Achaia is a truly a paraglider's paradise, both geographically and climatically. It boasts ten different flight sites and is internationally known by paragliding enthusiasts. The key to this area's success is also the existence of the Patras Paragliding Club, which has organized important competitions since its inception. Events included the Panhellenic Paragliding meetings, Panhellenic Cup, National Championship, European Paragliding Championship and many more. The more important sites are the following:
1. Agia Lavra (near Kalavrita)
Take off at 913 meters flying with westerly winds, suitable for all-year-round activity, although there isn't much of an inclination. Agia Lavra is only 10 minutes away from Kalavrita. The flight will allow you a stunning view of the Voraikos valley and little villages in the area. Fly afterwards to Mount Helmo or Tripoli.
2. Helmos Mountain (near Kalavrita)
At an altitude of 2,300 meters at Stiga and near the ski resort town of Kalavrita, fly with westerly winds into the Louson valley. In winter you may use the ski lifts to climb. This is a challenging flight that requires experience. The locale was used for the 2003 World Cup.
Across from Kalavrita you can take off from Kerpini at a height of 1,100 meters, flying with easterly and north-easterly winds all year round. The area has a decent inclination and covered with grass. Pilots can fly towards Mount Helmos and Tripoli.
Takeoff altitude of 720 meters some 10 kilometers away from the sea and 15 minutes away from Patras. Fly with Southwest-West and Northwest winds, almost every day of the year. Pilot can view Patras, the Rio-Antirio Bridge and sometimes all the way to Mesolongi and Kefalonia.
5. Panachaiko (two different elevations)
At an elevation of 1,100 meters, paragliders can take off in a southwestrly-westerly direction as well as a north-westerly one practically all year round. The site is 45 minutes away from Patras. Cross-country paragliding is also possible to Leondio, Rakita and Kalavrita.
If you go higher to 1,425 meters and past the Panachaiko shelter there are southerly to south-westerly winds almost all year round. You can either enjoy an easy drift of 7 kilometers to Omblo or farther afield to Leondio, Rakita and Kalavrita.
6. Pounta, Agia Triada
At 660 meters of elevation, this location where there's a historic monastery by the same name allows you to fly with a northeast wind between April and September some 20 minutes from the beach of Pounta. This is a new site for experienced pilots as there is no inclination, among other reasons. If you don't gain height quickly enough, you'll have to land on the beach with sunbathers! The flight itself is beautiful though, giving you full view of the Agios Nikolaos plateau.
Takeoff altitude at 520 meters some 40 kilometers away from Patras and a across an amazing valley, flying with westerly to north-westerly winds between spring and fall and benefitting from good thermal currents. Three paragliders can take off simultaneously from here, enjoying an awesome view of the Ionian islands and the western Peloponnese. Cross-country to Skaidovouni, then to Erimanthos-Helmos-Ziria and beyond can be accomplished. Note that Santomeri-Asprokampbos trip holds the title of the longest flight in the country, from Santomeri to Asprokampbos, was undertaken here.
Take off at the village of Skiada some 46 Kilometers away from Patra, at a height of 1,100 meters, and grab westerly or north-westerly winds. It's difficult for a car to get to this place so prepare for half an hour worth of hiking from the village square. There's a large takeoff area, allowing you to plot and follow your course even to Santomeri or Erimatho.
9. Velia (near Kalavrita)
Situated between two large valleys that are great for flying over. Starts off at 1,550 meters and lets you fly south, southeast and southwest into the Louson valley, or north, west and northwest towards Kalavrita. Ideal for gaining height easily and for long flights, Velia operates year-round. You'll be stunned by the mountains and valleys on the flight, including neighbouring villages and historical sites. Long routes take to Mount Erimantho, Tripoli, Argos and Mount Ziria.
Kalenzi and Kalousi are also areas in the prefecture known for paragliding.