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Fun with Interlaken Adventures

Posted: 1st December 2016 08:52

Located in the mountainous Jangfrau region, between the picture-postcard setting of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, Interlaken is the palpating heartbeat of central Switzerland.  In recent years, the town has become a veritable mecca of adventure sport.  The topographical features make it possible for guests to get a rush of pure adrenaline in the air, on water and on land – all whilst being mesmerised by incredible mountain vistas. 

Paragliders circling over Interlaken and then landing on the Hohematte meadow are part of an everyday scene.  The mountains around the Bodeli offer numerous, easily reached take-off points.  Anyone who fancies being even more of a high-flier can book a sky-diving session and admire the scenery from a greater height.  River rafting and canyoning are available on and in the region’s rivers and at the Interlaken rope park, trails lead from one treetop to the next.

Interlaken is the perfect departure point for active leisure and pleasure.  Its reputation as an adventure tourist destination is unmatched in the whole of Europe, and nowhere else on this continent can guests find such a wide-ranging and fully developed adventure and backpacker scene.

Air Activities

Interlaken is one of the most popular flight destinations in Europe.  Every year, over 30,000 guests take to the skies with an Interlaken adventure provider.  Take this opportunity to soar through the sky with Interlaken’s range of air activities and tick off some of the once in a lifetime experiences that crop up on many a bucket list. 

Sky Diving

No bucket list is complete without Sky Diving.  It is perhaps one of the most terrifying but gratifying adventure experiences you could ever wish to undertake.  The tandem parachute jump is made with a qualified jump master from an altitude of 4000m in front of the imposing backdrop of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains.  The free fall is breathtaking, exhilarating, and offers a big rush of adrenaline.  A special jump is the Eiger Jump in front of the Eiger Nordwand.

Helicopter Experience

Enjoy the high-flying experience of a lifetime with a phenomenally scenic helicopter flight.  If you are the kind of person that always wants the window seat on an airplane then this adventure is certainly for you.  Circling above the majestic peaks of the Swiss Alps, it is not only the timeless beauty of the glacier world that will leave you speechless, but also the elemental forces that one inevitably feels on board a helicopter.

Hang Gliding

Interlaken and its vicinity are famous for the unique possibilities for hang gliding.  After a short introduction, an experienced pilot will take you into the air.  Unlike paragliding, you are suspended in a horizontal position which provides a breathtaking bird’s eye view over the mountains, lakes and surrounding villages.  This is the perfect opportunity to dispel reality and become a superhero for the day, soaring through the sky in the famous superman position.

Tandem Paragliding

For those not quite brave enough to tackle sky diving this is the next best thing.  There is no need to jump out of an airplane as paragliders can be launched from hills or mountains.  You will also be suspended underneath a pressurised parachute for the duration of the flight so the anxiety of free falling is eliminated altogether.  The bird's eye view, the extraordinary mountains and lakes, and the feeling of free flying will make every heart race faster.

Paragliding Schools & Camps

People new to the sport often assume paragliding is easy because they look like giant parachutes.  While it can be picked up relatively quickly, lessons are advised.  In the graded training program, this sport can be pursued by the absolute beginner as well as the advanced student, who can qualify for the official test to be a licensed paragliding pilot.  Chill Out is an official flight school of the Swiss Paragliding Association SHV and orients its training according to the guidelines of the association.

Water Activities

For sheer exhilaration, nothing beats being out on the water and with its location between two lakes, Interlaken is a prime destination for water sports enthusiasts.  During the summer you will find inviting beaches on the shores of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz while a variety of sailing, surfing and diving schools mean that even inexperienced water rats can safely enjoy aqua-fun. 

Jet Boat ***BRAND NEW FOR 2014***

Take this opportunity to experience the very first Jetboat Tours in the whole of Switzerland.  Jet Boats are an affordable and totally awesome way to experience the ultimate thrill James Bond style.  The round-trip brings you from the port of Boenigen to the famous Giessbach Waterfalls and back again.  Glide over Lake Brienz in this high octane adventure which combines adrenaline and speed with breathtaking landscapes. 

Canyoning

Canyoning – or canyoneering if you are American – is an amalgamation of several popular outdoor activities and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.  During this full or half day trip you will be guided as you explore deep twisting gorges, abseiling down cliffs, jump and slide down waterfalls and swim through hidden pools.  This activity is perfect for those who wish to experience a little bit of everything.

