For paragliding in Central Switzerland there are several beautiful places available. The area with its countless mountains and lakes and its fantastic panorama is ideal for spectacular flights with higher and lower take-off heights. The view stretches from the Alps of Eastern Switzerland to the 4,000-metre mountains in the Bernese Oberland, and the lakes shimmering out everywhere form a fantastic contrast. Flights just before sunset are very popular because of the wonderful colours and contrasts in summer. Almost all flight areas in Central Switzerland can be used all year round. We have put together the most beautiful and paragliding flights in Central Switzerland for you:
Paragliding Hoch Ybrig
The enchanting scenery of Hoch Ybrig offers jumping heights of about one thousand metres from its highest point at the stars. You can easily spot the peaks of the Mythen towards Lake Lucerne. Even in winter people like to jump here. The lift operators usually prepare a treaded starting slope next to the top station. Upwinds are often found in the mornings at the Roggenstock, while in the afternoons the rock face to the east of the cable car provides good support. The cable is marked and therefore clearly visible. The lower jump-off point above Weglosen is at about 1,100 metres. The Hoch Ybrig hiking and winter sports area is best reached by cable car from Weglosen, which is 1,035 metres above sea level in the valley of the Waag. The cable car takes you up to Seebli at 1,460 metres and from here you can take the chair lift. With it you reach the mountain stations Spirstock and Sternen at 1,771 and 1,856 metres respectively. After Weglosen you can easily reach us from Unteriberg by car or from Einsiedeln by post bus. Take-off and landing sites are located directly next to the mountain and valley stations.
Paragliding from the Rigi
The Rigi is an impressive mountain massif with peaks between about 1,600 and almost 1,800 metres. It lies picturesquely between Lake Zug, Lake Lucerne and Lake Lauerz and is also known as the Queen of the Mountains. Paragliding flights take place here all year round, weather permitting. The most beautiful jump is from Rigi-Kulm, the highest point of the massif. The difference in altitude from the landing point is at least 1,000 metres here, giving flight times of at least fifteen minutes, or even thirty minutes with a corresponding upwind. For the whole excursion you should plan about two hours. The Rigi offers further take-off places, which are selected according to the wind direction.
Take-off points and jumping directions of the Rigi:
Rigi-Kulm (southeast to southwest)
Rigi relay height (west to northwest)
Rigi-Rotstöckli (north to northwest)
The landing site is located north of Goldau, in Kräbel, Weggis, Kreppen or Küssnacht, depending on the jump-off point. A small landing field in Vitznau is also sometimes used. A good evening thermal makes flights in the evening hours until shortly before sunset a special experience. Several cable cars and rack railways lead up to the top. The most important are the Vitznau and Arth Rigi railways, which run as rack railways up to the Rigi-Kulm. Rigi-Staffelhöhe is another mountain station of these railways. Even the ride on the cogwheel railway is an experience in itself. The Rigi cable car starts in Weggis and takes ten minutes to Rigi-Kaltbad. From there it takes another two minutes with the cog railway to Staffelhöhe. Other cable cars run from Kräbel to Rigi-Scheidegg, from Obergschwend to Rigi-Burggeist, from Vitznau to Hinterbergen or Wissifluh and from Brunnen to Urmiberg.
Paragliding from the Seebodenalp
Seebodenalp, surrounded by dense forest, is situated to the north below the Rigi and, as a hiking area and winter ski resort, offers a wonderful view of Lake Lucerne and Lake Zug. The cable car runs every thirty minutes from Küssnacht to Seebodenalp. It takes about eight minutes and arrives at a sun-drenched high plateau on the north side of the Alp. From here, after a ten-minute walk in a south-westerly direction, you reach the jump-off point at about 1,032 metres above sea level on a small hill above the Ruedisegg alpine farm. About twelve metres below there is another jump-off point between the Alpwirtschaft and the mountain station. The difference in altitude is about 560 to 570 metres. The landing point is 461 metres above sea level on the meadow near Küssnacht-Eichholtern below the main road towards Weggis. It is approached from the north or south. This landing site is located near the valley station of the cable car. The landing site in Küssnacht-Ebnet is reserved exclusively for delta pilots and may not be approached by paragliders.
