Local Flying :: Gréolières
Flying above the ruins at Greolieres Photo © Felix Wölk
With a high-point of 1770m, the Cheiron is the biggest and most obvious ridge in this area (Look out for it as you fly over on the approach to Nice airport!). It is a very reliable site, with year-round thermals pulling the air up the front even when the clouds are scooting over the top from the north (but be prepared to encounter this wind if you fly above cliff height). It offers both dynamic lift and thermals all year round.
In terms of XC, it is not the easiest site to get away from, but there is a straight-forward 15km out-and-return ridge-run to Coursegoules that is very achievable on a reasonable day. The accessibility of the site, and that it is so often flyable, coupled with the magnificent views of Mediterranean, the snow-capped Mercantour and the ski-slopes on the north side of the mountain are reason enough to fly here for most!.
Takeoff at Greolieres Photo © Charlie Hedges
:: Safety Note
Valley winds at the landing field are usually from the east. If there is a westerly blowing, the site gets very turbulent and it is not advisable to fly.
The main (lower) take-off is a 30 min walk from Gréolières village. The school runs a navette service (from 9 am) to this or to the upper TO in summer. Ski station chair lifts from the resort of Gréolières-les-Neiges can be used to access this upper take-off in winter.
300, main launch
30 minute walk from the schoollanding field, or use the Navette service from here.
600 and 700
1 hour’s walk from Greolieres-les-Neiges or Navette from the school landing field. 4x4 access in private vehicles is not allowed.
1000 Cheiron summit
1h20 walk from the school landing field. Chairlifts from the ski station at Greolieres-les-Neiges can be used in winter.
Le Dahut (lower takeoff) 4 Euros or ½ ticket
700 or Jerusalem (upper) 7 Euros or 1 ticket.
10 tickets = 60 Euros
- IGN Serie Vert 1:100 000 map 61, “Nice Barcelonnette”
- Michelin Carte Routière et Touristique, 1 :200 000 map 245, ” Provence Cote d’Azur “.
- IGN ” Top 25 ” (1 :25 000) map 3642 ET.
- Top 25 ” (1 :25 000) map 3643 ET.
:: Take-offs and Landings
|Name / Orientation
||Altitude (m AMSL)
|Le 300 (Le Dahut)
||43°48′08″N - 06°57′44″E
||This is probably the most often-used launch, being a short walk from the landing field. 250m T to B.
||43°48′61″N - 06°57′75″E
||690m T to B.
|Le 700 (Plateau) S
||43°48′61″N - 06°57′55″E
||745m T to B.
|La Cime du Cheiron S
||43°48′95″N - 06°58′63″E
||The wind can be strong on take-off. 930m T to B.
|Le Jérusalem S
||The wind can be strong on take-off. 958m T to B.
||Altitude (m AMSL)
|“Ferrage”, school landing field in Gréolières village
||UPS 32T 0334884 4851287 43°47′83″N - 06°56′95″E
||The big meadow to the east of the village.
:: Useful Numbers
:: XC Routes
It is quite difficult (’though not impossible) to gain the height necessary to make it onto the Montagne de Thorenc behind, as there is a large area with no landings to cross, and often a northerly wind to contend with. If conditions are right and this crossing is possible, all sorts of XC opportunities open up on reaching Col de Bleyne.
:: Other Activities
- Walking. There are lots of marked footpaths, including the GR4 which passes through Gréolières. The area is full of wildlife: deer, wild boar, hares, partridges.
- Mountain biking.
- Trout fishing in the river Loup, below the village
- Canyoning in the Loup.