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helicopter flight lauterbrunnen

Roadtrip Switzerland | Helicopter flight Lauterbrunnen – Bucket list activity ✔️

Anyone who has followed me a bit in recent years knows that I am always up for a little adrenaline. Whether it's about bungee jumping, paragliding, to dive in caves, racing on the track, ziplining or mountain biking. I want to try anything that makes your heart beat faster. Even though I already gave quite a lot bucket list activities I have been able to check things off in my life, my bucket list seems to have only grown in recent years! For example, I have never made a parachute jump, I want to visit Antarctica again one day and I also want to cross the ocean on a sailboat one day in my life. And that's just the tip of the iceberg! Another bucket list activity that had been on my list for years was taking a helicopter flight. Now I in Switzerland was on a trip and the helicopters flew around my ears, I had to work hard to do it here too. I was determined to make a helicopter flight in Switzerland, only I didn't know how at the time.

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Many helicopters in Lauterbrunnen

During my stay in Lauterbrunnen I noticed one helicopter after another taking off and landing in the valley. They often transported wood or other heavy equipment but after a quick Google search I found out that some of these flights are also recreational. The only question was whether it was affordable, and whether there was still a place for me to get in. Was this the place where I could realize a dream?

Lauterbrunnen and the Staubbach waterfall, Switzerland
Lauterbrunnen and the Staubbach waterfall, Switzerland

I really wanted to take a helicopter flight. That has been a dream of mine for years. And preferably in a unique place of course. So I wanted to experience the epic views, glaciers and mountain peaks of Switzerland from above and decided to contact the various providers of helicopter flights in Lauterbrunnen.

Last minute helicopter flight

After calling and emailing back and forth (in which I explained, among other things Wereldreizigers.nl), I was initially told 'no' on everything. Everything was full this week and people didn't even want to talk about any form of discount or collaboration. There was one provider who was open to it. They asked if I wanted to leave my contact details. The message was: there is a very small chance that there will be a last-minute spot for you, but then you have to be near Lauterbrunnen. That could be tomorrow, but also later this week. I wrote down my phone number and didn't really have high expectations for it.

The following days I decided to stay in the area around Lauterbrunnen because well, you never know… I left my details on Wednesday afternoon and on Saturday morning the phone suddenly rang at half past nine in the morning.

In poor English I got the message:
'Hello? hurry. Helicopter going 30 minutes… Be on time!

There was one spot left in the helicopter and I was allowed to board for a small contribution, let's say the gasoline. Yes! I packed my things and drove back into Lauterbrunnen with my camper. I left the camper in the parking lot and took a quick photo (because it looked so beautiful there in front of the Staubbach waterfall...), and ran to the office. Just in time!

De Wereldreizigers.nl 4x4 camper in the parking lot in Lauterbrunnen
De Wereldreizigers.nl 4×4 camper in the parking lot in Lauterbrunnen

Take off from Lauterbrunnen

After a short introduction to the other passengers of the day and a briefing of our flight, we walked up Lauterbrunnen from the mountain together. It was a steep climb of about 20 minutes and suddenly a helicopter appeared behind the trees.

The helicopter we will land on the glacier with
The helicopter we will land on the glacier with

We had to wait a while until the helicopter was full. After about 10 minutes we took place in the helicopter and we went up in the air. Let's go!

The first thing we saw is the deep valley that includes Lauterbrunnen (behind us in the photo below). We then ascended at a brisk pace to fly over the first ridges as quickly as possible. The pilot was determined to give us a nice day and flew anything but calm. During the ascent we skimmed along the various mountain sides and were already treated to bizarrely beautiful views. My heart was racing, not only because it was quite exciting but also because I just felt an enormous joy of making this dream come true.

The valley where the different villages are located
The valley where the different villages are located
We have already crossed the first mountain ridge, height about 700 meters
We have already crossed the first mountain ridge, height about 700 meters

The trees then quickly make way for snow in the high mountains. We were now really high (3 to 4 kilometers) and suddenly we saw the highest mountain peaks in Switzerland. The Eiger, The Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, even Mont Blanc which is partly in Switzerland, France and Italy was visible. There were impressive snow-capped mountain peaks all around you. The weather was crystal clear and the pilot told us we were lucky today. The weather was clear and almost windless. The days before it was completely different.

The first ride of high mountain peaks | Helicopter Flight Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
The first ride of high mountain peaks | Helicopter Flight Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Also read: The most beautiful walks at the Matterhorn from StripeAway.nl

Landing on the Eiger Glacier

Then we made a landing on the ice. And because there was no wind, we could really enjoy the Glacier. The pilot told us that you normally have to get back into the helicopter in a few minutes, as the temperature here in April is usually between -10 and -25 degrees and the wind is often strong, so you cannot keep it up for long. It was now also -12 but sunny and windless. It was actually quite manageable with my sweatpants, sweater and light jacket.

