Do you dream of flying over the earth like an eagle, taking in the surroundings and feeling the wind in your face? You can cross that one off your bucket any time you please, with amazing scenic hot air balloon rides.
It’s often said that hot air balloon flights offer some of the most breathtaking views on earth. And it’s true! The experience is unforgettable, and there are many amazing places to fly over: from lush forests in North America to beautiful beaches in Europe and Australia.
A standard hot air balloon basket can fit around 4 – 8 people making them ideal for family or group rides.
Types of Hot Air Balloons
There are several different types of hot air balloons. Some balloons are designed for passengers, while others are designed for cargo.
- A Montgolfier balloon (from French montgolfière, meaning “heated chamber”) is a hot air balloon that was invented by the Montgolfier brothers in 1783. The hot air balloon is the first successful human-carrying aircraft. Montgolfier balloons are made of a lightweight fabric, such as nylon, and are filled with hot air. They are typically propelled by a fire inside the balloon to gain altitude.
- A hybrid hot air balloon is a type of hot air balloon that uses both hot air and helium to stay afloat. This type of balloon is typically used for cargo transport, as it can carry more weight than a traditional hot air balloon. Hybrid balloons are also more stable than traditional hot air balloons, which makes them ideal for cargo transport.
- A pure gas balloon is a type of hot air balloon that uses only hot air to stay afloat. This type of balloon is typically used for passenger transport, as it can carry more passengers than a traditional hot air balloon. Pure gas balloons are also more stable than traditional hot air balloons, which makes them ideal for passenger transport.
Things to know before going on a hot air balloon
- Make sure to check the weather conditions before going on a hot air balloon ride. The last thing you want is to be stuck up in the air due to bad weather conditions.
- Always dress appropriately for the ride, especially if it is cold outside. You will be spending a good amount of time outdoors so make sure to wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen, even if it is cloudy outside. The sun can be quite harsh at high altitudes and you don’t want to get sunburned during your ride. We recommend UV Clear.
- Bring along a camera to capture the beautiful views from up above. But make sure to also bring along a power bank or extra batteries, as you will likely be spending a lot of time taking pictures.
- If you are afraid of heights, don’t worry – hot air balloon flight rides are not as scary as they may seem. The height is not too extreme and the basket is quite stable. You will be in good hands with the experienced pilot.
- Don’t forget to pack some snacks and drinks for the ride. You will likely be up in the air for a good amount of time so it’s best to be prepared.
- The flight itself is quite smooth, but you may feel a bit queasy when the balloon first takes off and lands. This is completely normal and usually goes away after a few minutes.
- Make sure to keep an eye on the time, as balloon flights usually only last around an hour.
- Most importantly, enjoy the ride! The views from up above are truly incredible and you will never forget this unique experience.
Here are some of the best places in the world to experience this unique form of aerial transportation.
Best Hot Air Balloon Rides Around the World
1) Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia, Turkey is a top destination for hot air ballooning. The unique landscape of the area, with its fairy chimneys, underground cities, and rolling hills, makes for a mesmerizing backdrop as you drift through the sky. Cappadocia is also home to some of the most experienced balloon pilots in the world, so you can be sure of a safe, unforgettable flight.
Hot air ballooning isn’t just a sport in Cappadocia, it’s nearly an obsession and considered to be one of the best hot air balloons. And it’s easy to see why — this region of Turkey is blessed with some of the best, most consistent flying conditions in the world.
But great weather and gentle breezes are just the beginning: Cappadocia is home to an amazing, surreal landscape of fairy chimney rocks that are just made to be viewed from Cappadocia Hot air balloons.
The colored rock formations, deep rippled ravines, and valleys filled with orchards and vineyards make the rides of Cappadocia balloons a richly rewarding experience for balloonists. The weather is pretty mild here in winter, and there are some excellent days for flying — but the best time to go to Cappadocia Hot air ballooning is April through November.
The cost of a hot air balloon ride in the Cappadocia region varies depending on the company you choose. However, most hot air balloon companies charge around €150-€200 per person. This price includes transport to and from the launch site, as well as a light breakfast before takeoff.
Attractions in Cappadocia Region
After your hot air balloon experience, you can visit other locations in Cappadocia to experience what the city has to offer.
Some of the best attractions in Cappadocia included the Göreme National Park and Museum, the Pasabag Valley, and the Uçhisar Castle. The Göreme National Park and Museum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to some of the best-preserved cave churches in Turkey.
The Pasabag Valley is a beautiful spot for hiking and picnicking, and the Uçhisar Castle offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Best Place to Stay in Cappadocia
If you’re looking to stay in Cappadocia while you enjoy hot air balloons, there are plenty of excellent options. From boutique cave hotels to luxury resorts, Cappadocia has something for everyone.
