Dolomiti Balloonfestival

Dolomiti Balloonfestival
Hot air balloon festivals are held in many places around the world, allowing hot air balloon pilots to demonstrate their skill to a large audience. Italy hosts several hot air balloon races and festivals, including Dolomiti Balloonfestival. This festival takes place in Toblach during the ski season.

Toblach, also known as Dobbiaco, is a municipality in South Tyrol in Northern Italy. It is located in the Puster Valley in the Dolomites, a mountain range that forms a part of the Alps. The Dolomites are renowned for skiing, and every winter numerous tourists come to Toblach to ski. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, you should visit Toblach in January, when the municipality hosts its famous hot air balloon festival.

Dolomiti Balloonfestival was founded in 2003 and has been held every year since. For a week in January, dozens of hot air balloons from around the world transform the Puster Valley into a vibrant fairy tale landscape. Hundreds of tourists book hot air balloon rides to get an unforgettable experience.

There are different kinds of hot air balloon festivals. At some festivals, you can only watch balloons ascend and float in the sky, while others enable attendees to book hot air balloon rides. Dolomiti Balloonfestival belongs to the latter. In fact, visitors are actively encouraged to book rides and enjoy beautiful snow-covered mountain landscapes from high above.

At the festival, you can book two types of hot air balloon rides: a standard 1-hour ride and a long distance ride that may last longer. As ballooning is a weather-sensitive activity, rides may last less than an hour or even get canceled in case of unfavorable weather conditions. Note that 1 hour is the approximate duration of the ride itself, but the whole experience will take about 5 hours because you need to get to the launch site, wait until the crew prepares and inflates the balloon, and get briefed by the pilot.

Although the temperature in the air is not much different from that on the ground and the burner gives off some heat, you should dress warm (because it’s January in the mountains, after all). Ski clothing, warm socks and at least ankle high boots will make a perfect outfit.

Alongside balloon rides, Dolomiti Balloonfestival hosts the so-called night glows. A night glow is a spectacular event where tethered balloons glow against the night sky, sometimes also “dancing” to the music.

Dolomiti Balloonfestival

Photo: Montgolfier Ballonvaren




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