Hot Air Balloon Day may not be marked on your calendar, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking part in these high-flying excursions. Whether you’re a big fan of the Montgolfier brothers—the guys who built the first manned hot air balloon—or you want to drift like a cloud over ancient ruins, hot air balloon rides are the perfect way to enjoy spectacular views from great heights. Spend a sunrise, sunset, or afternoon floating above historic temples, massive deserts, and elegant vineyards to celebrate Hot Air Balloon Day like a true balloonist.

Hot Air Balloon Day Flight in Mexico City

Hot air balloon hovering over Teotihuacan ruins

Rise with the sun as you take to the skies above the ruins of the ancient city of Teotihuacan and look down at the remains of this once-great civilization. Check out the Pyramid of the Sun, Pyramid of the Moon, and other unique city buildings that once housed 125,000 citizens. Listen as your guide shares some of the secrets of the Avenue of the Dead and explains the enduring mysteries of Teotihuacan. Once you’ve absorbed the humanmade wonders below, make a Hot Air Balloon Day toast and clink sparkling wine glasses in the morning light.

Hot Air Ballooning Over Bagan, Myanmar

Hot Air Balloon in Bagan

The temples, pagodas, and stupas of Bagan rival any of the world’s greatest historical sites, and you have a chance to see them from the sky in a hot air balloon. The tour begins in the morning, allowing you to see holy places like Dhammayangyi Temple, the largest and arguably most mysterious Bagan temple thanks to its fratricidal origins. If you’d like a more intimate experience, opt for a private hot air balloon flight and talk to your pilot about the meaning of the spire-rich architecture as well as the culture of the people who built these amazing edifices.

Hot Air Balloon Experience & Monastery Visit in Montserrat, Spain

Hot Air Balloon above Montserrat in Spain

Get up early and see Montserrat from a hot air balloon before most of Barcelona is even awake. A journey to the iconic Catalan mountain with teeth-like formations makes for a fascinating start to the day. Follow up the balloon ride with a glass of cava and snacks before venturing over to the Benedictine monastery, Santa Maria de Montserrat. After your guided tour, you return to Barcelona with plenty of time to explore the city and even see a lively and colorful flamenco show.

Napa Valley Balloon Ride

Hot air balloon above Napa

Before you head out for a day of winetasting, soar above the trellis-laced hills of the Napa Valley. As you take off, the lush landscape opens below, and you can begin to see distant peaks and verdant valleys. The Mayacamas Mountain, Mount Saint Helena, and the Vaca Range are your backdrop as you balloon above elegant wine estates. Cruise wherever the wind takes you and let your guide share interesting stories about this wine paradise.

Gourmet Meal & Hot Air Balloon Ride in Phoenix

Hot Air Balloon over Sonoran Desert in Phoenix

Float 5,000 feet (1,524 m) over the saguaro cactus-covered Sonoran Desert and then dine on the best post-balloon breakfast or lunch around. Once you reach cruising altitude, keep an eye out for scurrying peccaries, scheming coyotes, and hopping jackrabbits. After returning to the ground, you may—depending on the time of day—munch on a Southwestern vegetable quiche or barbecue duck pizza. If you want to maintain that floating feeling after your hot air balloon ride, check out our list of the best places to relax in Phoenix.

Hot Air Balloon Ride from Prague

Hot Air Balloon above castle in Prague

Start or end the day with convenient pickup from your hotel and a flight through the Czech countryside aboard a lighter-than-air contraption. As you fly up to 3,000 feet (914 m) above the ground, gaze out upon azure lakes sitting among leafy hills. Resplendent castles perch above the trees, standing watch over the emerald landscape. Your flight ends with a glass of bubbly and a leisurely ride back to Prague, but that’s not the end of your adventure. Take a more active role in your sightseeing with a bike tour of Prague, complete with stops in the historic Malá Strana district and at the John Lennon Wall.

Sunrise Balloon Ride in Albuquerque

Hot Air Balloon floating in Albuquerque

Home to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the biggest city in New Mexico is the perfect place to celebrate Hot Air Balloon Day with a sunrise hot air balloon ride. Nibble on a pastry as you watch the balloon being inflated. Then, step into the wicker basket for a ride through the heavens. Sweeping views of the Rio Grande, Sandia Mountains, and Chihuahuan Desert surround you before you settle back on land.

Hot Air Balloon Day in Dubai

Hot Air Balloon inflating in Dubai

Make any day Hot Air Balloon Day with an aerial adventure in the clear skies of Dubai. As you float above the sprawling desert, keep your camera ready to capture lumpy camels, jumpy gazelles, and laid-back oryx as they roam the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. After taking in the uninterrupted desert vistas and rolling red dunes, return to the ground to receive a personalized flight certificate and light refreshments as you go back over the experience with your traveling companions.

Sunrise Hot Air Ballooning with Champagne Breakfast in Melbourne

Hot Air Balloon above Melbourne

Since you’ve read this far, you won’t be surprised to hear that our last hot air balloon offering begins in the morning and ends with a champagne toast—but everything in between is completely different. Take part in a quick briefing before stepping into the basket and lifting off for an hour-long flight above the slowly awakening Melbourne skyline. Observe sports venues like the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Albert Park as well as Port Phillip’s 164-mile (264-km) shoreline as you soar over Australia’s second city.

Hot Air Balloon Tips

  • Bring binoculars – Because it’s tough to see a drove of jackrabbits from 5,000 feet (1.5 km).
  • Wear comfortable shoes – Because you will land on your feet.
  • Cross it off your bucket list – Because hot air balloon rides are one of the top five things to do before you kick it.

Fun Facts About Hot Air Balloons

  • The first hot air balloon passengers were a duck, a rooster, and a sheep because ducks can fly like a balloon, roosters are essentially grounded ducks, and sheep are like people. That 18th-century logic may not hold up to modern scrutiny, but it’s pretty funny.
  • The first unmanned hot air balloon flight was on June 4—the day before Hot Air Balloon Day.
  • The Hindenburg was technically a rigid airship and not a hot air balloon. Just saying.
Hot air balloon floating over Bagan.