Zillertal the paragliders paradise

Feel as free as a bird. Thomas Walder from the Ziller Valley deals in experiences of euphoria at dizzying heights. He offers holiday-makers in Mayrhofen an enticing alternative to skiing: tandem flights over Tyrol’s most beautiful holiday destination.

Paragliding in Zillertal

©Christian Penning

Created by Gast Autor

An exhilarating holiday experience

Penken is the name of the local mountain in Mayrhofen in the Ziller Valley, which offers the best geographic and thermal conditions for paragliding in Europe.

It is here that none other than Austrian champion paraglider, Thomas Walder, practices this popular sport: paragliding. With 20 years of experience and 11,000 flights under his belt, he is very popular with his passengers, who trust him completely.

Believe it or not, his passengers range from four-year-old kids to 92-year-old pensioners. An exhilarating holiday experience for everyone!

Paragleiten im Zillertal
©Blickfang Photography
Paragleiten im Zillertal
©Laurin Moser
Paragleiten im Zillertal
©Laurin Moser

Why take a cable car when you can fly?

Of course, Thomas Walder tries to fulfil his customers’ wishes. Sometimes this can mean offering alternative transportation so that guests can return to the valley without taking the cable car. In this case, they don’t even have to take their skis off.

The expert tries to explain his passion for paragliding : “It’s like an addiction. A type of positive drug. Just an indescribable high.” Even people with a fear of heights feel safer flying than in a cable car. “The sensation is the same whether you are one metre or 1,000 metres above the ground” explains the sports enthusiast. 

©Blickfang Photography

An exciting career with memorable experiences

Thomas has set many records. He is eight times Austrian champion and set a world record in 2008. However, these aren’t the only high points of his paragliding career. One experience he remembers particularly vividly: “I set the record for flying eight and a half hours in one go. When the adventure was over, I landed in a garden and was chased by someone with a rolling pin!” laughs Thomas.

If this professional pilot flies for himself, he wants to fly high. Flying with the eagles and other birds is the best experience for him. “For me euphoria and pure adrenaline is when the glider pulls me up 10 metres in the air in just a second” explains the professional who believes that every guest in Mayrhofen should experience a tandem paragliding flight.