Our morning flights from Château-d’Oex take place all year round, weather permitting. From mid-May to mid-October we also have afternoon flights in the Gruyere region, again as long as the weather is suitable.
Balloons fly soon after dawn and approximately two hours before sunset to take advantage of the stable air and light winds found at these times of the day.
We call all passengers the evening before the flight between five and six o’clock after we have checked the evening weather bulletin from MeteoSwiss. We will tell you then the exact time of the rendezvous. Of course if the flight is cancelled because of bad weather we will try to reschedule at your convenience. If that is not possible you will not be billed.
For the morning flights over the Pre-Alps leaving from Château-d’Oex we meet up at the entrance of the village in the field between the roundabout and the Agrola petrol station.
The lift off time changes with the seasons: December, January and February 08:30; March, April 08:00; May 07:00; June, July, August between 05:45 and 06:15 depending on the temperature; September, October, November between 07:30 and 08:00.
For the summer evening flights the rendezvous is late afternoon at the Restoroute de la Gruyère at the petrol station’s car park. We will take our minibus and lift off in a neighbouring field.
You can expect the flight to last between one and one and a half hours. However you should count on three to four hours for the whole adventure.
Every flight is different as we are pushed along by the wind. After about an hour of flight the pilot will start looking for a suitable place to land. Our support vehicle is in radio contact with the balloon and will be in place to pick you up and bring you back to the departure point.
What is great about flying in a hot air balloon is that you can fly so low you feel you could touch the treetops but you can also go higher than 2000m for a panoramic view that takes in the expanse of Switzerland from the Jura to the Alps. For our evening flights over the Swiss Plateau we go up to 2000m above sea level. The morning flights in the Pre-Alps go up to 3000m although the height above ground as we fly over the peaks is less.
The temperature in the balloon is more or less the same as at ground level. As the balloon flies with the wind there aren’t any drafts and the burners give out a fair bit of heat.
Clothes that you would wear for a walk in the country at the time of year would be ideal. We recommend that you wear sturdy shoes and take a hat.
No, the basket is very stable and doesn’t rock during flight. Because the balloon is not connected to the ground like a bridge or a ladder people don’t tend to experience vertigo either.
If you wish to fly in a hot air balloon you must be able to climb into the basket and stand up for the duration of the flight. If you have any health issues or are over 80 you should consult your doctor and mention that the balloon can rise up to 3000m above sea level for the mountain flights and 2000m for the flights over the Swiss plateau.
Children must be at least 1m25 (about 4 foot 1). This is so that they are high enough to see out of the basket without stretching. Children aged 15 and under must be accompanied in the basket by a responsible adult.
Unfortunately we cannot take pregnant women.
We would like everybody to be able to experience the joys of a balloon flight and can make arrangements for people with special needs. Please contact us directly by telephone.
No, all passengers need to stand for the duration of the flight and will need to brace themselves against the basket for landing. The top of the basket is well padded and you can lean on it.
Depending on the reservations we have we can fly with baskets that take 2 to 5, 6 to 8, and 9 to 12 passengers respectively.
Statistically hot air ballooning is one of the safest air sports. Your safety is our first priority and we will not make any compromises on that front. A flight can be cancelled at the very last minute if our pilot has the slightest doubt about its security.
Fundamentally the voucher is valid for two years starting from the date of issue. In special cases we will extend its validity to enable you to enjoy the balloon ride without stress. Don’t let your ticket expire – it would be a shame! The ticket is transmissible so you can always give it to someone who wants to fly. You just need to give us their contact details.
If a passenger cancels their flight with less than 72 hours’ notice (except with a medical certificate) or they are not present for the take-off the ticket will be considered used.