Festival des Ballons – Chateau d’Oex

Hot Air Ballon Festival in Chateau d’Oex is an epic venture, where hundreds of hot air balloons from all over the world fly in the sky above the Vaudois Alps. It was the 41st edition of this event and we were planning to be a part of it!

The day before our trip it wasn’t clear though if we’d go or not.  I was told on the phone that there would be a 60% chance that the weather will allow us to fly. We took a leap of faith and drove out before 7 (they made an announcement at 7:30) all without knowing if it’s going to happened. And guess what…  we really got lucky on this one! The weather was more than perfect. It was a sunny, clear day and one of our greatest Swiss adventures was about to start.

We arrived there at 9:00 and we could already see people setting up their balloons. We had a stroll around the field, drank a coffee and watched what it actually takes to get up , before going up in the air.

Apart from being lucky with the weather conditions we were also fortunate to have the best pilot, who allowed us to help set up and inflate the balloon so we could play a bigger role in the process and we were properly initiated into the world of hot air ballooning.

We all jumped in the basket and were ready to take off at 11:00. I was sooo terrified at the beginning! But then somehow… We became a part of the wind, so we felt no movement and we could just watch the earth go by. It was like being a cloud and all the fears dissapeared as we were smoothly flying above the alpine towns.

We floated in the air for about 3 hours, taking in the beautiful views. It was exciting to see the world from a different perspective. We got to see the clearness of the water on the Saane river, the ruggedness of the mountains, the villages in the valley and the colorful balloons floating in the air.  We were going up and down, as following the wind. Sometimes the pilot was descending so low, that we could literally fly between the trees (and I even picked a pine-cone while being low – and it’s lying next to me while I’m writing this post :)).

The landing part was quite an adventure itself. When we were moving in the direction of Montreaux, we had no choice but to land somewhere in the mountains and get picked up  by Air Glaciers. Not only we got to fly the balloon, but also a helicopter! Incredible, just look at the pictures!


Flying the balloon was always one of the things I always dreamed of, but never actually thought  I will be able to do. It has been one of the most thrilling yet very peaceful experiences in my life and it felt even better than I imagined. I held my beloved one close while enjoying the panoramic views (More photos below).

For all of you who missed it! The next, 42nd Hot Air Balloon Festival in Chateau d’Oex will take place from January 25th to February 2nd 2020. And if you’re hungry for an adventure in the air before that date, there’s a company that organizes flights all year round! Click HERE to go to their website!



This post was written in collaboration with Festival de Ballons.  All opinions are my own.

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