Pioneering adventure junkie Felix Baumgartner really was on top of the world when he made his record-breaking leap from the edge of space. The daredevil gazed down at the surface of the earth before making his inspirational jump from 24 miles high, reaching breathtaking speeds of up to 843 miles per hour as he plummeted back towards the ground.
Not only did the Red Bull Stratos mission which pushed him to the edge of the earth provide plenty of scientific data for reams of analysis by clever people, but the extreme stuntman’s bravery in reaching supersonic speeds has inspired a generation of fellow adventurers.
While we can’t all hope to follow his lead by heading towards the stratosphere, there are still plenty of stunning destinations on planet earth where skydivers can get a taste of the exhilaration, speed and breathtaking views.
Inspired by Baumgartner’s space jump, Chillisauce looks into the 28 of the most amazing locations for skydiving in the world, without the need to board a spaceship.
While Felix may have been able to take in the majesty of the curvature of the earth from his 24 mile high viewpoint, skydiving over Hawaii allows you to take in the true beauty of these paradise isles, with a view spanning the whole breadth of Hawaii’s most populous island of Oahu. Operators here hail it as the world’s most beautiful jump zone, and it’s hard to argue as you gaze down on rainforest, mountains, perfect beaches and the crystal clear waters.
When it comes to sweeping panoramas, they don’t come much more dramatic that the Austrian Alps. The area’s ski resorts give you just a taster of the vistas you can enjoy from 14,000ft high, before freefalling from a helicopter past snowy mountain peaks and landing in between too ice blue lakes.
Visit Skydive Interlaken for the best deals and more information about skydiving in Switzerland.
If you’re facing your fears and leaping from a plane for the first time then you’ll want to know you’re in good hands. Luckily, 3glav Adventures in Slovenia pairs you up with one of two former skydiving world champions. Add to that the fact that you’re gazing down on an incredibly unspoilt rural landscape, including the ancient lake island town of Bled, and enjoying the whole experience for less than €200 in one of the Europe’s most wallet-friendly and affordable destinations.
Namib Desert, Namibia
The contrast to skydiving over snowcapped mountains could not be starker, but the eerie beauty of gazing down on an expanse of desert and sand dunes is something that is hard to beat. Desert skydiving is a unique experience and this breathtaking site in Swakop is made even more beautiful as your jump also gives you views over the stunning Nambian Atlantic coast. Visit Ground Rush Adventures for the best deals, tips and advice.
Queenstown, New Zealand
The adventure capital of Queenstown is a must visit for any self-respecting adrenalin junkie. Skydiving is one of Queenstown’s chief attractions and the best way to soak in this most stunning of landscapes. There is a reason New Zealand is the setting of many a movie fantasy land and you’ll feel like you’re starring in your very own blockbuster as you drink in the sights. And if you’re a rookie then you’ll be in safe hands with award-winning Nzone Skydive
Mount Everest, Nepal
If scaling Mount Everest is a step too far then you can still conquer it in another way by skydiving right over the top of it. At a dizzying 29,500ft, this is close as you’ll get to being Felix Baumgartner and is the highest commercial skydive available anywhere in the world. Add to that the fact that you’ll be experiencing the thrill of free fall and gazing down on the world’s highest mountains, sherpa villages and national parks. More info at Everest Skydive
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Few cities are as recognisable from the air as Rio de Janeiro, with its unique juxtaposition between mountain, forest, city and ocean, as well as unmistakeable landmarks such as the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf mountain. Most people only get to see it from cable car or on a hike. but you can take in the entire extraordinary view in the most thrilling fashion with a skydive from 10,000ft. Rio Xtreme are specialists in extreme sports.
Space Coast, Florida
While the Skydive Space Center experience in Florida might not get you quite as high off the ground as a helicopter jump over Everest, the 18,000ft skydive itself is the longest you can do anywhere in the world, meaning you free fall for longer and parachute even further. You’ll get a real taste of space adventure by flying over the Kennedy Space Center, getting an aerial view of space shuttle launch pads and the assembly vehicles.
There are not many places where you can skydive over the capital city of a major country while still enjoying beautiful views of forests, rivers and hills. For that reason, GO Skydive’s unique location just 15 minutes from downtown Ottowa makes them one of the world’s most exciting skydive companies. Blessed with natural beauty and a jump here let’s you take in the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, the Ottawa River, the Gatineau hills and the St Lawrence River.
Fox Glacier, New Zealand
With such a varied landscape, it is little surprise that New Zealand has two skydiving destinations in this list, with both offering a very different experience. The Fox Glacier is one of the country’s finest natural attractions and Skydive Fox Glacier give you the opportunity to get a unique view of it, taking daring sightseers on tandem jumps over it since 1997. The views are so spectacular that it’s even been voted the most scenic skydive in the world, beaten only by Mount Everest.
Many holidaymakers in Australia like to head straight to the beach, but you can take the direct route by jumping straight from a plane. Skydive the Beach Sydney is the only company that will give you the chance to take the plunge and land on a beach within easy reach of Oz’s biggest city, with the dropzone less than an hour away from Sydney city centre. It also offers tandem skydiving from the highest altitude available in Australia, 15,000ft, giving you plenty of time to soak up those views.
Pacific Coast, California
This extraordinary jump zone in San Diego provides a unique opportunity to soak in views spanning two countries, letting you peer over the border into Mexico, as well as enjoying contrasting views of downtown San Diego, the posh resort of Coronado, California’s desert landscapes and the blue waters of the Pacific.
Often hailed as the only living organism visible from space, the Great Barrier Reef really is something to behold and taking a scenic flight overhead before skydiving to the coast alongside it provides the most thrilling and uninterrupted way to see this spectacular sight. Admire the colours, look our for sharks and turtles and then spend a lifetime boasting about how you parachuted over one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.
