Intoxicating, thrilling, nervy and adrenaline-fuelled all describe skydiving from 15000ft, or 4.5km, while free-falling for over one minute at speeds above 120mph (210kph). Skydive Spain offers the highest skydiving jump and longest free fall in Europe. If it is a bucket list item, floating over Andalucian terrain with pleasant temperatures and clear blue skies is the place to do it.
Tandem Skydiving essentials
Getting to Skydive Spain
Preferred mode of transport: Car.
Taxi cost: 40€ one way from central Seville.
Journey time from the centre: 40 minutes.
Parking onsite: Yes.
Prices: Skydive Spain full price list.
Opening Hours: 0700 – 1500 daily.
Address: Skydive Spain, Aerodromo La Juliana, A-474, s/n, 41110 Bollullos de la Mitación, Sevilla, Spain.
Telephone:+34 955 76 60 56
Interesting facts about skydiving
- The first recorded jump was in 1797 by André-Jacques Garnerin, jumping from 3000ft.
- Consequently, his wife Jeanne-Genevieve jumped in 1799, becoming the first female skydiver.
- Skydivers free-fall quickly, albeit at different speeds.
- Surprisingly, round parachutes are rare as they are difficult to control.
- The world’s oldest skydiver was Bryson William Hayes, a 101-year-old Englishman.
Steps for tandem skydiving
- Arrival and registration.
- Kit and briefing.
- On the plane.
- The skydive.
- Post skydive.
- Five skydiving tips
1. Arrival and registration
After reaching Skydive Spain, head to the reception at the rear of the site, past the café and the drop zone. Arrive at least 45 minutes before your allocated time. The staff complete check-in and confirm the approximate jump slot time. Including the photography and video package at extra cost, if not pre-booked, is possible.
2. Kit and briefing
Next is the safety briefing and changing into the jumpsuit. The staff knowingly picked the right size, as mine fitted like a glove.
Another instructor helps fit and secure the harness — the most important piece of kit after the parachutes. Then it is a case of waiting. A monitor displays the jump schedule – keep a close eye on it. In the boarding areas, you hear plane engines turning, and people are buzzing around the hangar anxiously waiting to get on board, jostling for position.
3. On the plane
The plane takes off after everyone has boarded and safety measures are in place. The jumpers have their back in the direction of travel, not facing forwards, so when it is time to jump, you are facing in the right direction. It is said that the ascent is the scariest part. This is the point of no return, no turning back, and jumping is the only way to get back to the ground.
Rather than a conventional nose-first ascent, the plane uses a circular pattern to reach the desired height, ending above the drop zone at 15000ft. The videography skydiver jumps first. Once the shutter door opens, the noise of the rushing air is overwhelming, pushing you back with force as you prepare to jump.
I was second to jump, having seen the apprehension and fear in the eyes of the first jumper, who still looked somewhat dazed after landing.
4. The skydive
Before you know it, you are inverted, adopting a free-fall position. Welcome to the world of skydiving and the thrill, many seek, a liberating feeling with the brain trying hard to process what it sees nearly 5km below, albeit upside down. Suddenly, you are hurtling through the air at 120mph.
Looking down at the patchwork cloth patterns stretching as far as the eye can see feels surreal. Height-wise, it seemed lower than 15000ft, but the instructor assured me that was the altitude from which we leapt.
At this point, it is a case of enjoying the ride. On descending, the drop zone comes into view and raising your feet for the landing position is essential. Some schools adopt an ‘on your feet’ landing, but a sliding landing is much smoother.
5. Post skydiving
Once your feet are firmly back on the ground and bathing in the exhilaration you have just jumped out of a plane, it is time to remove the skydiving suit, and that is it. Mission accomplished and bucket list item ticked off.
If you have opted for the video and photo package, which incurs additional cost, Skydive Spain will send a download link within 24 hours.
6. Five skydiving tips
Keep in mind the following on jump day:
- Smile and relax, and the whole experience will be more enjoyable.
- Wear comfortable clothing and footwear, preferably trainers.
- Follow everything the instructor says. After all, they are trained professionals.
- Use goggles if you wear contact lenses or glasses.
- Prepare yourself mentally. After all, this is what you have always wanted to do.
The biggest thrill about skydiving is when the parachute opens, and you are hoisted upwards for a few hundred feet for what feels no more than two seconds. Furthermore, this is a total adrenaline rush.
Skydive Spain offers solo skydiving, tandem skydiving, AAF training and Team training, so there is something for everyone. Their highly qualified and multi-lingual instructors have ratings with the British Parachute Association and United States Parachute Association.
While safety is paramount, the school retains an authentic old-school feel; everyone here loves to jump rather than purely for financial gain. They ensure you have the most fun possible skydiving at the highest permitted altitude in Europe. In contrast, indoor skydiving is a pale comparison and very different from reality.
Cabin Bags Only rating: 9.5/10
For the highest skydiving in Europe, head to Skydive Spain for all the information.
For first-time skydivers, check out this article for handy tips.