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The Loire Valley Seen from the Sky

The Loire Valley is full of surprises, so if you don’t want to miss any, the best way to go is to take the high road and shoot for the sky. There are several ways to do so: by hot air balloon, helicopter, microlight or gyroplane. No matter which option you choose, you’ll get to enjoy an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind adventure. So welcome aboard and have a great flight!
1. Take a ride in a hot air balloon, a specialty of the region. As you lift off, you’ll be dazzled by the vast panorama that unfolds before your eyes – the royal river as it follows its unpredictable course, the Château de Blois perched proudly above the water, the fabulous green tapestry of the Garden Festival of Chaumont-sur-Loire.                                                                                                                           
The balloons, guided by certified pilots, seat from 2 to 12 passengers each. Although the flight itself generally lasts an hour, set aside 3 ½ hours for the journey: the inflating and deflating of the balloons is worth the trip in itself, as are the pick-me-ups that await you when you come back down to earth.
Your exact point of departure depends on the company you choose and on the prevailing winds, but you’re in for a surprise as you’re never quite sure where the winds will take you!
For more information on the options, schedule or to book, check out Aérocom, les Compagnons du Vent and Au Gré des Vents, a few of the many companies in the area that offer this option.
2. By helicopter: Fly over the region in a helicopter and take in the sights, and while you’re at it, try your hand at some aerial photography. Or learn to take over the controls of your own aircraft under the guidance of a highly qualified flight instructor. Those who have tried it are thrilled: ‘It was awesome; I felt totally safe and when I landed, all I wanted to do take off again!’, says one happy first-timer.
Héli-Passion, based at the Blois-Le Breuil aérodrome, offers a full range of helicopter tours. For more information or to book a tour, click here
3. By microlight or gyroplane: Don a leather helmet and goggles and enjoy the view from the front seat of a microlight as you soar like a bird across the countryside and over the region’s star châteaux, Chambord, Cheverny, Blois, and the meandering Loire. Or try the innovative experience of a gyroplane. You can also take an initiation course and learn to pilot the aeroplanes yourself and venture out into cockpit controls in hand. As you can fly at speeds of up to 250 km an hour, be sure to sit tight and hold on!
For more information on the options, schedule or to book a tour, check out:
Loisirs Loire Valley or La Ferme de la Maugerie