There are many ways to see and explore the beautiful island of Mallorca, but how many can you honestly say can compete with the sheer exhilaration of seeing Mallorca from a hot-air balloon?
There are several companies that organise balloon flights in Majorca. Details are available online or from a local tourist office. Prices are usually between Euro 150–200 and the minimum flight time is one hour.
If you fancy being up at the crack of dawn and catching the Mallorcan sunrise, book an early flight. Alternatively, if you wish to watch the sun gently go down over the island, take a flight later in the day.
Whatever your choice, it’s hard to beat the experience of floating across Mallorca on air thermals to view the island from a unique perspective. It’s a fabulous way to see the rocky and varied coastline and the sparkling pristine beaches, to overlook the cruise ships in Palma harbour, to see the island’s luxurious marinas and to glide above Mallorca’s beautiful Tramuntana mountains and olive groves. On a clear day, from a certain height, you can even see the island of Menorca.
Many balloon flights begin in the Manacor area of Mallorca. Here you’ll find Spain’s only Civil Aviation certified balloon airport. Cala Millor is also a popular ballooning base. The experienced English-speaking pilot will be happy to allow you to help set up all the equipment if you wish, and will let you have a go at the balloon’s controls if you ask too. Wherever the balloon lands, a vehicle will pick you up and return you to base for a well-deserved glass of Champagne and some tasty snacks, which are included in the price.
Two fabulous things about ballooning (apart from the wonderful views of course) are the gentle speed of travel and the stunning silence of an engineless flying machine. Contrary to popular belief, it’s quite warm inside a balloon, even though you are climbing to a considerable height. (500m is usually the maximum height you will climb to, which sometimes is even above small clouds.)
The balloon’s burner will ensure all the passengers are kept warm and cosy in the basket. However, if it’s an early morning start, you will need to wrap up, and also you need to ensure you are wearing ‘sensible’ footwear. No high heels or flip-flops here!
Prior to your flight, stringent meteorological tests are made to make sure the weather conditions are suitable. You will usually be contacted the day before to confirm that everything is on schedule for the flight. Then once in the basket, a gentle pull on the burner and up, up and away you go!
All in all, ballooning in Mallorca is a wonderful experience and one you will remember for the rest of your life.
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