The Swiss hot air balloon capital, Château-d’Oex in the Vaudois Alps plays host to hundreds of hot air balloons in January of each year. This colourful 9-day festival includes a night-time show, hot air balloon rides and kids’ day.
The Château-d’Oex International Hot Air Balloon Festival brings together pilots from some twenty different countries, with nearly a hundred hot air balloons taking advantage of the exceptional climate of the Alps in winter.
Created in 1979, the festival attracts crowds of people over two weekends, with hot air balloons in special shapes, air displays and model hot air balloons. Wednesday afternoon is as always dedicated to children; captive balloon flights and the grand balloon release are guaranteed to create delight on hundreds of little faces!
The link between Château-d’Oex and hot air balloons is a historical one. It was from here in 1999 that the Breitling Orbiter – piloted by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones – set off for the first tour of the world in a hot air balloon. Visitors can learn about the story of this mad adventure at the Château-d’Oex hot air balloon museum.