Sky-high Adventures: 7 of the World’s Best Hot Air Balloon Rides

It’s always been man’s dream to fly, and while we’ve accomplished so much from the Wright brothers to the future of space travel, nothing beats a simple hot-air balloon ride. Waking up before daybreak, hearing the sounds of helium fill up the balloons, and then experiencing the slow and smooth rise to the cool heights while watching the world wake up at dawn – that, is the epitome of bliss.

#1 Serengeti, Africa

Now, you don't have to worry about a lion pouncing on you.
This way you don’t have to worry about a lion pouncing on you.

If you didn’t know, not all safaris require a four-wheel drive. The Serengeti National Park now offers a safari adventure without wheels. Watch the gazelles, zebras, leopards and lions roam the land as you ride on a hot air balloon up to 1500 feet above ground. If you’re interested: Balloon Safaris

#2 Loire Valley, France

We weren’t lying when we used the ‘impressive’ adjective.

The backdrop of Loire Valley almost seems like it popped up from a story book. Consisting of vineyards, sunflower fields, meandering rivers and impressive châteaux, this region will make any individual feel like royalty. Aboard this flight of fancy, who needs a prince (or a princess) for a happily-ever-after? If you’re interested: France Montgolfières

#3 Napa Valley, California

Let’s hope the balloon pilots haven’t had a glass too many!

As much as New World wines are exceptional, the source of your tipple is a sight to behold as well. The valley boasts one of the most incredible hot air balloon rides in the world, thanks to the swaths of vineyards imbued with the colours green and purple. You might want to go easy on the vino the night before though, we wouldn’t want anyone to get airsick! If you’re interested: Napa Valley Aloft

#4 Albuquerque, New Mexico

A ballooner's ultimate paraadise.
Do you think they have a GPS system for these things?

Thousands of ballooning enthusiasts flock the town in October as it is the home to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. And we’ll tell you something – there’s nothing quite like watching an array of balloons in technicolour take flight harmoniously, complemented by massive fireworks display throughout the festival. If you’re interested: Balloon Fiesta

#5 Cappadocia, Turkey

Abduction by aliens? Keep your fingers crossed.
Abduction by aliens? Keep your fingers crossed.

Rock formations formed over time by volcanic eruptions, rocky limestones known as ‘fairy chimneys” and carved ornate temples – the Cappadocia landscape is akin to eerie otherworldly terrains. Take on a flight across the structures and deep into the valleys – the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon experience is a magical one indeed! If you’re interested: Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia

#6 Bagan, Myanmar

There’s no better time to say your prayers than when you’re flying right above the temples.

The best way to capture phenomenal views of the pagoda city in Bagan is to do it above the fray. Aptly named Balloons Over Bagan, revel in the most magnificent of landscapes (and Instragram the moment while you’re at it). Though the cost may be slightly on the hefty side, we can assure you – this splurge is 100% worthwhile. If you’re interested: Balloons Over Bagan

#7 North Pole

On top of the world, literally!

Travelling through the Arctic is one thing, but to be given the opportunity to view the North Pole from the top of the sky is unheard off. Be sure to note that the experience is only available during the summer (highly dependent on weather conditions). If a voyage to the North Pole is in your bucket list, you’ll want to include this hot air balloon adventure on your itinerary and keep your fingers crossed. If you’re interested: Quark Expeditions

Ready to sail the skies, nomads?

Main photo credit: 1.

Photo credit: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.

Christine Wong

Commonly referred to as “the hungry one’’ by those close to her, when Christine isn’t in the midst of constructing her next literal masterpiece, she can be found sampling the latest in local cuisine and planning her next holiday escapade!

  1. There’s one glaring omission from this list – Alpine ballooning is simply stunning. Flying over the snow-topped Alps is such a magical experience, plus you can can fly during the middle of the day so no early mornings. There are a few to choose from, but Château-d’Oex is Switzerland is probably the best – a chocolate-box beautiful village which holds an annual balloon fiesta at the end of January. Plus the Breitling Orbiter 3 which was the first balloon to go round the world took off from there.

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