The Cappadocia Cave Resort & Spa – The Cappadocia Cave Resort & Spa is a 5-star hotel located in the heart of Cappadocia. This luxury resort offers guests a unique experience, with rooms and suites carved into the rocks and caves of the Goreme Valley.
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2) Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar is home to one of the most beautiful and well-known hot air balloon scenes in the world. The ancient temples dotting the countryside make for an unforgettable backdrop as you drift through the sky.
You’ll float gently over pagodas dating back to the 11th century, blown by winds that very rarely exceed 15 miles per hour. Flights leave at sunrise and sunset for magnificent views of the Ayeyarwaddy River, the lush green valleys guarded by the distant Rakhine Yoma mountains, and of course the romantic rooftops of more than 2000 ancient temples and pagodas.
Hot air balloons fly over Bagan almost every day of the year, and the views are just as stunning during the rainy ballooning season in Bagan runs from October to March, when the weather is at its best. The temperature usually ranges from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F), with very little chance of rain.
The price for a hot air balloon tour at Baga starts from Rs. 5,000 per person. The cost may vary depending on the type of balloon ride, the location, and the time of travel.
Other Attractions in Bagan
Bagan has so much to offer apart from an epic hot air balloon tour. The city was once the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan in the 9th Century. It is home to amazing Buddhist temples.
Other tourist attractions in Bagan include the Ananda Temple, the Dhammayangyi Temple, and the Sulamani Temple. The Ananda Temple is considered to be one of the most beautiful temples in Bagan, and it is home to a large number of Buddha statues.
Best Place to Stay in Bagan
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Bagan, there are plenty of excellent options. From boutique cave hotels to luxury resorts, Bagan has something for everyone.
The Aureum Palace Resort & Spa is a 5-star hotel located in the heart of Bagan. This luxury resort offers guests a unique experience, with rooms and suites carved into the rocks and caves of the Nyaung U Valley.
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3) Luxor, Egypt
Luxor, located in Upper Egypt, is a city on the east bank of the Nile River. It is one of the country’s largest cities and is famous for its ancient temples and tombs. The hot air balloon rides in Luxor tour this iconic city, giving you a unique perspective on its stunning architecture.
Watch the first rays of light touch the dark waters of the Nile. Greet the sunrise from above the famous temples at Luxor, floating like the very falcon of Horus.
Avoid the crowds and see Egypt’s most famous landmarks — the Temple of Karnak, Hatshepsut’s Temple, the Colossi of Memnon, the Valley of the Queens, and the Temple of Ramses — all from a tranquil and brilliant Egyptian sky.
To begin your hot air balloon flight in Luxor, head over to the banks of the legendary Nile River, you’ll see the entire landscape from the city of Luxor to the distant mountains laid out below you in the fabulous display. There have been several well-publicized ballooning accidents here since 2009, so be sure to book your trip with an accredited hot air balloon company that takes proper precautions.
Other Attractions in Luxor
Apart from the amazing hot air balloon ride, there are plenty of other things to see in Luxor. Some of the most popular tourist attractions include the Temple of Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, and the Colossi of Memnon.
The Temple of Karnak is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Luxor. This ancient temple is dedicated to the god Amun and was built over 2000 years. The temple is made up of several different temples, including the Temple of Amun, the Temple of Mut, and the Temple of Khonsu.
Best Place to Stay in Luxor
There are plenty of great places to stay in Luxor, but my personal favorite is the Old Winter Palace. It’s a beautiful and historic hotel that’s been around since 1885. The staff is incredibly friendly and helpful, and the rooms are spacious and comfortable. I recommend it if you’re looking for a luxurious and relaxing stay in Egypt.
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4) Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico is a great place to take a hot air balloon ride. The city is located in the middle of a beautiful desert landscape, and the weather is perfect for ballooning most of the year.
Year-round clear skies, gentle winds, and mild temperatures make Albuquerque home to the most hot-air balloonists of any location in the U.S. Each year for 9 days in October, Albuquerque hosts the International Balloon Fiesta — a great time to visit if you’re looking to watch as the skies fill with hundreds of colorful hot air balloons.
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is one of the largest hot air balloon festivals in the world, and it’s definitely worth checking out, you’ll find plenty of ballooning companies offering rides. Most of them launch from Balloon Fiesta Park, but there are a few that take off from other locations around the city.
If you’re looking to take your own hot air balloon tour of the amazing high desert landscape around Albuquerque, just about any other time of year will be perfect. Prices for hot air balloon tours in Albuquerque start at around $200 per person.
Other Attractions in Albuquerque
Albuquerque is also home to several other great tourist attractions, including the Sandia Peak Tramway, the Rio Grande Zoo, and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. You can visit these places right after your hot air ballooning.
The Sandia Peak Tramway is a great way to get up into the mountains that surround Albuquerque. It takes you on a ride up to the top of Sandia Peak, where you’ll find stunning views of the city and the surrounding desert landscape.
