One serious way to explore Switzerland’s unique geography, mountainous terrain, and raging rivers is by going Canyoning! We found a great great location in Interlaken that has routes from Beginner to Ultimate, but even the beginner canyon has everything you need to experience canyoning completely. Rappel, slide, and jump down rocks and waterfalls into the white water filled Saxeten canyon. This canyon covers every aspect of the sport and makes a great introduction to canyoning.
Switzerland is an adventure lovers dream country, and the landscape is simply mind blowing. No wonder it has been the filming location for a number of hits such as a number of James Bond films (the Contra dam in the Vezasca Valley from Goldeneye, Schilthorn mountain from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Furka Pass from Goldfinger, and the slopes of St Moritz from The Spy Who Loved Me) as well as Star Wars Episode III (the mountains around Grindelwald in the Jungfrau region for Alderaan), Iron Man 3, X-Men: First Class, and even Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
Additionally, you can learn more about Switzerland’s culture by reading Switzerland - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture.
We booked the Rafting & Canyoning Combo (CHF 179) through the Kandersteg International Scout Center.
Double the fun! Lutschine rafting in the morning, Interlaken canyoning in the afternoon.
In the morning take on the challenge of the mighty Lütschine river which offers some of the best whitewater rafting in the Swiss Alps. Straight from the start below the Eiger North Face, from here continuous class III-IV rapids surge down from the mountains and out into the Interlaken valley and the Lake of Brienz. Finish the day by rappelling, sliding, and jumping down rocks and waterfalls into the white water filled canyon in Interlaken. This trip covers every aspect of the sport and makes a great introduction to canyoning.
However, these other Canyoning Trips are also available as well:
Spend the morning doing Interlaken Canyoning: rappelling, sliding and jumping your way down the Saxeten Canyon. In the afternoon you will climb your way through the trees in the high ropes park.
This is the perfect introduction to Canyoning. After drying off, and having lunch in Interlaken, you will spend the afternoon at the High Ropes Park in Interlaken, where courses of a variety of difficulties await. From easy to difficult, there is a level of course to suit everyone!
Set in a majestic Alpine environment on a mountain pass, the Grimsel trip starts with a breath-taking 50m abseil.
After being lowered down into the canyon you will continue with amazing jumps, ziplines and slides into crystal clear pools. The pale-coloured rock formations in this canyon add to the stunning mountain scenery. It is suitable for older Scouts looking for adventure!
Chli Schliere takes canyoning to the ultimate level. This canyon has high rappels, big jumps, fast slides and is considered the best in the region.
This activity is physically demanding and highly technical with a high fun factor. This activity is suitable for confident, athletic people who want to be challenged. Take the leap, as this will for sure be the highlight of your trip here!
The company they use for this tour picked us up from the Interlaken Train station and brought us to their facility. They also provided us with the wetsuits, life jackets, helmets, and water boots. At minimum you'll need a swimsuit to wear under the wetsuit but we also wore thin rash guard shirts as well because even though the wetsuits are disinfected after each wear, it doesn't hurt to add an extra layer of protection to your skin. If you’re doing the white water rafting and canyoning combo trip - or if you are just doing a canyoning trip - you’ll get the same gear. During the combo trip you’ll be taking off your gear during your lunch break back at their store/facility for an hour or so before getting suited back up for canyoning in the afternoon.
The helmets all had nicknames taped on them, so you can have fun calling each other "gladiator," "iron man," or "twerker" the rest of the day. A van takes you up to the entrance of a hike where you walk along a trail off to the side of the canyon. It's a bit steep at some points so if you're not used to inclines it can be challenging. The guides will let you stop to catch your breath if needed. Before entering the canyon, you’ll have a safety points and an instructional briefing. Then your adrenaline starts pumping as you get ready to enter the rushing water!
Listen to your guides as they will tell you which side of the canyon you should stay near, and where to aim when jumping off the rocks into the swirling white water below. You will be getting into the water and climbing through safe passage ways with the help of the guide. You will need to have a bit of trust in the guide as he helps you rappel down the side of a ~25 foot rock face (it looks taller from the top!). Additionally, you will wade through pools, climb down the river over a few rocks, slide down a rock like a water slide, walk behind a waterfall, jump off of some 5-15 foot ledges into larger pools, and climb through canyons. One thing we were told was to “Stay to the left! Knees bent! Arms folded!” - The guides have to shout over the roar of the river. But the instructions reminded me of this clip:
While it may be scary or terrifying for some to even imagine jumping from rocks into white water, rappelling down a vertical rock face, or going down a natural cut water slide, we would highly recommend it for anyone who is able! It is one of the most unique nature experiences in the world and it comes highly recommended.
Unfortunately we were only able to get that one photo from our adventure exploring the caverns, as we lost our GoPro while jumping into a pool of water and couldn’t locate it afterward (also we didn’t want to pay the outlandish fee for the photos the guide took of us). Have you ever gone canyoning?
Additionally, if you’re looking for cheap Day Trips in Switzerland you can find them here: “Best Switzerland Tours”. Additionally, you can explore some alternate itineraries and affordable tours here: “Great Deals on Switzerland Vacation Packages”.
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Jenny & Bradley of EatWanderExplore