Whether whisking through the Serengeti plains in Tanzania, watching the sun rise through Utah’s monument valley, or flying between the Pagoda’s of Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia, there is nothing like the feeling of sliding silently through air in a hot air balloon. Explore below the top 10 places to ride a hot air balloon in the world.
The adventure of riding in a hot air balloon at some of the most amazing sights in the world is like no other, read on to see our top 10 places in the world to ride a hot air balloon.
10. Jaipur, India
Home to two world heritage sites the Amer Fort and Jantar Mantar, the famous pink city offers some of the best aerial views in the state of Rajasthan also known as Land of Kings. Traditionally a staging post for trips into the Thar dessert for traditional desert safaris on camel back to Udaipur, Jodphur and Jaiselmar. Most recently companies have been offering hot air balloon safaris with overnight stays in desert camps.
9. Sedona Arizona
Famous for its sandstone rock formations which glow orange and red under the desert sun, Sedona is a Mecca for hot air ballooning and other outdoor activities. Featuring in over sixty hollywood movies, the famous red rock formations of sedona are instantlry recognizeable. Hot air balloon tours in Sedona normally depart at sunrise to enhance the rock formations, abundant wildlife such as mule deer, javelina, coyotes and bobcats are often spotted from above adding to this magnificent adventure.
8. Serengeti, Tanzania
The safest way to view the bustling wildlife in the Serengeti is by balloon, low flying trips that skim the tree tops, the great migration January – March each year offers the chance to witness from above millions of zebra, wilderbeast and gazelles on route to the Masia Mara reserve in Kenya. Where they remain for the duration of the dry season before returning to the Serengeti in November time.
7. Bagan, Myanmar
The best way to see appreciate the sheer scale of the ancient city of Bagan, replete with innumerable temples and pagodas is by hot air ballon, nearly 2200 temples and pagodas survive to this day. A a walking tour of the Bagan plains and its 2200 temples would take more than a moth to visit them all.
6. Queenstown, New Zealand
The capital of New Zealands advernture sports, Queenstown nestled on the South Island of New Zealand offers. Hot air balloon flights here drift up to 6,000 feet usually through the Wakatipu basin taking in breath taking scenery of vast lakes, mountain ranges and snow capped peaks.
5. Luxor, Egypt
Often called the world’s greatest open air museum, flying over the ‘valley of the kings’ and the ‘valley of the queens’ in a hot air balloon is not to be missed. Hot air balloon rides here usually depart early morning lasting for about an hour.
4. Albuquerque, New Mexico
The Alberquerque balloon festival in New Mexico is a Mecca for balloon enthusiasts, the 9 day festival taking place in October each year includes over 500 hot air balloons each year. Making the fesitval the largest of its kind in the world. Special events include mass ascents, balloon racing and a special shape rodeo.
Ballooning is also available year round in Albaquerque skirting the Sandia mountain range where you can witness the desert meets mountain range landscape at first hand.
3. Cappadocia, Turkey
A Balloon flight over Cappadocia is like no other, the other wordly rock formations are unique to anywhere on earth, the highlight are the rugged limestone peaks and ‘fairy chimneys’. Balloon flights here depart all day long, however sunrise and sunset are the best time to enjoy this colourful landscape from the air.
2. Loire Valley, France
There’s something magical about riding a balloon through the Loire Valley, there’s a stillness in the air which opens up a surreal floating experience. The main highlights are the countless chateau’s vineyards and manicured gardens. The latter of which are best viewed from the air to appreciate the intricacies and time spent creating these masterpieces. Balloon flights depart all year round, the best time to visit is early Spring to end of Summer when the vines are in bloom.
1. Namib Desert, Namibia
Hot air balloons are made for deserts, they are simply the only way to appreciate the vast expanse of nothingness that you cannot take in from being at ground level alone. The Namib desert is both one of the worlds oldest and driest deserts but also hosts an abundance of wildlife such as zebra and wilderbeast. Where the Namib desert meets the Atlantic Ocean, numerous shipwrecks dot the sand dunes, frozen in time in a ghostly manner.
Info Namibia offers a wealth of information on the various hot air balloon tours over the Namib desert.