I always loved balloons. There was a festival near the city where I lived in Belgium, and I followed the balloons on my bicycle. I flew for the first time when I was 15 or 16 and, after we landed, I thought: this is exactly what I want to do! After searching for schools, I began working for a big Belgian ballooning company. I started as a driver, doing some flights, getting to know the tools of the trade.
In 2003, I came to Alentejo for the first time to a festival. I loved it so much that from then on I returned every year. In 2006, I stayed for two months with a friend who was an instructor, and we did some flights.
My passion for ballooning and Alentejo grew even stronger, but Baloníssimo only happened later, in 2016 with my wife, after more than 15 years of experience in ballooning and flying around the world.
Those who fly with us can participate in assembling the balloon, and, during the flight, enjoy a 360-degree view. We always try to fly over the city, telling its story, and then there’s the Alentejo fields and lots of space to fly around.
On the ground, our driver and our old jeep await us to have a small party. Ballooning is something everyone should try at least once in their life! There are no photos or videos good enough to explain it… It’s literally being in the air watching the ground unfold beneath us like a movie.
I already loved ballooning in Alentejo long before I had my commercial license.
Our story and mission
When I realised I wanted to dedicate my life to ballooning, I got my license and, although I always dreamt of having my own company, I began freelancing for other companies.
At Baloníssimo my goal is to provide clients with personalised service.
I already had the necessary number of flight hours, and I spoke Portuguese, so I started to research how to open a business in Alentejo with my wife, Isis Barreto, and together we started Baloníssimo in Évora. It was the best thing I ever did: Alentejo is the best region to fly, and Évora is right in the centre.
As the balloon rises in the air, the landscape takes on different contours. Once we reach the planned altitude, the scene unfolds under the balloon basket, serene, in silence that’s only interrupted by the sound of the flame.
Since 2016, Baloníssimo has been showing Évora and its surroundings from the sky, where the proverbial Alentejo calmness takes over.
Metaphor for life
First, we lived close to the Alentejo coast, but after a few months, we decided to move to Évora, which is the best area to fly. Alentejo stole my heart, and these flying conditions only make it look better. People are very open here.
Alentejo is a whole other world: there’s a different pace, all this space, and nature. And we have almost 300 days of sunshine to fly.
I feel good in Alentejo, and I have no intentions of moving elsewhere. It’s quiet, and when you feel in the mood for a more city-like environment, you quickly reach Lisbon or even Spain. I wanted to live like this for over ten years.
If the wind is blowing in the right direction, we can fly over part of the city and get to know Évora from a completely different perspective. In other days, it’s the fields around the city that reveal themselves, but, one way or the other, the view is always fascinating. And the vast spaces that are typical of the region are essential to provide us with several safe landing places.