Full of hot air at the Festival International de Ballons, Château d’Oex, Switzerland
Since 1979 almost one hundred balloons have taken to the skies over Château d’Oex in Switzerland. The nine day event known as the Festival International de Ballons takes place every year at the end of January and sees balloonists from over twenty different countries participating.
Though there are many balloon festivals throughout the world, none can boast the awe inspiring backdrop of the Swiss Alps, like the Festival International de Ballons can.
A unique event during the festival is the ‘Night Glow’. Taking place on the evening of the seventh day. The ‘Night Glow’ is when all the balloons are exposed on the mountain side, lit by their burners. A truly incredible sight to behold.
During the festival there are aerobatic shows, sky chariots and cloud hoppers both of which are single seater balloons, airships, wingsuit displays and remote controlled hot air balloons. The festival also sees many special and uniquely shaped balloons making an appearance, such as Phillipe Lusley’s lighthouse balloon.
The festival also hosts many events to keep the young and budding balloonist happy with flights in tethered balloons on offer as well as a massive balloon release.
Throughout the event spectators can participate in scenic flights in both hot air balloons and helicopters.
The Festival International de Ballons, Château d’Oex is a showcase for the majestic art of balloon flight.
Photo Credits: C. Baumberger & D. Schreckling