Have you always dreamed of hot air ballooning? Barcelona might just be the place to finally do it!
I’d been looking for an excuse to visit Barcelona for a while. I have a friend living in Barcelona and we’d been talking about finding some unique things to do in Barcelona. We’d both never been hot air ballooning before so when we found out you can go on hot air balloon rides around Barcelona we decided to give it a go!
A Hot Air Balloon Ride in Barcelona – My Review & Tips
Check out this short video of our hot air balloon ride:
Hot air ballooning… it seems like such a whimsical, magical, old-fashioned way to experience flight. If you’re anything like me you stop and stare, and probably take a picture, whenever you see a hot air balloon in the sky.
So yes, going on a hot air balloon ride had been on my bucket list for a long time!
We booked our hot air ballooning experience with OutdoorVisit because of their good reviews, quick responses and professional looking website.
They offer hot air balloon flights just outside of Barcelona, with transportation arranged from the city center. The balloon flights are just after sunrise so that you can get the most spectacular views. But, this does mean you’re going to be getting up quite early!
For our flight, it was a 5am wakeup to get to the meeting point at 6am, an easy-to-find spot in Barcelona’s famous Plaza Catalunya.
Here we met our co-passengers, bringing the total of balloon riders up to 8. We hopped in the van and off to the launch spot we went! About 40km outside of Barcelona, we got to our spot after a quick stop at a cafe to make sure we were sufficiently caffeinated.
Disembarking from the vans, we see two absolutely massive balloons – you expect them to be big, of course, but they were seriously giant!
We were in a picturesque valley, an old stone building nearby and undulating hills and trees filling the landscape. Giant fans were already filling the balloons with air as we got ready to take flight.
Soon, we were ready to go – Our pilot Jordi explained how to climb into the basket, and we all hopped in.
Once inside, we learned about the landing position, which was quite similar to doing a wall sit! Jordi, a friendly Catalan gent, assured us all that the landing would be fun and easy, which most of us seemed to believe. Then we were off!
The giant burners above us were roaring merrily, doubling as a heater in the chilly morning – a relief as I had forgotten to pack a sweater!
We were soon floating, dodging a few trees as we quickly gained altitude over the valley.
It didn’t take long before we were a thousand meters up, looking over the hills as the sun rose and the fog burned off, the sea to the east and the mountains to the west.
Jordi told us about the first balloon flight (in France, carrying a sheep, a rooster, and a duck!) and how he had competed in the World Hot Air Ballooning Championships in Tokyo.
What Is Riding in a Hot Air Balloon Like?
The sensation of riding a hot air balloon was unlike anything else – The absolute quiet when the burners weren’t going, how quickly we rose when they were on and how quickly we descended when they weren’t.
Overall it was surprisingly calm and peaceful and an incredible way to enjoy the scenery.
Jordi taught us a lot about hot air ballooning. One thing being that with hot air balloons, you can’t really control where you go. The wind takes you where it will.
The weather was calm the day we went, so we floated slowly above farmland, taking pictures of the unbelievable view, watching the other balloon ascend and descend, and learning fun facts from Jordi.
Also Read: Fun Facts About Spain
After floating around for close to an hour, it was time to land – which I was a bit nervous about.
We descended towards a field, as Jordi used the burners to make sure we weren’t going down too fast. We all assumed the landing position. A gentle bump, followed by a hop and then a few more touchdowns, and we were safely on the ground! It seemed like such a simple and gentle process, although that was definitely down to Jordi’s skill as a pilot.
Once we were safely down, the team had a few surprises for us. Ever since that first flight, it is tradition to have some champagne, or in our case cava (Spanish champagne), to celebrate.
Our lovely pilots popped open a bottle and supplied some bubbly to those who wanted to drink, and some juice to those who preferred a non-alcoholic celebration. Then, using the burners, they toasted ham and cheese sandwiches for each passenger. It was an absolutely lovely way to cap off a really nice morning of flying.
Conclusion: One of the More Unique Things to Do in Barcelona!
In all, the experience was fantastic. Hot air ballooning really is a unique experience and a beautiful, peaceful way to admire the scenery.
For hot air ballooning Barcelona is a great location. With its gorgeous scenery and good weather most of the year, I can see why Barcelona is a popular place for hot air balloon rides.
It’s definitely not one of the cheapest things to do in Barcelona, but if you are looking for a special experience I can highly recommend it!
Tips for Hot Air Ballooning in Barcelona
1. Hot Air Balloon Rides Are Weather Dependent
Thankfully the weather in Barcelona is generally good, but keep in mind that your hot air balloon ride will only be officially confirmed a few days before the date of the flight, once they know what the weather will be like.
So, have a backup plan, just in case.
2. Wear Layers
Even in the middle of summer, when it can be painfully hot during the day, early in the morning out in the open field it gets quite chilly.
So, be smarter than I was and wear layers!
Once you are inside the hot air balloon though, standing under the burner, you are fine. It really does keep you warm.
How Does a Hot Air Balloon Work?
Ok, this may be a video for kids, but it’s funny, surprisingly educational and the easiest way to explain how a hot air balloon works:
Booking Your Hot Air Balloon Ride in Barcelona
You can book the hot air balloon ride online at OutdoorVisit.com
We went for the hot air balloon flight over Catalonia but they also have two other hot air ballooning options to choose from.
OutdoorVisit is an outdoor adventure booking startup with the ambition to make great outdoor activities and adventures easy to find and book for everyone.
They offer fun outdoor activities in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Africa. They focus on quality and safety and only offer the best activities in the different regions.
Are You Traveling to Spain? Check Out Some of These Other Articles About Spain:
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- Things to Do in Valencia on a Short Visit
- What to See & Do in Madrid – Tips From a Tour Guide
- The Best Family Vacations in Spain: Costa Brava, Costa Dorada & Costa Verde
Or check out the overview of all articles about Spain.
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Disclaimer: our hot air ballooning Barcelona experience was sponsored. As always though, all opinions are my own and I would never recommend anything I didn’t enjoy.