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Ever since the Montgolfier brothers launched the first manned hot air balloon flight in 18th-century France, enterprising balloonists have capitalized on the opportunity by offering hot air balloon rides that soar over some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes. Just watching the beautiful globes aloft is mesmerizing, especially when they’re en masse, as a rainbow of colors float across the horizon. Pictured above, Cappadocia, Turkey is a diverse and colorful landscape that few have witnessed, offering the chance to drift over practically endless fairy chimneys and other unique rock formations.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico
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The sheer number of hot air balloons makes it a must to attend this 9-day-long festival in Albuquerque. It’s the largest in the world attracting over 1,000 balloons and takes place during the first week of October. Attendees can not only watch countless colorful balloons float across the landscape, rides, in addition to an array of other activities, are available too.
International Hot Air Balloon Festival, Château-d’Oex, Switzerland
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Seeing hot air balloons against the backdrop of the Alps in Switzerland is an absolutely magnificent, and sometimes humorous, experience. But floating above these jagged, snow-topped mountains is even better. The festival takes place every year during nine days at the end of January and is attended by about 100 balloons from more than 20 countries. It’s famous for its “night-glow” show, where all the balloons are exposed on the mountain, lit by their burners.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Can you imagine floating just above some of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife? Getting a bird’s eye view from a balloon takes safaris to all new heights. Serengeti National Park is a perfect place for the adventure, home to zebra, giraffes, hippos, lions and leopards.