The Crazy Thermal Town


In order to add even more variety to our palette of flying areas we set out to find a place so strikingly different from our already varied offerings which cover soaring on the coast of Lefkada and top thermal flying in the mountainous region of Pindos.The goal being to find an idyllic town that we could thermal above.

Our search brought us to Edessa, a relatively unknown flying area which is flown for the most part by pilots from an older generation. Edessa is situated exactly halfway between Thessaloniki and Ioannina.

At the beginning of March the right weather conditions arrived for us to give Edessa a try, so we set off to meet up with the flying school that developed the flying area with a starting place directly at the edge of town.

We wanted to get an impression of what it is like to fly in Edessa and take some good photos of the area. When we arrived at the starting place we were standing at a cliff start that is just 50 meters high. After the first minutes of flying our expectations had already been more than met; we were 300 meters above the town, and thinking that this was going to be an interesting day. We flew for more than three hours in gentle thermik reaching over 1400 meters, and this was just the beginning of March. We were speechless!

Information for flying in Edessa:

Edessa is a flying area with very active strong thermals, and is oriented to the south/south east. It is a very good location for flying FAI triangles.

The starting place is a 50 meter cliff start located directly at the edge of town on a flat field. When the prevailing main wind is weak the local wind system can be counted on to take effect already at 10 am and to prevail throughout the day flowing up the hill, and allowing for beautiful flying conditions all day long.

The landing zone is at a field in the valley next to an archeological site.

Because the flying area is located in a town special rules apply which must be followed. Pilots must check in with the flight school that maintains the starting place and which offers a shuttle service. The flight school will call the town to let them know that people will be flying on this day.

The pilot must be of a high level being able to start very well and land very well. Landing is always to be done in the valley. In the unfortunate case that one should fly too low and no longer be able to reach the front of the hill, there is just one possibility to land, and that is directly in town on the town’s soccer field. There are no other possible places to land! That the flying area exists, depends on the good relations of the flying community with the town, the mayor of the town, and the fact that there have never been any accidents.

For more information contact us!!

Report by Akis