The happiest man on earth | We landed on the Eiger Glacier
The happiest man on earth | We landed on the Eiger Glacier

To celebrate our luck of the good weather, the pilot suddenly pulled out a bottle of champagne. We drank the bottle together in peace while enjoying the beautiful views around us. We took some nice pictures and after about 25 minutes on the Glacier it was time to get in again.

Champagne during the landing on the Eiger Glacier
Champagne during the landing on the Eiger Glacier

Enjoy the return flight

On the way up I sat in the back of the helicopter, on the way back I was allowed to sit in the front next to the pilot. Now I got the chance to take beautiful pictures and videos. I snapped a few shots of the cockpit and decided to just turn on my GoPro video camera for the rest of the flight and ignore it. I also just wanted to enjoy the view without being too busy with my camera. Whether the images would be useful, I would only see afterwards.

For 20 minutes this was my view from the cockpit of the helicopter
For 20 minutes this was my view from the cockpit of the helicopter
Of course I also had to capture the pilot of the helicopter
Of course I also had to capture the pilot of the helicopter

I really cannot describe with any pen or keyboard how intensely beautiful and unique this experience is and what a feeling such a flight gives you. Even the most beautiful photos cannot convey that, you really have to experience it yourself! To give you an idea of ​​the flight, what it sounds like and what you see both inside and outside the helicopter, I have put together the video below. In the 2nd part of the video (starts at 1 minute 15 sec.) I just show you the raw, unedited footage of the descent back to Lauterbrunnen. Set the quality of the video as high as possible, preferably in 4k, and sit back and enjoy it.

How much does a helicopter flight in Switzerland cost?

Now that you've seen all this beauty, you're probably also curious what something like this costs. I checked this out for you and yes, it is quite pricey. With most providers, it is mainly in the fact that you have to fill a helicopter. A short 15 minute flight usually costs between 1000 and 1400 euros per helicopter† So you can share this price with others. If you want a flight of approximately 30 minutes + a landing on a glacier, you usually pay between 2000 and 3000 euros per helicopter† You can also share this with others, provided you arrange this yourself. What is striking is that the prices are so very far apart between the different providers.

Cheaper Helicopter Flight Providers

So hefty prices! But don't worry, it really can be cheaper. The helicopter flight providers are also not sitting still. They do understand that it is not possible for everyone to fill an entire helicopter. There are also options for couples or people traveling alone. You will then have to rely on online booking systems and be less flexible. There is no such thing as an ad hoc decision to get into a helicopter.

For those who want to book online: a 15-minute flight (without Glacier Landing) can be done via this provider al from 277 euros per person† This is the cheapest I could find. Like me, do you also want a flight of at least 30 minutes and a glacier landing? You can do that via this provider al from 394 euros per person – this is also the provider I flew with.

I asked my helicopter pilot why the prices differ so much between the different providers. He explained that the difference in price is mainly caused by 3 things:

  1. The type of helicopter: We flew in a so-called category A helicopter, which means a helicopter costing approximately 2 million euros, not older than 5 years and with a turbine engine. Cheaper providers often fly with less capable and/or older helicopters. Modern helicopters are very expensive and maintenance is definitely not cheap. This is reflected in the prices.
  2. Book on site: For the more expensive providers, you can usually just walk in and choose a time and date in consultation, and depending on the season, even agree on a total price. This makes them somewhat flexible, but these parties often also use the helicopters for freight transport. You are therefore never guaranteed that you can go on the day and time that you want - you will have to adapt to whatever schedule they happen to have available at that time.
  3. Book online: The cheaper providers mainly work with online booking systems and strict conditions. For example, you should book the booking as far in advance as possible and pay immediately. You are entitled to a refund if you cancel your flight, but this must be done at least 30 days in advance. If you order 10 days before your flight, you will only get 50% of the money back. Naturally, you will get the entire amount back if, for example, the weather does not allow you to fly. Below is an image of the exact conditions:
image | helicopter flight | Wereldreizigers.nl
Roadtrip Switzerland | Helicopter flight Lauterbrunnen - Bucket list activity ✔️ 13

In themselves, these are not necessarily major disadvantages if you book online. If you are planning your holiday and are already planning to take a helicopter flight, you can book it in advance with confidence and save a lot of money. You also have less chance of it being full on the days you are in the region, and therefore missing the flight.

Also read: Helicopter Tour Grand Canyon | The ultimate bucket list experience

Whichever option you choose, do it! It is an experience never to be forgotten. Skip eating out a few times and use that money to cross something off your bucket list ✔️.

You really won't regret it!

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Chris

Owner of Wereldreizigers.nl † Discover the world!
- Full-time blogging world traveler.
- Writes about travel, photography, sustainability and gadgets.
- Likes to discover extreme and unknown places.

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