The 2019 Château-d’Oex International Hot Air Balloon Festival is close to launch. The festival, which brings together 60 pilots and balloons from 15 different countries, takes advantage of the exceptional ballooning conditions in this corner of the Alps at this time of the year. It kicks off on Saturday 26 January 2019.
Created in 1979, the festival, which runs over two weekends and the week in between, attracts a large audience with its colourful hot air balloons, air displays and model hot air balloons.
The link between Château-d’Oex and hot air balloons has a long history. It was from here in 1999 that the Breitling Orbiter – piloted by Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones – set off for the first tour of the world in a hot air balloon. This year is the 20 year anniversary of the Breitling Orbiter’s launch. Visitors can learn about the story of this perilous adventure at the Château-d’Oex hot air balloon museum.
Lausanne-based Piccard likes dangerous aeronautical challenges. In 2016, he and André Borschberg completed their circumnavigation of the globe in the solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse 2.
The festival starts at Chateau d’Oex on Saturday, 26 January 2019 and runs until 3 February 2019.
Wednesday afternoon is dedicated to children and includes a balloon release. Friday 1 February features the festival’s legendary night time light display.
Balloon flights are available: CHF 390 for adults and CHF 195 for children up to 16.