offers breathtaking nature, uncrowded launch sites and, in mid-summer,
never-ending days. Almost all parts of Norway are flyable, offering you
anything from spectacular flights over the fjords to hard core XC-flying
to gentle coastal soaring - sometimes 24 hours a day, under the midnight
sun. Cross Country newshound Frode Halse leads the way.
Close to “The North Sea Oil Capital”, Stavanger, you
can fly from Øksnanuten in Gjesdal, frequently
used because it is flyable in all wind directions, offering reliable
In the Setesdal
valley, the best sites are at Aaraksbø, Hovden,
Eiken and Valle.
Information: Olav L. Olsen +47 90 91 47 74.
In Bergen, the launch at Unneland (Arna) is a short
drive away from the city.
inland Voss is an excellent choice. This area offers
several launches, most popular being Hanguren. A gondola
takes you up from the heart of the city. The landing is on the
shore of Lake Vangsvatnet. From here, it is possible to fly XCs
of up to 60-70 Kms.
Information: Endre Tesdal +47 90 68 62 19
The popular ”Ekstrem Sport Veko” (Extreme Sport Week) is a
yearly event taking place at Voss the last week of June.
This year (2002) top pilots Robby Whitall, Alan Zoller, Alex Louw and
Rob Cruitkshank held the paragliding acrobatic & safety-courses and
seminars. Other activities included base-jumping, skydiving, rafting,
kayaking, skating, big-jump, climbing and mountain biking. Be there next
Center of Voss by
clearing on the Hanguren Mountain is the main launch, easily accessible
by gondola. Landing is on the grassy part of the shore, hanggliders
prefer the sandy part.
(Photo: Geir Dyvik)
N from Voss for an hour, you come to the fjord-community of
Aurland. This town is situated on the shore of the famous Aurlandsfjorden,
a branch of Sognefjorden. The close relation to the fjord and the
900 meters height difference makes this a superb venue for SIV courses.
Flying from here can be recommended as being the ultimate scenic flying
another 30 Kms, with a short ferry ride, S of Voss is Nosi,
at Lofthus, another fabulous launch site. This also being
ideal for out-and-return tasks, along the mountain range parallel to Sørfjorden.
further SW to Rosendal, thermalling up from the Kvitegga
take-off will give you a magnificent view over the Sunnmoere
Alps between Rosendal and the gigantic Folgefonni glacier.
In these surroundings, the local paraglider pilots regularly fly
FAI-triangles, clocking in numerous kilometres, thus giving their
competitors in the national XC-league a headache.
Ivar Sandstaa +47 92
29 93 15
the Oslo area, most of the launch sites are TMA restricted by the nearby
airports. Still, if you are in Oslo and the itch to fly is
killing you (not literally), driving 30 minutes along the E-16 to the
take-off at Sundvollen gets you airborne. In summer, this
is not recommended for hang- and rusty paraglider pilots due to a minute
landing zone. In winter however, this is a great site and landing is on
a frozen lake.
is 3,5 hrs drive from Oslo and is the home and
bastion of the famous “Oslo Paraglider Klubb”, Norway’s
largest club. “OPK” have a clubhouse at Tuv. In summer,
flying is mainly done from the two Grøndalen valley
Information: OPK: http://www.opk.no/
Walle +47 91 53 91 56 and Stein Egil Mangseth +47 90 96 58 95
National Hanggliding Centre in “Vågå”
(4,5 hrs drive from Oslo) is
famous for hosting the successful European Hanggliding Championships in
1992 and the not so successful European Paragliding Championships in
1996. Rising costs and recurring floods (twice in the last six years)
causing increased insurance premiums threaten the centre’s future.
Especially PG pilots focus on its strong-wind reputation, this as the
centre is situated in the higher mountains. They would prefer the centre
to be moved to a more hospitable place. The average number of flyable
days in this area may not be outstanding, but most of the longest XCs
and almost all the national free distance records have been flown from
luxurious centre is usually open from the end of May to mid August.
Supplying updated weather and launch site information for the region.
The centre is well equipped with a kiosk, living rooms, showers, saunas
and a B&B service. This is the perfect place to mingle with other
Hang- and Paraglider- pilots and meet fellow XC-fanatics. It is very
family friendly if the family has come along for the holiday with plenty
of alternative accommodations near the centre, in form of comfortable
chalets, camping sites and hotels. If the weather is not flyable then
the area offers activities such as climbing, canyoning, hiking, mountain
biking, fishing, summer skiing, white-water kayaking, boarding and
11:00 p.m. : soaring on the
northern face of Blåhø (1617 m.a.s.) in Vågå.
main launch site is Vole
(W-SE) with a height
difference of 700 meters, and the well-mowed field outside the centre is
large enough to land even a Jumbo jet! This site is well suited for all
categories of pilots, but during peak thermal activity between 11:00 to
16:00 hours novices are advised to take the usual precautions.
