Looking for a shot of excitement with your beach holidays this year? With so many cheap flights on offer, there is no excuse to lock away that inner daredevil any longer. Nab one of the many late deals to sunnier climes and jet off for a baking-hot break with a slice of exhilarating skydiving thrown in. Score the thrills of soaring through the air and then settle down to an afternoon of sunbathing in the heart of the Mediterranean. Whether you are a complete beginner or a hardened pro, there are numerous drop zones with jaw-dropping scenery dotted about the Med just waiting for you to drop in.
Spanish skydiving heaven
Book package holidays to Barcelona and, after a night of cultural heaven in Spain’s coolest city, head out to Empuriabrava for a day of action. This unique coastal town, with its picturesque canals and expansive marina, is a mecca for skydivers and well known among the Mediterranean skydiving circuit. Perhaps the largest skydiving centre in Europe, this drop zone is famed for its stunning scenery, which mixes mountainous terrain with the sparkling blue of the sea. Functioning all year round, the skydiving centre is perfect for thrill seekers who have taken advantage of late holidays and want to get their kicks at short notice. Choose from tandem jumps or a variety of Accelerated Freefall courses and, as all jumps are recorded in high definition, your moment of skin-stretched glory is sure to go down in history.
Sky and Snow Adventures, Empuriabrava, Spain. 020 7430 0800
Extreme tandem skydiving on the Israeli coast
If you can grab one of the cheap flights to Israel, you are assured of a scorching holiday by the Med, kicks included. Less than half an hour from Haifa sits a beach-side skydiving centre which specialises in tandem skydives. Ideal for impatient beginners looking to scare themselves silly while learning as little theory as possible, this centre has a range of stomach-flipping options. Control freaks can opt for a Challenge Tandem, where the instructor leaves it up to you to pull the parachute cord on time, and utter daredevils will relish the Jet Tandem skydive, requiring an oxygen mask because of the high altitude!
Paradive, Habonim Beach, Israel. 00 972 46391068
Skydive over Ephesus on the Turkish coast
Turkey has long been targeted as a top destination for a beach holiday by those seeking cheap flights, but head for Izmir and you can experience a completely different kind of Turkish vacation. Tucked away near ancient Ephesus you can learn the not-so-ancient sport of skydiving. If you bore of the ruins and the wind whistling sharply against your goggled face, reignite your sense of adventure with a peek at the traditional camel wrestling matches!
Skydive Efes, Izmir, Turkey
Classic skydiving lessons over a volcano
Cheap holidays can regularly be found to the volcanic island of Sicily, a veritable sun trap and home to a fun-loving skydiving centre. Over the dramatic landscape of Mount Etna try the classic approach to skydiving, the Static Line. After a 10-hour course, beginners jump from the aeroplane at 1,200 metres and are guided to earth over an intercom. Tandem skydiving is available for those who want a more rapid introduction to the still-active volcano from on high or you can take the longer Accelerated Freefall course and absorb the view over the placid waters in the Bay of Taormina over seven bracing jumps.
Skydive Sicilia, Mt Etna, Sicily. 00 39 329 126 4876