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“Scaredy cat had the BEST time”

Alpine Adventures Zermatt
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Scaredy cat had the BEST time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2013

I was so nervous doing this but the guys at Alpine Adventures were really helpful and patient. I had a great time and can't wait to go again. The views are amazing, the prices are reasonable, and the guys are...hands down...the best. Do yourself a favor when you get to Zermatt...go straight to their office to book your flight. It's right across from the train station next to the Coop.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Jenny T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bath
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144 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 326 helpful votes
“Do not hesitate - an amazing paragliding experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2013

I cannot recommend this company or this experience highly enough. You will be very pleased if you go on a paragliding flight. It is a surreal and wonderful experience - it's hard to imagine that humans will ever get closer to the experience of flying like a bird.

I would urge anyone in Zermatt to book themselves a flight with this company. The office is easy to find being near the Co-Op store in the covered shopping centre directly opposite the train station. I flew twice with them, once from Gornergrat and once from Kleine Matterhorn. Both were tandem flights with Phil, one of their pilots. Phil inspires a lot of confidence, having done several thousand flights, and is a very engaging and helpful person to fly with. The qualifications required to become a tandem pilot are tough in Switzerland. All the team at the office, Phil, Tom, Ronny and others were very friendly and helpful.

I thought that the flights were excellent value. The Gornergrat flight (220 CHF) was around 20 minutes or so and the Kleine Matterhorn flight (280 CHF) over 30 minutes. Kleine Matterhorn in particular must be one of the best paragliding spots in Europe. You start from an altitude of 3,800 metres, right outside a cable car station (the highest one in Europe I believe) and the view after take off is almost overwhelming. In every direction are snow and glacier covered peaks, rocky crags, views into Italy and far into Switzerland, and of the Matterhorn.

You do of course need to pay extra to take the train or cable car to the take off point. But if you have a Swiss Card you can get these half price and you only need a single ticket. Both these particular trips, to the take off points at Gornergrat and Kleine Matterhorn, are well worth taking in themselves anyway. I have found the Swiss Card to be an excellent thing to buy before going to Switzerland. I get mine by post from the Swiss Travel Centre in London. The Card, which costs £134 for an adult second class, or £190 first class, covers the cost of your travel from the airport to your first destination in Switzerland, plus the cost of your return trip from your final place of stay back to the airport, plus it gives you 50% off most forms of public transport in Switzerland for 1 month, including buses, many cable cars, trains and so on.

These flights were among the best things that I have ever done. I am generally a nervous person but the paragliding experience is just not scary at all. The take off is very easy and gentle and the flight is surprisingly quiet and steady. The views are awesome. Paragliding is also a unique way to see the landscape. Shortly after take off you sit back into a sling and then you can sit comfortably and admire the view as you glide through the air. It is quiet enough to talk comfortably to the pilot behind you. It is a completely different experience to flying in a helicopter or a small plane. Because it is slower, almost silent and you have nothing obstructing your view, you can get a far superior view of what you are flying past.

The pilot will provide you with a flight overall and a helmet and all the instruction that you need (which is very little). The main thing to remember is warm clothes (including gloves), sunglasses and reasonably good shoes like trainers.

If you wish, the pilot can perform some acrobatics as you approach the landing zone. I found them fantastic fun.

The landings were extremely gentle, not even as bumpy as stepping off a chair. In both cases it was easy to remain standing during landing.

During the flight your pilot will take both video and still photos using a high resolution GoPro camera. For 30 CHF these are put on a DVD for you, which is of course a must.

For additional paragliding insurance cover I went to True Traveller insurance and bought their Adventure travel insurance and asked them add paragliding as an extra. The insurance only cost about £35 as I recall.

Finally, I would recommend Zermatt wholeheartedly, summer or winter. It is a wonderful little town set in the most perfect Alpine scenery. There are numerous top class hikes available, great train and cable car rides, lots of great restaurants and bars, and some great excursions available from the Alpine Centre.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
9 Thank KeenHiker97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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