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Top 10 Best Hot Air Balloon Rides

Humans have always been fascinated by the mystery of flying. The first attempts to copy birds by building wings that could be flapped by attaching them to the arms failed through the years. The ultimate success came from a completely different approach only after these methods were abandoned.

The Montgolfier brothers came up with a new idea in 1783. After a successful experiment of filling a silk bag with hot air which lifted meters off the ground,  Joseph and Jacques built a larger, spherical bag. They filled it with hot air from a fire and sent some farm animals in the air in a basket hung beneath it.

Shortly after this the brothers launched a 70-foot high balloon that lifted to 3000 feet and remained aloft for 25 minutes, with two men aboard. This was the first human carrying flight technology. After this accomplishment was widely publicised, the human-carrying balloon evolved quickly.

Hot air balloons, today are able to reach thousands of meters hight, with 21 000 meter (69 000 feet) being the world record. Balloon flights and festivals are popular in various destinations around the world. We have selected 10 amazing locations around the world that are worth seeing from birds eye view.

1. Bagan, Myanmar


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The best way to experience the ancient city of Bagan and its thousands of years temples is to get aboard of a hot air balloon and see it from the air. That´s the only way to really understand the size of one of the world´s greatest archeological sites. Balloons Over Bagan is a privately owned Burmese, but british run company offering tours from mid-October to March off rainy season only.

2. Napa Valley, US


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Drift above the fascinating and breathtaking Napa Valley vineyards and watch the sunrise from the basket early in the morning. There are many companies offering flights in the region. Established in 1980 Napa Valley Balloons is Napa Valley’s oldest balloon company.

3. La Cerdanya, Spain


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The Cerdanya Valley is located in the spanish Pyrenees, in Catalonia. From the air you can discover one of the most impressive valleys in Europe and its surrounding mountains the Sierra del Cadí, the Sierra del Moixeró and the Tossa de Alp. Since it is very close to the French border there is also a chance to see the area if you choose a balloon flight from Southern France. Experience the dramatic scenery with Ballooning Barcelona an established name in the industry.

4. Cappadocia, Turkey


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Cappadocia is one of the most popular spots in the world to try hot air balloon. The reason behind it is the utterly unique and surreal landscape that you have never witnessed before in your lifetime. Gently drifting over that fairy chimneys, through the valleys over vineyards and orchards, the different colours of the landscape will leave you breathless. Once you are back on the ground discover one of underground cities in the region in Turkey.

5. Alice Springs, Australia


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Watch the sun light up the rugged MacDonnell Ranges on the Australian Outback. What would be a better way to have an amazing view other than a scenic hot air balloon flight. There is a good chance that you will see the big red kangaroos in their natural habitat. With nearly 30 years experience Outback Ballooning is Australia’s only balloon company specialising in remote Outback operations.

6. Rajasthan, India


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Jaipur in Rajasthan, India is a real adventure destination – why not combine it with a once in a lifetime hot air balloon flight. Jaipur is often called the ´Pink City´has magnificent forts and palaces. On your ride you will explore the Amber Fort, Jal Mahal and the aerial view of Jaipur. The company called Sky Waltz offers an unforgettable experience through the sky.

7. Kenya, Africa


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Hot air balloon flights in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve is a truly enchanting experience. It is the northernmost part of the spectacular Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, home to the “Great Migration” and outstanding wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, hippos, and crocodiles.

8. Château-d’Oex, Switzerland


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Château-d’Oex is a hot air balloon paradise. Every year in the last week of January this part of the Swiss Alps provides the setting for the leading alpine ballooning event, the International Hot Air Balloon Week. The sky blooms with colour as hot-air balloons float over the peaks and snowfields that week. Hot air ballooning is available all year round.

9. Burgundy, France


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Combining a gastronomic experience with a hot air balloon trip is an ultimate choice. Burgundy is a wonderful area renowned for its fine wines and chateaux. It gives every visitor a taste of the soul of France. Fly over the celebrated vineyards of the wine area, the spectacular medieval hilltop towns and villages of the Parc du Morvan Nature Reserve. Get in touch with the friendly and professional team of France Montgolfière Balloons, they offer trips throughout France.

10. Angkor Wat, Cambodia


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Angkor Wat is the world´s largest religious complex and archeological site located in Cambodia. After you have seen it from the ground and wandered for hours between the walls of this magical complex why not see it from above. Be prepared for the crowds though. Angkor Ballooning is the only balloon company offering daily trips depending on the weather conditions.

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