Skydiving is one of the most common bucket list activities, but few of us make plans to actually do it. Because skydiving is an incredibly exhilarating experience – and because it involves literally jumping out of a plane – there are many people who think that it’s only for the young, and that they’re simply too old to do it. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.
While you certainly can be too young to skydive, the fact is that you can never be too old. No matter your age, if you’re in decent health you can skydive – just look at 103-year-old skydiver Al Blaschke, or 102-year-old skydiver Irene O’Shea if you need proof!
So, if you’ve always wanted to skydive, what are you waiting for? To get you inspired, here are 10 of the best places to skydive around the world.
1. Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
New Zealand is known as the adventure capital of the world, so it’s no surprise that it’s also home to one of the most thrilling skydives. The Westland National Park spreads over much of New Zealand’s South Island, and this region is arguably the most dramatically beautiful part of the whole country.
Boasting subtropical rainforests, gleaming lakes, desolate snowfields, and the deep blue Tasman Sea, the landscape here is as diverse as it is dazzling. Plus, skydiving in this part of the world allows you to get an unrivalled view of the spectacular and shimmering Franz Josef Glacier.
You can choose to jump from 9,000 feet, which allows you to enjoy a 30-second freefall; 13,000 feet, which gives you a 50-second freefall; or 16,500 feet, which means you can freefall for a staggering 65-seconds. However high you choose to jump from, skydiving at Franz Josef Glacier means you’ll get to admire unmatched scenic views.
To find out more about skydiving at Franz Josef Glacier, head over to Skydive Franz.
2. The Grand Canyon, USA
If you’ve always wanted to visit the Grand Canyon, why not kill two birds with one stone and skydive over one of the USA’s most famous landmarks? Arizona’s magnificent Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic sites in North America, and the aerial views of this geological wonder are mesmerising.
Skydiving over the Grand Canyon allows you to take advantage of one of the world’s highest drop zones. Plus, because the flight takes you right up to the very edge of the canyon, you’ll be able to appreciate just how enormous it really is – and how the photos really don’t do it justice!
Freefalling over one of the seven wonders of the world is obviously an exhilarating experience, but it’s when your parachute deploys that you’ll really be able to take in the views. Flying over the Grand Canyon, with only the sound of rushing air in your ears, is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
To find out more about skydiving over the Grand Canyon, head over to Paragon Skydive.
3. Mount Everest, Nepal
If you’re not one to do things by halves, what about skydiving over the highest mountain in the world? Unsurprisingly, Mount Everest boasts the highest skydive dropzone in the world, and if you want to push yourself to your limits, this adrenaline-pumping activity will do just that.
Skydiving over Mount Everest is like no other skydive experience. Not only will you need to be equipped with an oxygen tank, but you’ll also leap out of a helicopter at an eye-watering height of 23,000 feet – just below the jagged summit of mighty Mount Everest itself.
As you fall, views of the Himalayas and Sagarmatha National Park will unfold beneath you, and the vistas of Everest, its sister peaks, and the picturesque Sherpa villages will be something you never forget. Skydiving over Everest doesn’t come cheap, but it’s undeniably the most electrifying aerial adventure in the world.
To find out more about skydiving over Mount Everest, head over to Everest Skydive.
4. Denarau Island, Fiji
If you’re more drawn to tropical islands and warm turquoise waters than you are to chilly mountain peaks, you might want to consider skydiving in Fiji. This small, friendly country (which is made up of 322 islands!) is known for its pristine white sand beaches, sparklingly clear ocean, and colourful coral reefs – and the best views are from way up in the sky.
Denarau Island has recently been voted in the top 10 of the world’s best skydiving destinations, and for good reason. As you fall through the warm air, you’ll be able to marvel at panoramic views of the Mamanuca Islands and Denarau, where the sea is so clear you can see the fish and coral beneath!
This is a unique experience that’s just as perfect for nature lovers as it is for thrillseekers. As you jump from 14,000 feet and float back down to this balmy tropical paradise, you can look forward to swimming in the azure sea, snorkelling above the coral, and enjoying a blissful beach retreat, too.
To find out more about skydiving in Denarau Island head over to Skydive Fiji.
5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is fast gaining a reputation for becoming one of the best places to skydive around the world – and no wonder. Whether you’re an admirer of man-made marvels or not, freefalling over Dubai’s iconic palm-tree-shaped Palm Jumeirah archipelago is utterly unforgettable.
Dubai is known to be a place of excess, and the skydive experience is no exception. You’ll first head to the Desert Campus (the world’s largest skydiving school) where you’ll learn everything you need to know about the experience. You’ll then be flown up to 13,000 feet before leaping out of the plane.
As the views of the sandy desert, glittering sea, and soaring skyscrapers open out beneath you, you’ll be amazed at just how beautiful artificial landscapes can be. With the urban delights of Dubai to explore, as well as all the outdoor adventure that the desert offers, this could be a trip like no other.
To find out more about skydiving in Dubai, head over to Skydive Dubai.
