Frequently asked questions

Chianti Balloon Rides

Because early morning conditions are best for ballooning as the air is cool and stable from the night. During the main part of the day the sun reflecting from the ground heats the air above causing thermal activity and bubbles and pillars of rising air. These thermals cause unstable air which makes it difficult to control the altitude of a hot air balloon.

We schedule hot air balloon rides in Tuscany all year round depending mainly on weather conditions. Our balloon flights usually take place in the early morning shortly after sunrise, but this changes depending on the season and time of year.

The actual flight time lasts for about one hour depending on weather conditions and suitability of landing sites; The whole ballooning tour takes approx. two to three hours.

Our main balloon launch field is situated in the Chianti area in Tuscany, 8 miles South of Florence. The nearest town is San Casciano in Val di Pesa. We have several launch sites in and around Florence, Siena, Lucca and other locations in Tuscany and throughout Italy.

Sometimes, when visibility is exceptionally clear we may go up to 4-5000 feet depending also on airspace restrictions; but also during the flight we can fly really low and skim over the tree tops.

When we fly near Florence there are some restrictions and we must stay below 2500 ft. but even at a few hundred feet the views are incredible.

Hot air balloons do not have a rudder and can not be steered in the normal sense, so they travel with the wind. The distance will be based on wind speed and direction which will also determine the time it takes for the pilot to find a good landing field.

Some days we fly a relatively short distance other days many miles

The balloon basket does not have wheels, so sometimes when there is wind on the ground on landing, the balloon basket can tip on an angle and drag along before coming to a halt. This is perfectly normal and for many it is their favourite part of the flight. The balloon baskets are designed for safety and comfort, during landing you will be in the safe landing position as instructed by your pilot

We recommend passengers should wear flat and comfortable closed shoes (waterproof shoes are best as grass is often wet in the early morning). Shoes with high heels are not allowed on board for safety reasons. It is often quite cool in the early morning so we always suggest wearing layers of clothes to then take off when the sun is up and is heating the air.

Wearing a hat or cap for the radiant heat of the balloon burners is also recommended. During the flight temperatures are about the same as those on the ground. Generally clothes suitable for a walk in the country which you don’t mind getting a little dirty will do just fine.

Of course you should bring a camera! The balloon is the most perfect platform for aerial photography. However cameras are carried at your own risk.

We operate a fleet of many balloons varying in size. Our standard balloon rides use baskets which carry from 4 up to 18 people depending on group size. The larger balloon baskets are divided into compartments which can hold from 2/3 up to 4/5 people for better weight distribution and allowing more personal space (the pilot has his own compartment in the middle or on the side). Smaller balloons accommodate two to four passengers (+ the pilot) for our exclusive private flights.

Children under the age of 4 are not allowed on board for safety reasons and minors must be accompanied by e relative. All passengers must be physically able to climb over the side into the basket with the steps provided, stand unassisted for an hour and adopt the seated landing position. Passengers should also be sure they don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions which could be affected by the ballooning experience and seek medical advice if unsure. As a general rule, people should be able to jump from the height of a chair without difficulty. People weighing over 110kg will be required to pay a supplement.
We cannot fly passengers who are pregnant or who have recently had major surgery.

Hot air ballooning is an extremely safe activity which is highly regulated and controlled in Italy. We follow strict safety guidelines and update courses and use the best ballooning equipment. Our pilots are highly experienced professionals. We do not hesitate to cancel a flight if the weather is not suitable.

We are insured for public and third party liability as requested by Italian law.

Hot air ballooning is very weather dependent and occasionally pilots will cancel a flight for safety reasons because the weather conditions are not suitable. This can be due to strong winds, poor visibility (fog), a chance of thunderstorm activity in the area, rain or very wet ground (flooded field caused by much rain). The pilot will make the decision to fly based on the most up to date weather forecasts available. Sometimes the actual conditions on the morning of flight may be different to what was forecast and the pilot will always put safety first, the decision to fly is solely at pilots discretion.

That’s no problem as you can cancel your booking by calling or emailing us. Your own cancellation or schedule change must be received with at least 96 hours notice. If you cancel within four days or if at your scheduled time to fly, you are no-call no-show, and fail to use the balloon basket space for which the booking was made, full tariff payment will be required.  

Special conditions apply for groups of 15+ people
Don’t forget – ballooning is a weather dependent activity, if the flight has to be cancelled and cannot be re-arranged at your convenience then there is no charge/no cancellation fee.

If we have to cancel your flight because of weather or other reasons outside of our control, we will try to reschedule to another alternative date. If there is no other possible day for you to rescheduled to, we will cancel your booking and in this case there will be no charge (or full refund will be processed).