It’s amazing just how much you can see of this fabulous planet from your window seat in coach, business or even first-class! The miracle of nature is a sight that reminds us we’re only a tiny part of the whole, but one lifetime isn’t enough to explore all the contrasting wonders of mountains, deserts, volcanoes, coastlines, glaciers and snowfields, jungles and savannahs. If you’re sightseeing in a plane, the best destinations to fly over encompass the natural wonders which are mostly inaccessible from the ground.
The Awe Inspiring Himalayas
One of the best fly-over destinations in the world must be the Himalayas, although it’s almost impossible to fly right over the towering mass due to unstable weather conditions and the sheer, unbelievable heights of the peaks. However, if you’re on a low-cost airline flying east to west or into Nepal during the daylight hours, even the sight of the highest mountains seen from a distance is overwhelming, especially at sunset when the snow-covered peaks glow red with the sun’s dying rays.
Desolate Yet Beautiful Antartica
A terrifying place most of us would like to visit once during our lifetime is the Antarctic continent, a mysterious world of ice and snow which is totally hostile to human interlopers for most of the year. Of course, cruises to its bleak shores during the brief summers can now be taken, mostly from New Zealand’s South Island, and seaplane or mini-helicopter trips to its interior are now offered. Just imagine those endless jagged expanses of glittering white unrelieved by any living form.
Pristine Magnificence Of Miami
A friendlier but memorable fly-over on the approach from Europe to Miami Airport will stay in the mind’s eyes of everyone who’s taken this trip. As the plane nears the coast, tiny, unoccupied atolls and islands pass below like pearls in an azure sea, ringed with pristine sands and their reefs visible through the crystal-clear waters. As the aircraft descends towards the airport, passengers can even see large fish swimming in the ocean.
The Timeless Plains Of Africa
A more dramatic and humbling experience is to fly over the great plains of southern Africa after the annual rains have transformed them to oases of colour and lush greenery interspersed with innumerable streams and tributaries. The experience resembles looking into a kaleidoscope of ever-changing patterns of beauty, crossed by massive herds of deer, zebra, buffalo and other tropical beasts which are just visible from your seat in the sky. The most exciting sights of all are the large herds of elephants heading for the seasonal lakes for a refreshing splash of cool water.
Serene Isolation Of The Desert
Many humans are fascinated by the vast deserts of Mongolia, Northern Africa and the Middle East, and can’t take their eyes from the primeval landscapes stretching out below them. Desert topography is easily marked out, even from high in the sky, and the shifting dunes, whirling sandstorms and primeval expanses where nothing grows are just as fascinating from above as they are when you’re travelling across them and, of course, far less inhospitable. If you’re lucky, you’ll glimpse a caravanserai of tribespeople crossing the desert on their camels, just as they’ve done for thousands of years.
Destructive Supremacy Of Mother Nature
The volcanic areas of the earth such as the Pacific Rim of Fire and the stupendous topography of Iceland make for amazing sights as long as you’re a good few miles away. Aircraft cannot fly close to erupting volcanoes, but these spectacular natural events can be seen from a safe distance some five miles up. At night, the sight of an erupting volcano many hundreds of miles away is unforgettable, with the vast plumes of red-hot gas, the eerie lava flows and the flames of the eruption some of nature’s greatest spectacles.