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In January, Bradley and I had the chance to experience a truly EPIC hot air balloon ride in Marrakech.
This really was a bucket list experience and it far exceeded my already lofty expectations.
Interested in taking your own hot air balloon ride in Marrakech?
You should be!
So let me tell you all about our experience and how you can easily book your own ride too.
Since this was a sunrise experience, naturally it was going to start early! Thankfully, since we visited Marrakech in the winter season, the sun rises later (around 8.30 am), so we didn’t have to get the “normal” pick-up time of 4.45 am, instead we were picked up at 6.30!
Our 4x4 car was waiting for us and we hopped in and headed to our destination. The drive took around an hour, but didn’t feel too long since we were super excited!
Once we arrived, there was a table set up with coffee, tea, pastries and juice. This was a welcome start and they even had two fires burning to help stay heated (it gets cold in the morning in winter!).
We grabbed some coffee and a pastry and huddled around the fire whilst watching the hot air balloon fill with air. This was actually fascinating, it’s crazy to think, “wow, I’m going up in that!”.
After around a 25 minute wait, we headed to the balloon and made our way into the basket.
For take off and landing, you bend your knees, and sit down and hold onto the straps. This was a fun experience as you can’t really see out of the basket, so you’re wondering if you’re in the air yet. But, the captain then tells you to stand up, alongside some music he’s got playing and you suddenly realise you’re in the air!
The views that surround you are AMAZING. You’re greeted with views of the Atlas Mountains (the second highest mountain range in Africa), Marrakech city itself and the Agafay desert. It’s truly amazing.
The pilot on board is lots of fun and he has a range of songs that match the scene. For example, when the sun finally rose, he played the Lion King’s “Circle Of Life” and it set the mood wonderfully!
He was constantly making jokes and he explained the full process of flying the hot air balloon, and honestly I was pretty impressed. Especially with his very smooth landing.
The flight time lasts around 1 hour and it honestly goes so quick. You go pretty high (more than 1km), so if you’re afraid of heights, like Bradley, then don’t spend too much time looking “down” over the basket, just look at the amazing sunrise (like Bradley did!).
You’ll learn that you cannot control the direction of hot air balloons, so a jeep is underneath following you as you come into land to pick you up and bring you back to the starting point. The landing was super impressive.
When we hopped out of the hot air balloon we each got a “flight certificate” with our names which was a pretty cool token and something we are putting in our memory box.
Now the flying is over, it’s time for breakfast ...
You head back to the start point and there is a traditional, and very beautiful tent set up in which you enter, are greeted with mint tea (also known as Moroccan Whisky :P) and a traditional Berber breakfast is laid out for you. This consists of Moroccan pancakes, fried donuts, olives and boiled eggs. Everything is vegetarian!
You’ve got plenty of time to relax and enjoy your breakfast, then when everyone is ready, it’s time to get ready to head back.
On your way back, you can actually stop for a camel ride whilst wearing traditional Berber wear. But out of our group of 6, no one wanted to do a camel ride, so we didn’t. This is included in the itinerary, so if you don’t want to do it, perhaps let your driver know ahead of time so they don’t drive out there.
Then it’s time to head back to your hotel. We didn’t return to the hotel with the same 4x4 pick up, but rather a pretty old van, this meant drop off and return took a lot longer than pick up. So don’t rely on the times given on the website, the reality may differ.
All in all this was a fantastic experience and truly one of the memorable moments on all my travels. The sunrise was stunning, the sky was clear, which was awesome, the views were beautiful and the team who ran the day were super friendly and informative.
If you ever visit Marrakech, you must experience a sunrise hot air balloon ride.
We didn’t; there is no sense of motion sickness on the ascent or descent of this hot air balloon ride in Marrakech. Hopefully, you’ll not feel a thing.
Pretty high! I’m pretty sure he said we almost reached 2 kilometers up. When you’re in the air you’ll see a number of other hot air balloons in the air too. Some will be lower, some will be higher. We went pretty high on ours, but if you were a small group, I guess you could request to go higher or lower as you wish.
It’s as safe as a hot air balloon ride can be. The pilots are properly qualified and certified, don’t worry about that, but a hot air balloon ride is conducted in a basket, so basically when you’re taking pictures, I recommend you attach your camera/phone to a wrist strap and strap it on. If you drop it, it won’t survive the fall! With regards to flying and personal safety, I felt really safe! But it helps that I’m not afraid of heights….
Not on the balloon! But the area in which you start and end your hot air balloon experience has toilet facilities.
We booked our hot air balloon sunrise experience online with Klook. In case you’ve not used them before, Klook is very easy to book with; and we’ve used them for a number of experiences now around the world. You simply search for your activity (I’d researched this experience long before I booked! :P), select your date (some experiences may have a “next available date option”), add your number of passengers, then move onto the next page.
You simply fill out your contact details, pick-up details, read any terms and conditions provided by Klook and the company you are undertaking the experience with, then simply add in your payment details alongside any discount codes you may have and tada! You’re done!
Klook will send you an email confirming they’ve received your order request, then you’ll receive another email confirming your order. Our final confirmation came through within 10 minutes and basically once the confirmation comes through, it means it’s been accepted by the company on the other side too!
Our voucher was emailed to us, which meant it’s easy to access via our phone and there is no need to print out the voucher (when you’re on holiday, you tend to have less access to printers anyway!). Now all we had to do was get super excited about our experience.
Klook is a great option for booking your experience as they use a high quality provider who can be trusted. Plus, it’s all very fuss free!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on experiencing a hot air balloon ride in Marrakech! If you’ve got any more questions, then please drop us a comment below.
Happy travels and be sure to check out these other awesome tours we did near Marrakech:
*This experience was in collaboration with Klook, however all thoughts and opinions are and always will be, my own!*