Unforgettable Travel Company
  • 6 Awe-inspiring destinations to fly over in a hot air balloon

6 awe-inspiring destinations to fly over in a hot air balloon

Travel is all about exploring new places and discovering fresh perspectives. Although wandering through charming cities and driving through remote landscapes is a great way to see a destination, why not take life higher and see a place from the sky? 

Carrying an average of 12-16 passengers, with a duration of approximately one hour in the sky, a hot air balloon ride is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With a combination of fire, ventilation and wind patterns, an experienced pilot can float a hot air balloon smoothly in the sky for an hour or so. You can do hot air ballooning in almost every country, but we have put together some of the most popular and iconic destinations to fly over.

Myanmar Hot air ballooon

Over the ancient temples of Bagan, Myanmar

Although there are many ancient temple complexes across Asia, there is nowhere quite like Bagan. A visit here takes you back in time and, with small tourist numbers traveling to Myanmar each year, this ancient site has preserved exceptionally well regardless of their erosion damage. Flying above this huge expanse of Buddhist temples allows you to see just how much land the temples cover, and how impressive each one is individually. 

With temples and stupas located everywhere, there are no dedicated landing spots so your experienced hot air balloon pilot will decide each morning where to land. As winds change and conditions vary, the landing spot will be different every day, and you may even get the chance to experience landing a hot air balloon on water. To heighten this experience, you may get the opportunity to hear or see an early morning ceremony as you fly over the temples; Often Buddhist celebrations begin before sunrise.

Tanzania Hot Air Balloon

Over the plains of the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

The Serengeti is home to some of the most iconic and expansive plains in Africa, so it’s no wonder that the Serengeti is one of the top destinations in the world to do a hot air balloon ride. From the sky, you’ll see for miles and miles. Although the plains are filled with a density of wildlife, from the sky, you’ll only really be able to see the larger animals like elephants and giraffe. 

That said, a wildlife phenomenon you will see from the sky is the Great Migration herds. Flying over the plains of the Serengeti gives you a unique perspective to see the herds – a pilgrimage of over 2 million wildebeest and zebra is even more impressive from above. If this is on your bucket list, please get in touch with our Africa specialists to find out the best time of year to fly, as well as where the migration herds will be during that time.

Cappadocia hot air balloon

Over the cave ruins of Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is a semi-arid ancient landscape in central Turkey which is probably the most iconic destination to do a hot air balloon from. It was certainly one of the first places to offer the experience and, flying over unique rock formations and prehistoric landscapes, it’s no wonder that thousands take to the skies to this UNESCO World Heritage Site every year.

While a hot air balloon ride over the ‘fairy chimneys’ is certainly one of the best things to here, spending the night in a unique cave hotel also adds to the authenticity of Cappadocia. Although the experience is vastly different to a luxury bright hotel you may be used to, these cave hotels offer the utmost comfort with unique features and amenities – such as jacuzzi bathtubs or underground wine cellars.

Cambodia hot air balloon

Over UNESO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Often regarded as Cambodia’s treasure and boasting itself as the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat is certainly up there with the most impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Earth. Constructed around the 12th century under the Khmer Empire, Angkor Wat is a 500-acre site, home to over 70 temples and the remains of thousands of additional ruins. 

Although we’d highly recommend exploring the ruins of Angkor Wat by foot, flying over the skies of Angkor Wat is an opportunity to see a unique perspective of this incredible site. Unlike other destinations, hot air balloon rides over Angkor Wat in Cambodia can be done both during sunrise and sunset.  

Wadi Rum Jordan

Over the barren desert of Wadi Rum, Jordan

Wadi Rum is a protected desert wilderness located in the south of Jordan (Middle East). Also known as the Valley of the Sun, the landscapes of Wadi Rum are barren – nothing but hundreds of miles of orange-sanded desert and dramatic sandstone and granite canyons. For powerful landscape photographs and to experience one of the last wilderness’ on Earth, this is the place to do a hot air balloon over.

The balloon ride over Wadi Rum departs early morning before sunrise. You will be transferred in 4×4 jeeps out to the hot air balloon take-off area. This varies daily depending on wind patterns and weather conditions. As you set off, you’ll watch the sun rise, with desert and mountain landscapes as a breathtaking backdrop.

Monument Valley Hot air balloon

Over Monument Valley in Utah, USA

Monument Valley in Utah (central USA) is one of the most iconic backdrops for Hollywood films. Located on the border states of Arizona and Utah, Monument Valley is a red-sand desert region, famous for its remote landscapes. The national park is home to impressive sandstone monuments – some standing at a height of almost 300 meters high. 

You can do guided tours of Monument Valley and driving across the plains in a 4×4 jeep is certainly high on the bucket list. However, a hot air balloon ride is a way to experience Utah from the sky. The balloons take off early morning before sunrise in order to stabilize and work with the wind movements. On landing, many hot air balloon companies include breakfast or lunch – the perfect way to end your adrenaline-fuelled morning.