Ballooning: It’s Not Just Hot Air

There’s a tranquil valley in central Switzerland that’s a haven for ballooning. Chateau-d’Oex, near Gstaad, known worldwide by balloonists because of a lack of strong winds, and the views can’t hurt either. The first, non-stop, balloon global circumnavigation took off from there in 1999.

You can join the fun: for about $320 bucks per person, Swiss Balloon Flights or Ballon Chateau-d’Oex will take you and 2-4 of your friends on a ride for 90 minutes. Other operators from other locations in Switzerland can be found here.

Don’t think it’s just a summer-time thing either: they operate year-round, and the winter usually offers clearer skies and unbelievable vistas. In fact, the ballooning festival takes place there in late January (1/20-28). Don’t miss the lighted night-time shows!