This is something you must put on your bucket list. If you only have time to do one activity, let this be it! I know a lot of you out there have never gone paragliding before and maybe the thought scares you to death. Hear you loud and clear!
I love adventure and I wanted to try paragliding, but I will tell you right now I was scared to try it. However, I could NOT pass up a chance to paraglide in the Swiss Alps with the Matterhorn! It’s just one of those things that you do. not. pass. up. !!
Now, I will preface this with if you have ziplined before, you can exhale and paraglide without worry (in my opinion). I love to zipline too and it’s way scarier than paragliding to me.
Now that I have hopefully convinced you to paraglide, let’s talk about with whom to paraglide. As you see in the title, I named this post Paragliding in Switzerland with Fly Zermatt. Why? Well, because as awesome of an experience as it is to paraglide with the Matterhorn, Fly Zermatt is who made paragliding with the Matterhorn so fantastic!
All of the guys were extremely friendly, funny, helpful and knowledgeable. They went above and beyond to make sure our experience was the best possible and not just during our flight.
Because Zermatt isn’t a huge town and the office is located right across from the train station, we would see the guys with their ginormous packs getting ready to go on other flights. A lot of these times we would be walking in the same direction and they would strike up a conversation with us like we were old friends. They would ask us how our day was, offer advice or directions or whatever it was that we needed. We even saw them on the train once and they gave us ice cream bars!
Now that I’ve established the awesomeness of the staff, let me talk about how things work with them and how fabulous they are at what they do! Definitely, make a reservation. They do book up so even though they MIGHT have availability for walk-ins, don’t count on that. It’s better to have a reservation.
Also keep in mind that the weather can change at any time and if it’s too windy, flights can’t take place. Our flight got slightly moved back time-wise for better wind and it was perfect! We had beautifully clear weather!
We did the Classic High flight which takes off from the Rothorn peak at 3100m (10,180 ft)! After signing some paperwork, we walked with our guides to start our journey up to our “runway”. My guide was Ronnie and Amanda’s guide was Alan and they were perfect fits for us!
As we walked to the funicular (our first lift), we enjoyed getting to know the guys with whom we would take off from 10,180 ft! On a side note, the lifts aren’t included in your flight price, so bring your Swiss Travel Pass or half-fare railcard to get 50% off your ticket.
Once we reached the runway area, it was time to get down to business! I got dressed in the wind suit and helmet Ronnie handed me while he unpacked our gear and parachute and got it all ready. We lined up behind Alan and Amanda and I was secretly glad she was going first. I’m a very visual person and I wanted to see how this show was supposed to go! 😉
Aren’t we cute??
With the parachute all prepared, I was starting to get really excited! It was also the point I turned to Ronnie and asked “Do we go down at all once we jump?”. I had envisioned free-falling a second or two and then the wind picking us up.
Thankfully, Ronnie informed me that there was none of that. As soon as we left the ground, we would peacefully float up. Whew! At this point, Ronnie gave me our takeoff instructions. We would walk a few steps until we felt the parachute pull on us and we would stop. Ronnie would check to make sure everything looked okay and then upon his command of “Go, go, go!”, we would take a few quick steps and be on our way up!
And that is exactly what happened! I was worried I wouldn’t know at what point to stop, but there was no mistaken the pull of the parachute and I stopped immediately. Everything looked great and Ronnie said RUN and off we went!
It was the most gentle, peaceful experience ever and I was rewarded with this view!!!
I sat back in my little “seat” and thoroughly enjoyed my experience and honestly, I never wanted it to be over! I could’ve been up there for as long as possible! The weather was beautifully clear and presented us with these magnificent views of the Matterhorn!
I loved looking down over Zermatt too! I had to get this shot through my knees for perspective 🙂
Ronnie took several of us and of me with his GoPro which just elevated the experience! You are also allowed to bring your own camera provided it is attached to you somehow. I took my own photos with my camera attached to a cross-body strap, but the photos that Ronnie took were priceless!
At a certain point in the flight, if your stomach is okay, your guide can do acrobats with you. We didn’t do this because I can easily get motion sick. I did NOT get sick on this flight at all, but I didn’t want to chance it. I was enjoying it way too much! However, if you don’t get motion sick and are up for an adventure, I would definitely do this. I wish I could have!
I was sad when it came time to land because I didn’t want this glorious, peaceful, ride of my life to be over. Landing works as smoothly as taking off. It’s a gradual descent and when you hit the ground you push into your legs to keep standing.
I didn’t push quite hard enough so I landed and then accidentally sat down. Okay, I didn’t choose to sit down, that’s just what happened because I didn’t push strongly enough to stand up! Sorry about that Ronnie! LOL!
This was our view after landing. The peak on the right in the distance is where we took off! Once we landed, Ronnie packed up our gear. Alan and Amanda were already packed up and we all went back to the Fly Zermatt office. This is where we viewed our photos and videos and for CHF 40, you can have all of them put onto a micro SD card that comes with an adapter!
Watch Me Take Off!
I CAN NOT recommend the experience with Fly Zermatt enough. As a frequent traveler, I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of really cool things, but this was just a level all on its own! Our guides and the rest of the guys at the office helped make it a very memorable experience!
TIPS: Know Before You Go
- Be sure to wear layers. The higher up you go, the cooler it gets and then you have the wind also.
- Bring sunglasses. Hopefully, you have a sunny day. That sun can reflect the snow (even in the summer) and be very bright. I also like to use my sunglasses to block the wind from my eyes as I am a contact wearer.
- Bring your Swiss Travel Pass to get a 50% discount on cable cars.
- If you want to take your own photos, be sure your device is attached to you somehow or you can’t use it.
- Keep in mind that the weather changes frequently. Be prepared for your flight to possibly be moved up or pushed back accordingly.
- Get the photos and videos. You will be glad you did.
Have you paraglided before? What was your amazing experience?
‘Til next time…