Switzerland is known for its incredible nature, which makes it a playground for mountain lovers and outdoor adventurers. Canyoning is an increasingly popular outdoor activity in Switzerland, and if you want to learn more about the best canyoning spots in the Alpine country, you’re definitely in the right place!
We’ve covered all of Switzerland’s best canyoning spots, from Interlaken to Geneva. Read on to see what the best canyoning spots in the country are, including options for total newbies and pros!
Canyoning is a popular adventure sport that includes quite a few things. It’s mostly a sport that has to be done with guides since canyoning on your own can be quite dangerous if you are not familiar with the terrain.
Most guided tours provide you with all the canyoning equipment you need, as well as a knowledgeable guide that will help and support you during the canyoning adventure.
In essence, canyoning is a sport that involves climbing to the top of a canyon and plunging yourself into the water below. It involves swimming, so naturally, it’s suitable only for swimmers.
We are talking about canyoning in Switzerland after all, so it’s no surprise that there are various takes on the traditional definition of canyoning. If there’s a country that offers a unique way to experience its canyons and gorges, it’s Switzerland. Other options for a canyoning trip include swinging between the rocks from extremely tall platforms and even heli canyoning!
The Interlaken Canyon is just the perfect introduction to canyoning in Switzerland. It’s quite short, so it’s a great canyon for beginners. Most canyoning tours of the Interlaken Canyon are suitable for children who are at least 12 years old, so this is the perfect tour for anyone who is looking to try something new and exciting.
If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging you’ll find it in Grindelwald, just a 30-minute ride from Interlaken. The glacial gorge of Grindelwald is home to the Canyon Swing, which is an incredible experience perfect for all adrenaline lovers. Tours for the experience start from Interlaken, so technically it fits into the category of canyoning Interlaken!
This is a deep gorge with a 90-meter tall platform that you’re supposed to jump from. Experience the freefall while swinging between the rocks at an impressive speed of 120km/h – how’s that for an adrenaline rush?
Situated on a mountain pass, the Grimsel Canyon offers one of the most exciting canyoning experiences in the Bern canton. The Grimsel trip starts with a 50-meter rappel, which is followed by thrilling jumps, exciting slides, and a spectacular zip-line ride straight into a clear pool.
The beautiful mountain scenery with the pale-coloured rock formations and crystal clear pools just makes the entire Grimsel trip even better. The Grimsel Canyon is about an hour away from Interlaken, and it boasts both easy and challenging elements. The guided rappel is compulsory, so if that’s something you’re not comfortable with, maybe this isn’t the best place for you to go canyoning.
Grimsel Canyon is a relatively short adventure, with approximately two hours spent playing around the canyon. With amazing jumps, slides, and zip-line experience, those might just be the best two hours of your entire time in Switzerland.
La Tienda Canyon is situated in the canton of Valais, in southwestern Switzerland. Boasting spectacular views of the Emanev High Mountain Pasture and the Swiss Alps peaks, this canyon is perfect for anyone looking to experience canyoning in Switzerland while also admiring the stunning mountain scenery.
This canyoning adventure is considered moderately challenging, so it is suitable only for those with prior canyoning experience. It involves sliding, climbing, rappelling, jumping, and swimming, and it’s so much fun you won’t want to do anything else during your time in Switzerland.
The Triage Canyon is situated in the Swiss countryside, close to the Les Marcottes village in Valais canton. It’s a fun and exciting place to go canyoning, with jumps, slides, and rappels.
All the canyoning activities here are moderately challenging, making the Triage Canyon suitable only for those with prior canyoning experience. It’s not suitable for total beginners, so you’ll want to head to a different canyon in Valais (or elsewhere in Switzerland) if you’re still looking for your first canyoning adventure.
One of the best things about this canyon is not that it’s such a great adventure, but that the nature around it just mesmerizing. Stunning views of the Swiss Alps, sparkling water at the bottom of the deep gorge, and unique rock formations are all inviting canyoners to this hidden gem in Switzerland.
