HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE IN MARRAKECH
A hot air balloon ride in Marrakech is surely one of the most memorable experiences during a stay in the famous red city. Admiring the surroundings of the city and the Atlas Mountains from the sky, and during sunrise, is a magical moment!
In today’s blog, I share my take on this hot air balloon flight in Marrakech. I will start with the useful information you need to know: the price of the flight, the reservation, the opinions, … I will also explain why I recommend booking it online here before departure.
As always on the blog, your comments or opinions about balloon flights in Marrakech, Morocco, are welcome. So feel free to share your questions or comments with other blog readers who are planning to visit Marrakech soon and are interested in the possibility of a hot air balloon flight there.
What you need to know about the hot air balloon ride in Marrakech:
To begin this article on the possibility of taking a hot air balloon ride in Marrakech, we are going to start with the essentials that you need to know before deciding if you are going to have this hot air balloon experience over the surroundings of the red city.
After reading this first paragraph, you should keep in mind the main things to know in order to decide and potentially book your hot air balloon experience in Morocco. The rest of this article will focus on my experience and it will be of interest to you if you want to know more about this unforgettable experience.
Price of the hot air balloon in Marrakech:
To begin with, we are going to talk about a crucial issue: the price. It must be said that these types of experiences are never cheap, neither in Morocco nor anywhere else in the world. And here – the price is quite correct!
This is the price of a hot air balloon flight in Marrakech:
- Around 200 euros per person (adult), which can be reserved on the web here.
- Price for children (from 4 to 10 years included): about 100 euros.
- The transfer from the accommodation is included in the price.
In the place, the price usually exceeds 200 euros. Therefore, it is preferable to book online on this site. In the place, the lottery of negotiating in a small local agency will come into play. No matter what, you won’t get a cheaper deal! And avoid booking with your hotel, it will be even more expensive…
Later in this review, I give you my advice on the day to choose to fly in a balloon. You will see that it is really preferable to book it on the web, before your departure.
The price of the balloon flight in Marrakech includes:
- Pick up and return to your hotel.
- Flight time: approximately one hour.
- Hot drink before takeoff and breakfast just after landing.
There is no additional cost to pay on site. The price you pay online is therefore the full and final price of a quality service.
Flights possible all year
The climate of the region allows to organize flights throughout the year. Whatever the period of your stay in Morocco, it will be possible to carry out this activity.
It is important to note that in many countries balloon flights are only possible for part of the year. Please note that the risk of rain is low, so cancellations are still possible but rarer than in other parts of the world.
We will see later in this blog post that, in case of cancellation, you will be fully refunded for the flight.
The duration of the balloon flight in Marrakech is announced in one hour. On my flight, it lasted exactly 64 minutes. There is always a tolerance of 5 or 10 minutes, one way or the other. It must be taken into account that the flight path depends on the winds, but also on the places where it is possible to land. Later in this review, I share my flight’s GPS track and altitude reading.
For this flight over the Marrakech area, the distance covered during the flight hour again depends on the winds. And it’s not necessarily the distance that counts the most. Altitude variations are usually more impressive because the landscapes are then totally different. You can see it in this article where all the photos shared were taken during the flight that I was able to take.
Where does this balloon ride take place in Marrakech?
This balloon activity is not carried out over the city, but in the surroundings, beyond the palm grove.
Indeed, the take-off location is outside the red city, it takes 35-40 minutes to reach this location from the city center (pickup is included in the flight service).
Only one time slot: a flight at dawn
In the case of balloon flights, the question of time does not arise. Indeed, they are all due at dawn.
Takeoff takes place 5 minutes before sunrise to be able to enjoy the sunrise at the start of the flight. And then you can enjoy the scenery as the light gradually increases… This is for me, anyway, the best time of the day to fly, be it in Morocco or anywhere else. At dawn, the light is magical. Especially in Marrakech, where you have great chances of having an open sky and therefore a magnificent sunrise…
Book a balloon flight in Marrakech
Advance reservations are recommended for several reasons. Online booking is possible here.
First of all, the number of places is necessarily limited. There are not dozens of balloons to fly over the surroundings of the red city. As the price of this activity is not necessarily very high (flights usually exceed 300 euros…), many travelers offer themselves this little pleasure during their stay.
to book your seat with us send via this email; firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the best time to fly?
Regarding the day to choose for the balloon flight in Marrakech, I recommend that you reserve it for your first day in the place. If you arrive on a Friday at noon, for example, I recommend that you book for the next day. Why should I do this?
Simply because in case of cancellation, you will have more margin to reschedule your flight for the next day. Or the next day. If you are unable to reschedule the flight, your money will be refunded. But it’s always a shame not to be able to enjoy this magical experience.
