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Riding high

For some fantastic panoramic views, you can’t go wrong with a scenic cable car ride. There are some fantastic journeys all over the world that should be high on any travel agenda. Often a great attraction in their own right, many also connect to other impressive sights, offering a kind of touristic ‘two for the price of one’!

Be they aerial or track-driven, cableways are some of the best ways to access otherwise difficult to reach areas or provide a practical means across natural features like gorges, valleys and inlets. These days many are wheelchair accessible and allow everyone to experience grand views at different levels.

The Flexicover Team looks at some that are well worth a visit. You definitely won’t want to forget your camera for any of these!

Sugarloaf Cable Car; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

It’s no surprise that this cable car ride is one of the most popular attractions here, as it takes in one of the city’s most iconic sights. Built in 1912, the two stage journey first takes you from Praia Vermelha (Red Beach) to Morro da Urca (Urca Hill), 220m above Guanabara Bay, and then onto Sugarloaf Mountain, at an altitude of 528m. Look out for the famous ‘Christ the Redeemer’ statue in the distance and gaze down for spectacular views of Copacabana and Ipanema too, particularly at sunset!

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway; Cape Town, South Africa

Opened in 1929, this route rises to an elevation of 1,067m to carry visitors to the western end of the Table Mountain plateau. From this vantage point, you have unrivalled views of Cape Town proper, the Helderberg Mountains, Blue Mountain Beach, Camps Bay, Robben Island and Devil’s Peak. As a panoramic bonus, the floor of each cable car rotates to give superb views over the fantastic 5 minute ascent. For the best views, try going first thing in the morning or late evening!

Skyline Gondola; Queenstown, New Zealand

This is the steepest cable car ride south of the Equator, carrying visitors and locals alike 450m above scenic Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu on South Island. Rising to the top of Bob’s Peak, it offers a 220° panoramic view of Coronet, Walter and Cecil Peaks. Once at the top, viewing platforms afford choice photo opportunities plus nature walks, bike trails and a variety of fine dining options await. And at night, you can turn your eyes upwards for some amazing stargazing!

Grindelwald-Männlichen Gondola Cableway; Switzerland

Opened in 1978, this is one of the longest cableways in the world and links the village of Grindelwald-Grund (943m above sea level) with Männlichen (2,230m) in the Swiss Alps. Built to provide easier access to hiking and skiing areas, it’s an absolute treat to ride this route. The route rises through rock walls before emerging into the crisp air to marvel at the rugged peaks and valleys below. Take a picnic for when you reach the top (journeys are around 30 minutes) or enjoy a warm meal in their restaurant before heading out onto the slopes!

Aeri de Montserrat; Barcelona, Spain

For fabulous views of the Catalonian countryside, take the Aeri de Montserrat cable car up the multi-peaked mountain Montserrat (a Spanish national park), just outside Barcelona. The ride is only 5 minutes but the views over the Llobregat River, the village of Monistrol and the famous Santa Cove shrine are wonderful and this is a great way to get to the top (there is also a rack-and-pinion railway). Most visitors will want to see the Abbey Santa Maria de Montserrat, home to a 12th century Virgin Mary sculpture atop it. Ideal for a day trip out of the city to experience the area’s rugged beauty!

Wherever your travels take you this year and whichever panoramic view you are lucky enough to see, we at Flexicover are committed to providing you the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away. Safe travels!