How often do you get to soar through the air, feeling the wind through your hair? Chances are rare. Thus, if you’re planning a trip to Switzerland, don’t miss out on the opportunity to parasail or paraglide and take in the picturesque views of the Swiss Alps, which comprises of almost all the highest mountains of the Alps, such as Dufourspitze (4,634 m/15,203 ft), Dom (4,545 m/14,911 ft), Liskamm (4,527 m/14,852 ft), Weisshorn (4,506 m/14,783 ft) and Matterhorn (4,478 m/14,692 ft). Apart from staying in the most beautiful chalets and Airbnb luxe accommodations in the Swiss Alps, or eating their traditional food, paragliding is a popular activity here. Before taking flight, you might feel the nerves, but after running a short distance during launch, you know you’re on your way towards an unforgettable experience. The experts recommend wearing long pants and comfortable hiking boots even if you’re paragliding during summer. Know not where to start? Put aside the thoughts of Swiss cheese and chocolates and let us suggest 8 best places for parasailing and paragliding in Switzerland.
We will start off our list of 8 with Interlaken, one the best places to paraglide in Switzerland due to its almost perfect weather conditions all year round. It’s a lake town situated in a valley between two bodies of water. There are different types of paragliding activities available, and different tour operators have various takeoff points, but most flights come from Beatenberg, a 20-minute van ride from Interlaken. Also, you wouldn’t want to miss out flying with the most popular Big Blue summer and winter. It flies from Beatenberg to Interlaken and is suitable for beginners. The process is pretty simple. A driver will take you and the pilot you’re flying with up the mountain via a van. The journey will take approximately 20 minutes, and you will receive a briefing on what to look out for during the takeoff and landing process. After the ride, take a short 3-minute walk to the takeoff site and remember to snap some pictures along the way of the Interlaken region and Jungfrau mountain. Do note that one has to be at least 6 years old (with parents’ consent) and at a maximum weight of 100kg to take flight. You will get approximately 10 minutes of airtime at an altitude of 1,350 m (4,429 ft). Prices normally start from 160 CHF (162 USD). If you’re lucky, you can go paragliding in Interlaken on a discount, so watch out for those. If the flight time was too short for you, how about heading to Harder Kulm, where you can get the most stunning view of Interlaken, Eiger Mönch, Jungfrau, as well as Lake Brienz?
Located in northern Switzerland is the city of Zurich, which is also known as a global centre for banking and finance. If you want to go paragliding in Zurich, know that there are short and medium flights available, but if you’re an absolute beginner, then you might want to head for short flights with airtime of approximately four to nine minutes. Prior knowledge is not required as your tandem instructor will provide all the necessary information you need to know before flying. Even a preschooler who is at least 4 years old can undergo this amazing experience! Flying sites include Zugerberg, Büelen at Wolfenschiessen, Brunni in Engelberg, and Niederbauen at Emmetten, all within a 100 km (62 mi) distance from the city centre of Zurich. Prices start from 180 CHF (182 USD). But if you’re craving for an adventure, looking for other things to do alone, and have a full day and budget to spare, then give some thought to a cross-country flight, which starts from 530 CHF (535 USD). Or at the same rate, get your brain juice flowing by learning from the famous Acro World Cup winner and state-certified flight instructor, Gabor Kezi.
Lauterbrunnen is a municipality in the Swiss Alps, so there’s no better place to take flight. Again, no experience is required as you will be flying tandem with an experienced pilot. So just prepare your hearts (and cameras) for breathtaking views of the Alps, Lauterbrunnen U-Valley, and Schilthorn. Depending on the weather, you may also be provided with jackets or suitable shoes. You can have the option to fly the glider by yourself for a while under the supervision of your pilot, so ask away if you’re keen to take control. Paragliding over the Alps from Lauterbrunnen will take approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Prices (https://www.viator.com/tours/Lauterbrunnen/Airtime-Paragliding/d25956-7519P1) start from 180 CHF (182 USD). Lauterbrunnen is also famous for its waterfalls—Trummelbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen Valley Waterfalls, Staubbach Waterfall, and Murrenbach Waterfalls—so if nature is your thing, then don’t miss out on these natural creations! Or head to Lauterbrunnen Village if you’re in need of some quiet time whilst soaking up the Swiss vibes.
Paragliding Over the Swiss Alps from Lauterbrunnen
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
At the southern tip of expansive Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) lies Geneva, a city in Switzerland that is surrounded by the Alps and Jura Mountains. It’s another great place to go paragliding in Switzerland, especially if you’re up for incredible views of Mont Blanc, which lies along the French–Italian border and reaches into the country. Flight time runs from 10 minutes, and rates start from 140 CHF (141 USD). In need of a challenge to spice up your travels? Then consider taking a premium flight that lasts up to 35 minutes from 240 CHF (242 USD). The value paid will allow you to create a personalized experience of paragliding with aerobatics like the wing-over, spiral dive, or 360 turns. You will also receive a flight certificate after the experience, a wonderful way to remember the encounter. Alternatively, you can go parasailing in Lake Geneva as well. Consider winding down with coffee breaks at local cafes and museum visits to CERN (the world’s largest particle physics research centre), Patek Philippe Museum, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, or Museum of Natural History (Museum d'Histoire Naturelle) after.
