International Hot Air Balloon Festival – Château D’Oex

The International Hot-Air Balloon Festival of Château-d’Oex is a hot-air balloons festival that takes place every year at the end of January in Château-d’Oex, Switzerland since 1979. 2014 is so the 36th edition of the festival.
During nine days, aerostiers from around the globe are here to pilot nearly a hundred of hot-air balloons, and enjoy the exceptional winter climate in the Swiss Alps.
The hot-air balloon festival was initiated by aerostier Hans Bücker and Charles-André Ramseier, the former director of the Château-d’Oex tourist office. In October 1978 Bücker proposed to organize balloon flights for winter guests.

You can find and order all my photos from the International Hot Air Balloon Festival of Château D’Oex on “Château D’Oex photos.” (Password: 82bdbf)

The first balloon that flew around the globe without stopping left from Château-d’Oex in 1999. The Breitling Orbiter steered by Betrand Piccard and Brian Jones accomplished this feat in less than twenty days.
Piccard and Jones, working in close cooperation with a team of meteorologists on the ground, caught rides in a series of jet streams that carried them 25,361 miles to landed in Egypt after a 45,755 km (28,431 mi) flight lasting 19 days, 21 hours and 47 minutes.

Taking place at the Espace Ballons in Château-d’Oex, the International Hot-Air Balloon Festival offers also some great air shows.
Paragliders with their smoke trails amomg the balloons, hang-gliders, aerobatic flying, sky chariots and cloudhoppers, airships, RC models, and even wingsuit flights, jumping off the ballon’s basket.

During the event, the spectators can be part of an incredible passenger flight over the Pays-d’Enhaut valley, or even book a flight in a helicopter.
They can enjoy the view of the valley, the snow-capped mountains, some other villages of the Vaud county, such as Rougemont, Rossinière or even L’Etivaz.
If you can’t make it, no worries, hot air balloon flights are available all year round.

Château-d’Oex, the alpine capital for hot air balloons, attracts pilots from around the world. A balloon flight offers an incredible view over the Alps and Pre-Alps. During some sunny days, you can even admire the Alpine landscape from Mont-Blanc (France) to the Eiger (Switzerland).
But being up in the air is also a good moment to capture small details from above. A barn, a reflection on a car windshield, the cast shadow of a balloon…

The flights are depending on the weather conditions, but when those ones are good enough, the hot air ballons can fly all over the Intyamon valley and reach the Gruyere region in the Fribourg county. Flying close around the Gruyere Castle or the Moleson Mount.

I hope that you liked my pictures and that they will motivate you to come to see the International Hot Air Balloon Festival of Château D’Oex, with you own eyes!

You can find and order all my photos from the International Hot Air Balloon Festival of Château D’Oex on “Château D’Oex photos.” (Password: 82bdbf)

Take care.

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