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Do I need an instrument to start…? Full Colour mapping gps and vario

The main function of a variometer - that measure the change in air pressure to tell you when you are going up. On a soarable ridge that is more obvious than you might think, thermalling, on the other hand is a little harder and without any inherent spider sense requires as much help as you can get. Audible varios are a real useful tool.

Varios offer audio only so an up and down noise, very small and relatively cheap. Audio only varies - which?

They can also offer a visual display with memory that records your altitude and measures the length of your flight. useful for keeping a log of your hours, and especially if you fly during thermic periods near congested or prohibitive airspace areas. 

For instance, If you have a ceiling of a 2,000ft above your local site, flying without would be deemed reckless and potential airspace infringements are damaging to the sport, irresponsible and come with CAA fines and potential prosecution or flying over the back of the hill and landing in a no-flying zone.

Vario Gps: Integrated units are now the norm, so if you're planning to get stuck into thermal flying and Xc then best skip the visual vario and go for the full functionality, you’ll learn more about the instrument as and when you need it. Many instruments come future proofed for free software upgrades.

Basic Gps units offer ground speed which is essential for Xc pilots working out wind strength and direction. Many units now offer a last thermal function, so they track the last piece of lift you entered and fell out off and show you a mate where it is in relation to yourself. The more high-end units offer preloaded airspace maps, warnings, and now live tracking which is both useful fro safety and retracing your best days on google maps when the weather is lousy! Top end Gps are competition rated and allow the loading of predefines tasks route optimisation etc…Combined Gp and vario with tracking

So Do you need one…If it’s not a budget decision then go for the integrated Gps, if you are off to the mountains, get some form of live track facility. If you only ever fly at coastal sites I wouldn’t bother and enjoy the peace and quiet. if you are on a budget then start with an Audible only device.

Not sure, we regularly train pilots in their 50’s to late 60’s, I believe our oldest student pilot qualified at 78, typically we take more time to learn as we get older, so if you're content to take your time and pace yourself then the world is your oyster!

It's down to personal fitness, if it's paramotoring then it's often more an issue of initially carrying the additional weight of the engine, if your knees are tricky you might want to consider trike flying. We don't teach to a set time frame, we aim to achieve at the pace that works for the student so it takes as long as it takes.

See more information on our fitness FAq, we now ask all students above 60 yrs to produce a medical report from the Doctor, its important for any student regardless of age to inform the instructor prior to commencing of any underlying health issues so these are not aggravated through fatigue or stress

FlySpain owns a number of houses in the village which  we have lovingly renovated, all with different characteristics and charm including woodburning stoves, central heating, swimming pool (Eagles Nest only) and lots of beautiful terraces to take in the views and enjoy a gin and tonic!

Accommodation is based on two sharing although you can book a single person supplement to get a room to yourself for a little extra. We can acter for groups, families, you name it, we even rent them out to groups seperately around our flying season.

Filling in your Arrival Form promptly will assist us greatly. Single rooms are limited to book early by completing your Arrivals Form.

We also accept non-flying partners to stay, again there is a nominal charge for that too.

No, you can book a single person supplement with an additional charge to get a room to yourself.

Select this option on your online '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, filling in your online Arrival Form promptly will assist us greatly.

We have a variety of houses available to us including HQ at the 'Eagle's Nest'. Your accommodation will be in the village of Algodonales, meetings and theory sessions begin at HQ

You'll only need a car if you are staying over two weeks and want to explore or head to the lake for a swim in the hot season.


If you are a beginner, learning to paraglide or paramotor, YES you need to be a member of the BHPA to join our tuition classes. 

You don't need to be a member on our holidays.

(For qualified pilots on our guided weeks & holidays we highly recommend that you are a member of the Paragliding Association for your country)

BHPA members automatically receive 3rd-party insurance cover and a copy of the Skywings magazine each month as part of their membership package. 

A 3 months trial membership is only suitable for our Beginners Elementary class and costs £53
Annual BHPA flying membership costs £99 and is suitable for Beginners Elementary + Club Pilot + Club Pilot Power students

BHPA Membership form
BHPA Membership form

606.55 kB - pdf

Please complete the application form and post directly to the BHPA head office along with your payment prior to arriving for your course with FlySpain. 

You will be given a membership number which you will need to bring with you.


