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Riviera Pebbles Blog: Activities on the Riviera: Flying

Posted on 7th May 2018 in Go & Do


Get behind a Cessna at one of the Cote d'Azur's flying clubs

It may come as small surprise that the Cote d’Azur is one of the top 3 most popular private jet hubs in the world. A-listers from the Beckhams to the Kardashians descend here each summer.

If you can’t beat them, join them. Several flying clubs let you take control of a private plane from €115 per hour. With an instructor on board you can cruise past the ski resort of Valberg or saunter above the beaches of St Tropez.

Our favourite school is Antibes Flying Club. Bargain initiation flights start with a 15-minute briefing. Then you and two guests taxi up Cannes’ runway for a 30-minute panoramic flight. Yes, you can take the controls. But don’t divebomb the Cap d’Antibes or air traffic control will want a word on disembarkation.

Interested? Just remember that light aircraft shake like a leaf in the warm Southern French air. Not only that. Antibes Flying Clubs use Robin DR400s. These 1970s planes have a single propeller. Oh, and they’re made of wood.

More serious is Cannes Aviation Academy. They offer private pilot discovery courses for ages 15 and up. Sitting alongside the pilot in a Diamond DA40 you can cruise over the Lerins Islands and Saint Tropez Bay. You then get to land at Cannes Airport afterwards!

One last tip. Cannes’ and St Tropez Airports both have extensive VIP facilities that outclass those at Nice Airport. But visiting movie stars don’t view the complimentary bar as a personal challenge. Got that? Then you’re ready for take off.
May 2018


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