If you have prior experience with canyoning and you’re into the sport, Ticino is the perfect playground for you. The region’s mountainous landscape boasts several hidden gorges and emerald water canyons, which range in difficulty from easy to quite challenging.
Whether you’re just looking to have some fun or you want to experience the most amazing adrenaline rush of your life, the many canyons of Ticino will not disappoint.
The most popular destinations for canyoning in Ticino are Corippo Canyon, Iragna Canyon, Boggera Canyon, and Val Grande in Valle Maggia. Most of those are fairly simple and suitable for families, but Val Grande canyoning is suitable only for pros. If you’re looking for some of the most challenging canyoning spots in Switzerland, this is just the right one for you.
It’s worth noting that with such diverse landscapes and multiple companies that offer canyoning tours, this is also where you’ll find the best selection of non-traditional canyoning experiences like heli canyoning.
Chli Schliere is a challenging canyon with fast slides, high rappels, and big jumps. It’s considered the best canyoning experience in the region and it’s absolutely perfect for experienced canyoners who are looking for a proper challenge.
This canyon is situated in Alpnach, very close to Lucerne. Tours are often organized from Interlaken, so if you’re anywhere close in the region, you should be able to organize a trip to this incredible canyon.
Jump from a 10-meter tall platform into the rushing river and go on several 15-meter slides – those are just a couple of the highlights of the Chli Schliere Canyon.
Geneva is a stunning city with plenty of things to do and see both in the city and in the nature surrounding it. Canyoning, via ferratas, skiing, and water activities are all abundant in Geneva, so it doesn’t matter what it takes to give you an adrenaline rush – this city will provide it.
Most canyoning tours are up to an hour outside the city of Geneva, so you’ll spend most of the half-day tour jumping in the rushing rivers. The best canyons close to geneva are Barberine Canyon, Megeve Canyon, and Balme Canyon, each with something unique to offer to adventurers.
They all include jumps, rappels, and slides, and they’re all best suited for different skill levels. The Barberine Canyon is special because it’s one of very few that’s not affected by the weather conditions. The water level doesn’t fluctuate that much thanks to the dam above it, making this canyon the perfect destination even on a rainy day!
La Salanfe Canyon is perfect for total newbies to canyoning. It’s one of the easiest canyons in Switzerland and it is situated in the Valais canton. Canyoning tours of La Salanfe Canyon are suitable for kids as young as nine, so it’s the ultimate canyon for those without prior canyoning experience.
Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s not fun. The experience includes rappelling on a bridge over a waterfall, climbing, sliding, and jumping, all the while you’re surrounded by a majestic Alpine environment.
All tours of the La Salanfe Canyon are guided, and you’ll have help and support in your every step. The guides will provide you with necessary canyoning equipment, they’ll pick you up from a previously arranged pick-up point, and drop you off in the same place. It’s a well-rounded experience that usually takes about half a day.
There’s even an option of moonlight-guided canyoning, which is as amazing as it sounds!
The canyoning season in Switzerland usually starts in the spring and lasts through the end of summer. May to September is the best time for canyoning in Switzerland, mostly because there’s enough snowmelt to sustain the water levels necessary to enjoy this experience.
Winter is too cold for canyoning, while early spring and autumn are known for unpredictable (and cold) weather. Also, it depends on the region – some areas can have snow and ice even in the spring and fall, and canyoning is not really possible in those conditions.
In any case, it’s best to always call ahead and ask whether your preferred canyoning route is open, especially if you’re trying to follow a tight schedule.
If you’re looking for reasons to go canyoning in Switzerland, it might not be the right activity for you. Most people go for the adrenaline rush that’s accompanied by jumping into the fast mountain streams, but that’s certainly not the only reason to arrange a canyoning experience.
It’s also a great way to meet like-minded people and discover the fascinating natural attractions of Switzerland. Some of the country’s best canyoning routes are situated off the beaten path, and you would never discover them otherwise. If you’re bored of the big cities and popular hiking routes, canyoning is exactly what you need to spice things up.
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!