Canyoning in Switzerland: What are the Best Spots?

Andrew AstonApril 01, 2019

Located in the heart of Europe, and with a myriad of picture-perfect snow-capped mountains, vast canyons, alpine lakes, and rolling lush green hills, meadows and forests, Switzerland has gained a reputation as a very popular outdoor activity location, with millions of people visiting each year to sample these natural delights.

Canyoning is a fun, enjoyable and thrilling way to experience some of this epic land, as the assortment of cliffs, slides, waterfalls, ridges and rock faces provide truly awesome settings and views.

The areas of Chli Schliere, Les Marecottes and La Salanfe are the best for canyoning, with each containing their own unique and distinct characteristics.

Outside of canyoning, there is much to see and do in Switzerland, with the big cities of Zurich, Geneva and Basel all thriving, cosmopolitan places, and the smaller places of Lucerne and Bern boasting stunning architecture and a more relaxed vibe.

There are so many great places for canyoning in Switzerland that in order to help with your decision making, we’ve taken the time to compile a list of the top spots and some other useful information. Keep reading and start planning your next canyoning adventure to Switzerland!

3 Reasons to go Canyoning in Switzerland

 

Canyoning in Switzerland
Canyoning with Alpine forests in the background. Photo courtesy of Peter Frick.

Amazing Views & Scenery

 

Switzerland is famed for its peaceful, sumptuous and splendid countryside, with perfect alpine landscape, scenery, and terrain making for an intoxicating and alluring combination for outdoor activity enthusiasts.

Some of the popular canyoning spots such as the Swiss Alps, Valais, and the Trient Valley provide unique and enjoyable exposure to this epic countryside, with the mighty mountains of the Alps and the masses of lush lakes being just some of the backdrops to the canyoning here.

A Good Workout

 

Canyoning is an excellent all-body workout, as it involves elements of hiking, climbing, rappelling, and swimming. Many canyoning locations in Switzerland are in hard to reach, secluded spots, hence why the need for decent hiking skills is paramount for you to go off the beaten path. Once at the locations, there is often a climb involved to reach the top of the ridge, waterfall or rock formation, and of course, once at the top, your rappelling and swimming skills come to the fore. Swiss canyoning locations contain a wide variety of difficulty, from easy to challenging, ensuring that you will get great exercise no matter how experienced you are.

 

The Peacefulness

 

Despite being located right in the middle of Europe, Switzerland still maintains a relatively low population density, and thus the many popular outdoor activities, such as canyoning, have a more relaxed, laid-back vibe than in many other countries. Canyoning benefits immensely from this, especially as many of the popular locations double up as crowded ski spots in Winter, meaning they are off most people radars as places to visit in Summer. The result is a less stressful, more leisurely canyoning experience, leaving you to take in and admire Switzerland at your own pace.

Where to go?

 

1| La Salanfe Canyon

 

Canyoning in Switzerland
The tranquil waters of La Salanfe. Photo courtesy of No Limits Experience.

La Salanfe Canyon is nestled within the gorgeous Valais region of the Alps, and contains a humongous variety of different canyoning locale’s.

Located just a short distance from the village of Les Marecottes, the Alps loom large over everything here, with raw natural beauty and wilderness abound. The undoubted highlight for many is the famous and stunning rope bridge over a waterfall, on top of the myriad of jumps, slides, rappels and descents available.

In brief:

  • Area: Canton of Valais, Switzerland
  • Closest City: Sion, Switzerland
  • How to get there: Just a 41km car journey from Sion to Salanfe, or catch the train to Les Marecottes Station.
  • Difficulty level: Easy to Intermediate.
  • Other Information: Often combined with other canyoning spots such as La Tinda or Triege Canyon. Most trips are also 1/2 day to full day trips.
  • Top Trips: Les Marecottes, La Salanfe, Guided Canyoning.

2| Triege Canyon

 

Canyoning in Switzerland
The awesome sight of Triege Canyon. Photo courtesy of No Limits Experience.

Triege Canyon is located mere moments from the quaint village of Les Marecottes, in Valais, Switzerland, and is a fun and challenging place for canyoning.

The slides, jumps, and rappels available here are designed to test your skills, with some canyoning experience recommended before tackling the canyon. A deep gorge with sparkling water at the bottom of each rock formation is the reward for having a go at this spot, and the tranquility of the surrounding countryside is truly something to behold.

  • Area: Canton of Valais, Switzerland
  • Closest City: Sion, Switzerland
  • How to get there: Just a 42km car journey from Sion to Salanfe, or catch the train to Les Marecottes Station.
  • Difficulty level: Intermediate.
  • Other Information: Often combined with other canyoning spots such as La Tinda or La Salanfe Canyon. Most trips are also 1/2 day to full day trips.
  • Top Trips: Les Marecottes, Triege, Guided Canyoning.

3| Chli Schliere Canyon

 

Canyoning in Switzerland
Fun times canyoning in Chli Schliere. Photo courtesy of Peter Frick.

Chli Schliere Canyon is located in the Bernese Alps, in the Canton of Bern in Western Switzerland, and is just 18km from the major metropolis of Lucerne.

The canyoning here involves swimming, jumping, sliding, running and abseiling on cliffs, slides, waterfalls, ridges and rock faces, ensuring there is constantly something thrilling to indulge in. The nearby and mesmerizing Lake Lucerne provides a postcard-pretty scene, and the towering and majestic Mount Pilatus looms over it all, adding to the sense that you are canyoning in a truly special place.

  • Area: Canton of Bern, Switzerland
  • Closest City: Lucerne, Switzerland
  • How to get there: Just an 18km car journey from Lucerne.
  • Difficulty level: Intermediate.
  • Other Information: Most trips are 1 day in length, and can be combined with rock climbing trips in nearby Frutigen.
  • Top Trips: Chli Schliere (Interlaken) Guided Canyoning.

4| La Tinda

 

Canyoning in Switzerland
The natural beauty of La Tinda. Photo courtesy of No Limits Experience.

La Tinda Canyon is located above the quaint and rustique village of Les Marecottes, in Valais, Switzerland, and is unique in its shape and texture of hollowed out granite.

Prior canyoning experience is necessary due to the slightly challenging nature of some of the activities, with jumping, sliding, rappelling and climbing all involved. There are numerous slides and rappels, as well as unparalleled views of The Emanev High Mountain Pasture, the Trient Massif and other stunning peaks of the Swiss Alps.

  • Area: Canton of Valais, Switzerland
  • Closest City: Sion, Switzerland
  • How to get there: Just a 42km car journey from Sion, or catch the train to Les Marecottes Station.
  • Difficulty level: Intermediate.
  • Other Information: Can be combined with canyoning in La Salanfe. Most trips are 1 day in length.
  • Top Trips: Les Marecottes, La Tinda, Guided Canyoning.

What is the Best Time for Canyoning in Switzerland?

 

Canyoning in Switzerland
The Summer months provide canyoning fun in the sun. Photo courtesy of Verbier Adventures Guides.

The Winter months are completely off-limits for canyoning in Switzerland, owing to the freezing temperatures and abundance of snow. This means the months of May-September are ideal for canyoning, as the weather is warmest the chance of snowfall is minimal, ensuring the most fun and comfortable experience for all, as well as a greater opportunity to see the stunning beauty of the country.

 

Ready to take the plunge? Book now to see the truly special sights and sounds of Switzerland, with a thrilling canyoning trip.

 

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