Up, Up and Away! The World's Best Places for a Hot Air Balloon Ride
What better way to explore your vacation destination than with a 360-degree view from high up in a hot air balloon? Escape the crowds and observe the sights from a unique perspective, whilst drifting where the wind takes you. We explored our more than 130,000 destinations around the globe to discover the best places for an unforgettable hot air balloon ride, a truly serene and serendipitous way to travel.
Famed for its ‘fairy-like chimneys’ Cappadocia’s beauty is best appreciated from above. Floating allong in a hot air balloon is a magical way to marvel at the unique landscape, while taking in the stark contrasts from old-world rock formations to lush green vineyards. On any given day, countless hot air balloons drift over Cappadocia in a kaleidoscope of color.
Where to stay: The traditional Mithra Cave Hotel is located in the historical village Goreme and offers authentic cave and stone-arched suites with Ottoman and Greek-inspried furnishings. If you're afraid of heights and don't want to treat yourself to floating tour of the rocky landscape, no worries! You can also just relax on the hotel’s terrace, which is a perfect spot for watching all of the colorful hot air balloons drift by.
Napa Valley, USA
Known all over the world for its picturesque vineyards, explore the Napa Valley from a different perspective and combine a chilled glass of local wine with an adventurous hot air balloon ride! It's a beautiful way to savor the region's most famous product, as well as it's iconic rolling hills. It’s no surprise that top endorsements by our travelers for Napa Valley include vineyards, shopping for wine and wine travel.
Where to stay: Nestled in the scenic Napa Valley is the exquisite SENZA Hotel. After a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool or hot tub, you can wrap yourself in a fluffy bathrobe and watch the sun set from your private patio as you sip a fabulous local vintage.
Yarra Valley, Australia
Known for world-class wineries, the picturesque Yarra Valley is only an hour's drive from Melbourne. From gently sloping hills and distant mountain peaks to orchards, vineyards, farms and herds of roaming animals, you'll be spoiled with loads of exciting vistas if you take a hot air balloon ride through this scenic region.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of the Yarra Valley are the Yering Gorge Cottages, a perfect home away from home, overlooking the Eastern Golf Club and the Yarra River. You'll feel right at home in the luxurious cottages, which each include a living room, a fully equipped kitchen, a large private deck and floor-to-ceiling windows that provide serene views of the surrounding countryside.
A wintery hot air balloon ride can be oh so dreamy with the Swiss Alps as your backdrop. If such a mountain escape is what you're after, then Gstaad will not disappoint. Just remember to plan your visit for the last week in January to experience the International Balloon Festival in Chateau d’Oex.
Where to stay: Located in the Bernese Alps, the HUUS Gstaad offers a sauna, sun bed, steam bath and indoor pool to help you feel pampered and relaxed, before or after your exciting baloon trip. After you've worked up an appetite either on or off the slopes, you can sample some Swiss favorites like raclette and fondue at one of the two on-site restaurants.
A list of top destinations for hot air balloon rides would be incomplete without Albuquerque, home to the largest gathering of hot air balloons in the world. You can witness the awe-inspiring collection of hundreds of these colorful balloons floating in the sky, either from the ground or up in the air yourself. Just make sure to schedule your trip in October to catch this spectacular sight during the International Balloon Fiesta, one of the most photogenic festivals in the country, where you can also enjoy different concerts during the day and fireworks by night.
Where to stay: You'll be thoroughly entertained during your stay at the Isleta Resort & Casino, which also features an on-site casino, a bowling alley and a spa, with a hot tub, a range of beauty treatments and an indoor as well as an outdoor pool. You can eat to your heart's (and stomach's) content at Bow Tie Bistro, which serves a selection of pastas and pizzas, or opt for something a little more premium at Embers, the onsite steakhouse.