Please complete the application form and post directly to the BHPA head office along with your payment prior to arriving for your course with FlySpain.

You will be given a membership number which you will need to bring with you. 

BHPA Membership form
BHPA Membership form

606.55 kB - pdf

You can visit their website if you'd like further information: 

If you have enquiries for the BHPA you can contact them directly:

Telephone: 0116 289 4316
Fax: 0116 289 8741
Email:[email protected]

The British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association Ltd 

8 Merus Court, Meridian Business Park, Leicester, LE19 1RJ, United Kingdom

How to choose a paramotor?

This can be a complicated task. There are great differences between paramotors
I will try to give you an unbiased comparison (we have a school and have multiple units). We will try to give some honest advice.
Most beginners start with the engine because it is easy to compare the numbers but this is by far not the most important thing. Experienced pilots know that there are huge differences in how the paramotor feels when you fly it. This is determined by paramotor geometry and plenty of small details, while not all of them are possible to measure. As a beginner, you may not be able to decide upon this but get different opinions. The brand your instructor is the dealer of may not always be the best for you.

List of paramotor pointers you should consider when buying a paramotor:

  •  How much power do you need?
  • How much weight am I happy to carry?
  • Standard 125cm prop or larger?
  • Do you need a clutch?
  • Electric or manual starter?
  • Is aerodynamics important?
  • Strength and repairability.
  • Fuel have to carry it so every liter is another kilo at take off on your back and legs
  • Transport and travel with your paramotor.

You start with a beginner wing now which offers easy behaviour on takeoff,  benign flight characteristics but you might , depending on how much you fly want to upgrade to upgrade to a faster wing later. However, you can keep your paramotor for many years if you have chosen properly.

What is your flying style and your goals in paramotoring for the future?

  • Cross country cruising
  •  Low-level-fun/slalom addict
  • Acro madman
  • Thermalling junkie

Cross-country cruising... This is it the birds-eye perspective on long cross-country flights that attracts everyone in the first place so its a good place to start. You will need: Easy Launch, gain altitude, let the brake toggles go and fly fast and far as you like. All engines will do this, the bigger they are the more fuel they drink, so shorter distances and more need to carry fuel for longer flights. They'll also be heavier to manage on the ground and for landing but you'll get a quicker climb rate...not that that's really important. Less power equals less vibration, fewer repairs, less fuel, and less weight generally.

Is there more to it?

Flying will never get boring but it is natural to human nature to seek progress. It may happen that after some airtime you look for some more adrenaline. You may look for disciplines where you could learn/show more skills. Acro, slalom flying all these disciplines lean towards smaller gliders that need more power, better climb rates etc

Equally, you'll be making shorter flights less concerned about distance and more on altitude and skill refinement. Pondering these options means in truth you've already had your fill of the category above already. Pilots don't go from school and think I want to be an acro pilot without before gaining the fundamental skills and going on progression courses.

Engine size

The bigger the engine often equates with more thrust, but prop size is quite key here too. If you bolt on a 185 machine on your back you'll notice two things, the sheer weight at 26kilos plus the fuel five liters per hour is another five kilos! you have to launch and run with that for hopefully a short spell if your technique is dialled. 

Larger engines vibrate more

The issue with that is that things rattle loose, anything that starts loose comes free and ends up flying through your prop which leads to further expense and lost time in repairs.

So our advice is to buy an engine that's the right size for you, the climb out wants to be sensible and not like the Saturn rocket!. Power needs to be managed and most pilots unless doing acrobatics, really don't need large quantities of power to get you out of trouble, we fly mostly in straight lines, we can see and anticipate obstacles and plan accordingly. Normal flight for the majority of pilots is cruising at whatever flight level floats your boat, its not dynamic flying.

Obviously, if your blessed with big bones you'll need a powerful engine to help get airborne. If you have a weak back and weaker knees and weigh under 88kg you can away with smaller engines like a 125 or 80 cc unit. There's plenty of choices. 

Throttle choice

Left or right hand, some would argue left if your a right handed so you can get access to your reserve handle, but i've checked if things went pair shaped I guarantee I'd pull a reserve even with a throttle in my hand. If you fly with a camera and need to focus..then left hand is your focusing hand... most righties i know fly with right-hand throttle, left to  left...whatever you choose just stick with it.

Harness Size. 

Medium Small or Large/Xl simple as that anything under 5'10 ft go for medium anything above go large.

