High Above the Alps: Paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland

While in Switzerland, I knew I wanted to do more than ski, sled and snowshoe- I wanted to get off the ground. And when sky-diving proved to be too expensive (someday!) I opted to for another sky-high adventure activity- paragliding.

This wasn’t my first paragliding experience- I tried it while studying abroad in Argentina. But as I stood on the mountain, staring across at the impenetrable fog, my heart beat a little faster than I’d care to admit. I mean, I had done this before right?



I feigned a shaky smile as my handsome Swiss-German instructor, Florian, fiddled with my straps. Soon he was behind me and shouting for me to run. I didn’t have much time to be scared- in seconds my feet were off the ground and we were soaring over the Alps.


The sensation was exactly how I remembered- calming, almost meditatively so. As we floated around, I could see the entire city of Interlaken and her cerulean twin lakes separated by a canal. When I looked down at the mountains I half-expected to see mountain goats running between the pines.

And then it was selfie time! Florian instructed me to spread my arms out like a bird while he took a picture with his GoPro. And considering how weightless I felt, it seemed like a very appropriate selfie.

(This was also the moment when I kicked myself for not buying a GoPro before my world trip.Ugh!)


For the next fifteen minutes I just floated around in a near trance, awestruck by all the views in front of me.DCIM101GOPRO


But soon my fifteen minutes of blissful gliding were up. Florian told me it was time to land. “Run!” He shouted. And suddenly my feet were back on the ground, in one of Interlaken’s park in the center of town.

While I’ve never tried sky-diving, I consider paragliding to be sky-diving for beginners. It’s relaxing, quiet and provides beautiful views. And of course, there’s the whole jumping-off-a-mountain adrenaline rush.

Skywings provided me with hiking boots to use, but if you’re paragliding in winter bring warm clothes, a scarf and mittens. Skywings offers paragliding year-round and the experience costs 170 CHF, while photos are 30 CHF and video costs 40 CHF. The photos came on a USB attached to a little Skywings parachute- a cute touch!

Have you ever gone paragliding?

A big thanks to Skywings for providing a paragliding session in exchange for a review. Skywings in no way insisted that I write a favorable review, and all opinions are as always my own. 

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

12 thoughts on “High Above the Alps: Paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland”

  1. awesome! I also did some mountain jumping in the alps, but hang gliding not paragliding- not exactly sure what the difference is. There was no chair like thing, I was on my belly the whole time & we did nose-dives! Very fun! Great views in Interlaken.. I bet it was gorgeous in winter!

  2. Absolutely beautiful! I’ve been skydiving before (in Sedona, AZ), but have yet to try paragliding. If I ever get to Switzerland, I will have to try it!

  3. Hi Ashley! I just recently discovered your travel blog and it’s one of my favorites. It’s concise, organized, fun, and refreshing. I hope to walk in your shoes someday. I plan to take a trip to Amsterdam soon. I’ve only been to Europe one other time and I’m about to graduate. I want to spend my twenties traveling the world (currently I write book reviews) and your blog has been very insightful. Anyway, Happy Thursday. cheers.


  4. It looks amazing! I went skydiving in New Zealand and the moment the parachute opened it was totally silent – I love what you said “calming, almost meditatively so” – it’s so true. It’s such a great feeling floating up in the sky!

  5. Paragliding in Switzerland looks amazing! Totally on my list now. I’ve been bungee jumping and parasailing and though I was shit scared during both, I’d totally do them again!

    I’m another new reader and I just wanted to let you know I am truly enjoying reading your posts. I really appreciate the honesty in your writing. I’m moving to Germany this month to be an au pair for a year and I hope to travel extensively, so your blog has been so inspiring to me!

  6. AHHH! Now I MUST go to the Alps and go paragliding. This sounds absolutely amazing. (Soarin’ is my all-time favorite Disney ride so I can’t even fathom how much I would love the real thing.) Thank you for sharing!

  7. Ashley, the views look amazing as Switzerland is so pretty! I hate roller-coasting, and I’m not into bungee-jumping but I would so looooove to do some paragliding as I love the feel of flying rather than the feel of free-falling LOL! Great post!

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