Braunwald is a popular thermal flying area. It lies between the Glarus Alps and the Klausen Pass, is car-free and has many springs as well as large areas of forest. The Oberblegisee lake lies at an altitude of 1,422 metres and, like the neighbouring Guppensee lake with its steel-blue water, has an almost mystical effect. You can reach Braunwald from Linthal by funicular in just seven minutes. The jump-off point at 1,234 metres above sea level (Braunwald Kiosk) is a two-minute walk. Because of the good accessibility, you can fly down 600 meters every half hour. A little further to the west there is another jump-off point at 1,300 metres. In winter, the Gumen combined lift takes you from Braunwald up to the Gumen Braunwald mountain station after a ten-minute walk via a chairlift. Here you will find the winter starting point below the station at 1,883 metres above sea level. From here, you can paraglide up about 1,300 metres in altitude. Winter flights shortly before sunset are very popular because of the particularly picturesque landscape. You need about twenty minutes’ walk from Gumen Braunwald to the take-off point Gumen Grat at 2,040 metres. Be careful of north and north-east winds, furthermore, the paragliding flight to the south leads over ropes on the ground of Uri and an invisible rope between the rock face and the Linthal, where the landing place is located. The difference in altitude from here is about 1,400 metres.
Paragliding from Pilatus
Pilatus is a mountain massif south of Lucerne and the city’s local mountain. Within Central Switzerland, the flying area is considered one of the most alpine and at the same time oldest paragliding areas. The highest point is on the Tomlishorn at 2,128.5 metres, the valley of the Pilatus region reaches its lowest point at 432 metres at the confluence of the Reuss and Emme rivers. Jumps are a very special experience even before the jump because of the panoramic view of mountains and lakes, but especially during the flight with excellent thermals. A multitude of surrounding airfields make paragliding more challenging here than anywhere else. You should also be familiar with the wind systems that prevail at the jump-off points. The Pilatusbahn is a rack railway and takes you from Alpnachstad to the Pilatus Kulm mountain station in thirty minutes. This is the steepest cogwheel railway in the world. It climbs about 1.5 kilometres over a distance of 4.6 kilometres and passes through six tunnels which are between forty and almost one hundred metres long. The Dragon Ride cable car takes you from Fräkmüntegg to Mount Pilatus in three and a half minutes. The special shape and quiet operation of the aerial cableway give you a foretaste of paragliding as soon as you get up. A paraglider take-off point is located directly below the restaurant of the Pilatus Kulm mountain station. The meadow quickly turns into a scree slope and requires a good take-off technique. Jumps are made to the south and south-west, but in winter the Pilatus Kulm starting point is unsuitable. From 2,040 metres you can reach a difference in altitude of around 1,600 metres. From the top station you can only get to the Klimsenkapelle jump-off point with good footwear. It is located northwest at 1,878 meters, is not so demanding in the jump and also allows jumps over 1,600 meters in summer. Another starting point is the Steiglihorn, a 15-minute walk from Kulm in the direction of Chilchsteine. The rack railway turns off here. This starting point can also be used in winter. Landing places are in Alpnach at the western exit of the village and in Kriens / Allmend Lucerne. Especially popular are thermal flights on summer evenings from Klimsen via Lucerne to Allmend with a wonderful panoramic view over the city and Lake Lucerne.
Paragliding Niederbauen / Emmetten
From Niederbauen to Emmetten you will fly with a paraglider for about 15 minutes, covering a height difference of 850 metres. Thermal flights are extended to about 30 minutes. The flights are carried out all year round. You should allow at least 1.5 hours for the time required. The take-off point is a slope on meadow. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the top station of the 8-seater cable car Niederbauen, which is at an altitude of 1,575 m. The cable car takes you from Emmetten to Niederbauen every half hour in about eight minutes. From the gondola you already have a direct view of Lake Lucerne and the jump is also in the direction of the lake. The landing site in Emmetten is slightly inclined and is easy to approach if the westerly wind is not too strong. Even in the late afternoon there are still good flying conditions. The route is considered one of the most beautiful for paragliding.
