The World’s Best Hot Air Balloon Rides

A hot air balloon ride is a special experience. Here’s where to do it




Imagine soaring high above stunning landscapes, the rush of the wind in your hair, taking in the awe-inspiring scenery below. Got the picture? Want to be in it?


It’s actually not hard to find balloon rides. But it’s all about where you’re floating over. We have nothing against the state of New Jersey, and parts of it are gorgeous, but if it were a painting, would it hang in the Louvre? Ponder that, while we ponder what we did with our medication today to have come up with such an analogy.


Anyway, here are some of the best hot air balloon rides around the world.





Cappadocia, Turkey


Cappadocia, with its surreal landscapes and fairytale rock formations, remains one of the most popular and postcard image-famous destinations for hot air balloon rides. As you float over the unique topography — the rock formations are known as “fairy chimneys” —  at the beginning or end of the day, which is when the balloons go up, you’ll be treated to a stunning sunrise or sunset that is simply breathtaking.




Serengeti National Park, Tanzania


Drift over the vast Serengeti plains, witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration from the sky. In 2023, hot air balloon safaris have become a favored way to experience the incredible wildlife of Serengeti National Park. Spotting herds of wildebeest, zebras, and other animals from above is a hell of a great perspective.




Bagan, Myanmar


Bagan is renowned for its ancient temples and pagodas. A hot air balloon ride over this archaeological wonder is an unforgettable experience. As you gently float above the plains dotted with thousands of temples, you’ll also see a stunning sunrise or sunset here, casting an ethereal glow over the landscape below.




Napa Valley, California, USA


Known for its picturesque vineyards and rolling hills, Napa Valley offers a unique hot air balloon ride experience. As you glide over the vineyards, you’ll witness the gorgeous patchwork of colors and panoramic views of the valley. Some balloon rides even include a champagne toast to celebrate the journey. Of course, champagne isn’t grown in Napa, and this seems like a wasted opportunity to promote their own local wines, which are kind of world famous.




Jaipur, India


Jaipur is the incredibly beautiful and arresting Pink City of India, and hot air balloon rides have gained popularity as a way to appreciate the city’s architectural marvels. Soar over magnificent palaces, forts, and bustling streets, taking in the vibrant colors and rich history of this cultural gem of a city.




Luxor, Egypt


Embark on a hot air balloon ride in Luxor, and you’ll marvel at the wonders of ancient Egypt from the sky. As the sun rises, the balloons float above the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut, and the magnificent Nile River, offering a unique view of these iconic locations, burned indellibly into our collective conciousnesses.




Queenstown, New Zealand


Nestled amidst majestic mountains and shimmering lakes, Queenstown is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Take to the skies in a hot air balloon to witness the stunning alpine-like landscapes, including Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range. The serene beauty of this destination is, naturally, best appreciated from above.




Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA


Albuquerque is famous for its International Balloon Fiesta, the largest gathering of hot air balloons in the world. Even outside of the fiesta, hot air balloon rides are a popular attraction here. See these balloon rides and glide over the desert, catching a glimpse of the startling Sandia Mountains and the vibrant southwestern American landscape.


There is no better way to enjoy the majestic expanse of the sky than by floating in it in a hot air balloon. It’s sightseeing taken to the extreme, and, let’s face it, a pretty good definition of Slow Travel.