Within 30 to 60 minute driving distance from the centre, there are
several other sites offering other wind directions.
visiting Vågå and you are unlucky with the weather, Geiranger
is only 1,5 hrs drive away, with its famous view from Dalsnibba.
Although not for the
fainthearted, it’s possible to take-off with the fjord a
breathtaking 1 476 meters below.
main difference from flying in the Alps and Vågå is that most
of the region has large plateaus, making valley crossings fairly safe.
Finding sound landings is also usually not a problem.
towards NE or SW from Vole, the neighbouring Gudbrandsdalen
valley serves as a “highway”. On S winds, taking-off from a
launch site further S in the valley might be recommended as good tactics
to stretch a XC.
XC down Gudbrandsdalen Valley.
the 9th May 2002, Exxstacy pilot Werner Johannessen followed this
recipe by launching at Øyer (90 km SE of Vågå), and
landing half way through the Romsdalen valley. This epic 181,6 km
flight earned him a new national record for Class 2 hanggliders. Werner
also has the Class 1 record of 189 km.
valley is the Northernmost extension of the Gudbrandsdalen
valley. It is famous for the Trollveggen rock-face which
attracts hundreds of tourists, climbers and base jumpers. Pilots are
dreaming of flying past this monument of frightening descent. However,
being faced with the valleys narrowness and obvious lack of safe
landings, many a good pilot has turned tail or landed at its entrance.
June 2002 the author ended a 103 km flight from “Vaagaa” by
flying down the Romsdalen valley as the first ever
with a paraglider, a mindboggling experience! Thermalling
nerve-wrecking close to vertical rock walls the odd combination of
claustrophobia and fear of height threatened to force him down.
make things even worse the seabreeze pumping up the valley
rotored around the valley`s corners, violently testing the Advance Omega
In retrospect he would not have missed it for the world. Taking
on the challenge and mastering it, what a feeling!
( Article about this event in norwegian. However, pointing at the
photoes will supply you with english text: Endelig
The National Hanggliding Centre at +47 61 23 21 00.
The Hovden launch at Oppdal is on top
of a ski slope. A gondola will take you to this site.
At Meråker the take-off is in a ski resort as well, but
the lift is not running during summer.
Information: Tibor Stern +47 92 21 50 34
to Bodø is Keiservarden, a costal soaring site that
in hanggliding infancy, along with a Hawaiian flying site, was rated
amongst the best sites in the world.
Flying here is astounding, you can enjoy a unique panorama view
of the costal line and on a good day, you can see over to the Lofoten
Coastal soaring at Keiservarden. (Photo: Ola Sakshaug)
The annual Midnight Sun Cup takes place at Keiservarden
first weekend of July. At this event, you get a certificate if you fly
in midnight sun. After the cup, a flying safari is arranged to the Lofoten
where, on a good day, you can soar all the 24 hours of the day. This
is a unique flying experience.
The Bodø site is well within the TMA the airport, so make sure
to contact the local club representative before flying: Ola Sakshaug at
+47 90 19 26 36
of “Bodoe Hang-& Paraglider-Klubb” at the “Loep” landing
by the sea: +47 75 51 03 50
in Narvik ("Øvre fjellheis"-lift) and Tromsø
(“Fjellheisen”-lift) you will find launches at the public
lookout points making them easily accessible from the gondolas. Height
variance is 1 000 respectively 410 meters. Both areas also have inland
Narvik area, Kjell Christian Krane +47 90 64 66 62.
Report to the airport before you fly at +47 76
94 38 77
Tromsø area,Vegar G Gabrielsen +47 91 66 35 51
Paraglider Klubb: http://www.geocities.com/Pipeline/Valley/8908/
to the airport before you fly at +47
68 44 25
paragliding was introduced to Norway 1987, the number of hangglider
pilots plummeted (again not literally). Now both these aviation
activities are experiencing competition from a great variety of other
action sports. Para- and hanggliders members are today 1 026 and 306,
paraglider members are still slowly increasing but the hangglider
members have had a standstill over the last years. Hanggliding is now
gaining more interest, the biggest problem being not having enough
instructors to serve the students.
Norwegian developed International Logbook at http://www.kkpg.no/fl
is an invaluable tool for assessing information about launches
and establishing where the action is! It contains detailed and
comprehensive information about 1000 norwegian flying sites.
NAK, Norwegian Aero Klubb
provides information at:
and can be reached at
or telephone +47 23 01 04 50