True adventurous souls will travel to the ends of the earth for their thrills. If you’re looking for a stunning dive on the British Isles then this is the only one that can give you a view of Lands End, while taking in the whole of Cornwall and the beautiful south west coastline. Based at an old Second World War aerodrome, the Cornish Parachute Club is the only skydiving club in Cornwall and a strong claim to offering the most spectacular views in the UK.
Cape Town, South Africa
The tagline for Skydive Cape Town is ‘a dropzone unlike any other on earth’, and it really is hard to disagree with that assessment. Whichever way you look you’ll enjoy spectacular views of one of the most naturally beautiful countries on the planet – Table Mountain, the hustle of the city of Cape Town itself, Robben Island, Cape Point and the breaking waves of the Atlantic. Tandem dives let you enjoy it all even with no skydiving experience.
Landing safely on your feet after the adrenalin of a skydive, you may well want to relax with a nice glass of wine. And where better to do that than in one of the world’s most renowned wine making counties? But there is plenty more to skydiving in Italy than just sampling the vino. The sweeping landscapes of central Italy have inspired generations of artists, writers and philosophers and attract tourists galore. Inspire your own adventurous spirit with views of the beach and calming waters of the Adriatic Sea, rolling hills and ancient buildings before you land near the beautiful hillside town of Fermo
Denarau Island, Fiji
The sheer beauty of tropical Fiji really has to be seen to be believed and this is the clearest view you’ll ever get, as you hit terminal velocity jumping from 14,000ft before floating calmly down to the white sand beach of Denarau Island, having enjoyed awe-inspiring views of the surrounding archipelago. You really will feel like you are landing in paradise. Skydive Fiji has great offers.
It’s fair to say Felix Baumgartner wasn’t too fussed about enjoying the sunshine when he jumped, after all, his space suit wouldn’t have allowed for much of a tan. For the rest of us though, sunny weather is usually a must when choosing a holiday. Skydiving in Seville is going to guarantee you one of the best climates in Europe but, even better than that, you can also jump from 15,000ft, the highest altitude available on the continent, giving you longer to experience the thrill of freefall.
Santa Barbara, USA
If you’re planning on heading westside for get your parachuting kicks, then Sky Dive Santa Barbara rivals Florida’s Skydive Space Center by also offering the USA’s highest tandem skydiving altitude of 18,000ft. After 15 years of jumps just outside of LA, they know what they’re doing too and pride themselves on offering panoramic views of the Pacific coastline
In Dubai, everything has to be bigger, glitzier and more exciting than anywhere else in the world and it seems the same applies to skydiving. Gaze down at the tallest building in the world, the most ostentatious hotels on the planet, man made islands, acres of desert and a shimmering coastline. It has become such a hotspot that Dubai even hosts its own international parachuting contest every year.
Victoria Falls, Africa
Viewing Victoria Falls from above gives the impression that the earth has just opened up below you. Fear not though, you won’t plummet straight into the centre of the planet, you’ll just float serenely above this breathtaking waterfall, taking in the might of the Zambezi River for an unbeatable photo opportunity. Take a look at Skydive Vic Falls who also offer crocodile encounters, kayaking and white water rafting.
Byron Bay, Australia
Australia is a country blessed with stunning scenery, but it doesn’t get much better than the coastal haven of Byron Bay. So stunning are the views from above that this has become a mecca in Oz for skydivers who flock to enjoy views of golden beaches and crystal clear waters.Plus, jumping from Australia’s highest available altitude of 14,000ft also means you get to experience more than a minute of thrilling freefall. Skydive Australia for more info
Skydiving is a relatively new trend in India, partly inspired by a recent hit Bollywood movie featuring an iconic parachuting scene. A lack of suitable jump zones has also held the sport back somewhat, but that is changing now thanks to educational provider Kakini Enterprises, which has launched a series of skydiving camps in the state of Karnataka. And it’s hard to picture a more perfect spot to get on board, with the jump zone located at the foot of the Chamundi Hills alongside the palace city
If it was a good enough spot to host the first ever World Air Games back in 1997 then you can be sure Ephesus in Turkey has something special about it. Leap back through time as you skydive over the ancient city of Ephesus, once one of the largest cities in the world back in Roman times and today one of the most extraordinary views you can enjoy from the air.
Regularly ranked in the top three skydiving centres in the world, the expert instructors here have a long list of prestigious titles and credits to their names. The fact that you’ll also be jumping over one of the largest marinas in the world and gazing out across the Costa Brava in the sunshine certainly helps too. Skydive Empuriabrava also allows you to buy a scenic flight around the drop zone just incase you bottle it!
This isn’t just skydiving, this is skydiving in style. If the exhilaration of leaping from 12,500ft above the Californian countryside isn’t enough, you can also toast your achievement in the Bombshelter Bar & Grill or even take a dip in the outdoor pool. Skydive Perris also boasts an indoor skydiving wind tunnel to hone your skills or get a taste of the thrill without boarding a plane, and there’s also rustic bunkhouse accommodation if you want to stay over.
After 30 years of running skydiving experiences, Skydive Deland certainly know what they’re doing – and they know how to party too, hosting beach parties, barbecues and more fun and frolics. Of course, it doesn’t get much more fun than the skydiving itself, which involves you free falling from 14,000ft at up to 120mph. One of the most popular spots in the world for beginners and experienced skydivers alike and also a hit with the visitors.
The expert instructors at SkyDive Austral Mauritius cater for first time tandem skydivers as young as 15 – and younger if the harness fits safely – meaning the whole family can share in this unique experience of floating high above the perfect tropical paradise of Mauritius, overlooking the crystal clear lagoon.