Travelling with the wind.
When 80 balloons soar against a backdrop of snow-covered Alpine peaks, it must be the balloon festival. This is the small Vaud village of Château-d’Oex’s claim to fame. Dreams come true here. A maiden balloon flight and a round-the-world flight all in one – as in the case of Swiss aviation pioneer Bertrand Piccard.
Nestled in the high valley of Pays-d’Enhaut, Château-d’Oex is located between the Bernese Oberland and Lake Geneva.
The Columbus of our time.
Nonstop around the world
Bertrand Piccard was the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon in 1999 – without stopping. This venture was considered the last great aviation adventure. He triumphed again with his round-the-world flight in a solar-powered aeroplane. Swiss balloon capital Château-d’Oex has also made a major contribution to his success.
A magnet for 40 years.
A perfect start
Château-d’Oex is not just the origin of Piccard’s aviation enthusiasm, but also the ideal place to launch balloons. That’s one of the reasons why the Vaud resident started his circumnavigation of the world here. Steady winds were crucial when inflating the 55m high balloon. Because to achieve a low weight, a wafer-thin casing was used, which, at the same time, was quite fragile.
Steering? – Difficult.
A pilot can only adjust the altitude in order to move into other air currents. The microclimate in the Pays-d’Enhaut has something very special to offer. In ideal conditions and with perfect manoeuvring, it’s possible to land exactly at the launch site in Chateau-d’Oex after a scenic flight through the Pays-d’Enhaut. Bertrand Piccard achieved this in 2019.
- 40,000 spectators
- 70 hot-air balloons
- 9 days
- 1 experience
Inspiration from the balloon.
Mission: climate protection
Bertrand Piccard developed many of his projects at home in the Canton of Vaud. His most recent one is completely dedicated to the conservation of resources. His comprehensive action plan is designed to convince the world’s most powerful figures of the opportunities that come with living sustainably.
A new world tour for the climate.
Efficient environmental protection
Making seawater drinkable with solar energy or a food additive that should bring about a 30% reduction in methane emissions from cows. These are just two of a thousand projects that Bertrand Piccard wants to pursue with his foundation. Their aim is to show that there are effective solutions.
A flight into the future.
Eco-friendly balloon casing
New, resource-saving technologies are also reaching the balloon world. Eco-balloons have a novel form of insulation – their casings emit hardly any heat, meaning that the balloons require far less fuel.
An expanded view
High up in a balloon basket, floating silently through the air like Bertrand Piccard, your eyes are opened to the beauty of nature in a very special way. This view literally expands your horizon and awakens new energy.