If you are visiting Switzerland and Interlaken is on your itinerary why not throw yourself off a perfectly good mountain?
Beyond the picturesque views, cool weather, and quaint town, visitors flock to Interlaken for one major thrill – paragliding. The topography of Interlaken makes it perfect for this outdoor rush. There is enough altitude for a good take off, and few obstructions for a panoramic view thousands of feet in the air.
If you’re thinking of braving new heights, here’s a quick guide on what to expect when paragliding in Interlaken.
For something potentially life-changing (which can go either way), the first step is to really read up on paragliding operators. There is a lot of safety measures that need to be in place. If the operator doesn’t seem too worried about safety, then you will probably want to look somewhere else. There are a lot of licensed paragliding operators in Interlaken, all of which offer more outdoor activities.
Here are the most popular operators:
Each tour operator has its own take-off points and packages, but most flights come from Beatenberg, a 20-minute van ride from Interlaken. Its panoramic views of the Bernese Oberland makes it the perfect jump-off point for paragliding. A flight from Beatenberg gives views of the deep blue Lake Thun, and views of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau.
Flying the Big Blue is one of Paragliding Interlaken’s most popular flights. It flies from Beatenberg to Interlaken and suitable for beginners. During the winter season from November to March, the views change and more equipment is used, but the experience is just as breathtaking.
The take-off point at Amisbühl is perfect for thermal wind conditions which can potentially extend airtimes. The flight offers stunning views of the alpine panorama, and the crystal clear akes of Thun and Brienz. The flight also brings riders over the Aare river and land at the center of Interlaken
The flight takes off at the original site of the operator at a lower altitude in Beatenberg, and lands west of Interlaken near the city center.
The flight takes you next to Interlaken’s local mountain, the Harder Kulm. This is the best option for visitors with limited time to go around Interlaken as it offers views of mountains Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau and the turquoise lakes of Brienz and Thun.
Some flights also come from Schynige Platte, which is found in the Jungfrau and can be accessed via cog train. Here, the views are filled with meadows and forests, and also offers great vantage points during the flight to Interlaken.
The sunset flight takes of from Schynige Platte. The trip is a bit more tedious, which involves a 40-minute train ride to Schynige Platte, followed by a 25-minute hike, depending on where the exact location of the operator is. The jump-off point rewards hikers views of Lake Thun and Brienz, and all of Interlaken in the glow of the sunset.
No matter which flight you choose, paragliding in Interlaken is just one of the many ways to soak in the beauty of the alps. Making that leap into the air may be frightening, but the thrill of soaring over lakes and through mountains is an experience like no other.
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!