Though it is natural for us to be afraid of the unknown, people are driven towards trying the unusual. Probably everyone has tried to imagine what it would feel like to fly. If you have the courage to experience this feeling for real, you can try paragliding.
Paragliding is probably one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways in which you will be able to sense the adrenaline rush related to flying. You will make use of a wing that gets filled with air and takes the paraglider high above the ground.
If you lack the time or courage to take paragliding lessons, select a flight with an instructor. Make sure to bring comfortable boots and a warm jacket.
In order to fly, you need a suitable slope, the availability of wind currents and thermal air currents (warm air that rises above the ground). These will enable you to try thermal flying. Warm air will bring the paraglider high above the ground.
Experienced pargaliders often times set records. A distance of 400 km can be covered in such a flight and rising 7000 meters above the ground is also possible.
Many places in Bulgaria feature suitable paragliding conditions. Such exist in the vicinities of Vitosha, in Rila, near Gotse Delchev, Sliven, Shoumen and Plovdiv, alongside the Black Sea coast, at Okolchitsa peak and in Sopot.
Sopot is probably one of the most popular paragliding destinations in the country. The mountain town hosts annual international competitions. Paragliders compete in landing in a specific area or reaching a destination for the shortest time possible.
Until recently the Sopot lift was used to bring potential paragliders to the flight slope. Yet, the lift no longer functions. Locals believe it might never function again. The pillars are abandoned, seats are missing.
If you select Sopot as your flight destination, you will be taken to an area in the vicinities of Beklemeto where paragliding conditions are good enough.
Instructors are very friendly and will talk to you and joke to make you feel more comfortable. If you are willing to try something a bit more extreme, they will offer you acrobatic flights or rising high above the ground. Have in mind that you might feel ill so refrain from trying something too radical your first time.
Probably the experience is less straining than other extreme sports. When bungee jumping, you have to step into the abyss. Paragliding only gets you to run until you manage to separate yourself from the ground.
Flights with an instructor are organized each weekend but it would be best to call in advance. The active season lasts from April to September though flights are scheduled on sunny winter days, as well.