The life we dream of, anti-stress therapy, the escape from cruel reality, pure ecstasy… that is how paragliding lovers describe their flight. Paragliding is an extreme sport, but a growing number of those who love to soar high into the sky opt to fly a paraglider. A number of paragliding clubs gathering true paragliding enthusiasts has sprung up across the country.
Written by: Semra Hodžić
In the vicinity of Sarajevo a number of take-off sites is easily accessible to paragliding lovers. Due to the conditions and configuration of the terrain, the most popular ones are located on the Trebević and Bjelašnica mountains, and Trebević was the take-off site from which the current record in paragliding for Bosnia and Herzegovina was set. Mirvad Zenuni, the most prominent member of the Sarajevo-based Extreme Sport Club, flew a paraglider from Mount Trebević to Serbia. Within a short distance of Sarajevo there are other great locations allowing paragliders to take off from such as Jahorina, Igman, Romanija and Mrkovići mountains. Anyone who wishes to see what flying a paraglider feels like can try a tandem paragliding flight with Extreme Sport Club each summer. The more adventurous amongst you can take a course in paragliding. After completing a basic paragliding course, you will have the skills you need to fly on your own, for example from the highest peak of Mount Bjelašnica to Babin do, but a paragliding instructor will keep a close eye on you throughout the entire flight and you will be able to communicate with the instructor via an open PMR channel.
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Ljubuški Paragliding Club is one of the more popular paragliding clubs among the lovers of this extreme sport. Particularly popular is its take-off site which captured the imagination of a global audience. Along with “Slovenian Starts”, “Ljubuški Tower” flying site recently made it to the top four paragliding destinations in the Balkans. It sits on the southern slope of the Buturovica Hill above the town of Ljubuški, at an altitude of 340 metres, and very close to the Herzog Stjepan Fortress. Pilots from all over Europe and other continents alike love to come here. Fliers from Ljubuški hold the first place in the total sum of kilometres flown and hours spent in the air in Bosnia and Herzegovina—they flew all the way to Nova Bila, a small town near Travnik. Anyone who has tried it knows that this little town in Herzegovina provides the ultimate flying experience for both XC pilots and recreational pilots looking to enjoy the evening thermals and the laminar wind on the hillside. The club also offers tandem fights.
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Anyone who wishes to see things from a different perspective or feel the comfort of air flowing above Livanjsko Field can go on a paragliding adventure in Mount Tušnica. Flight preparations begin at the Continental Adventure Agency’s resort. After a short off-road drive, you will arrive at the take-off site. All you need to do is muster up your courage, run a few steps and get the thrill of take-off, and then indulge in this flying adventure and revel in the stunning views of Buško Lake and the surrounding mountains. A GoPro camera will record your entire flight. Depending on the air flow, the flight can last up to 20 or 30 minutes. The landing site is near the field close to Buško Lake. You will be picked up by car there and taken back to the resort.
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Extreme sport lovers, particularly paragliding enthusiasts, frequent a site called Velika Gomila near the town of Cazin, which is one of the favourite spots for many a recreationist of Cazin. Velika Gomila is situated in the Stijena neighbourhood at an altitude of more than 797 metres, which makes it the highest peak in the Cazin Municipality, and it offers a suitable terrain for paragliding flights. Wishing to soar into the sky, several pilots and extreme sport fans founded the Cumulus Aero Club in Cazin in 2005. For more than 10 years, the club has allowed anyone who is interested in paragliding to enjoy everything the amazing terrain and scenery in the area can offer. The connoisseurs of the matter say the area offers some of the most favourable conditions for the sport. Each year, members of the club organise a competition in precise landing. It will be held this year too in line with Coronavirus safety requirements. The plan is for the competition to take place on 17-18 July.
Contact mobile phone number: +387 (0)62 429 117
Airdrenaline Paragliding Club in Banjaluka has the longest tradition of flying in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Way back in 1989 members of the club would take off from the Čemernica and Manjača mountains. They still fly, but they also teach paragliding and organise tourist flights. Tourists have got two incredible experiences to choose from—they can revel in the gorgeous views of Banjaluka flying from Mount Manjača or the wondrous views of the Vrbas River flying from Mount Čemernica. Tandem flights and organised trips to the take-off sites are also available. Tandem paragliding is perfect for first-time fliers or those who want to try this gliding experience without much preparation. You must be between the ages of 16 and 75 to fly a paraglider. As long as you have the desire to fly, experienced FAI licenced pilots will take you on a fascinating journey in the sky and record it on a camera.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina offers excellent conditions for paragliding. In addition to those already mentioned, other towns offer them too: Drvar, Tuzla, Bihać, Mrkonjić Grad…