If you’ve never traveled in a hot air balloon before, you may be wondering what to expect. A hot air balloon ride offers a serene and breathtaking way to experience the beauty of a destination. Flights usually launch just after dawn or several hours before sunset, that’s because the wind is at its most calm during this time. Whether you opt for a sunrise or a sunset flight, the aerial views of the rugged Mallorca coastline, the Tramuntana Mountains, or its coves and landmarks are second to none.
Below are tips for first-timers and a brief explanation as to what to expect.
Whether you have booked a private flight, or a group flight you will be expected to show up at the launch site. Here the pilot will assess the weather and begin the launch process. The basket and balloon envelope will be laid out and inflated by a high-powered fan.
Since you travel with the wind, a hot air balloon flight is usually smooth and peaceful. The only time you feel the breeze is when you change altitude and the wind speed changes.
At times, you may skim the trees or soar to several thousand feet. These are common occurrences and part of the full ballooning experience.
The landing is the most exciting part of the hot air balloon experience and it varies depending on the wind speed and terrain. In calm winds, there may be a “stand-up landing”, meaning that the balloon will calmly rest on the ground with little to no impact.
In moderate winds, the pilot may instruct passengers to crouch down, turn sideways from the approaching ground, and bend their knees slightly to soften the impact. The balloon may drag and turn sideways with moderate to high winds. The gondola may be used to lean against to ensure no injuries occur.
Once the balloon has come to a complete stop the pilot will instruct you as to when to climb out of the basket. Sometimes you may have to wait for some of the hot air to be released.
Depending on the wind speed and terrain, landings can be smooth, or a little bumpy. The pilot will always bring the balloon down at the slowest rate, landing at a 45-degree angle to the ground to ensure that it slows down quickly. The ground crew will secure the basket and assist passengers back onto land, before deflating the balloon and packing up.
When preparing for a hot air balloon ride, you should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and dress in layers, so you can adjust to the weather and the changing temperatures during the flight. Skirts and dresses should be avoided due to the potential for wind during takeoff and landing.
It is wise to bring a jacket or sweater, even in warmer weather, as it can get chilly at higher altitudes. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes like sneakers or hiking boots for comfort and safety.
We also recommend wearing a hat to protect you from the sun and sunglasses to shield your eyes especially if you embark on a morning flight.
And don’t forget, bring sunscreeen to avoid sunburns and a camera or smartphone to capture the beautiful views! Make sure to check with the balloon operator for specific details and recommendations.
Enjoy your flight!
Are you planning to take a hot air balloon ride during your time in Mallorca? Check-out the options below.