Wales from above
There’s no shortage of amazing views across Wales. Just climb one of our many mountains or ascend the towers of one of the hundreds of ancient castles that dot our landscape. But for a really different perspective, you need to go higher. From helicopter rides, to hot air balloons - here are a few ways you can get your feet off the ground and see Wales from the skies.
Get to the chopper!
Take a helicopter ride over some of our most spectacular scenery. Fly Heli Wales operate a range of tours over the perfect Pembrokeshire coast (the best in Europe according to a poll of National Geographic readers), lasting from five minutes to half an hour. Or head for higher ground with a tour of towering Snowdonia courtesy of Whizzard Helicopters, flying out of Betws-y-Coed between April and October (mountain weather permitting).
Be a Top Gun
Feed your need for speed with a flying lesson over the Welsh capital. Fly Days run a range of experiences out of Cardiff International Airport. You’ll take in the views and take control of the plane as an instructor guides you through a series of aerial moves. There’s no experience required, so this is the perfect trip if you’ve ever fancied yourself as a bit of a Maverick. We can’t promise that you’ll end up a high-flying hotshot, but you’ll certainly find out if you’ve got the right stuff.
Up, up and away…
Hot air balloon ride above Wales by Bailey Balloons…in your beautiful balloon. If helicopters and planes are a bit noisy, grab some hot air with a gentle balloon ride over the Usk and Wye valleys in the South Wales borderlands with Bailey Balloons. Everything moves at a leisurely pace, so you’ll have plenty of time to drink in the views (plus the bottle of bubbly you can book along with your flight). As you’re carried by the wind, you can spot sights like of magical Tintern Abbey and the mighty Raglan Castle.
The glide of your life
Take to the skies under your own steam at the Mid Wales Paragliding Centre near Aberystwyth. Armed with your trusty paraglider (part parachute, part flexible wing) you’ll soon be soaring like a bird, drifting along hills and ridges. You can even climb up to cloud level if you’re feeling particularly brave. Beginners can take a tandem ride, earning their wings by flying safely strapped to an experienced instructor. Alternatively, commence the necessary training required for solo flight on a series of courses lasting from two days to a week.
Go fly a kite
You won’t go quite as high, but you can still grab some serious air on a wild, wind-powered kiteboard. Hold on tight. These kites are serious pieces of kit capable of pulling you off your feet at any time, so it’s a good job the water’s there to provide a soft landing. Take a course with Gower Kite Riders near Swansea or FunSport at Rhosneigr on Anglesey and you’ll soon be zipping over the waves like a pro.
Drone photo of Bosherston Lily Ponds, Pembrokeshire by Owen Howells Photography LtdOk, this one is cheating a bit as your feet remain solidly planted on terra firma, but learning to fly a drone transforms you into a virtual pilot. It may look easy (you can pick up a drone in just about any toy shop these days) but to do it properly takes training. Book onto a two-day course in Swansea with The Aerial Academy and begin your journey to becoming a fully qualified drone pilot.
For more ideas and inspiration on things to do on the in the air, on the ground and in the water, head to our Activities page and start searching for your next adventure!