Europe, July/August, May/June, September/October, Travel Guide

Guide to Koessen, Austria

Friday 7 February, 2014
Koessen has wide, grassy take-offs accessed by cable car. All very civilised! Photo: Marcus King

Koessen has wide, grassy take-offs accessed by cable car. All very civilised! Photo: Marcus King

WHY GO?
If you sat back and designed the perfect free flying venue it would probably look like Kössen.

WHERE IS IT?

WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Perched on the northern edge of the Alps, Kössen has hosted FAI world championships in both hang gliding and paragliding, and is now the home of the Super Paragliding Testival, an annual outdoor event where pilots can test fly almost any paraglider they fancy.

Kössen is a quiet little town on the Austrian-German border. From the plains just south of the town the landscape rears up into the first ridges of the Alps, where the Unterberg stands.

Accessed by a 15-minute cable car ride, the Unterberg has big, wide, grassy take-offs towards the east, north and west. Kössen lies in its own microclimate and is protected from strong winds by the high mountains around it. Locals say that statistically you can fly here more days of the year than anywhere else in the Northern Alps.

There are XC possibilities for all levels of pilots from the Unterberg – you can go 20 km or 200 from here. The valleys are open, wide and friendly to land in.

The main landing is in the Fliegerbar Arena, where the Super Paragliding Testival is held each year. It’s a huge and well-maintained area with golf lawns. The Fliegerbar has a beer garden atmosphere and sells budget food and drinks for pilots.

There’s even a glider repair centre in town and, being in the heart of the European free flying scene, most brands have either their businesses or representatives in the region.

FLYING CONDITIONS
Flatland and mountain thermals to choose from. Regular alpine breezes set up in the afternoons but, as the area is quite green, the heating isn’t too intense so the winds rarely get unmanageable.

WHEN TO GO
May until the end of September

ALTITUDE
Cloudbase: 3,000m
Launch: 1,500 – 1,700m
Landing: 650m

HANG GLIDER ACCESS
The cable car has special transport units for hang gliders and will take them at no extra cost. Hang gliders have to carry up 50 m to their take-off.

MUST BE FLOWN
Wrap up a monster FAI triangle. 200km plus is possible from here.

DANGERS AND ANNOYANCES
Kössen is as safe a place to fly as you can find in the Alps. The only place to watch out for is the locally known ‘Bermuda Triangle’, a landingless valley to the west of launch.

The locals have established a set of rules for landing procedures. These should be adhered to, and can be found at the Fliegerbar.

 

ACCOMMODATION
Kössen has a range of hotels and many guesthouses offering rooms to tourists – look for the word “zimmer”. The Euro Camping is 400m from the main landing field, and within walking distance of the lift.

GUIDES AND COURSES
The Kössen Flying School and its partner schools offer paragliding tuition all summer. Tandem flights are also offered and can be booked at the Fliegerbar. On request, the Flying School is happy to help all visiting schools, clubs and groups, and can even arrange group discounts for food, accommodation and lift tickets.

EXPERT’S OPINION
“I love Kössen, not just because it’s flyable almost all of the time and logistically it’s so easy to fly, but more because the atmosphere amongst the pilots is so good. It’s a no-stress flying site.” – Richard Gallon, Kössen resident and ex-PWC champion

TAKE THE FAMILY
Definitely. There’s tons to do around Kössen in summer. Swimming, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, rafting, kayaking etc. The Fliegerbar will even provide special care for kids while parents fly.

RAINY DAYS
Walk the rocky tracks in the “Wilder Kaiser”. Sightseeing in Kitzbühel, Salzburg or Innsbruck or visit the famous Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens. Or make a date to visit one of the many paragliding manufacturers in the region –Skywalk, Wings of Change, Nova and Pro-Design all have their bases close by.

Contact the tourist office or get advice at the Fliegerbar.

WEATHER INFO
Official aviation weather forecast updated daily at the Fliegerbar.

GETTING THERE
Fly to Munich, Salzberg or Innsbruck, then hire a car or take a bus or train. If driving take the autobahn to Kufstein, then it’s half an hour to Kössen.

USEFUL CONTACTS
www.fly-koessen.at
www.kaiserwinkl.com
www.bergbahnen-koessen.com


• Got news? Send it to us at news@xccontent.local

Buy and sell gear on Skyads.aero

Home

Never miss an issue

Our subscribers receive 10 issues a year, the annual Travel Guide and exclusive access to competitions and offers

Subscribe today
Back to Europe July/August May/June September/October Travel Guide
Back to Europe July/August May/June September/October Travel Guide

Got a story?

If you have news, great images or a story, let us know

Get in touch

Join the family

By subscribing, you support the only worldwide paragliding, paramotoring and hang gliding magazine and you get:

  • Ten issues delivered to your door through the year
  • A 100+ page Travel Guide to the world’s best flying sites delivered with the Feb/March issue each year
  • Plus: Win a paraglider in our annual subscribers’ draw each January
  • Pay annually or monthly with paypal or credit card
Subscribe today

Subscribe and never miss an issue

Print edition

  • Published since 1988
  • The highest production values
  • Gorgeous photography
  • Perfect-bound, collectors’ issues
  • Ten times a year each issue is airmailed to you

Digital edition

  • Read offline on your iPad, tablet, laptop or phone
  • The same content as the printed magazine
  • Delivered through award-winning Zinio software

Print and digital

  • Read the digital issues on your iPad, tablet, laptop or phone
  • Keep the print magazines on your coffee table!
  • Ten times a year, each issue is airmailed to you and sent via Zinio
News and special offers. No spam ever
SIGN ME UP