If you want to skydive in Europe you are spoilt for choice with over 550 dropzones. And with many beautiful, historic destinations oozing culture and throbbing with nightlife, it’s hard to decide where to go for a spot of skydiving European style. So to help, we’ve compiled this list of the top 10 dropzones in Europe.
Before we start, we should say that there are many factors that make a good skydive destination. Some are simply beautiful locations, others are blessed by perfect conditions or excellent facilities. However, some dropzones are great simply because they are conveniently located near to popular destinations.
Top 10 dropzones in Europe
All of this makes it hard to directly compare dropzones. So instead of this being a countdown, consider it a more a guide to ten of the best dropzones in Europe. If you have any favourite places to skydive in Europe then be sure to let us know in the comments section at the end.
Please note this guide to the top 10 dropzones in Europe was first published in 2009. With the goal of keeping our readers ‘skydiving European style’ it was updated in 2013, and has since been updated again in February 2017. Over time some dropzones have been dropped from the list, you will find them at the bottom.
Ever wanted to skydive between snowy mountains and blue lakes and get the ultimate feeling of freefalling from a helicopter? Then Skydive Interlaken is the place for you. Tucked in between two alpine lakes, a glacier and some huge mountains, this exquisite drop zone is an amazing place for skydiving.
The flat valley floor makes it safe for landing and with some spectacular countryside all around for trekking and biking in the summer and skiing and snowboarding and many other adventure activities. If you fancy a tandem skydive in Interlaken, or booking a jump from a helicopter check out Skydive Interlaken: www.skydiveinterlaken.ch
With a full-time skydiving centre since 1985 and host to several skydiving world championships, Skydive Empuriabrava was a shoe-in for a spot in the top 10 dropzones in Europe. Found in the north east corner of Spain near the French border, jump here and you’ll get some views of the Mediterranean on one side and the Pyrenees.
At the other end of Spain, you will find Skydive Spain. Located just twenty minutes from the centre of Seville, a stylish and flamboyant city, it takes skydiving European style to another level. Offering jumps from 15,000 feet it’s the highest altitude skydive in Europe. Even in winter the temperature rarely drops below 15 degrees, so year round it offers top conditions.
Another one of the best dropzones in Europe for a winter jump, Skydive Algarve operate from the Aerodromo Municipal de Portimão near Alvor. It is an excellent dropzone in the west of Algarve blessed with 300-plus sunny days a year, meaning the weather rarely cancels jumps.
Skydive Balaton in Siofok, Hungary has been recommended to us by a number skydivers. Prices are reasonable, facilities are very good and the location is stunning. They run two M18 helicopters offering a different experience. Siofok was decripbed to me by one skydiver as ‘if Carslberg made dropzones….’.
Located roughly equidistant between Frankfurt and Nuremburg, this little town is something of a hotspot for skydiving in Germany and is fully deserving of its place in the top 10 dropzones in Europe. Take off from a small airport just outside the town and enjoy freefalling over the picturesque hills and villages of Bavaria, one of the most beautiful parts of Germany.
Skytandem are the company operating the Unterschüpf dropzone and it is open all year round. Jumps are from a large engine Cessna, which reaches 13,500 feet (4100 m). The dropzone is relaxed and friendly with an onsite restaurant. It is all nice and compact, with landing, take off and packing all within 50m of each other.
Skytandem offer tandem skydives from €199, and offer a video and photo skydive package for €309. They also provide AFF accredited courses and can take you from complete beginner to qualified skydiver. Throughout the year they run workshops for accuracy, canopy control, freefall formation and FreeFly. To find out more visit: www.skytandem.de
Rammed full of history Rome is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Lucky enough there is a dropzone just outside the city in Nettuno, so you can combine a cultural break with skydiving European style at one of the top 10 dropzones in Europe.
Located close to the coast good views are guaranteed as is friendly and relaxing staff to help calm the nerves of first timers. Once you are finished you can head back to the city and the adrenaline buzz will help you party into the early hours Italian style. Find out more at: www.paracadutismonettuno.it
It’s hard to pick just one French destination to go in the top places to skydive in Europe. For obvious reasons, skydiving near Paris, in Peronne, is hard to beat. However, with two dropzones to choose from – at Castelnau Magnoac and Pamiers – Toulouse just edges it. Added bonuses are it’s a beautiful part of the world and centre of the European aerospace industry.
With nearly 30 dropzones to choose from, there had to be one UK destination in the top 10 dropzones in Europe. Choosing one was a tough job so we opted for Langar near Nottingham, which is the biggest and most popular in the UK.
OK, so there might be more beautiful spots, but every serious skydiver in the UK will have jumped here at least once. Its handy position in the middle of the country also gives it an edge over some of the harder to reach dropzones.
You cannot skydive in Amsterdam, however with a few DZs within striking distance it’s a great example of a city from which to do a skydiving day trip. The closest, at under 50km from central Amsterdam, is PCMN at Hilversum, unfortunately exits are limited to 6000 ft.
Better options are Teuge, 100 km east of Amsterdam, which runs three Supervans and is the biggest dropzone in the Netherlands. Or Texel, on an island 100 km north of Amsterdam, which is another big full time dropzone with a great view and is an excellent place to skydive in Europe.
Dropped from the top 10 dropzones in Europe
Over time opinions change, places close down and new ones open. With that in mind below are a few locations that were in the top 10 dropzones in Europe but have fallen at the wayside.
Malta has been a traditional island retreat for centuries, with beautiful landscapes and a relaxed way of life offering a welcome break from the mainland. However, in recent years, the laid-back lifestyle has had an injection of adrenaline.
After a couple of days ground training and top instruction, take to the skies above the island and enjoy some world-class freefalling accompanied by spectacular views. The island’s close ties with the UK also make it a great place to hang out.
**UPDATE: Please note that the Malta dropzone is currently not operating. The skydive centre is operating out of Pozzallo on Sicily which is a 1:45 ferry ride away. However there are plenty of other activities to try during Malta adventure holidays.**
You might associate the island with clubbing and nightlife but during the day there’s plenty to do too. Including a dropzone in the south east corner of the island not too far from the airport. Again, this being an island in the Med, there are some stunning views and after you’ve jumped you can take all that adrenaline with you onto the dance floor.
**UPDATE** It seems the Ibiza dropzone is either no longer operating or was an optimistic rumour as we have been unable to find any evidence of a company offering skydiving there. Please drop us a line if you know different.**
At about 200 kilometres from the city of Amsterdam, Blauwestad is a dropzone where you can tandem skydive and then a couple of hours later be celebrating in one of Europe’s liveliest night time destinations.
**Update. This dropzone has closed down.**
So, there you have it – the top 10 dropzones in Europe. Like we said at the start, everybody has there own favourite and for different reasons. If you think we have made some glaring omissions that are great for skydiving European style then please let us know.