Annonay, birthplace of the balloon

On 4 June 1783, brothers Joseph and Etienne launched a unique flying machine that they called a ‘montgolfière’, an event that was to revolutionise Man’s perception of the sky.  In front of an astonished crowd, they unveiled their first flying machine, a balloon filled with hot air that made history as the first manned flight.

Ardeche from above

Flying in a hot air balloon or a paraglider over Ardeche is a magical way to appreciate the beauty of the landscape.  From the pre-flight excitement to the extraordinary silence of the sky, there will be one wow-moment after another.  All you have to do is let the wind take you on an unforgettable journey where time stands still.  A dramatic reminder of the importance of savouring every moment. 


Did you know?

On 6 March 1783, the first creature to fly was a tomcat who hung on to the balloon during a 20-minute flight, according to Joseph MontgolfierThe animal miaowed, but was completely unharmed.

There are several other ways you can explore Ardeche from the air too.  Discover the magnificent Ardeche landscape with a trial flight in a microlight, helicopter or small plane.  Take off from an aero club in the capable hands of a qualified pilot who will fly you over the Ardeche mountains and gorges.

Annonay Hot Air Balloon Festival

Balloon festival in Annonay

Annonay celebrates this wonderful invention every year during the first weekend of July.  Come and see the sky ablaze with the colours of multiple balloons or maybe have a trial flight yourself, best experienced in the early morning.  Don’t fancy flying?  There are plenty of things to enjoy on the ground such as the balloon village and a stage hosting music and other events.

Take a flight in a balloon

What could be more relaxing than to glide peacefully through the air, wherever the wind takes you?  Open your eyes wide because this is a view you won’t want to miss.  Steered by a pilot, your balloon flight will provide memories to last a lifetime, a rare moment of stillness when only the occasional noise of the burner interrupts the calm. 

Annonay Hot Air Balloon Festival

Prepare your holiday

What is the best time of day for a balloon flight?

Early in the morning or late in the afternoon because flights can only take place in stable air with a moderate temperature and light winds. 

Did you find this content useful?