Lonely Planet Writer

Have lunch on top of a Swiss glacier this winter...and get there by helicopter

A Swiss hotel has launched a unique package that sees guests taking part in a five-hour excursion that includes a helicopter ride to the top of a glacier to have a regionally-inspired lunch 3000 metres above sea level.

Guests at Gstaad Palace can now take a five-hour excursion The Diableret glacier.
Guests at Gstaad Palace can now take an excursion to the Diableret glacier. Image by Gstaad Palace/Air Glaciers

The package, called Lunch by Helicopter is available from Gstaad Palace in association with Air Glaciers, and includes a flight to Zermatt and back, as well as an exciting circuit around the Matterhorn. The trip leaves from an airfield in Saanen before heading across the five valleys of the Saanenland region. Throughout the trip, a number of picturesque photo opportunities present themselves, with views of Wildhorn, the Diableret glacier, as well as the four-thousand-metre-high mountains of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

“The view over Switzerland is generally incredibly beautiful in the clear weather. One highlight for me is the Matterhorn. The world-famous mountain is surrounded by a magic that fascinated me time and time again. Everyone is familiar with the ultimate Swiss landmark, but who can claim that they’ve circumnavigated it?” said pilot, Thomas Kohler of the Air Glaciers team. At one point, guests disembark the aircraft to have a champagne aperitif and a specially prepared lunch on top of a glacier with panoramic views of the surrounding area situated on the edge of an almost vertical cliff. Following that, the helicopter makes a return trip to the hotel in Gstaad.

The helicopter circumnavigates the Matterhorn.
The helicopter circumnavigates the Matterhorn during the trip. Image by Gstaad Palace/Air Glaciers

Available in the winter season from 22 December to 11 March, the experience can be booked for two people at a time. The package is priced at 2077.50 Swiss Francs per person (approximately €1800) and includes a two-night stay in a double room with half board and use of the palace spa.

Guests can also have lunch 3,000 feet above sea level.
Guests can also have lunch 3000 feet above sea level. Image by Gstaad Palace/Air Glaciers

More information is available on the Gstaad Palace website.