I flew over the 3 valleys: paragliding in Méribel

February 22, 2024

Today, I invite you to discover the thrill of paragliding over the majestic peaks of the 3 Vallées.

Flying is freedom. It’s a magical feeling that surpasses all words.” – Laurent, Tandem Top.

If you could have one magical power, what would it be? For me, without hesitation, it would be the ability to fly. To be close to the birds, to touch the clouds, to move to the rhythm of the wind, to float in the immensity of space…

Paragliding is the closest possible approximation to this feeling of freedom. To discover this sensation for myself, I had the opportunity to take a tandem flight with the professional paragliders in Méribel.


Paragliding in Méribel 🪂


30 minutes before takeoff…

This is it, the big day! I can't wait. Ski-suit on and snowboard in hand, I'm off to the summit of La Saulire at 1.30pm for a 2pm flight.

I meet Laurent, a Tandem Top pilot, and together we head for the paragliding hut. Here we meet all his fellow paragliders. Each of them is carrying a huge rucksack, making them look like giant tortoises.

Laurent is friendly and reassuring. As he unfurls his wing, he explains how the flight will go.

We’ll be doing the so-called “highest” flight, 25 minutes in the sky, with a planned landing at La Petite Rosière. The paragliding equipment used for tandem flights is subject to strict standards. The wings have a surface area of between 37 and 44 m² and can carry a total flying weight of between 130 and 230 kg. This makes it possible to carry passengers of any build. Laurent puts the harness on my back: it’s a harness designed for sitting comfortably and, above all, safely.

I strap on my snowboard and that’s it: I’m in front of the take-off runway. The paraglider’s instructions are clear: you have to descend straight down the slope and above all avoid turning. We’re both ready. Suddenly, it’s time to take off: we’re hurtling straight down the slope. I don’t even have time to feel scared: our feet take off very quickly.

Paragliding over the 3 Vallées ⛰️


Suddenly, the wind is in command. Everything becomes magical. It’s an indescribable emotion. I feel a sense of fulfilment and well-being. But at the same time totally safe, as if nothing can touch me. Although Laurent is right behind me, I have the impression of being alone, facing the majestic peaks of the valley, lulled by the sound of the sail.

Laurent points out the mountains of the 3 Vallées and the Vanoise National Park that surround us: Cime de Caron, Dent Parrachée, Pointe de la Masse… I’m speechless at the splendour of the snow-covered panorama.

He suggested I take the controls of the paraglider. Steering allows me to feel the wind in the wing, to understand the centrifugal force and to grasp the subtleties of manoeuvres during turns.

Laurent then took over the controls and suggested I discover some aerobatics. I accepted without hesitation, and this bubble of weightlessness took on a touch of madness. Although I can’t work out what tricks he’s doing, I get a huge rush of adrenaline. It’s a dizzying dance, a unique symbiosis between extreme sensations and the beauty of the sky.

When it stops, I have a strange feeling: my head is spinning and at the same time I have an irrepressible desire to start again.

We fly on for a while. Time to enjoy one last time the breathtaking scenery of Méribel, swirling between mountains, forests and rivers.

A landing at La Petite Rosière

It's time to put our feet back on the ground. To be honest, I'm apprehensive about landing on my snowboard. The instructor asked me to put my snowboard as straight as possible.

In the end, everything went fine, I instinctively got into position and we landed very gently.

I came back down to earth with my eyes full of stars. Paragliding is a memorable experience: it’s a unique combination of intense excitement and, at the same time, astonishing serenity. Above all, it’s an extraordinary way to discover the beauty of the Savoie countryside. I’m extremely grateful to Tandem Top for giving me the opportunity to discover this sport, and I sincerely recommend this fabulous experience to everyone.

Paragliding in summer🌞

Interview with Laurent from Tandem Top:

Why try paragliding?

It’s magical to be able to travel so far with a piece of fabric and some string! Honestly, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever done and it’s changed my life. I’ve always dreamed of flying, and when I discovered that you could fly miles above the sky with a paraglider, I made it my job. What’s more, it’s an environmentally-friendly activity.!

Can you describe the experience for us?

Free flight means discovering the true beauty of the planet by working with the elements. You fly over mountains, you can travel for a whole day and admire nature’s beauty for hours on end. You can come across eagles, birds of prey, crows… The earth is even more beautiful from up there!

Who can go paragliding?

Paragliding is accessible to everyone, from children to adults, as long as you can ski a green run in the resort. Snowboarders need a more experienced level, as the slopes can be intimidating.

Why fly in Méribel?

I wouldn’t do it anywhere else. Méribel has exceptional sunshine compared with other resorts, and its aerological atmosphere is particularly interesting. The landscape is breathtaking, with beautiful buildings, forests and exceptional sites such as the Vanoise Natural Park. Plus, there’s a whole tribe of hinds and roe deer here, which is just wonderful!