Reasons To Go To Hot Air Balloon Rally

Believe it or not, but the Hot Air Balloon Rally is a real thing! Every year, Balloon Club Zagreb organizes a Balloon Rally in the beautiful hilly Zagorje. It's a unique festival dedicated to all balloon lovers who have the opportunity to watch or take part in exciting balloon flights over Zagorje. Fifteen teams from all over Europe and sometimes even from the US show off their skills and make the sky prettier.
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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Croatian-Slovenian full-time travel duo, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists for over 4 years. We write in-depth travel guides about destinations we have personally visited, providing practical travel tips and recommendations.

In case you’re not anywhere near Croatia at the end of April when this event is held, I still suggest you search for any hot air balloon events near you, as they are usually pretty similar, only in different locations. You won’t regret visiting one.

Few words about balloons

The hot air balloon is the first successful human-carrying flight technology. The activity of flying a hot air balloon is called hot air ballooning and is quite popular in the world. The first balloon flight in history happened in 1783 in Paris, France. Hot air balloons are the safest aircraft that exist, but of course, you have to know what you are doing. They are often called „the gentle giants“ which describes them perfectly.

How do they fly? Their name says it all. They float in the air thanks to the hot air – the air trapped inside the balloon is heated up by a burner, making it less dense than the air outside.

Why you should go to Croatia Hot Air Balloon Rally

I’m going to give you a few reasons why you should visit this fantastic event. So make sure that you’re in Croatia at the end of April-beginning of May, so you don’t miss it.

1. Stunning scene

First of all, the main reason to visit is, of course, the stunning scenery you’ll see above the hills of magical Zagorje. Especially if you come to see the morning flight. Then it really is magical with that first sunlight and a little bit of fog – priceless. But if you can’t come that early, don’t worry, afternoon flights are just as beautiful, and then there are also exciting activities organized, both for kids and adults.

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2. A beautiful event made for everyone

This event is great for everyone, whether you’re young, old, a family with kids, couple, male or female, it doesn’t matter. Everyone can enjoy a beautiful sight, and it’s also an opportunity to have a great time with your friends or family. The event is, of course, organized out in nature, in the fresh air. There is a playground for the youngest, music program and everyone can enjoy a drink or refresh themselves with ice cream.
TIP: Bring a blanket! 😉


Plitvice lakes Croatia from above

Plitvice Lakes National Park (Travel Guide)

3. Great for kids

As I mentioned before, this event can also be enjoyable for kids. Not only that they can see a lot of balloons flying in the sky, but they can also try being pilots themselves.

They can go in the balloon basket and have the opportunity to press the handle on the burner that directs the flame and is used for the hot air balloon to fly. The pilot is with them in the basket the whole time, so it’s perfectly safe.

As part of the program, if the weather is good, it is organized for visitors to go inside of the basket, and pilots get them up few meters from the ground while the balloon is tied down with a rope. That way they can even experience a little bit of a flight. Or if you prepare on time, you can also do a real flight.

Kids can also compete in throwing the marker (it’s usually sand in the little bag) to the target (that huge X thing that you might have seen lying on the ground during hot air balloon competitions). And then they are like real competitors in balloon competitions. Except they throw it from the ground and not air. But it’s still fun, and they can even win some attractive prizes.

4. You learn something new

The cool thing is that you can also go inside the hot air balloon. There, the crew will explain to you everything you need to know about hot air balloons. And also, before every massive flight, you’ll hear a few informative words about what’s going on at the moment.

5. Experience the night glow by these gentle giants

At the end of the event, you’ll be able to experience the magical night glow. Imagine this: balloons lined up on the field glowing one after another in the night. It’s definitely something worth visiting.

6. Instagram worthy

And one more reason to visit: it’s Instagram worthy. This is your opportunity to make that perfect photo with all those hot air balloons up in the air. Just choose a perfect light, perfect angle, and voila!

If you need a place to stay while you’re visiting this event, I recommend you stay at Stara Škola. That’s the place where all the balloonists stayed. That way, you’re always the first ones there since the event is mostly held at the back meadow behind Stara Škola and the airport that is just 10 minutes away.

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Arijana & Matej
Arijana & Matej

Full-time travelers, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists.

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We're Arijana and Matej, a couple and travel blogging duo from Croatia and Slovenia who thrive while slow-traveling. And we have been doing it for over 4 years.

During and after our travels, we love publishing in-depth, researched and above-all, useful travel guides, full of personal first-hand information on the places we personally visited.

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