River Rafting

River rafting is the outdoor adventure activity equivalent to the water rapid rides that thrill and excite theme park lovers the world over.  Under the watchful eye of internationally accredited guides raft downstream fast flowing alpine rivers with adrenaline fuelled class IV rapids.  Alternatively opt for a more tranquil experience with a leisurely boat ride taking in the iconic peaks from the Jungfrau region including the dramatic Eiger North Wall.

Kayak

Interlaken offers a variety of kayaking adventures.  The thrill seekers among you will want to tackle the funyak.  On this air-filled twin canoe you will experience the power of a big river from the perspective of a small boat.  For a tranquil exploration, embark upon the seayak where you will enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the 13th Century castle of Ringgenberg whilst embracing the calmness of the incredible turquoise waters. 

Wakeboarding

The clear blue waters of Lake Thun may be too calm for surfing but that need not stop you from climbing onto your board.  With the aid of a jetboat, pick up enough speed to perform a whole host of acrobatic manoeuvres as you glide over the water’s surface.  Unlike surfing, the chances of beginners staying upright on their board are much higher so you don’t need to worry about looking silly!

Earth Activities

You may think that Interlaken’s Earth Activities will enable you to keep your feet firmly and safely on the ground, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s the tame option.  Expect a pure adrenaline rush and a heart-stopping adventure as you’re introduced you to the natural wonders of this stunning region. 

Bungee Jumping

Has your heart ever raced this wildly? Embrace the fear and find out for yourself just why the bungee jumping phenomenon has taken over the word of extreme adventure sports.  What makes this jump such an incredible experience is the magical setting – the Interlaken region has no equal on earth.  Choose to jump in Grindelwald (85m) or from the Stockhorn cable car (134m) and let the adrenaline flow through your body as you look down at the dizzying view below. 

Indoor and Rock Climbing

Learn all the basic climbing techniques, rope skills and safety systems at the K44 indoor climbing wall before taking your skills outside.  Ideal for beginners who want to get to grips with this thrilling sport, the climbing wall will also give you a good work out if the weather outside isn’t complying with your plans.  When you’re ready to venture on to something more challenging, qualified mountain guides will teach you important grips, knots and securing methods and help you find your climbing feet. 

Rope Park

You’ll need to keep your wits about you if you want to journey to the tree tops.  Carefully make your way across rope ways and bridges that form delicate connections between trees and fixed platforms and find your way through the maze hidden by the dense forest.  Five different courses of varying difficulty and height will lead you on heart pounding adventure – pause to enjoy the stunning views of the Swiss Alps glinting magnificently in the distance before plummeting back to earth via zip wire. 

E-bike Tours and Mountain Biking

In this region, the best way to explore and enjoy the mountains in all their glory is by mountain bike.  Interlaken Adventure offer the choice of a guided tour or allow their clients to simply rent a bike and take to the twisting mountain trails themselves; a bike tour along and above Lake Thun (luckily, it’s mostly downhill!) offers up the best views of the whole Jungfrau panorama.  The eco-friendly among you might prefer a guided e-bike tour for a relaxing and innovating experience.

Hiking and Glacier Trekking

The region is crisscrossed with an extensive network of hiking trails, suitable for all levels of ability and providing a breathtaking introduction to the charms of Interlaken.  For a thrilling venture, discover the world of glacier trekking and learn how great rivers of ice left their lasting mark on the landscape.  With the help of an experienced guide and equipped with a pickaxe and crampons, undertake an all-day tour that makes for an excellent and educational experience. 

Skiing and Snowboarding

The Jungfrau area is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts.  At the Interlaken Adventure ski and snowboarding school, clients can lean from trained instructors, picking up the basic techniques and skills that will then enable them to enjoy a guided ski session.  Utilising the local knowledge of the guides, seek out the alternative, quieter slopes before enjoying the best seats in the typical après ski restaurants.  Freeriding fans can enjoy days of pure powder; guides will show you the best slopes and away you fly. 

Accommodation Options

One of the toughest decisions about going on holiday is fitting all of the activities you wish to complete into your available time and budget.  Unfortunately we do not possess the ability to time travel but when it comes to stretching the funds, Interlaken has the solution.  By choosing hostel accommodation you will have more money left over to fit in all of the activities and adventures you want to experience during your stay.