Paragliding from Büelen
The Büelen mountain area is somewhat sheltered from the wind in the Engelberg valley at about 1,100 metres and can be reached by cable car from Geissmattli (Wolfenschiessen). The ground station is located at 550 metres altitude. There are two take-off points here. The Büelen launch site is located directly next to the top station on a small but medium sized meadow. The landing site is in front of the Neu-Fallenbach farm north of the cable car station at 540 meters. In the valley the wind can be very strong in spring and summer. When landing you have to pay attention to many ropes. Access to the landing site is prohibited for all vehicles, they must be parked at the cable car station without exception. As the site is considered a practice and examination area, it is often very busy. It is known for its good infrastructure with a food kiosk, folding area and seating area. The Engelberg valley is about 25 kilometres long and is situated in the middle of an impressive mountain landscape, which is also very worth seeing in winter.
The 1,571-metre-high mountain Rotenfluh (also called Rotenflue) is the local mountain of the cantonal capital Schwyz. Due to its direct proximity to the Große Mythen, it is often used as a starting point for hikes there. The Rotenflue cable car is an 8-seater gondola lift (single-rope orbit). It runs all year round from Rickenbach via the Rätigs middle station to Rotenflue and conquers 958 metres in height in twenty-six minutes. When paragliding, you have a wonderful view of the Mythen Mountains to the north and Lake Lucerne and Lake Lauerz to the west. The take-off point is 1,519 metres below the mountain inn, ten minutes’ walk from the top station. The maximum difference in altitude you can reach is 1,109 metres. A rarely used second jump-off point is located directly at the top station. It is not allowed to fly from either jump-off point during foehn weather. Landing is in Rickenbach on the landing meadow at the eastern end of the village.
Paragliding Engelberg / Brunni
The Brunni area is located on the sunny side of the Engelberg and has three take-off points for paragliders. The Tümpfeli launch site, which is located at 1,800 metres, faces south and south-east. You can reach it with the Ristis cable car of the Brunni lifts and then with the Ristis-Brunnihütte chairlift. Afterwards you have to descend by foot for about ten minutes. The Härzlisee take-off point (at the Brunnihütte) is located at 1,870 metres and faces west. The walk from the top station of the chairlift takes about four minutes at the same altitude. The path to the Schonegg site, on the other hand, takes twenty minutes to the top, and in winter you can take the ski lift. At an altitude of 2,000 metres, you jump off from here to the south and southwest. All three jump-off points are located in moderately sloping meadow terrain. The official landing site is a meadow at 1,095 metres above sea level, located between the Sportingpark and the Wyden sports field in Engelberg. Another landing site is located at 1,095 metres south-east of Engelberg on the Herrenrüti meadow near the Fürenalp runway. Northwest of Engelsberg there is now an additional meadow in Grafenort at the valley station of the Grafenort – Brunniswald cable car. Fallenbach north of Grafenort can also be approached for landing. Especially on one of the longer flights, the paragliding flight shows you a wonderful mountain panorama of the Uri Alps from the Gross Walenstock and Rigidalstock to the Gross Sättelistock and the Brunnisstock. Above the Brunnis, the peaks range between 2,500 and 3,000 metres in altitude, the mountain ranges of the three-thousanders lie behind them. The flights take between ten and sixty minutes, depending on the landing site and thermals. Several ropes are in the flight area.
Zurich’s local mountain is the 870-meter-high Üetliberg. It forms the end of the Albis mountain range in its north. The magnificent view over Zurich and Lake Zurich is a unique experience, especially in the summer evening hours just before sunset. For paragliding on the Üetliberg, a good wind from the north-east (Bise) is a must. The flight time varies between fifteen and sixty minutes, in total you should plan at least three hours. To get to the top of the mountain, take the train to Adliswil, walk to the Adliswil LAF cable car, which will take you up to Felsenegg. From there it is about twenty minutes (level path). If you take the path from the landing point, it is about twenty to thirty minutes of ascent. Paragliding on the Üetliberg is possible all year round. The take-off site at 730 metres in Balderen is surrounded by trees and is very small. It was originally created by a landslide. The strength of the bise is an important requirement, as it is a kind of cliff launch. The mean wind should be between 15 and 30km/h. As the take off point is very small, the glider has to be prepared offside. The best way to start is to use the reverse technique. The flight is actively controlled, several airfields around the glider have to be considered. The landing site is located at 560 meters in Zürich-Leimbach. The difference in altitude is 170 meters. In front of the old people’s home in Oberleimbach the path leads towards Üetliberg, the landing field is visible after two hundred meters (air pocket), but still twenty minutes on foot. Landing is also permitted on the Allmend.