Sometimes things look better from above. If you want to truly take in grand natural wonders or huge, sprawling cities, the only way to do it is by helicopter. Whether you charter a private helicopter or take a pre-packaged helicopter tour, an airborne experience in a propeller-driven vehicle is something you will never forget. Here are the 5 best places to view from the comfort of a ‘copter.

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1 – Glacier Country, New Zealand

In the late 1980s, geologists in New Zealand took a tally of all the glaciers on the country’s South Island. They counted 3,155. New Zealand’s glaciers are uniquely beautiful because of their proximity to both snowy mountains and lush green forests. Obviously, there is no way anyone could view the vast scale of New Zealand’s glaciers without taking a bird’s eye view, so taking to the skies is a nature-loving traveler’s best option. Several companies offer glacier helicopter tours, mostly of the popular Franz Josef and Fox glaciers, but your safest bet will likely be to check the specific Glacier Helicopters site. Sadly, due to global warming, New Zealand’s glaciers have been retreating rapidly. See them now before it is too late!

2 – Stately Homes, England

Period dramas are some of Britain’s biggest exports, so why not visit our country’s historic sites in real life, and not just through your television? Bespoke Air Charter offers an exclusive helicopter tour of England’s famous stately homes and gardens, including guided tours of Burghley House, Chatsworth House, Castle Howard, Mellerstein House, and Sudeley Castle and Gardens. This tour is the only way to see all these estates in such a short span of time. Whether you are a drama fan who wants to see the sets of some famous films and TV shows, or a history nut with a taste for the aristocratic, this helicopter tour is for you.

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3 – Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls makes Niagara Falls look like a garden water fountain. With a width of 1,708 metres, Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. Almost too large to comprehend up close, Victoria Falls is best viewed from an aerial vantage point.  Victoria Falls helicopter tours guarantee you’ll be astonished by the sheer scale of the waterfall, and the natural beauty of the Earth.

4 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

From natural beauty to man-made wonder. Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s fastest-growing megacities. Visitors will have a great time at the Rio carnival, and taking in the local customs, but to truly get a sense of the city they are staying in, they have to take to the air. Helicopter tours of Rio de Janeiro allow travelers to get up close in person to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, and Sugar Loaf Mountain.

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5 – The Grand Canyon

How could we write an article on helicopter tours without including the Grand Canyon? Perhaps the world’s most famous helicopter tour, a flight over the grandest of canyons is a breathtaking experience that stays with anyone who does it. The Grand Canyon is often said to be the work of God Himself, so for some this tour has a spiritual significance. Unsurprisingly, several companies offer Grand Canyon helicopter tours, and as long as you are seeing the canyon, it doesn’t matter which provider you use. Standing on the edge of the canyon is impressive, but seeing it from above is well-established as the only way to see this awe-inspiring crater in full.

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