A certain magic fills the air when a hot-air balloon drifts into view across the skies. When the backdrop is the snow-clad Alps, the magic is dialled up to Harry Potter levels. Each January, the village of Filzmoos holds the International Balloon Festival, which sees more than 40 teams from around the world descend on the otherwise quiet ski resort for a week of balloon contests.
A highlight of the festivities – and one that sees a slight change of tone – is the Night of the Balloons, when afield of tethered balloons is lit up in time to music, the vessels casting a warm glow across the landscape as they fire up in time to hits such as Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger. Spectators warm up on gluhwein amid twinkly stalls selling gingerbread and woollen mittens, and dance in the snow. All eyes are skyward for the climax of the evening, when a fireworks display lights up the inky-black sky.
MAKE IT HAPPEN
The balloon festival takes place 14-21 January 2017.
Flaggl Ballooning offers balloon flights for £250 per person.
Salzburg is the closest airport to Filzmoos. Airlinessuch as BA, easyjet, Flybe, Monarch and Ryanair have services from various U K cities. Huber Reisen offers a shuttle bus transfer from Salzburg Airport to Filzmoos which costs £30 one way.
Hotel Alpenkrone is traditionally Alpine in style, with shuttered windows and exposed beams. Inghams offers seven nights’ half-board at the Hotel Alpenkrone from £539pp including flights and transfers.