6. Interlaken, Switzerland
If you love the idea of skydiving over snow-capped mountains and glittering glaciers, but don’t fancy flying all the way over to Nepal or New Zealand, why not consider heading to Switzerland to skydive? Skydiving in Interlaken not only provides you with jaw-dropping views of the Swiss Alps, it’s also a really affordable option.
With its snowy precipices, mirror-like lakes, sparkling glaciers and dramatic valleys, Interlaken is one of the most beautiful dropzones in Europe. You’ll head up in a helicopter, and then when you reach 15,000 ft, you’ll leap out into the chilly Alpine air to enjoy the flight of your life.
You’ll soar over the glacier lakes of Interlaken, like Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, and admire unmatched views of Mount Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. The extraordinary beauty of this part of the world will leave you breathless (if you weren’t already!) – and if you want, you can even go hang-gliding!
To find out more about skydiving in Interlaken, head over to Skydive Interlaken.
7. North Wollongong Beach, Australia
Australians are known for their love of outdoor adventure, so it’s no surprise that they have some of the best skydiving opportunities in the world. If you’re planning an Australian holiday, chances are you’ll be heading to Sydney – so why not go all out and experience the North Wollongong skydive?
Just an hour south of Sydney you’ll reach North Wollongong, where you can skydive from Australia’s highest dropzone of 15,000 feet. Not only is this the only beach skydive available in the Greater Sydney area, it also allows you to admire gorgeous views of the idyllic New South Wales coastline.
The blue waters beneath you teem with whales and dolphins, and spotting these creatures as you sail through the salty air is indescribable. Once you reach dry ground, you can head straight to the sea for a swim – or you can even choose to land right in the water, if you dare!
To find out more about skydiving in North Wollongong, head over to Skydive Australia.
8. Victoria Falls, Zambia
As the world’s largest and most magnificent waterfall, Victoria Falls is breathtaking from the ground – but again, it’s from the air that the views are truly unparalleled. Located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa, Victoria Falls is one of the seven greatest wonders of the world.
You’ll hear Victoria Falls before you see it (the noise of the water can be heard 40km away), and as you fly over the falls, the thundering of the water can seem almost deafening. As you feel the spray of the water, you’ll understand why locals call the falls ‘Mosi-o-Tunya’ – ‘the smoke that thunders’.
After flying over Victoria Falls, you’ll leap over the Zambezi River, the grand and winding river that forms a border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Many visitors pay for scenic helicopter rides over the falls, but why not cross two things off your bucket list and skydive over this natural wonder?
To find out more about skydiving in Victoria Falls, head over to Zambezi Africa.
9. Santa Barbara, USA
The California coastline is known for its gorgeous natural beauty, and if you want to enjoy sensational panoramic views, a skydive is your best bet. With a dropzone that’s just a few miles from the cobalt blue Pacific Ocean, you’ll be able to admire both stunning sea and city views.
Jumping from 18,000 feet, skydiving in Santa Barbara also means you get to experience the highest dropzone in all of North America – and from that height, you’ll be able to admire incredible views of the Channel Islands off the coast of Los Angeles, the mountains, and the Santa Barbara coastline.
If you want to appreciate just how high this jump is, you should be aware that you’ll need to be given supplemental oxygen on the ride up! But of course, the perk of jumping from a higher height is that you have more time to enjoy the views, and soaring through the Southern Californian sky is an experience like no other.
To find out more about skydiving in Santa Barbara, head over to Skydive Santa Barbara.
10. Seville, Spain
For something a little closer to home, why not head to sunny Spain to enjoy a skydive? The Andalusian capital of Seville is one of the most popular destinations in Spain, and skydiving here allows you to inject some serious adrenaline into what might otherwise be just a relaxing holiday.
The skydive centre is only 20 minutes from Seville and once you’re in the plane, you’ll fly way up to 15,000 feet, which is the highest altitude in Europe. This means you’ll get to experience the longest freefall in Europe – over a minute! – where you’ll reach speeds of 130mph.
Once your parachute opens you’ll soar through the sky for between five and eight minutes, enjoying glorious views of Seville and the Andalusian countryside. Another perk is that with so much sunshine throughout the year, skydiving in Seville is possible pretty much all year round, too.
To find out more about skydiving in Seville, head over to Skydive Spain.
Skydiving in the UK
Though, the UK hasn’t made it into our list of the top 10 places to skydive around the world, there are still lots of opportunities to experience the unrivalled exhilaration of a jump and take in some beautiful sights, without venturing too far.
To find your nearest skydiving destination (there are 19 centres across the UK!), you can visit the UK Skydiving Adventures website. Or to get inspired, why not check out this list of 5 of the best places to skydive in the UK from Insure4Sport?
Tandem skydiving is exciting, enjoyable and safe, and whether you choose to fly through the sky above thundering waterfalls, tropical islands or towering mountains, you’re guaranteed to have an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
So, if you’ve always wanted to leap out of a plane and tumble through the sky before soaring like a bird through clouds while admiring the magnificent views below you, now’s the time to make those dreams a reality!
For more hair-raising adventure holidays, you might want to check out our list of 6 extreme adventure holidays, which includes skiing and desert island survival.