INSPIRATION • April 2022
Always chasing your next high? For those times when you can’t be at 35,000 feet, travel writer Alicia Miller reaches for five of the world’s best aerial experiences
Where: Edge City Climb, New York
Indoor observation decks are a dime a dozen. But scaling the outside of a skyscraper, 387m above the rush of Manhattan? Now that’s what we call thrilling. At Edge in Hudson Yards, you’ll don a security harness before climbing steep alfresco steps starting from the 100th floor. Wind rustles your hair, cars honk below, and yet it’s amazingly serene. At the building’s apex, you’ll have the chance to take in the full breadth of the cityscape – and pose for the ultimate photo op as you lean 45° backwards over it all.
Where: ZETA Seventy Seven, Dubai
The glittering Persian Gulf, steely buildings, arching sandy fronds of the Palm Islands – take in the lot over a sun-soaked lunch at ZETA, a slick rooftop eatery 310m above Dubai. The city’s chic set comes to feast on both the decadent menu – miso lobster, Wagyu beef – and the sublime views over one of the planet’s skyscraper capitals. Afterwards, curl up in an on-site cabana or take a dip in the world’s highest infinity pool. As the afternoon wanes and the sky goes pink, DJ beats ramp up the vibe and cocktails flow freely.
Where: Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, Hong Kong
Most cable car rides last just a few minutes. Meanwhile Ngong Ping – a rambling 5.7km thread suspended over Hong Kong’s lush Lantau Island – gives you nearly half an hour in the sky. Hop on at Tung Chung station, then begin the slow ascent up Lantau Peak, passing over dense forest and through atmospheric mist. At the pinnacle, wafts of incense await at ornate Po Lin Monastery, along with the towering bronze figure of Tian Tan Buddha, reached via 268 thigh-burning steps.
Where: The Tyrolienne, Val Thorens
Snow bunnies already get their highs in Val Thorens – after all, this is Europe’s loftiest ski resort. But winter thrill-seekers can find fun off-slope, too, on the world’s highest zipline, the Tyrolienne. A whopping 3,230m above sea level, it’ll zoom you more than 100km per hour across a snow-blanketed landscape from the top of the Bouchet chairlift to Val Thorens Funitel. In summer, there’s the Bee Flying zipline instead, a 1,800m tandem alternative that lets you soar over seasonal green alongside your nearest and dearest.
Where: The Silo, Cape Town
From the imposing figure of Table Mountain to the creamy beachfront of Clifton, Cape Town is as good looking as cities come. And there are few better places to take in its photogenic expanse than from the pool at The Silo hotel. Set atop a converted grain silo that also houses landmark contemporary Zeitz MOCAA Museum, this dipper faces out to the thriving V&A Waterfront, steely ocean waters and rugged capital peaks. Come for the ray-warmed morning laps, stay for the unforgettable sunsets.