There’s nothing like hot air balloon rides, gliding through the sky while enjoying the sunrise. Exploring a new place from the basket of a hot air balloon offers a perspective that you can’t get any way else. Hot air balloon rides take the act of sightseeing to new heights – literally.
Hot air balloon rides might not come cheap, but they’re well worth the money. From the world renowned Cappadocia to the temples of Myanmar, read on to discover the world’s best hot air balloon rides!
Easily the world’s most famous hot air balloon ride, Cappadocia’s landscapes and fairy chimneys are best viewed from the sky. Dozens of operators like Royal Balloon and Kapadokya Balloons offer hot air balloon rides. All the colourful balloons that fill the early morning sky only go on to enhance the incredible view.
Get away from the jeep in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, where you’ll spot lions, elephants, hippos, and giraffes as they wander the plains. From so far up, they won’t notice you, so you can safely witness them at their most natural states. Micato Safaris and Serengeti Balloon Safaris can organize and tailor these trips for you
Drift peacefully over ancient temples, the Nile River, and the Valley of the Kings on a hot air balloon ride over Luxor, Egypt. Operators like Sindbad Balloons and Hod Hod Soliman Hot Air Balloons will take you around and above Luxor in the early morning for the most peaceful views of the desert and green banks of the Nile, before the tourist crowds pour in.
Thousands of ancient temples, pagodas, and monasteries from the 11th to 13th centuries spread across the plains of Bagan. They’re great to explore on bikes or taxis, but to truly understand their scope you’ll have to hop on a hot air balloon. Oriental Ballooning and Balloons Over Bagan will show you what the ancient ruins look like lit by the golden light of sunrise.
Château d’Oex, Switzerland
Château d’Oex and the surrounding Swiss Alps offers one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. The region is most picturesque in late January, when the world-famous hot air balloon festival, Semaine Internationale de Ballons à Air Chaud takes place. Can’t make it to the festival? You can still experience the magic on a ride over the Swiss Alps with Ballon Château-d’Oex.
Exploring Tuscany’s historic hills and rolling plains on foot is one thing, seeing them from the sky drenched in soft morning light is another. Take in the views of vineyards, sunflower fields, medieval castles and hilltop villages with Ballooning in Tuscany and Tuscany Ballooning. Afterwards, enjoy a local Tuscan breakfast with farm-fresh cheese, cold cuts and freshly baked bread!
Sedona, Arizona, USA
The famous red rocks of Sedona, Arizona make for a stunning landscape to see from the basket of a hot air balloon. As the sun rises, the rocks glow crimson against a pink and purple sky. While you’re at it, keep your eye out for wildlife on the ground such as coyotes and mule deer! Operators like Red Rock Balloon Adventures and Northern Light Balloon Expeditions can make it happen for you.
Teotihuacan dates back to 300 BC. Known as the City of the Gods, the UNESCO World Heritage site is home to giant pyramids. Viewing its overwhelming scale from above is a truly surreal, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Bamba will whisk you away from the crowd and show you the pyramids as they’re lit by the rising sun. Imagine what life here was like over 2,000 years ago.
Queenstown, New Zealand
There are plenty of adventurous ways to experience Queenstown from the air, including skydiving, paragliding, bungee jumping, or hang gliding. But if you’re looking for a tamer way to take in the area’s spectacular views, a hot air balloon ride might just be the way. Sunrise Balloons will take you on a ride above some of the most stunning other natural attractions of Queenstown.
While most hot air balloon rides will take you over scenic landscapes, in Melbourne you can enjoy a unique urban balloon experience. Trade in historic landmarks for skyscrapers and city streets. Operators like Picture This Ballooning and Global Ballooning Australia will take you over city landmarks like the Royal Botanic Gardens, Shrine of Remembrance and Yarra River as the sun comes up.