Monday, August 16, 2010

World's best scenic flights

Being the World's biggest activities and experiences website it's no surprise that YouGoDo has hundreds of great scenic flights on offer.

An as the scenery is usually the main attraction on a scenic flight, it's also no surprise that these scenic flights tend to take place at some of the world's best locations, both in terms of stunning natural scenery and man made dramatic skylines and structures.

Light aircraft, jet fighters, hot air balloons, sea planes, planes equipped to land on glaciers, paramotors and gliders all feature in the YouGoDo guide to the world's best scenic flights.

As as mentioned above there are some pretty magical locations where you can enjoy a scenic flight. Places like the Italian Lakes and Dolomites, the Swiss Alps, USA's Grand Canyon, Australia's Barrier Reef and wine areas, the islands of Hawaii and the Florida Keys, Iceland's active Volcanoes, the dramatic skylines of New York, Dubai, Miami, Cape Town (how about an ex army Huey - queue the song for MASH!), London and Hong Kong to name just a few.

I've had the privilege of taking a few great scenic flights. Here's some quick reviews:

New York Helicopter tours - it's amazing to be threading your way over this iconic skyline, through the skyscrapers, over flying Central Park and lapping the Statue of Liberty. There is no better way to quickly take in the Big Apple!

Townsville, Australia - My first flight in a light aircraft. Great to be flying over the marina, out over Monkey Island and looking down on the sugar shaker. Once airborne and level, the pilot was quite happy for me to take the controls and give it a go! Great fun. It was 1994 when I was there last, and I see there is a great new operator in the area now offering Open Cockpit Bi Plane ride over Townsville - looks great.

Orlando - A helicopter ride around the main Disney attractions - doesn't it look much smaller from the air! Great fun, but of the locations mentioned, above Florida (excluding maybe Miami and the Keys where you have the drama of the coast and the islands) is probably one of the less dramatic places to take a scenic flight due to its flatness. I also had the pleasure of heading out from Kissimmee and across to the coast at Daytona Beach with a friend in a small aircraft - lovely to see the wilderness and coast line but not hugely dramatic.

Interlaken - This was a stunning flight out of Lauterbrunnen, my first time in a helicopter (they give a very bumpy ride which can be a little worrying first time up in one!), and the scenery was fantastic for a scenic helicopter flight. We flew over mountain ridges where the earth just fell away from you, along the dramatic and dangerous North Face of the Eiger and down into the tight green Lauterbrunnen valley. The Swiss Alps are hence a great place to take a scenic flight. Scenic flight operators in the Jungfrau region now also offer scenic flights, where you can step out, any time of the year, onto the icy glaciers.

Highly recommended - as well as being an incredibly fast way of covering ground, Scenic Flights are a really exciting way to see the world - Chocs away!

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