The Rio Grande Zoo is a great place to visit if you’re interested in seeing a variety of animals from all over the world. The zoo has tigers, lions, bears, monkeys, and more.
Best Place to Stay in Albuquerque
The best place to stay in Albuquerque is the Hotel Parq Central. It offers luxurious accommodations and top-notch service. The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Albuquerque, providing guests with easy access to all the city has to offer.
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5) Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
The Serengeti National Park is one of Tanzania’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. Home to thousands of animals, including Africa’s “big five” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros, and buffalo), the Serengeti offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the world
If you want a different perspective on the Serengeti, consider taking a hot air balloon safari. These typically take place in the early morning, when the animals are most active. You’ll float above the plains of the Serengeti, getting an up-close look at the animals below as they go about their day-to-day lives.
You’ll enjoy stunning views of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and probably see more animals than you would in a full day on the ground. And if you go there between May and July, you’ll be able to watch the amazing annual migration of the wildebeest herds from Serengeti to Maasai Mara in Kenya.
A hot air balloon ride at the Serengeti can cost anywhere from $300 to $600 per person. The cost usually depends on the length of the ride, as well as the size and type of balloon.
Other Attractions in Serengeti
After your hot air balloon tour, you can visit other places near the Serengeti National Park. One of these places is Olduvai Gorge. This is a steep-sided ravine in the Serengeti region of Tanzania, best known for its archaeological significance. It’s here that some of the earliest evidence of human evolution has been found, including the remains of Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and other early human species.
Best Place to stay in Serengeti National Park
The best place to stay in Serengeti National Park is the Serena Safari Lodge. It’s located right in the heart of the park and offers amazing views of the surrounding wildlife. The lodge has all the amenities you would expect, including a swimming pool, restaurant, and bar.
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6) Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley is one of the most popular wine-producing regions in the United States. If you’re looking for a unique way to experience California‘s wine country, then you should take a hot air balloon flight. The valley is located in the heart of California’s wine country and is surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque vineyards.
The weather in Napa Valley is perfect for hot air ballooning. There’s a safari of a different kind waiting for you in Napa Valley — one that floats gently over the lush California wine country and ends with a gourmet brunch and endlessly enjoyable wine pairings in a lovely garden.
Balloon tours of Napa will fly you over magnificent mountain vistas and green valleys bursting with grapevines. This is a great way to avoid the heavy influx of tourists driving California’s popular Route 29 from Calistoga each summer.
A hot air balloon ride in Napa Valley typically costs around $400 per person. The cost may vary depending on the size of the balloon and the length of the ride. However, this is a great way to enjoy California’s wine country.
Other Attractions in Napa Valley
Napa Valley is best known for its world-famous wineries. If you’re a wine lover, then you won’t want to miss a chance to visit some of these wineries. One of the best wineries to visit in Napa is Robert Mondavi Winery.
Robert Mondavi Winery is one of Napa Valley’s most popular wineries. It was founded in 1966 by Robert Mondavi and his wife Margrit. The winery is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon wines, which have won numerous awards over the years.
Where to Stay in Napa Valley
The best place to stay in Napa Valley is the Archer Hotel Napa. It’s located in the heart of the valley and offers amazing views of the surrounding vineyards. The inn has all the amenities you would expect, including a restaurant, and bar.
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7) Wadi Rum, Jordan
You might never be able to fly to the moon — but you can get a taste of the lunar landscape, in a hot air balloon flying over the Wadi Rum desert. Often called the “Valley of the Moon,” Wadi Rum is characterized by its uniquely weathered terrain, with strange rock formations, graceful dunes, and shockingly alien circular green configurations of irrigated desert farms.
Viewed from hot air balloons, Wadi Rum’s stark otherworldly landscape becomes an almost spiritual experience — it’s the perfect place to rise above every day and simply be yourself.
A hot air balloon ride in Wadi Rum typically costs around $200 per person. The cost usually depends on the length of the ride, as well as the size and type of balloon.
Other Things to do in Wadi Rum
After your balloon tour, you can go on an adventure in Wadi Rum. Jeep safaris are the best way to explore the desert and see all its amazing sights.
Wadi Rum is a great place to go rock climbing. The best climbs in Wadi Rum are the ones that take you to the top of some of the tallest dunes in the world. There’s something about being on top of a dune that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world.
Where to Stay in Wadi Rum
The best place to stay in Wadi Rum is the Wadi Rum Desert Camp. It’s located in the heart of the desert and offers amazing views of the surrounding landscape. The camp has all the amenities you would expect, including a swimming pool, restaurant, and bar.
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Thursday 18th of August 2016
Superb places... I am planning to go Tanzania.
Sunday 12th of July 2015
These all look beautiful but if i have to choose one I'd go with Cappadocia. That place just looks so surreal - I have to see it with my own eyes.
Sunday 5th of July 2015
Wow they all look incredible! Really fancy the Tanzania trip! X