Jezreel Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival

The Jezreel Valley (also known as “Emek Yisrael” or “The Plain of Megiddo”) is a vast fertile plain and inland valley in the Galilee in northern Israel. Having a remarkably flat landscape makes the Jezreel Valley a haven for an assortment of outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, and hot air balloon rides.

And speaking of hot air balloon, Jezreel Valley is the host of an annual hot air balloon festival. Certified Israeli and foreign pilots wow spectators with their hot air balloons and curling ribbon balloons, which paint the sky with their dazzling colors and designs. They float over Jezreel Valley’s flat plains and Mount Gilboa, which is also one of the most beautiful spots in Israel.

hot air balloon floating in the blue sky
Hot air balloon in Jezreel Valley, 2014

Hot air balloons can carry up to four or 18 people, depending on the size. One hot air balloon rides company, RizeUp, can send a group of 30 people in the air at the same time with their three hot air balloons. The company also offers tethered hot air balloon rides at night for larger groups, which they call “Fiesta Nights,” as well as a workshop where participants can create and fly their own mini-hot air balloons made of paper.

Hot air balloons can also be used as an advertising medium. Another hot air balloon rides company, SkyTrek, recently flew their floaters festooned with a banner promoting the Jordan River Village for seriously ill children. So far, it is the only program of its kind in the Middle East.

The hot air balloon festival is, and will always be, family-friendly. There are several stands for food and refreshments as well as shows, concerts, and other live performances by Israeli artists. There is also camping, which usually takes place on the second day of the festival, before the balloons leave on the final day.

The hot air balloons will take guests to a truly unique setting — a breathtaking landscape of beautiful fields and reservoirs, in the midst of the mountainous backdrop that evokes adventure and romance. It will truly be a holiday experience like no other.

Here is the footage of the recent Jezreel Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival near Mt. Gilboa: