SkyDive is my father’s dream. We started in Beira Baixa but, considering the more favourable weather here, we moved to Évora. I was 12 or 13 when I started to come with him -- at the time, I was the one editing the videos. In the meantime, my mother began to come here on the weekends and take over the management tasks. Then, in 2009, my father passed away. And because giving up is not part of our vocabulary, and we knew this was his dream, my mother decided to continue the business. It was a shame if such a fun activity that made so many people happy stopped! Now we’re the number one school in Portugal.
Évora has excellent conditions for skydiving: a fantastic microclimate, it’s safe (the land is mostly flat), and with a historical background in this activity. Everyone should skydive. And there are several stages to it: flying over the city, the jump, the few minutes free falling, and the opening of the parachute…Then it’s peaceful for five minutes while flying. We want everyone to jump with us.
In 2017, a 96-year-old lady jumped with us. The first thing she did when she landed was wave at her family, who was watching, to put them at ease. Then she said: I’m now going to rest and have a beer.
Our story and mission
Originally, my family and I are from São João da Madeira. My father, who was always passionate about skydiving, decided to enrol in a course. But he broke his foot on the third jump and had to stay at home for a while. That’s when he thought: I like this so much, I’ll start a school. This was in 2007. I was 16 when my father passed. I always helped my mother. Later I went to university but still supporting my mother. Then I finished my Master’s degree and decided to dedicate myself 100% to SkyDive.
At SkyDive our priority is to make people’s dreams come true.
Nowadays, I’m also shuffling my bags between Évora, Lisbon, São João da Madeira, and abroad. We spend many hours at work, socialising at the airfield, and the team becomes our family. It’s fun to be here, we have barbecues out there and, on the weekends, the bar is full of customers who come to see the planes and people skydive. We feel at home at the airfield. To us, it’s more than just a business; it’s a passion. My mother comes here seven days a week and never grows tired. Sometimes she has dinner here. She was the first to move permanently here, and she lives right next to the city walls.
Experience of a lifetime
Évora has exceptional conditions: the city has excellent hotels and restaurants, and it’s surrounded by nature. There are great living conditions, diversified cultural events, and there’s always something to do. And then you have the city’s History and the atmosphere. Alentejo is culture, and that is shown by the increasing number of people who move here. Like us, who came from the North, and many of the people who work with us. Most of the SkyDive instructors aren’t from Évora. The pilot is one of the few locals who’s worked in Lisbon but, today wouldn't leave Évora for any other place in the world. And I agree, Évora has excellent conditions, it has everything we need, and, if it doesn’t, we can always have it delivered.
Évora has the ideal conditions for skydiving, and we can say we gave the activity another push forward.
Évora has a lot more tourists which makes companies want to improve their products and services. That also makes life easier for local business owners and residents. Incidentally, a few years ago, even before we opened the school, my parents were browsing for properties in Alentejo and my mother fell in love with the landscape. She was far from knowing that, a few years later, she’d come to live in Évora. Today she wouldn’t go back to São João da Madeira: she enjoys the quiet, the climate, and the quality of life she has.
Évora and its surroundings are pretty flat, so they’re perfect for two-wheel sports. In the Summer, some people ride their bicycles to the airfield, and you can also ride on the bike path at the converted Ramal de Mora, the railway that crosses the city from South to North.