On Madeira Island there are about 25 startplaces and few of them is very good for acro. All of them are accessible by car. The prevailing winds are blowing from the NE but the south side of the island offers great thermal flying conditions in its protected micro climate. Attention! Lee side flying! Always go to fly with the locals!
- Cabo Girao: This is the second highest coastal cliff in the world (580 meters high). Height difference 545 meters. The landing place is in Camara do Lobos at sea level on the beach. Take-off direction is South. Good conditions happen when the prevailing wind is more from the North. That means that this site stays the most protected and the breeze enters straight on the cliff. From midday till late afternoon is the best time when the sun is facing the cliff. Strong cliff thermals up to 8m/s are normal along the cliff but flying out to the front the air became smooth. This provides extremely efficient training conditions. Pay attention to the wind drift and stay way in front for your maneuvers not to get drifted back to the cliff. The cloudbase is usually low, maximum 1200 meters ASL and with an acro glider it will be hard to climb a lot higher then 1-200 meters over the top of the cliff. Top-landing is very risky as the take-off is a flat plateu behind the edge of the cliff - not recommended! From the landing place there is a cable car that climbs back half way up on the Funchal end of the mountain but there is also road access from the beach further east.
- Acro de Calheta:
A private owned site owned by Hartmut Peters who offers accommodation and paraglider guiding with his enormous experience of the island. Absolutely recommended! Hartmut is a big fan of acro and everybody is welcomed to fly here as long as the rules are respected.
Acro de Calhete is not as high as Cabo Girao but it is still very good for acro and flying in general. It is also a cliff take-off but with the great advantage that top-landing is possible. Landing is on the beach and got a lot larger since the great floods. Acro here is still over ground. The terrain is a touch friendlier as at Cabo Girao but still, you really don't want to end up under your reserve on this island!
- There are tons of other places to see including more thermal sites on the south, soaring sites on the north and huge early morning glides from 1400 meter ASL volcanoes down to the beach.
On the Madeira Island there are about 25 startplaces and few of them is very good for acro.