Looking for some adventure with an aesthetically pleasing view 2000 feet above the ground? Well, a hot air balloon ride is your all-in-one answer!
So, what makes a hot air balloon ride special? We all know how difficult it is to choose between attractions to visit when touring. Well, a hot air balloon ride gives you a dash of everything! Experiencing the winds above, the astounding view, and the mere chills you get as you lift off the ground is a feeling worth experiencing.
The aerial view of different terrains, their unique flora, and fauna, all contribute to a spectacular view from above.
Here, we have some of the best hot air balloon rides from around the world and accompanying attractions, read on to find out more!
1. Bagan, Myanmar
The archaeological zone of Bagan is the most popular attraction in Myanmar and is well known for its temples and wilderness. The breathtaking view of temples, pagodas, and monasteries from a hot air balloon, as you rise through the mists, is truly unforgettable. You get to see the path curved by the Inle River, and the surreal beauty of the ancient architectural wonders at the break of dawn.
Other Attractions: The Shwezigon Paya is the largest stupa in town, and is a sight to see at dusk when illuminated. If you’re looking to take something back home as a souvenir, then MBoutik is a must-visit destination. You get your fill of handicrafts, clothes, toys, and jewelry. Above all, the money you spend goes to the local community involved in the creation, thanks to the NGO ActionAid.
2. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Are you a wildlife buff? Then this will be the hot air balloon ride you’ve been waiting for your whole life! The Serengeti National Park at Tanzania witnesses the largest mammal migration in the world, and now you can be a part of it too! With wildebeests, leopards, giraffes, zebras, and gazelles, you’ll cherish this ride for its wildlife and the exquisite sunset, both a treat to your eyes. The best part of a hot air balloon ride through the Serengeti National Park would be to see the wildlife undisturbed, unalarmed, moving about their lives on their own accord.
Other Attractions: The Moru Kopjes are gigantic rock formations where you can spot big cats and black rhinos. They also hold rock paintings by Maasai cattle herders. While here, you can also visit a Maasai village. The Maasai are an indigenous tribe who welcome tourists into their village to give a short tour about their cultures, traditions, and lifestyle.
3. Cappadocia, Turkey
The hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia, Turkey, presents one of the most exhilarating, marvelous views that are sure to leave your jaws dropped.
Other than the snow-dusted vineyards and churches, Cappadocia is known for its fairy chimney rock formations. The view of the landscape is a marvel, with striped rock formations in a range of colors. Sunrise is when the rock formations and caves present an otherworldly view as the rising rays fall on them. It is also a great view from the ground as vibrant balloons float against the blue backdrop.
Other Attractions: While at the city of Goreme, you can also visit the Goreme National Park. There are numerous monuments, caves, and old churches to be explored. Another marvel is the Derinkuyu Underground City, consisting of carved underground rock spanning 8 floors. Capable of housing 20,000 people, it was built as a shelter from invaders.
4. Sossusvlei, Namibia
It is truly a tough task to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the Namib Desert on foot, which is why a hot air balloon ride is a perfect choice! At Sossusvlei, you can see the oldest and tallest dune and get a bird’s eye view of the city. As you glide over the red and orange sands, it seems as though time has stood still, and everything is at peace.
A sunrise ride in the hot air balloon is a must to take in the magical sight of the red dunes in the early hours.
Other Attractions: Sossuvlei hosts numerous other attractions, such as the Sesriem Canyon. Deadvlei, Hiddenvlei, and Big Daddy are other must-visit spots. Big Daddy is the tallest dune in the area, and at 325 meters tall, easily visible during your hot air balloon ride. Hiddenvlei is the perfect destination for some solitude and serenity, as it is the least visited vlei.
5. Gstaad, Switzerland
An icy, jagged view awaits your eyes when you get on the hot air balloon for a peaceful, yet vibrant hot air balloon ride at Gstaad, Switzerland. This village in the Swiss Alps is well-known for its winter sports, excellent flying conditions, and for the International Balloon Festival held every year in the last week of January. During this week, you can see vibrant hot air balloons scattered over the icy white landscape, definitely a view to behold!
Other Attractions: Gstaad is truly a traveler’s haven, from hot air ballooning to ice skating and tobogganing, this city is truly a handful. You can take the cable car to Mount Eggli, visit the Mirage House (Mirror House), and for the cheese lovers out there, the Fondue Caquelon Cheese Grotto awaits!
