The Swiss Alps are an ideal location for extreme sports. // © 2013 Thinkstock
Resting between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and surrounded by the Jungfrau mountain region, Interlaken, Switzerland, offers the perfect backdrop for a picturesque Swiss experience. Along with the excellent photo ops and a hefty amount of chocolate, this city prides itself on offering an extensive array of extreme sports to bring visitors out of their comfort zones. Whether you feel like diving off a cliff or climbing up a glacier, Interlaken will appeal to your inner adventurer.
Only available in two other areas in the world, Interlaken offers a unique adventure activity known as canyon jumping. After a short hike up the mountain, strap into a harness and be prepared to take a leap of faith. Canyon jumping gives you the chance to experience a 279-foot free fall as you swing through a glacial canyon at high speeds. Depending on the season, the mountain is either covered in a layer of snow or in rich greenery. For only $140, the package includes equipment, transportation and a photo op as you jump. Through October, bungy jumping is also available as an alternative jumping experience, starting at $140. Alpin Raft’s special package deal features $22 off both canyon and bungy jumping when purchased together.
This extreme sport is all about location, and the Swiss Alps are a pretty difficult setting to beat. Take a 15-minute flight approximately 13,000 feet into the air for a 40-second free fall, reaching speeds of over 124 miles per hour. Helicopter transportation costs approximately $466, while plane transportation is $427. Prices include equipment, transportation and an expert tandem master to assist your dive. Photo and video service is also available. Check out the Balmer’s Herberge Hostel to pre-book this activity along with many more.
Use your mountaineering and whitewater skills to traverse canyons ranging from open rivers to deep, narrow crevices in the Jungfrau mountain region. Scale the terrain by jumping and climbing into natural gorges and white water. Ziplines and water slides also add to the excitement of each canyon. Different levels are offered relative to prior experience, and prices range from $120 for the introductory course to $205 for more experienced canyoners. Try Outdoor Interlaken’s “Canyoning Chli Schliere,” which was voted Most Amazing Day Tour of 2012 by TourRadar.com.
Get a bird’s eye view of Interlaken’s beautiful lakes and mountains as you soar through the one-and-a-half-hour paragliding or hang gliding tour. During the paragliding experience, you sit in a harness attached to a wide canopy, allowing you to glide through the air. For hang gliding, the adventure is similar, but the mechanism is structured like an aircraft rather than a parachute, with the body in a horizontal position. Tandem paragliding starts at $184 and hang gliding at $254. Book your adventure with Bus2Alps to receive five percent off outdoor activities and equipment rentals.