Every winter in Château-d’oex in the Valais, people can view hundreds of fascinating colours and shapes hot air balloons flying over the landscape of the Pay-d’Enhaut. If the weather permit, it is a unique experience not to be missed.
This is our second visit to the Hot air balloons festival in Château-d’oex and don’t come if the weather cast is unsure because the show and activities can be cancelled without any notice! That’s what happened on our first visit!
But at our second visit to this Hot air balloon festival, the sun was widely shining while it was deadly grey in Bern!
Upon arrival to Château-d’oex we were greeted by hot air balloons and ohh boy how excited weren’t Mirabelle and I!
We arrive quite early, at 10.30 pm, and was able to find easily a parking space. The employees of the festival were directing people where to park. It was well-organized. This year, there are people collecting money for participate in the hot air balloon festival, 15 chf.
The International hot air balloon festival in Château-d’oex was created in 1979 which makes this year’s festival the 40th edition! The hot air balloon festival is being held every winter in the last week in January that last for 9-days over two weekends.
Where to view the hot air balloons?
Most of the people will watch the hot air balloons take off at the take-off ground at the entrance to the village. There are toilets, food court and food stalls by this area.
There are about hundreds of hot air balloons with all kind of shapes and colours that participate in January each year.
The balloon bag but also called as the Envelope is made of reinforced nylon fabric. The gondola or the basket where the pilot and the passenger ride on is made of woven wicker, which is both strong and flexible. The basket is connected to the envelope by stainless steel suspension cables. Normally, the inflation takes about 30 minutes.
The balloons at the festival in Château-d’oex land somewhere nearby, the team will then collect it and drive back to the take-off platform for another flight.
More interesting facts about hot air balloons Here.
Hot air balloons with all the colorful colors in Château-d’oex.
….OR viewing the hot air balloons by the hill of the church of Château-d’oex.
The best view of the hot air balloons and the surrounding area must definitely be from one hot air balloon itself, but if one can’t have afford to ride one (if I am not mistaken it cost 399chf!!) one can climb up to the church of Château-d’oex!
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A fondue with a view!
David and Flavio, cheese lover.
What else are there to do and see other than balloons?
For each day, there is a different program of activities and show. Get the program Here. Wednesday afternoon is always dedicated to children.
An impressive air show at the Hot air balloon festival in Château-d’oex.
The food court.
At the food court there is a small kid corner where the kids can make floating lantern and draw on it for later let it float on the air up into the sky. I can really recommend it because the guys the BallonPirates are amazing and they really are passionate of what they are doing.
If the kids get bored, the village is small and has two fun play grounds, a skating rink and cozy bakeries. A small pause from the noises and the crowds.
Don’t you like to share your special moment with someone? How about flying in a one man hot air balloon?
WARNING! Our initially plan was to park our car in Bulle and then take a train to Château-d’oex but as we missed our train we thought OK let’s drive up anyway. Although on our arrival everything went smoothly, our way back home was a disaster! It took us 1.5h from the village to Bulle when it should normally take 30min!
Here are som fun facts about the hot air balloon.
- The first hot air balloons were first invented in 1783 in France.
- The first flight test with a hot air balloon was without any passengers.
- The first passengers in a hot air balloon were a sheep, duck and a rooster.
- The first hot air balloon flight with a human on board was travelling over Paris for about 9km and it stayed airborne for 23 minutes.
- The hot air balloon is the oldest form of human flight.
Don’t miss the Hot air balloon festival in Château-d’oex if the weather is good!