Shumen, Bulgaria XC

Shumen in Bulgaria is known for its epic conditions in August, launches to suit every wind direction and the potential to fly long XC flights in the flatlands

Trips run every August.

Flatlands of Bulgaria

We present the flatlands of Bulgaria. We went there in 2019 and and although it is ideal for pushing big distance in August, we are now targeting this as a 10-day trip to have fun, build your airtime, confidence and skills, enjoying relaxing XC flights at your pace.

Because of its reliable weather, flyable on most days and in almost all wind directions, pilots are spoilt for choices and routes. This is the perfect place to get lots of airtime, be in the mountains around the Shumen region, a flatland flight towards the Romanian or Greek borders or fun coastal soaring along the gorgeous eastern beaches of Bulgaria.

It is a cheap and easy flight out to Varna from the UK, and with quarantines ending by then, it might be just the trip for you. This trip will be led by Geordie Petts and we will be staying in Shumen town. Unlike Sopot, Shumen is down-wind of the general meteo and offers easier flying sites for August. 


Nearest airport is Varna, which is about 1.5hrs drive away. Other airports that you can fly into are  Sofia, Plovdiv, Burgas and Bucharest. The team will be flying into Varna airport.

We can organise a car from Shumen to pick you up at the airport. The cost from Varna is about 50 EUR per person.


There are many hotels in the Shumen town, to suit budgets of all levels. Last time we stayed at the Shumen Grand, which was one of the nicest ones in town.

Fees & Dates

  • Fees : £1500
    includes XC guidance, daily mountain transport, accommodation on twin sharing basis for 7 nights with breakfast and a full retrieve service.

  • Duration : 10 days
  • Dates : Aug 10 - 19, 2021
  • Guide : Geordie Petts

Flying Sites & Conditions

In August, the wind speed ranges between 20-30km/h and usually the predominant wind direction is NE. However, this area has the advantage of having a launch to suit almost every wind direction.

Nevsha : Nevsha is a cliff launch site, used on the classic NE wind days that everyone waits for, and is most suitable for the 200+km downwind flights deep inland. It is not unsual to land at the Greece or Turkey border.

Shumen : The other classic site is Shumen, which as S & SW takeoffs. These are grassy and easier launches. Typical flights from here are flying North towards the Romania border and often beyond. Carry your passport !

Madara : Madara takeoff is best suited for a NW day, and allows lovely 100+km flights, that end at the East cost of Bulgaria, often landing at the beach if the sea-breeze allows.

Coastal Soaring Sites  : On very windy or bad weather days, there are plenty of soaring sites along the East coast of Bulgaria. These are relaxing days, that start with a lovely drive to the coast, brunch at a fish restaurant by the sea, coastal soaring and landing on the beach for a quick swim.

Pilot Level & Suitability

The launches are generally smooth but steep and grassy with a gentle up-slope breeze. The cliff launch of Nevsha demands more commitment. The 200+km days brings out the best pilots from all over Bulgaria, so it is not unusual to see 100 pilots on launch. Although, most are very disciplined and gives us the added benefit of having multiple thermal markers in the sky.

As XC pilots, you should all be good enough to fly from there with no problems so there won't always be a take-off instructor there. Please remember that although you are on a course and we are giving you guidance, where possible, you must be self-reliant and be able to make your own decisions as well. If you bomb out then it is sometimes possible get a lift back up to take-off for another “free flight”.

Please be aware of your own physical and mental limits throughout the tour and on each flight. We aim to do a lot of flying and this can be tiring, especially in heat that you may not be used to, so please be realistic and fly within your comfort and skill levels, landing early if you feel tired, or selecting more relaxing flatland flights, if you feel you have had too much of the mountain conditions.

Typical Routes

Bulgaria offers a variety of route options, and flying here always feels fresh and interesting. The max distance potential on each day is governed by the orientation of the chosen takeoff. Based on the conditions and pilot skill, possible flights are of 100+ km from Madara, 150+ kms from Shumen and 200+ kms from Nevsha.

Trip Checklist


Flying Kit

We assume that you will arrive with a functional paraglider, harness and reserve parachute, vario/gps.

We recommend you bring along your own trackers (Inreach / Spots). If you don’t have one then we can provide on, but do let us know before the course.

The weather is nice and warm, good enough to fly in shorts and a thin flying jacket and gloves.



It is essential that you have travel insurance which covers you in respect of the following :
1. Medical Treatment
2. Medical Repatriation
3. Search & Rescue by helicopter

We will hand out a central grab sheet form, where we would like all pilots to fill in their emergency contact details, insurance policy and contact numbers.

This grab sheet also mirrors all the Risk Acceptance sign offs that are a part of this document. Please give it a good read and make sure you understand and accept the risk involved.

Shumen Takeoff

Coastal Soaring

Madara Takeoff