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Flying underground

Spectacular balloon journeys in a cave on offer during Spring holiday period

A Spring holiday activity with a difference awaits visitors to a popular underground tourist attraction in the Gard - but it is not for the faint-hearted.

Every April, the Grotte de la Salamandre launches its Aeroplume balloon, which allows brave souls to fly among the cave's stalactites and stalagmites in complete silence.

The massive caves were discovered in 1965 and opened to the public in 2013.

Last year, more than 100 people took the chance to soar gently high above the cave floor - and 90 people have already booked one of the flights in 2018, with more inquiries coming every day.

Moving multi-coloured lighting adds to the ambience. A spokesperson told Connexion: "Traditional lighting did not do justice to the majesty of the space. With the play of lights, we could give [it a new] perspective."

Organisers urge anyone who plans to join them to hurry. For safety reasons, this year's flights end on May 1 - after which the grotto will be too busy to allow anyone to fly safely.

The half-hour sessions, which include 20 minutes of flying cost €75 (2018 prices). Weight restrictions apply: anyone who wants to take part must weigh between 40kg and 80kg, and it is recommended that participants do not suffer any shoulder problems, as the balloons are moved and guided by giant fins attached to the arms.

For more information, contact the Grotte de la Salamandre on +33 (0)4 66 600 600, or log on to the attraction's website.

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