Your honeymoon is your chance to plan the trip of a lifetime, full of adventure and taking you to far-off places to create memories you'll cherish forever. While a rigorous hike or an adrenaline rush like zip-lining may not be for everyone, there's one way to get a rush that's still totally mellow and relaxing: A hot air balloon ride! Just imagine it: Floating softly, high above the incredible destination you've selected for your honeymoon, getting a new perspective on the world with your new spouse by your side. There's a reason so many hot air balloon trips end with a glass of champagne! And even better, these experiences are available worldwide, from Napa and New Mexico to the South Island of New Zealand. So get higher and change your point of view with one of these hot air balloon adventures.
Want a serious hot air balloon experience? Head to Albuquerque in early October to catch the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Get there around 4:00 a.m. to watch the mass ascension, when hundreds of hot air balloons take to the skies at once, filling the air over the city with color (pictured above). Or better yet, be in one of the baskets! Rainbow Ryders is the only balloon outfitter authorized to give balloon rides from within Balloon Fiesta Park during the festival, which means you'll be taking off in the middle of all the action. Book the Ride and Ryders Club package for access to the Ryders Club lounge and a sunrise breakfast with goodies from local bakeries.
Did you know that the first manned hot air balloon flight was in a French balloon designed by the Montgolfier brothers? While the technology has come a long way, the tradition is deeply rooted in France, so why not take to the skies? With launch sites throughout the country, France Montgolfières is your go-to source for a balloon ride, no matter where your trip takes you. If the chateaux have caught your eye, their Loire Valley offerings are just the thing, taking you over famous castles like Chenonceau (pictured above), as well as nearby vineyards. A toast upon landing caps off the truly French experience.
Spend your morning high above Napa Valley with Napa Valley Aloft. No matter the season, you'll get a unique look at the region's rolling hills and sprawling rows of vines. Based centrally in Yountville, their launch sites are easily accessible, and the comfortable baskets are never over-filled, so you'll get a semi-private experience even if you don't choose the two-person balloon ride option. And of course, you'll want to add on the champagne post-flight breakfast! You'll be meeting between 5:45 and 7:00 a.m., depending on the season, and a little bubbly is just the way to transition from a balloon ride to a day of wine tasting.
Thought Turkey was all about Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque? Think again. In the heart of central Turkey's Anatolia region lies Cappadocia, this arid region is a tourism hotspot thanks to the hoodoos (also called fairy chimneys). These stunning spires of rock were formed by thousands of years of erosion, leaving towering shapes that seem to defy gravity. They're gorgeous and awe-inspiring from the ground, but just wait until you see them from above! Royal Balloon Cappadocia is one of the foremost balloon outfitters in the region, offering 60 or 90 minute flights, a breakfast buffet, and, of course, a toast with Turkish sparkling wine! From dramatic fairy chimneys to historic villages carved into the cliffs, the view from above Cappadocia is unparalleled.
A couple looking for an adrenaline rush should look no further than Queenstown, New Zealand. From bungee jumping and paragliding to jetboating and skydiving, there's an extreme activity around every corner. For something a little less extreme, but equally thrilling, join Sunrise Balloons for an early-morning trip taking you over filming locations from Lord of the Rings, Lake Wakatipu, and the Southern Alps.
Who wouldn't want to take off for a once-in-a-lifetime safari for their honeymoon? There's no better time to get out and explore the world. And while there's so much to see from the back of a Jeep, you should also make a point to check out the Serengeti from the air, too! Serengeti Balloon Safaris will give you a view of Tanzania's wildlife that you can't get anywhere else. With so much of the Serengeti restricted to vehicles, a balloon gives you a chance to see areas most people don't. From zebras and wildebeest to lions and leopards, try to plan your trip to coincide with the Great Migration for a show you really have to see to believe.