Other sports and activities
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To complement the country’s many cycle routes, there are also currently three long-distance inline skating routes of around 200km each, from Geneva to Brig, Zürich to Yverdon, and Bad Ragaz to Schaffhausen. Eurotrek (details) can take care of your gear, and provide more information.

Swimming and watersports have big followings at all the lakeside resorts, and almost everywhere is clean enough (signs are posted otherwise). Boats and equipment for windsurfing are available for rent on almost all lakes, but getting enough of a breeze can be a problem. Rowing and canoeing are also popular, especially on the Rotsee near Luzern.

The boom in adventure sports has arrived in Switzerland with a vengeance, and places like Interlaken and the Ticino have dozens of companies offering canyoning and bungee-jumping, as well as aerial sports such as paragliding, hang-gliding and a host of others. Hot-air ballooning is headquartered in Château d’Oex, nerve centre of the 1998 record-breaking balloon flight around the world.

On a more pedestrian level, the Swiss have a host of their own sports, rooted in celebrations of Alpine brawn. Schwingen is an idiosyncratic kind of sumo-wrestling, in which both participants wear leather or canvas over-shorts; you’ve got to keep at least one hand on your opponent’s shorts at all times, and still manage to heave him onto his back within a laid-out circle of sawdust. Steintossen involves flinging a massive rock as far as possible. Hornussen isn’t much like any other sport at all: one person hits the hornuss, a puck, along a curved track with a long cane, while other people stand well back and try to knock the hornuss aside with large wooden bats before it hits the ground. All of these tend to be indulged in by local communities – often in traditional dress – on open field sites during spring and summer months, along with much festivity and carousing. Schwingen is taken particularly seriously, and champs become rural folk-heroes.

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