If you stay a week, you have more margin to reschedule the activity. On the other hand, for a stay of 3 or 4 days, it can be more complicated to find a new date in which there is availability. Do not forget that in case of cancellation (for weather reasons), you will not be the only one who wants to re-plan an outing for the next day or the day after…
What happens if the flight is cancelled?
Due to weather conditions, it may happen that the flight is cancelled. If your flight is cancelled, you have 2 possibilities:
- Reschedule a balloon flight for the next day or another day.
- Ask for a full refund if you can’t schedule a new takeoff.
Many travelers only stay 2 or 3 days before continuing their visit to Morocco. That is why it is preferable to book the flight online and for the first day of your stay. This leaves more room for unforeseen weather.
Also, by having booked online, the refund (if you can’t reschedule the flight) will be much easier, since it goes directly to your credit card. If you go through a small local agency, you will have to go to the agency,…
Pick up at your Marrakech hotel
Pickup is included in the tour price. A minibus will pick you up at your accommodation to take you to the take-off location.
The pick-up time will not be indicated on the booking confirmation, but the day before take-off (by email). The departure time depends on the time of year, since the company organizes the takeoff a few minutes before sunrise.
Preparations and flight schedule
Once you arrive at the location, you will have the opportunity to observe the preparation of the balloon: a phase that I always appreciate during a balloon flight. All this while enjoying a coffee or mint tea.
Inflating the balloon takes a long time. It takes approximately half an hour from the time the balloon is unpacked until it is lifted and ready to take off.
- These preparations consist of several stages, all of them quite impressive:
- Unpacking the balloon, which is spread on the ground.
- Inflated with large fans, at room temperature.
- Once the balloon is partially inflated, it remains on the ground.
- The air is then heated so that the balloon rises.
- When it is warm enough, it can be climbed into the basket to take off.
Take off takes place a few minutes before sunrise. This allows you to be in the air when the sun is behind the Atlas Mountains and then have a magnificent luminosity. From takeoff to landing, the balloon is very stable and there is really no shaking. There is no reason to be afraid. And if you’re prone to vertigo, that shouldn’t be the case, since you don’t touch the ground…
Balloon route: magical landscapes!
During an hour, the balloon travels a few kilometers, but mostly the pilot varies the altitude. And it is undoubtedly this last point that is most impressive! Depending on the height, the landscape varies enormously. For example, at low altitude, you can’t see Marrakech. And when the balloon rises, you can gradually see the city.
During the experience in the air, you can enjoy:
- See the sunrise behind the Atlas Mountains.
- Fly over a small town typical of this region of Morocco.
- Going over areas that are sometimes arid, sometimes deserted, but also over some cultivated plots.
- Sailing in the air, sometimes alongside, sometimes above other hot air balloons.
- In the distance, we see Marrakech and the Koutoubia seems very small.
- Little by little, with the sunrise in the sky, the panoramas on the Atlas are very changeable.
Balloon landing and subsequent flight
After an hour in the sky, the basket will land. And this will be in a different place than takeoff. As already mentioned, the distance traveled by the balloon can vary several kilometers depending on the wind. During my balloon flight, it was about 6 to 7 kilometers.
After a journey of 10 to 15 minutes, you will reach the takeoff point. Then you can have a complete breakfast: Yogurt, Msemen (a kind of pancake), jam, coffee or mint tea, orange juice, …
Once this breakfast is done, a quick trip to the baths and it’s time to head back to the city. About forty minutes by car, after crossing the palm grove, back to Marrakech. In total, the experience lasts just under 4 hours. And then you can enjoy the day because early departure means that the return is done in the early / mid-morning, depending on the season.
My advice for flying over the surroundings of Marrakech in a hot air balloon:
To conclude this review of the balloon flight in Marrakech, I will give you some tips to make the most of this experience not to be missed.
These tips refer to the reservation to find the best price, but also to the choice of the day of your flight or the development of the activity itself. Some of these tips have already been mentioned in this article. This last part is a kind of summary of the tips to take into account to get the most out of it.
- Opt for a tour as early as possible during your stay, ideally on the first day, especially if you are only staying in Marrakech for 2-3 days.
- Book online for the best price and a guaranteed place on the day of your choice.
- If the departure is cancelled, try to reschedule as soon as possible to have a place the next day, for example.
- When you get on the balloon, try to get a seat in the corner of the basket. This allows for a wider angle of view (although the balloon rotates on itself during the flight, the corners are the best places on board the gondola for me).
- To be successful in your photos, don’t forget that the movement of the globe can make your photos blurry. It is necessary to have a short exposure time: increase the ISO, use a bright objective.
- Do not forget to enjoy the balloon flight in Marrakech with your own eyes and not only through the viewer or the screen of your smartphone.
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