You’ll be hard pressed to find a more stunning sight this winter than colorful montgofières suspended above and contrasted against the stark white rolling mountain tops of Château d’Oex. The annual hot air balloon festival is one of the region’s most beloved pastimes – an event we look to each winter to help us celebrate (and survive) the chilling temperatures and shortened days. It was here, some four or five years ago, that we first tasted the alpine specialty macaroni du chalet, and we crave it again each January with snowy nostalgia.

The event is a perfect family outing – there’s plenty of space to run about and breathe in deep the pure mountain air. Food vendors serve traditional and not-so-traditional fare. For a bit of extra fun and less searching for a parking place, take the Golden Pass train from Montreux. And be sure to request the schedule for either the traditional or panoramic view cars for memorable ride.

Consult the Balloon Festival schedule before planning your trip.

The 2017 International Balloon Festival, Château d’Oex
From the 21th to the 29th of January 2017 will take place the 39th edition of this unique event of the Swiss Alps.

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