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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 20 July, 2023
Expert travel writer: Anna Brooke

From the air, the Loire Valley is a picture-postcard tapestry of waterways, vineyards, farms and forest, interspersed with those majestic chateaux.

Hot-air balloons, that drift silently above the treetops and turrets, offer a civilised, serene way to soak up the sublime landscapes and appreciate the size and scale of the chateaux – away from the crowds below.

Logistics

Price from: £180
Minimum age: 6
Age suitable: 6+
When: All year around
Duration: 3 hours

Getting there & doing it

Flights can be arranged from many points, including Amboise, sometimes Chenonceaux or Chaumont-sur-Loire, Château de Chenonceau, Blois, Château de Chaumont, Château de Azey-le-Rideau and Villandry. Trips last about 75 minutes (3 hours including set-up). Book ahead.

Dress as if you’re going for a country walk – your balloon may land in a field – and bring a hat as the burners are surprisingly hot.

When to do it

Most balloon flights operate daily from April to October, weather permitting. Private flights are available all year. Take-off is early morning or late afternoon.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Hot-Air Balloon Ride over the Loire Valley, from Amboise or Chenonceau

Tours

Hot-Air Balloon Ride over the Loire Valley, from Amboise or Chenonceau
Admire panoramic views over the Loire Valley from the skies on this 3-hours sunrise or sunset hot-air balloon ride from Amboise. Drift gracefully over the forests, lakes, orchards, and vineyards of the Loire Valley with a pilot. Watch the sun slowly rise or set on the horizon and capture the spectacular views on camera, then toast your flight with a glass of Champagne or sparkling grape juice on landing. This tour includes round-trip travel from your Amboise hotel.

Price: €255

Min age: 6

Rating 4.56 / 5 [166 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Hot Air Balloon Flight over the castle of Chenonceau / France

Loire Valley

Hot Air Balloon Flight over the castle of Chenonceau / France
There are many places where you may fly by a hot air balloon, but a flight in the Loire valley, France is one of the top 10 things to do in this beautiful country...

Price: €219

Min age: 6

Rating 5 / 5 [80 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Loire Valley Hot-Air Balloon Ride

Tours

Loire Valley Hot-Air Balloon Ride
Float effortlessly through the skies in France and admire sweeping views over the Loire Valley on this 3-hour hot-air balloon ride. After helping your pilot inflate the hot-air balloon, step into the basket and drift high over the Loire Valley. Admire sweeping views over the scenery below, then toast your flight with a glass of Champagne on landing. Tour includes round-trip travel from Francueil, near Chenonceau.

Price: €262

Min age: 6

Rating 4.40 / 5 [32 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Loire Valley

Loire Valley, France

Exterior of the front of the chateau, with a tree-lined driveway in foreground

Northern France’s beautiful UNESCO-listed valley, home to heart-stoppingly beautiful historic chateaux, authentic village life, world-class wines and fascinating troglodytes.