Location, Sites and Flying

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlgodonales is in Andalucía, Southern Spain. The Algodonales zone of flying is complex, and has a micro climate affected by the sea to the south and east, and the ocean to the north and west. The north is the vast low land mass of Spain and to the south is Africa.

The Cadiz mountain range divides this area east/west as far as the eye can see; add the effect of the strong Andalucía sun and the result is an ever changing convection system influenced by the ambient wind.

It is a popular hang gliding destination with a variety of flying sites and a pretty, lively town centre. The surrounding countryside is mountainous, with plenty of flat landing areas and spectacular scenery. We will take you to the most suitable hang gliding  flying site every day, and show you the best local bars and restaurants in the evenings.

Seville and Jerez are the closest airports, both one hour from the village. Malaga  is s two hour drive. Cadiz, the Costa del Sol and the Atlantic Coast (Costa del Luz) are all easily accessible.

The zone covers four main flying sites spread over 40 kilometers with the main site, Sierra de Lijar, next to the village of Algodonales . We use a variety of local flying sites depending upon the weather. There are local sites to fly in a variety of wind directions including north, north-east, south-east, south-west, and west. If conditions dictate, we can drive to coastal soaring sites, or even the Sierra Nevada beyond Granada.

There are large colonies of Griffin Vultures locally and we regularly fly and share thermals with them.

There are thermal flying conditions throughout the year although conditions are strongest in spring and summer. Soaring flights are made in every month of the year.

P1040429We regard Andalucia as Europe’s ‘California’. We have chosen the area around Algodonales for the agreeable climate and the close proximity of suitable ‘flatland’ and ‘mountain’ terrains. Whilst the climate is agreeable, we do have to admit that during the middle of the summer months it is a little too hot to be really comfortable. During this short, but hot, period you will likely find Lejair continuing  hang gliding training at our Norfolk site, in the UK.

Andalucia enjoys a dry climate with the air being of low humidity. It has warm temperatures and the winds in the region are generally light. These local climatic conditions allow us to offer considerably more training days each year to our students and customers (an estimated 300 flyable days per year). As a result we have been able to adapt, and extend, our methods of training to maximize training time. In particular, we have enhanced our already successful hang gliding tow training methods by incorporating  hill launching techniques into our courses as appropriate.

hg_launchThe Spanish seem devoted to flying, along with all kinds of other sporting activities. In particular, this enthusiasm was demonstrated with the region playing host to the 2001 World Air Games.

The opportunities Andalucia offers pilots to broaden their range of skills and flying experiences is enormous, the tow launching of hang gliders and semi-rigid wings, FLPA flexwing flying, micro-lighting, mountain flying on hang gliders and paragliders offering huge cross country potential.

The gently sloped foot hills towards Algodonales provide ideal conditions for a beginner’s ‘first day’ training, after which the flatland area around Villa Martin provides for continuation training using winching and aerotow techniques. For the more experienced pilot, we can easily progress to more advanced tow training or mountain flying, as required.

We have five main mountain launch sites, within 40km of our base, suitable for pilots of all levels of experience. These sites enjoy good access to launch point and a number of them enjoy special meteorological effects such as convergence and sea breeze effects that often provide lift to 3000 meters in the late evening.

In addition to the range of flying activities we offer, Andalucia is well worth a visit in its own right. Occupied by the Moors for many years, there is a great deal history attached to the region. In and around Ronda there is interesting evidence of occupation by the ancient Roman empire. Andalucia also offers some breathtaking scenery with a stark contrast between its mountainous and flatland regions; lakes and caves abound and we are not too far from the Costa del Sol. In fact the region boasts many activities in addition to flying that make it ideal for a family holiday – horse riding, swimming in the lakes, fishing, water sports, climbing, caving, walking, mountain biking and motorcycling to list just a few.

Andalucia provides some great flying opportunities; one of the best is to soar or thermal with a flock of ‘buitres’. These Griffon Vultures have an incredible nine foot wingspan and are not afraid to fly really close to you. Alternatively, you may be fortunate and fly with a flock of ‘cequenos storks’ as they practice their own flying techniques in preparation for their annual migration to the African continent.



hg_flyingLijar Levante SE and SW

Lijar Poniente

El Bosque






Lejair has been successfully running hang gliding  tow training activities here for around 30 years. During this time we have trained hundreds of pilots, coaches, instructors and winch operators. As a result of our training and our close and lively association with the local hang gliding and paragliding  club this site has remained highly active and has proved to be one of the UK’s most successful sites for hang gliding and Paragliding  cross country flying.

We shall be continuing our training activities at this site during the UK’s summer months. For exact dates please refer to our training schedule under the Courses section of our website. Alternatively, contact us direct for more information

How to find our Norfolk Site

Route Map












Local map