Everyone loves a hot air balloon, in summer when you can see one on the horizon you get that tingly butterfly feeling like you did when you were a kid. Excitingly, most countries now hold festivals to celebrate all things hot air balloon.
European Balloon Festival
Held in Catalonia, Spain, this is one of the largest balloon festival in Europe and takes place every year in July.
Only 60km from Barcelona, the festival lasts four days and is extremely popular. With fireworks, competitions and more, you can also book in advance to take a flight. They generally fly during the afternoon or early in the morning to ensure optimal weather conditions.
Catalonia is only a two-hour flight from the UK and prices start at £150.
The festival started back in 1997 and for a period of time ran together with the Aerosport air show which has since been moved to earlier in the year.
It is organised by the Igualada City Council, with Ultramagic bringing their skills in technical support (being one of the biggest balloon companies).
Kon-Tiki Balloon Flights also come along with their expertise for the rides available.
For more info: http://www.ebf.cat/en/
Havasu Balloon Festival
Held in Lake Havasu City, Arizona between 18th January – 22nd January 2018, next year will mark the festival’s 8th year.
Brought to you by London Bridge and Daybreakers Lions Clubs as well as London Bridge, Lake Havasu and Sunrise Rotary Clubs.
They really go all out here and you can see so much. From air shows, carnival rides, classis car displays and more, you can even walk into a balloon to see how they all work!
The journey is a lot longer, with a nearly 27-hour flight from the UK starting from £2,015.
You are able to book balloon flights which must be done in advance which seems to be the norm.
For more info: havasuballoonfest.com
Bristol Balloon Fiesta
If you are unable to travel abroad for one of these amazing events, Bristol in the UK puts on a four-day balloon fiesta.
About a 2.5/3 hour drive from London, and plenty of accommodation available if required. Public transport routes down also are available at reasonable costs if booked in advance.
The four-day event runs from Thursday 9th August 2018 until Sunday 12th and is completely free to enter, with charges only for parking and stalls around the event.
The Fiesta attracts over 130 balloons from around the world and also has arts and crafts stalls, fair ground rides and more.
This year it is in partnership with Bristol Energy.
For more info: http://www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk/
For all trips, whether abroad or here in the UK. Ensure you have travel insurance once booking your trip. This will mean you will be covered for cancellation if required, plus much more – hot air ballooning is covered as standard on all policies!
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