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 multiple 200km+ flights in the flatlands

Trips run every August


Shumen, Bulgaria is a location famous for its easily accessible starts, which allow taking off in all directions of the wind. Because of its flatland relief, and a very consistent weather pattern in August. For competent pilots, long distance flights are quite achievable here.
The national record is of 350km. 

Our aim is to have everyone getting personal bests and making the most out of the conditions. We invite you to join us on this adventure to push our XC limits, on a quest for multiple 200km+ flights ! This XC trip is all about flying far and fast, with a group of good pilots who know each other's flying styles well, and can make the most of flying together in close gaggles to work the flatlands to their max potential.

We've kept the duration of this trip to 10 days, during which we will be pushing distance from day one. Although we are offering a full retrieve service, no matter how far you fly, be prepared for long and tiring journeys back each day, we will urge all pilots to fly as per their stamina and endurance limits and take rest days as required, to make the most of each day that you chose to fly.


Flying Sites

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.


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 year 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 11 nights with breakfast and a full retrieve service.
Duration : 10 days
Dates : Aug 10 - 19, 2022
Guide : Geordie Petts


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. We also have the option of towed launches.


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.

Sky Summits

Shumen Takeoff

Sky Summits

Coastal Soaring

Sky Summits

Madara Takeoff

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