Alplodge

Alplodge offer a charming option for the budget conscious traveller.  This attractively priced and versatile hostel is situated in the centre of Interlaken, just a five minute walk from Interlaken West Train Station.  With 67 beds in 21 beautifully renovated single, double and multi-bed rooms it is the meeting point of young visitors from all over the world.  Amenities include free wifi, guest kitchen, TV room, laundry, hostel bar and a roof deck.

Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof

Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof brings the luxury lifestyle to the budget market with this centrally located hostel.  Situated within a villa, this property boasts a garden with a spectacular view overlooking the Jungfrau Mountain.  Friendly and clean rooms can sleep between 2 to 7 people.  This competitively priced accommodation includes bed linen (Nordic style!), breakfast, kitchen usage, lockers, free WiFi, entry to public indoor and outdoor swimming pools, mini golf and free car parking.

Mattenhof Resort Funny Farm

Created as an integral part of Mattenhof Resort – Garden Hotel, the Funny Farm is a barn style accommodation that is proving a real hostel-hit.  Fully integrated into the adventure business, it offers you everything from multi-bedrooms to regular hotel rooms.  Additionally, guests have access to all Mattenhof Resort facilities including the pool, its own club and a lavish park that invites you to have a stroll.

Happy Inn Lodge

A cosy hostel in the centre of Interlaken, Happy Inn Lodge is just a five minute walk from Interlaken West Train Station.  There are 70 beds available in bedrooms for 2-6 people.  Its relaxed and casual atmosphere will make you feel at home while its Brasserie 17 restaurant and bar will provide a platform for you to meet fellow travellers.  Amenities include guest kitchen, WiFi and free parking.

Youth Hostel Interlaken

Built in 2012, The Youth Hostel is the newest hostel on the scene.  With 220 beds available in 2 to 6-bed rooms you will be surprised to find how much space is actually available.  Furthermore, The Youth Hostel is also equipped with a generous size lounge, an internet station with WiFi, a snooker table and games facilities to help make it easier to get to know your room mates or fellow guests in a friendly and sociable environment.

River Lodge

The River Lodge is located on the picturesque river bank of the Aare, in the ideal starting point opposite Interlaken-Ost Station.  Whether you crave privacy or wish to share with your mates, everyone is catered for here as rooms accommodation is offered in 1 to 4 bed rooms.  Amenities include a well-equipped communal kitchen and a spectacular terrace with incredible views of the mountains.

Balmer’s Hostel

With over 60 years’ experience in this field Balmer’s Hostel are the oldest privately-owned hostel in Switzerland.  Open 365 days a year the hostel offers clean single, double, multi-bed rooms and apartments.  Come in the summer to enjoy the outdoor Biergarten and Grill or relax inside during the winter and make the most of the log fire and cosy atmosphere.  The Balmer's Herberge is ideally located as a starting point for all sorts of adventure activities.

Balmer’s Tent Village

Were you in Guides or Scouts as a kid? Do you miss the festival camping experience? Hark back to the good old days by staying in Balmer’s Tent Village.  This incredibly cheap option allows you to return to nature, sleep under the stars and wake up to the fresh air and views of the mountains and glaciers.  This is the perfect option for those who wish to experience something different to the norm.

The Association Interlaken Hostels & Adventure Group

The Association Interlaken Hostels & Adventure has a broad membership drawn from 8 low budget tourist lodgings and 16 leisure and adventure providers within Interlaken.  Between them they generate over 160,000 overnight stays yearly, which is in comparison with the other forms of accommodation in Interlaken (Hotels, camp sites) represents over 16% of the total overnight stays.

With a focus on quality, the members of the association Interlaken Hostel & Adventure have attained a unique standard within Europe.  All guides of the adventure providers are trained by official authorities.  Pilots of paragliding, hang gliding and of course airplanes are under the control of the FOCA (Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation); guides in the water sports arena have a basic education certified by the “Swiss Outdoor Association” (SOA).  The association guidelines are assembled by certified companies under the title “Safety in Adventures”.

Offering an exceptional range of more than 30 different activities in the leisure and adventure domain, Association Interlaken Hostels & Adventure has strengthened Interlaken’s position as one of the leading destinations for youth and adventure tourism in Switzerland and Europe.

More information about the association and its members can be found at: www.interlaken-adventure.com