-4 days flying under their belt, so a pilot with a minimum of three UK or European days flying achieved in the last 12- 18ths.
How important is my fitness to learn to paraglide?
Paragliders & Paramotors come in all sizes catering for both light and heavy weights a piece. Thankfully for most of the instructors I know, you don't need to be an athlete. Generally, as long as you can put one foot in front of another and break into a gentle jog you can safely learn how to fly.
On the paragliding hill courses, you do need to walk up and down a 200 feet or 80 metre slope over the course of 2-3 days. There's no rush so as long as you get back to the top of the hill then it’s all good. Once you're happy at flying at those heights then we drive you up bigger hills to fly. If you're unsure, or have previous medical conditions, then maybe best ask your doctor before booking or contact us direct for advice
We do offer some bespoke courses(one to one) that use a winch for towing up for initial flights, it can be a constructive way of learning without having to walk up hills
Can I learn to paraglide on my own, or is this just for groups?
Come on your own, leave as part of a bigger flying family
What's the instructor ratio for the course?
EP. Beginners Paragliding courses can have from 4-8 on a group, you'll normally get 2-3 instructors helping you throughout the week
Club pilot course - 4-6 with 2 instructors on hand.
Paramotor Club pilot - 4-6 with 2 instructors on hand.
Zero to hero paramotoring courses - 4-6 with 2 instructors on hand.
Zero to hero paragliding courses - 4/5 with 2 instructors on hand.
Siv courses - 8 pilots to a course
Guided weeks - 7-9 with 2 instructors coaching and full Gps tracking
Is there much theory, will I have to sit an exam?
There is a certain amount of theory to achieve during the week plus an easy multiple choice exam for beginners, it's really very easy and we provide lectures during the week. You don’t need to know any rocket science to learn to fly a paraglider but there is a need to know and have a basic comprehension of how gliders fly and the rules of the road. Knowledge of the weather is part and parcel of making good safe flying decisions and getting the best out of your flying. Lectures will be given on all aspects of the exam and more.
Some basic background reading can be very useful, for good and easily comprehensible literature that would ease you into the sport try any of these titles;
BHPA Pilot Handbook by Mark Dale: a superb book, very readable and highly informative.
Touching Cloudbase by Ian Currer: Bit of a paragliding bible guides you from the very basics to novice pilot level in a nice logical order.
Understanding the Sky - Dennis Pagen; a Brilliant book on the weather, really easy to absorb and understand, not too fiendishly technical.
All these books are available from us just email us [email protected]
Can I bring a non-flying partner?
All are welcome, we will happily pick them up from the airport when you both arrive, our house is lovely and relaxed with terraces to sit and read and wind down. We can't guarantee a place in the bus to watch you fly, if we can we will of course, but pilots come first.
We have few en-suite rooms so it's first come first served.
There will be an accommodation supplement for partners and children (depending on age). The Non-flyer supplement is £300 per week.
Algodonales is a stunningly beautiful area. There are massive amounts to keep everyone busy while you are flying. Stacks of history, horse riding to kitesurfing and bike hire in the village. Picnics & canoeing on the lake, stunning restaurants, charming bars and beautiful white hillside villages of Andalucia, everything is out there to do and explore. Here are some general links to activities in and around the area. For more ideas have a look at our "what other activities can I do in Spain..."
What sort of accommodation is included in the course?
We have a variety of houses available to us including HQ, the 'Eagle's Nest'. Accommodation is based on two sharing, although you can book a single person supplement to get a room to yourself. We currently don’t have many ensuite rooms so they are on a first come first served basis.
No, you can book a single person supplement to get a room to yourself, please select this on your Arrival form at the time of booking. We currently don’t have many ensuite rooms so they are on a first come first served basis.
Is equipment included in the Club Pilot course?
Yes it is, we size you up for the most appropriate equipment from day one. Including Radios, harness and reserve parachute
What do I do about equipment during the course or if I want my own?
If you are on a paragliding course with us all our paragliding equipment will be provided from a safety helmet to glider and harness within the course price. We also use Radios on bigger hill flights for certain tasks like soaring and Big Ears manoeuvres.
FlySpain boasts some of the best school equipment out there to teach on, the equipment is checked regularly, and conforms to the latest safety standards. Its chosen to make your progression through the school as happy and easy as possible with the most confidence. The gliders you fly on in the later half of your course and when you leave the school tend to be a little different from the training gliders you first go out on.
Some students prefer to buy their own equipment from the outset & learn to fly using that. Others choose to buy new or used equipment halfway through the course so that by the end of the course they are au fait and comfortable with their new kit in the company and familiar surroundings of their instructors.
Our recommendation is to try and hold off buying equipment until you have completed two or three days of the course, by then you will be familiar with what is on the market and what you might like.
The choice is huge and depending on what your intentions, not all equipment is suitable. If climbing and paragliding is an ambition then you will want very specialist light weight equipment, like wise, if you commute with your business a lot and you need something more portable. It just allows you a chance to look around and see what gliders and harnesses are available, we have a good selection of demos paraglider wings and harnesses for you to try.
Regardless if you are on the inclusive glider-training package and have bought your kit new, there won’t be any pressure on you to select the first thing that’s put in front of you. There's lots of on instructors on hand to offer up advise about what equipment is most suitable for you. We offer a mix of new and second hand equipment see our shop for more details
Can I get Top Landings achieved too?
If weather and skill level are there, there is no reason you can’t achieve your top landings with us.