6. Luxor, Egypt
Floating over the Valley of Kings as the sun rises and falls over the Colossi of Memnon, the golden sand, and the grassy knolls along the Nile River, this breathtaking view can only be seen from the balloon basket at Luxor. The best time to take in the beauty of the city, its tombs, and temples, is early in the morning, as the sun rays give a golden sheen.
Other Attractions: Luxor hosts numerous temples, such as the Karnak Temple Complex, Temple of Hatshepsut, Temple of Luxor, and the Medinet Habu. All of these portray different stories and architecture, worth visiting. The Valley of Queens is another attraction with over 75 royal tombs. Here, you can also see the tomb of Nefertari.
7. Loire Valley, France
If you’re looking for the perfect fairy tale picture, a hot air balloon ride through Lire Valley should do the trick. Staying true to the picture-perfect town from fairytales, you get to see vineyards, sunflower fields, and numerous rivers and streams, all adding to the beauty of the city.
Other than these, there are many manor houses and castles, some of these open for visits between April and October. This is also when the spring is in full swing, elevating the view from up top to an enchanting spectacle.
Other Attractions: Terra Botanica is a family theme park with a twist! With exciting rides and games awaiting among the flora and fauna, it is a great hit among kids and adults. Loire Valley is also home to the largest Oriental garden in Europe, Parc Oriental de Maulévrier. The Grand Elephant of Nantes is another exciting attraction where you can ride the 12m tall mechanical elephant.
8. Istria, Croatia
The best time to go for a hot air balloon ride in Istria would be when the temperatures drop, around September and October. Also known as “The Croatian Tuscany”, hot air balloon rides in Istria offer a breathtaking view of its olive groves and grapevines spread over hills.
Other Attractions: If you’re interested in ancient structures and sights, then you will find time not enough as you explore Istria. At Vrsar, you get to explore the Vergottini Castle, dated back to the 12th century. Lovran is another area with historic attractions such as the Romanesque bell tower. If you love the sun and the beach, then the boardwalk at Lungomare is another must-visit spot.
9. Yarra Valley, Australia
In search of that spectacular sunrise? All you have to do is get on that hot air balloon at Yarra Valley and get awestruck at the sun rising over the hills. Below lies the Yarra River that emanates calmness, the towering peaks of the Great Divide, and enjoying these while soaking up the rays from the rising sun, the feeling is beyond what words can express!
At Yarra Valley, you can enjoy wineries while spotting kangaroos occasionally. Best time to ride the hot air balloon over this spectacular valley? To see the spectacular autumn colors spread across the landscape, the optimum time would be March to May.
Other attractions: Yarra Valley is known for its sparkling wine, Pinot noir, and chardonnay. For the adrenaline junkies out there, you can have your perfect weekend adventure that covers zip lines, treetops, free falls, and other outdoor activities with Kinglake Forest Adventures.
10. Muelle, San Carlos, Costa Rica
At Muelle, Costa Rica, you get the tropical hot air balloon flight, with tree canopies at your fingertips and the distant, breathtaking view of plantations and fields. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of the grandiose Arenal Volcano. So, what’s special about hot air ballooning at Muelle? The best part is the ambient climate all year long, perfectly tailored to host hot air balloon experiences.
Other Attractions: Muelle is a haven for nature enthusiasts, with attractions where you can be close to the environment. This includes the Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfalls, and the Cerro Chato Lake.
Hot air balloon rides are certainly magical and known for their scenic appeal. This brings us to the Northern lights, one of nature’s enchanting, magical views. What if you could see it for yourself from a hot air balloon? Hard to believe, but possible!
With this one of a kind hot air balloon ride in Swedish Lapland, you can now hover in the Arctic skies and let an eye out for the magnificent once-in-a-lifetime chance of seeing the Northern lights up close.
If you’re more inclined to get an aerial view of the snow-covered Arctic landscape, there’ll also be daytime hot air balloon rides over the Arctic wilderness. With your hot air balloon tethered to the ice, you get to float at 90° North at the optimum weather as you let your gaze wander over the snowy expanse.
There are numerous other mesmerizing hot air balloon rides you can experience in different parts of the world, but these are a few worth mentioning. Mention your favorite hot air balloon rides and your dream destinations in the comments below!