As a complement to its basic Nature services, Doñanatour offers the possibility of taking various hot air balloon rides around the Doñana natural reserve. A different view of ecosystems and the possibility of seeing animals from a unique perspective.
Around the Doñana natural reserve.
A feeling of mobility over the trees.
The activity with other nature or tourism services.
And accommodation services.
Information about the ride:
Once the passengers have climbed into the basket of the hot air balloon, it ascends to about 1,500 feet, and then descends slowly, everything depending on the wind and its direction. The balloon goes where the wind decides, that’s its main charm, tucked into the jet stream, moving like a cloud of colours. We naturally have good weather information and we know the direction in advance, which also changes with height, so we can choose between the different jet streams and change course as we want, within a range of possibilities. The art of navigating is to sense these “invisible paths”. When the heat increases or the breeze exceeds ten knots (18km/h), it is time to choose an appropriate field to land in, without any obstacles and with a path where the ground crew can reach us. In the surroundings of the Doñana National Park, we fly right over the tops of the trees (holm oaks, pines and olive trees), and the passengers can generally pull leaves or fruit from the trees. This is done to make you feel mobile. It is a sensation similar to going on a sailboat, but floating in the air. We will fly over the natural area of Doñana and, wind permitting, The Guadiamar Green Corridor: The First Protected Landscape in Andalusia.
Once in the air, we will follow the direction of the wind, so we know where we take off but not where we land, that’s the adventure, and we stay in radio contact with the support team to indicate the landing site. What is surprising is the lack of friction with the wind, since you go inside it, giving you the sensation of being stationary. When looking outside, it doesn’t seem to climb, but rather the ground gently sinks, “Nature takes the trouble to spread herself out before one’s eyes” (Professor Ferguson in “Five weeks in a Balloon”). The feeling of vertigo doesn’t exist when there is nothing that joins us to the ground.
The landing is smooth, the basket approaches land slowly and, in the event of wind, drags us a few metres before stopping. The pilot will give instructions as appropriate. Once we have landed, after a flight lasting approximately 60-90 minutes, the balloon is collected and we move to the nearest inn to have breakfast. What does this mean? Well flying makes you very hungry and thirsty, it’s already midday so we serve a Marismeño Breakfast (a natural orange juice with toast and ham accompanied by a coffee, tea, beer or soft drink) while we talk about the feelings and shares anecdotes from the flight. After this, we celebrate the Aerial Baptism with a hot-air balloon name (e.g. “Princess of the Cumulus Nimbus”) and a glass of “Capitán Green” cava is offered, along with the presentation of a certifying Flying Diploma.
Clothes must be suitable for the season and the day you fly. During the flight the temperature is the same as on the ground (we don’t go that high), even warmer due to the heat that the burner gives off, which is why we give out caps. If you wear a skirt, it should be wide so that you can stand on the basket and have shoes that are suitable for walking in the country.
Hot air balloon pilots with extensive experience.
Proper clothing. Optical instruments. Support vehicle. First aid kit.