Costa Brava, Catalunya: As Seen from a Thermal Airship

Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain:   as seen from a thermal airship

It’s not everyday that I travel by thermal airship over Costa Brava, Catalunya.

This futurist sounding ride though is actually anything but.  It’s actually the oldest successful human-carrying flight technology, according to Wikipedia.  And it dates back to 1783.  Yes, I’m talking about what we would call in today’s terms a hot air balloon ride!

It’s also not everyday that I embark on an adventure and go… wherever the wind takes me.

Quite literally in this case!  You never know exactly where you will end up and aren’t those usually the most entertaining adventures anyway? Thankfully, the pilots from Globus Emporda know exactly what they’re doing.  There’s a good section of patchwork fields between the Pyreenes in the north and the rugged cliffs and coast line in the south.  Their plan is to land somewhere in one of the fields, but no one knows exactly where.  This is the stuff that Costa Brava is famous for and I have a bird’s-eye view of it all:

Getting ready for take off:  hot air ballooning in Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain

Taking a ride in a thermal airship over Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain

Hot air ballooning over Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain with the Pyrenees in the north.

A boot shaped patchwork farm seen while hot air ballooning over Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain.

Hot air ballooning over a medieval village in Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain

Check out this medieval village in Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain which is even older than thermal aircrafts.

Overlooking a house while hot air ballooning in Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain.

Village seen while hot air ballooning over Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain.

Farm seen while hot air ballooning over Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain.

Mediterranean  Sea, seen while hot air ballooning over Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain

Birds eye view of the Mediterranean that Costa Brava is so famous for.

Our hot air balloon route over Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain

Our hot air balloon route over Costa Brava. We traveled just over 15km.

If exploring Costa Brava via a thermal airship is not your thing (although I highly recommend it), I can also suggest these travel adventures:

Know Before You Go Hot Air Ballooning in Costa Brava, Catalunya:

  • Hot air ballooning with Globus Emporda is surprisingly affordable, starting at €160 per person.
  • Flights leave early in the morning or later in the day when it’s likely to not be as windy.
  • Hot air balloon flights are always subject to weather conditions, which can change quickly.
  • The landing is a bit bumpy, so if you have any health concerns, check with Globus Emporda before booking.
  • We celebrated with a huge breakfast and Cava (a sparkling Spanish wine, mostly produced in Catalunya)
  • Find out more about the experience by reading about Andrea’s hot air ballooning experience  and Laurence’s who was a teeny bit excited about hot air ballooning.
  • Lastly, you really should do it!  It’s exciting and the views are incredible!

Many thanks to Globus Emporda and Costa Brava Tourism for such a memorable and incredible experience!  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.


  1. says

    I have always, always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon and I can’t think of a more perfect spot than Costa Brava. Oh, how my heart longs to go back! :) I never really thought about it before, but I thought they were able to steer and direct the balloons a little more than just by the wind. Interesting- living vicariously through you!

    • says

      @Italian Notes – Agreed, the views were incredible! It was only noisy when they added fire to the balloon, the rest of the time, it was quite quiet and peaceful.

  2. says

    I did a hot air balloon ride near Ouray, Colorado. I guess what impressed me most was the silence – when the guy wasn’t filling it with hot air – and several near misses on the ground but still great fun. And the champagne was good afterwards.
    I love the views in your photos from the balloon.

  3. says

    You gave us a unique view of Catalonia… the landscape is so beautiful. I remember the first time my plane was descending to Barcelona – watching all those beautiful houses and palm trees…

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