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The Ultimate Aare Rafting Guide

Summer in Bern is when locals indulge in their favorite pastime: rafting down the Aare. The Ultimate Aare Rafting Guide provides helpful information and fun facts that will be of use to newbies and experienced rafters alike. Read on for more about how to enjoy all the Aare has to offer this summer!

A group of four friends carry their rubber dinghy out of the clear waters of the Aare together. Their summer clothes and life jackets, the laughter and the pleasant tiredness after a day on the river paint a picture full of friendship and leisure fun in the beautiful river landscape.

Take care of the Aare

Everyone can help to keep the Aare clean - collect cans, glass bottles, PET and litter along the way and dispose of them correctly in the large containers at the "Marzili" exit point in Bern. Cigarette butts also do not belong in nature or in the water. Did you know? Just one contaminates around 1000 liters of water in the Aare. Rubber boats (Gummiböötli) are also not disposable items. Almost every boat has a hole sooner or later - but that doesn't mean it's shipwrecked. Slightly damaged "Gummiböötli" can be easily repaired with an adhesive patch. A separate container is available at the "Marzili" for rubber boats that have been totaled.

It’s important to have a healthy amount of respect for the Aare and inform yourself about the possible risks beforehand. Swimming in the Aare is recommended for experienced swimmers only. The Swiss Lifesaving Society SLRG and the City of Bern provide (vitally) important tips for everyone who spends time in and on the Aare.

For the "Aareböötle", each person must have either a life jacket with collar or a life ring. Approved life jackets and rings as well as further information about safety on the "Aareböötle" can be found at

Route "For those seeking peace and quiet"

If you arrive by bus, you can get off at the "Bern, Felsenau" stop. It is then a short walk to the banks of the Aare.

The beautiful tour begins in this tranquil natural landscape. The spot on the stone beach next to the footpath at Felsenau is ideal for soaking up the water. From there, the rubber boat cruises leisurely along the Aare, past forest and pebble beaches.

From now on, barbecue spots à gogo and many charming peninsulas follow. Here the canoe crew can drop anchor and take a break.

Recommended and tested lifejacket

"Letting yourself drift" is more than just a metaphor in Bern, the capital of conviviality. The Aareböötle is Bern's favorite hobby. Families, friends or newly in love: as soon as the thermometer climbs, everyone grabs a paddle and pump and floats down the Aare together in a brightly colored rubber boat. Anyone thinking of wild rafting is wrong. Aareböötle on the crystal-clear, calmly flowing Aare, through an idyllic floodplain landscape and along many small islands, is as enjoyable and cozy as the city itself.

Which Aare guru provides daily information about the weather and water level? What do you have to watch out for so that no sailor goes overboard? Which island invites you to sizzle a cervelat with smoke signals? Where can you buy and hire rubber boats? Which insider tip is almost more beautiful than the famous Thun-Bern route, the "Queen of Swiss rubber boat routes"? And why does the Aareböötle help you survive boring cüpli events?

We've packed everything you need to know, as well as lots of fun facts, into this ultimate Aareböötle guide. Written by Bernese freshwater captains, with a lot of passion and a wink. Typed in the office and in Bernese cafés, but discovered on the water. Our aim: to infect you with our enthusiasm for the Aareböötle and turn you into a true Aareböötle pro in eight chapters. Are you already? You never stop learning. In chapters six and eight, even experienced sailors will find something new to discover.

Have fun reading and drifting along.