Bet you’ve heard of the famous train ride Glacier Express, with panoramic windows that allow you unobstructed views of the Alpine scenery through which the train travels. This express train connects Matterhorn to St. Moritz or Davos, a town in the Swiss Alps. If you’re coming from Zermatt, hop on Glacier Express and have an eye feast on the highlights along the route, like the alpine village of Zermatt with breathtaking views of Matterhorn and Rhine Gorge—the Grand Canyon of Switzerland. You will find yourself in Davos in approximately eight hours. The paragliding adventure starts on a brand-new day in Davos! Hop onto a cable car at Jakobshorn and enjoy beautiful valley views on your way to the peak. Upon reaching the top, you will need to hike for about 10 to 20 minutes to reach the takeoff point. So dress comfortably and wear proper shoes. After a safety briefing and with your paragliding gears on, you’re ready to go! Flight time will be between 15 to 35 minutes, and you have the option to glide through the sky in comfort or enjoy spinetingling spins, turns, or some freestyle manoeuvres. When in doubt or have specific requests, ask away! Prices start from 170 CHF (172 USD).
Davos Absolutely Free Flying Paragliding Tandem Flight 1'000 Meters High
Duration: 2 hours
Paragliding in Engelberg will allow you to take in views of its peaks, valleys, and Lake Lucerne. Lake Lucerne is a lake in central Switzerland and the fourth largest in the country. It has been used as a venue for European Rowing Championships back in 1908 and 1926. Observe the complicated shape from a bird’s-eye view when you go paragliding over Lucerne Lake, and you might notice several sharp bends. As with most paragliding adventures, you will take a cable car to the launch site, go through a safety briefing, and finally soar with a tandem instructor. Bring along sturdy shoes and windproof clothing! However, do take note that if you happen to be heavier than 90 kg (200 lb), you have to indicate this at the point of booking as afternoons usually have stronger updrafts of wind and will be a more suitable time to fly. But if weight is no issue for you, start early in the morning and finish your experience before noon so as to make time for other exciting plans at Engelberg. Flight times vary from 5 to 20 minutes, and prices start from 160 CHF (162 USD) including cable car fees.
Another great location to go paragliding in Switzerland is Gandria is both a quarter of the city of Lugano and a village on the northern shore of Lake Lugano. While Lugano is a city in southern Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Ticino region. So don’t be confused if we mention Gandria as Lugano or Ticino. So now that we’ve gotten our geography right, do you know FlyTicino is currently ranked as the number 1 tour in Lugano on TripAdvisor and has won the Certificate of Excellence in 2019? We trust that we’re in good hands. Daily paragliding flights are available from April to November every year. Out of this period, FlyTicino accepts other special requests, so drop them a note if you’re travelling to Gandria within the mentioned period. There are also multiple takeoff points in the Ticino region, near Lugano, Locarno, and Bellinzona, so take your pick. Standard flights start from 200 CHF (202 USD) at a 900 m (2,953 ft) elevation with a flight time of approximately 15 minutes. Or you can opt for deluxe flights from 250 CHF (252 USD) at a 1,300 m (4,265 ft) elevation with flight times of up to 45 minutes. Once that is done, why not take a drive or train ride to Monte Tamaro? Monte Tamaro opens from April to October and has various outdoor activities like a coaster bob, a zipline, and a jump from 15 m (49 ft) of height!
We’re finally onto the last place for paragliding or hang gliding in Switzerland. No, not the dark and dangerous wizard Grindelwald but Grindelwald, a village in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps. Apart from paragliding, it is also known as a place for hiking in summer and skiing in winter. Or simply for taking a walk along Lake Brienz, a lake just north of the Alps and approximately a 40-minute drive from Grindelwald once you’re done with your flight. Paragliding for beginners will take approximately 20 minutes, and you will take the gondola ride up to the First mountain before taking off at an altitude of 2,150 m (7,054 ft). First is a minor summit on the slopes of Schwarzhorn in Bernese Oberland—and one of the must-visits when in Grindelwald. If you happen to be in the village during spring or summer, you may also choose to increase your flight time up to 50 minutes and take in the majestic mountain scenery of Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, and Eiger Northface. Prices range from 180 to 280 CHF (182 - 283 USD).
Ready to go?
Thank you for staying with us through this list of 8, and we believe all you need now is a leave approval. Or maybe you’ve got one, and that’s why you’re researching places to go paragliding in Switzerland! If you’re hesitating, we’d say, “You only live once!” so book that plane out and take that flight. When it comes to paragliding, the sky’s literally the limit. So let’s buckle up and be well on our way. Don’t pause, for what lies ahead deserves applause, and celebration awaits in Switzerland. Trust us, you would want to go twice.
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