We will be in Florence during April. We are looking for balloon rides and rafting trips. I found one balloon ride opportunity south of Siena.
Do you have any suggestions for any other companies in these activites and if so, how I can contact them?
Let's see, for balloon rides you can contact ChiantiMania - they offer hot air balloon rides over Tuscany (Ballooning Tours) and from feedback we've received, they seem to be very professional and accommodating to your needs. You can also visit their main site (Chianti Mania) for other information that might help in the planning of your trip.
As for rafting trips, I don't believe it is a very common past time in Tuscany, mainly because of the lack of large enough rivers (aside from the Arno) that are not in some way used for hydroelectric needs or fisheries and thus not "blocked" in some portions.
Here in Florence you'll find are a few kayaking groups on the Arno river but nothing more to take advantage of the water. I'm sorry I cannot help in pointing to anyone in this matter.
The Bilancino Lake to the north of Florence however does offer a great deal of water sports such as sailing, windsufing and canoeing as well as fishing. You can get more details at: Lago di Bilancino
Hope planning for your trip goes well and you have a great trip, just as you have imagined it!
We offer balloonrides in Siena, the heart of Tuscany, and of course we can arrange a flight in april. We are in co-operation with Associazione Aerostatica Toscana and you can read all about ballonrides on Hot Air Ballooning in Siena Italy or
just call +39 338 8964607 for information or booking in english. Send a email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a brochure to be sent to you. Kind Regards /Jennie, SienaBallooning
Thank you Jennie for your input,
In addition to promoting your service, can you also share with us general information on balloon riding in Tuscany, what's it like if you've gone up in the air and share your experience with us?
It would be interesting to know which places are usually visited from above (do you stay mostly inland or go along the coast?), in what seasons of the year are balloon rides offered, the average cost and duration for such a ride and other general tips.
Details like this would enrich the conversation and would certainly be interesting for readers of our forum.
Well, its hard to explane the feeling of floating through the air in the early morning, see the sunrise and the city slowly waking up, the people waving on the ground, the fields, the hills, the castels with winefields and olivetrees around. Its just wonderful to see it all from a birds perspective!
We meet at Porto Tufi laungefield and start inflating the balloon. When the balloon is ready we fly in the area of Siena, with the wind, for about 1 hour. What you see changes everytime, depending on dirextion of the wind.
Its maximum 4 passangers so there is lots of time to ask questions to the pilot and taking pictures.
After landing we have a lovley breakfast with local products and prosecco. The whole adventure takes 3-4 hours.
Balloonrides is possible all year arolund, if the weather is good. Its more popular in the summer so if you have a special date in mind, call a few weeks in advance.
If you are more that 4 people we call another pilot to come fly with us.
The cost is 240 euro/person