We are a BHPA rated and supported school, so are our instructors, if you’d like to get our high standard of instruction I’m afraid you will have to join the BHPA, you can get an IPPI qualification which allows you to get an internationally recognised certificate to fly, but please check if your own country does recognise them, most of Europe certainly does and we can help and advise with that.

Remember you only need to be a Bhpa member to join in our tuition courses like EP or Cp paragliding or paramotoring

Not really, part of the popualrity of training with us is that we operate across northern European winters. It has more to do with maybe how much heat you like or don’t. It's cooler from Jan through to late April and from late October to mid December. 
The longer days of Summer and Autumn often mean we take a break or siesta to avoid the thermic part and hottest part of the day, going back out until late. The Autumn/Winter months mean you'll get instruction across the more typical working day of 9 - 6pm

Low airtime pilots from 0 - 30 hrs

Not sure, we regularly train pilots in their 50’s to late 60’s, I believe our oldest student pilot qualified at 78, typically we take more time to learn as we get older, so if you're content to take your time and pace yourself, then the world is your oyster!


There is a certain amount of theory to achieve during the week plus an easy multiple choice exam, if we get any bad weather days we’ll use those for that. 
We occasionally take students out and show them a slice of Andalucia, it is a beautiful place with a rich history in food and architecture.

In the very unlikely event of losing a whole week’s flying we will give you credit towards another course in the future. We always try and ensure you get the very most from the week and return for more!

Paragliding is predominantly seasonal in Britain, the best of the season is from April/May to September. There have been exceptional years and if you are persistent there are occasional windows over winter when you can get some really lovely crisp soarable days. We don't fly in rain and need a maximum wind speed on the hill of at most 16mph for training. We also fly in no wind at all as we can provide our own inertia to inflate the canopy simply by running. For those pilots looking to fly a little more over then they tend to head south to Spain or the Canaries.

You can do many different things with a paraglider. You can hike up a large mountain and use the paraglider to fly back down again but soaring ridges is the most common form of paragliding in Britain and the rest of the world. When the wind blows directly onto a ridge or hill, the air is diverted over the top creating a "wave" of lift. We can soar or surf this "wave" to stay airborne for hours. After your flight, you simply land back on the top of the hill where you took off from. Flight times can be anything between 5 minutes and how long one can hold their bladder!

Flying is a tremendously personal thing, for some soaring around on a beautiful coastal site while abroad on holiday with the family or a green British hillside is divine, others like to thermal with the birds and see how high they can get before the sun sets. The ultimate challenge for some pilots is to fly cross- country using rising thermals of hot air to climb to "cloud base" covering great distances. The current world record is over 400km and in Britain, just over 280k from North Wales to Luton…avoiding the airport!

Add an engine and you can take advantage of flatter ground and light winds early doors and in the afternoons, paraglider pilots use paramotors as an extra string to their bow to get more airtime on the days it's too light to fly or its easier to fly more local to home.

Paramotor pilots from beginner to experienced, the best courses cater to the individual

Paraglider pilots from beginner to experienced, the best courses cater to the individual. We have been doing that in Spain and worldwide for years, if you have any queries just email for a consultation as what suits you best.


20hrs plus or a current pilot who has made at least one thermic course abroad with half decent take off skills in at least Alpine or reverse launching


We meet In Cali,  and head to a hotel at the base of Piedechince, a fine area to get some flying in, great take off, easy landings, superb thermalling and some great XC flying is to be had. Brilliant for a refresher few days. Then we once settled in we move to some other sites depending on conditions.

A quick pack stuff bag as we are based on the closest campsite to the Dune, they make getting out and getting home for tea quick and helpful.

You can qualify at age 14 now 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. Drop us a line if you are unsure

You can pay for a singel person supplement for any of the following trips but so ask before booking
Dune de Pyla

Cabins, based on two sharing a room or camping if you'd prefer. 


Rooms, twin based on two sharing

Rooms, twin based on two sharing

Rooms, twin based on two sharing


Rooms, twin based on two sharing



8 Students to 2 instructos


To get as much ground handling practice in a possible so you can be confident to take off anywhere in the world. We teach some extra kiting skills, plus if the wind is straight on the hill you can get some soaring in too


We aim to pick up at 1 pm at Bordeaux. Or you can get a taxi or train to Archachon