Launching oneself into a free flight from a mountaintop, secured in a light harness, lets you combine the thrill of flight with the beauty of the landscape seen from above, while gently being lulled by the airstream. From the peaks of the Locarno region to those of Sottoceneri and Bellinzona region, the mountains offer a varied choice to enthusiasts who consider them among the most beautiful in the world for free-flying. For a first-time paragliding experience Cardada-Cimetta, Monte Tamaro, Monte Lema and Monte Generoso are perfect launch pads for tandem flights, with experienced pilots.
Lulled by the airstream, comfortably secured in a light harness, flying in total safety with professional pilots above breath-taking panoramas, the Ticino mountains are considered among the most beautiful in the world for practicing free flight.
Tandem flights are accessible to all: there is no age limit (minors need parental consent), no special requirements, and no tests are needed.
Among the professional organizers of tandem flights, here are some flying on the four main mountains of Ticino:
FlyTicino Paragliding - www.flyticino.ch - Tel. +41 79 796 76 18
Fly&Smile - www.flyandsmile.ch - Tel. +41 79 239 06 66
Mountaingliders - www.mountaingliders.com - Tel. +41 79 761 51 06
One of the most spectacular places for tandem paragliding is undoubtedly Cardada-Cimetta. By Cable car from Orselina and then by chairlift from Cardada you can reach Cimetta, at a altitude of 1,700 meters.
Take-off for one of the best imaginable experiences in paragliding is just below the summit: breathtaking views of mountains and the lake, valleys and forests, villages and cities spread out before your eyes, an experience rendered even more evocative by the thrill of flying. And then, after an exhilarating descent of nearly 1,500 metres, often lasting more than half an hour depending on air currents, a soft landing in Locarno, located less than 200 metres above sea level.
Monte Tamaro is another unmissable destination for paragliding enthusiasts and for tandem flying. A quick cable car ride from Rivera takes you up to the top (1500 metres) where take-off is scheduled for a flight offering views of the surrounding mountains, Lake Lugano and the Bellinzona and Malcantone areas and – wind shears permitting - Lake Maggiore with its valleys. Following a descent of more than 1,000 metres, the designated landing spot is Bironico, located just a short distance from the cableway station to Rivera.
Monte Lema is considered to be one of the most beautiful locations for paragliding in Switzerland. From its peak at 1620 meters, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the lakes of Ticino, snowcapped Alps of Canton Bern, and the peaks of Valais with their impressive glaciers. Large grassy mountain tops allow you to take off with great ease and safety. You can reach Monte Lema from Miglieglia by first taking a cable car and then a short 10-minute panoramic walk. Once you the take off, you are immersed in pure nature. You will find yourself flying in a wild landscape set in lush vegetation with small secular villages. Your paragliding adventure ends at Miglieglia near the cable car. Alternatively, the landing can also be done in the spacious meadows of Monteggio and Sessa.
A flight from the Monte Generoso offers a thrilling experience, almost during certain times of the year, when paragliders find themselves sharing the sky with numerous bird species including common buzzards, kites, falcons and eagles. From the top (1704 metres), with its spectacular “Fiore di pietra” (Stone Flower) complex, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, to the landing in Mendrisio or Riva San Vitale, the skyline encompasses the scenic landscape of Monte Generoso, the Muggio Valley, the whole of Mendrisiotto region with its wineyards, the breathtaking region of Lake Lugano and the Alpine chain.