Up and away



The exotic charm of a hot air balloon flight, floating lazily in the sky as the landscape reveals itself below, is a must-do bucket list adventure for many.

The Dordogne Valley offers the perfect opportunity to cross this item off the list as the rolling hills covered in forests, limestone cliffs, and magnificent patchwork of rivers, castles, and hamlets below drift in and out of view. Hot air ballooning operators can be found throughout the region and their certified professional expertise will have eager romantics in a basket and upping away in no time.



At the foot of the magnificent 17th century Hautefort castle, the unparalleled views of the stunning landscape below will remain in the memory long after touching back down to earth. www.montgolfiere.fr

All year round the Rocamadour Aérostat association is open to those who wish to discover the breathtaking views over the 1,000 year old city of Rocamadour. www.rocamadouraerostat.fr

With either sunset or dawn flights sure to inspire, les Montgolfières du Périgord company will float you above the exceptional castles and medieval villages of the Dordogne Valley. www.sarlat-tourisme.com

Fly over some of the ‘Most Beautiful Villages in France’ such as Collonges-la-Rouge, Curemonte, Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, Pompadour, Turenne…The famous cosmetics brand Les Jardins Sothys also offers flights over the Sothys gardens in Auriac on selected dates. www.tourismecorreze.com/en www.lesjardinssothys.fr




The Montgolfiades of Rocamadour is a two day weekend hot air balloon festival that happens every last weekend in September. Now over 30 years old, this is one of Europe’s biggest annual ballooning events, attracting 30,000 spectators each year. Over 30 balloons gracefully hover above the medieval city of Rocamadour. Named after the French engineers who achieved the first ever successful hot air balloon flight in Paris in 1783, the Montgolfiades Festival sees the early morning flights take off around 8am and again late afternoon at around 5pm. www.visit-dordogne-valley.co.uk



For those who prefer extra speedAir-Châteaux do flights either in winged microlights or a biplane replica straight out of the First World War era. With a commentary from the pilot, passengers can sit back and marvel at the myriad of castles, manors and beautiful scenery below. www.airchateaux.com



Jumping out of a moving plane at 3,500 metres and free falling above beautiful landscape is also possible from the village of Domme. Tandem jumping means this can be done in absolute safety, with a trained professional parachute instructor guiding the fall and pulling the ripcord.