Balloon Rides over Tuscany
Fly in a hot air balloon, over the legendary Chianti landscape!
It’s one of the most romantic and civilised rural scenes on earth with its hilltop towns and castles, its famous vineyards and the tranquility of olives groves and timeless vineyards. On clear days in the distance you can see Florence to the North and the Apennine mountain range in the background; to the West you can see the Elsa valley, San Gimignano, Certaldo, and Volterra and the sea in the far distance; to the South, Poggibonsi, Colle Val d’Elsa, Siena and Monte Amiata in the distance; to the East the higher Monti del Chianti and ancient oak woods.
We fly in the early morning, just after dawn, from the Associazione Aerostatica Toscana, based in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, 12 miles south of Florence. Inflating the balloon takes about 30 minutes and the flight lasts around an hour, depending on wind and weather conditions. After landing, we load the balloon back onto the retrieving vehicle (which follows the balloon throughout the flight). Once the balloon is packed away we move on to enjoy a marvelous champagne breakfast with local produce. After breakfast we drive back to the launch field. The whole adventure takes about three and a half hours.
Although we fly all year round, the main “ballooning season” is from late spring to early autumn. Weather in Chianti can be tricky and unpredictable, especially in early spring; but the months of the summer are regularly good for ballooning. Winter flights can be absolutely breathtaking, with an incredible palette of colours, sharp clear views and a birds eye view into the leafless forests covered with a veil of white frost. The silver olives and the barren vines look just stunning. In winter takeoff is a little later in the morning, as the weaker sunshine isn’t as hot as in spring. As all flights are subject to wind and weather, obviously these winter flights are not as regular as during the “ballooning season.”
Flights are subject to weather conditions and for safety we fly only in the calmest of conditions. All flights are wind-and-weather permitting. They are subject to availability and at least a 48-hour advance reservation is required. Children must be a minimum of 10 years of age.