Welcome to Gosau, nestled in the heart of Dachstein Salzkammergut, where, for an entire week starting tomorrow, the skies come alive with vibrant colours and the gentle whispers of hot air balloon adventures. The annual Week of Air Balloons is a mesmerizing event that captures the essence of freedom and the thrill of floating above the stunning alpine landscapes. In this blog post – our first, we'll delve a little into the history of this enchanting event, highlight this year's participants, and provide valuable tips for those dreaming of taking to the skies in a hot air balloon.
The tradition of hot air ballooning in Gosau dates back to 1993. Over the years, the week of air balloons, from a small local event for a few enthusiasts, has grown into an eagerly anticipated annual spectacle. Over 30 participating teams are usually expected from all over Europe.
Night of the Hot Air Balloons - Nacht der Ballonen
This year, the week takes place from the 13th until the 20th of January. Every morning, dozens of colourful balloons take to the sky. The highlight of the week is the Night of the Hot Air Balloons, which traditionally happens on Wednesday evening around 6 pm – this year on the 17th of January. The teams gather at the lower Hornspitz slope to entertain hundreds of visitors with immense colourful balloons anchored in the snow. Music, dancing, happy DJs, lively food stalls, and fantastic fireworks as a final accord of the evening leave unforgettable memories.
Why do it in Winter?
Did you know that cold air is denser than warm air, which can enhance a hot air balloon's performance? In winter, the balloon requires less fuel to achieve lift, making it a more efficient and cost-effective time for ballooning.
Winter air also tends to be clearer and crisper, providing excellent visibility during the balloon ride. Passengers can enjoy unobstructed views of the surrounding scenery, enhancing the overall experience.
Tips for Riding a Hot Air Balloon: Your Journey to the Skies
For those adventurous souls looking to elevate their experience during the Week of Air Balloons, rides can be booked daily throughout the week (please call +43 6136-8841 or +43 664 5314741 or contact the organisers via Dachstein Alpentrophy website). One ride costs €350 per person.
Here are some essential tips for riding a hot air balloon from the professionals:
1. Dress in Layers:
- The temperature can vary at different altitudes, so dress in layers to stay comfortable during the flight.
2. Early Morning Magic:
- Balloon rides often take place in the early morning when the winds are calm. Embrace the magical experience of witnessing the sunrise from above. In Gosau, rides start between 9 and 11 am; the whole experience from preparing the balloon for a ride till the landing may take up to 5 hours.
3. Embrace the Silence:
- Unlike other modes of transport, hot air balloon rides offer a serene and quiet journey. Embrace the peacefulness and enjoy the beauty of the landscapes below.
4. Capture the Moment:
- Don't forget your camera! Capture breathtaking views and share your experience with friends and family.
5. Follow Your Pilot's Instructions:
- Your balloon pilot is an experienced professional. Follow their instructions for a safe and enjoyable journey.
6. Everyone is welcome, BUT it is not recommended for pregnant women, children under 12, and persons smaller than 120 cm.
A Week to Remember
As the Week of Air Balloons unfolds in Gosau, we invite you to join us in celebrating the magic of flight, the beauty of the Austrian Alps, and the joy of experiencing it all from a hot air balloon. Whether you're a spectator or a participant, this week promises to be a memorable journey into the skies above Dachstein. Stay tuned for more updates, stories, and inspiration as we soar high together in Gosau!