World’s most spectacular airport landings


(CNN) — There’s rather a lot to like about journey. Experiencing a brand new tradition. Eating nice meals. Staying in high notch motels… and touchdown in a brand new airport.

Of course, not all airports are created equal. Some have unbelievable facilities. Some present quick access into city. Some make connections a dream.

And some have really dreamy approaches.

There are loads of spectacular touchdown strips round, however usually one of the best recognized are situated in out-of-the-way locations. So right here we have put collectively a few of the most lovely approaches in main locations — together with which aspect of the plane it is best to sit to finest admire them.

Rio de Janeiro (SDU)

Santos Dumont airport gives sweeping views of Guanabara Bay.

Ricardo Funari/Brazil Photos/MildRocket/Getty Images

Roller coastering over hills, backed by lush mountains, and fringed by slashes of sandy seashores and the Atlantic Ocean past, Rio has one of many most naturally lovely settings on the planet.

While worldwide flights land at Galeão International Airport, exterior town heart, Santos Dumont — town’s smaller airport — serves many home locations (together with shuttle flights to São Paulo).

Not solely is it within the metropolis heart, but it surely’s proper in Guanabara Bay, on reclaimed land, making for unbelievable views as you are available or out. Try the best hand aspect for a glimpse of Rio’s icons, together with Sugarloaf Mountain.

Sit on the best

Malé (VIA)

You'll get classic Maldives views flying in or out of Malé.

You’ll get traditional Maldives views flying in or out of Malé.

Pan Zhiwang/Imaginechina/AP

You’d count on a spectacular method into the Maldives; and that is what you get right here at Velana International Airport, simply offshore from Malé on the island of Hulhulé.

When it was first constructed within the Nineteen Sixties, it had a runway fabricated from metal slats; lately it is an ordinary asphalt floor, although there’s nothing commonplace in regards to the views of the atoll-sprinkled Indian Ocean as you are available to land.

Sit both aspect

Venice (VCE)

From the air, you can see Venice's network of canals glistening in the sunlight.

From the air, you possibly can see Venice’s community of canals glistening within the daylight.

Mattia Ozbot/Soccrates Images/Getty Images

From the air, Venice appears like a fish, swimming in the direction of the mainland with its tail flapping in opposition to the Adriatic Sea. You do not see that from the bottom, however you do as you are available to land at Marco Polo airport, due north of town heart on the mainland.

Sit on the best of the aircraft and you may see town unspool beneath you, from the MOSE flood limitations and Lido island to the terracotta roofs, stocky belltowers and even flashes of the Grand Canal. In the previous few seconds of the flight you will see Burano and Torcello islands, earlier than touchdown amid the salt marshes of the north lagoon.

Sit on the best

Cape Town (CPT)

Cape Town is another stunning environment -- with a spectacular arrival.

Cape Town is one other gorgeous setting — with a spectacular arrival.

Sergi Reboredo/VWPCS/AP

Swaddled by two oceans — the Indian and Atlantic — and with Table Mountain looming up behind, Cape Town is up there with Rio de Janeiro for a spectacular pure setting.

Sit on the best hand aspect and, when you’re on a northwestern method, it is best to fly previous Table Mountain, poking out above the clouds. You may also glimpse Simon’s Town on the Cape peninsula, or fly straight out over the ocean and again on the metropolis — by which case, you will have water views on both aspect.

Sit on the best

San Francisco (SFO)

Lucky travelers can glimpse a view of the Golden Gate Bridge when flying from SFO.

Lucky vacationers can glimpse a view of the Golden Gate Bridge when flying from SFO.

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

With its combination of shoreline and hills, San Francisco is up there with Cape Town and Rio for knockout pure magnificence, and you will get views aplenty touchdown at SFO.

It’s finest at take off, when the left aspect can usually internet you views of town and Golden Gate Bridge earlier than you financial institution east. On touchdown, both aspect ought to offer you water views — with glimpses of the ocean to the left and the Bay Area to the best.

Sit on the left

Genoa (GOA)

Genoa's airport is built on reclaimed land in the Mediterranean Sea.

Genoa’s airport is constructed on reclaimed land within the Mediterranean Sea.

Andrea Izzotti/Alamy

There are few higher methods to make an entry onto the Med than with a touchdown at Genoa’s airport, whose runway is a peninsula of reclaimed land dandling on the Ligurian Sea, simply exterior town heart.

Which aspect to plump for relies upon whether or not you are a fan of sea or metropolis views: to see the brightly coloured homes of Genoa metropolis heart spooling down the cliffside, with mountains rearing up behind them, sit on the best; when you desire the glistening Med, and the sensation of touchdown on water, choose the left — you will see the tarmac simply earlier than you hit it.

Sit on the best for town, the left for water views

London Heathrow (LHR)

You'll get prime views of the river Thames on this route into London Heathrow.

You’ll get prime views of the river Thames on this route into London Heathrow.

Frédéric Soltan/Corbis/Getty Images

Heathrow airport could also be a manner exterior London’s metropolis heart, however when you’re flying in on the customarily used japanese method, you will get a hen’s eye view of the UK capital on the best hand aspect as you swoop over its landmarks on remaining method.

You’ll observe the Thames by way of central London, previous Greenwich and Canary Wharf, over London Bridge and St Paul’s, and at last previous Buckingham Palace and the royal parks which encompass it. You’ll glimpse Wembley Stadium proper earlier than landing. Another, much less used method goes over Windsor — though one of the best views for which might be from the left.

Sit on the best

Kigali (KGL)

Flying into Kigali offers fantastic views of Rwanda's green countryside.

Flying into Kigali gives implausible views of Rwanda’s inexperienced countryside.


Rwanda is gorgeous from the air, and the descent into capital Kigali exhibits off the nation at its finest.

Crossing over from the Democratic Republic of Congo into Rwanda, you will descend over lush inexperienced hills, speckled with homes and purple streaks of the native earth roads — all backed up by mountains within the distance for added drama. On the best aspect, it is best to glimpse Lake Kivu, which acts because the border between Rwanda and the DCR, earlier than descending over the hills.

Sit on the best

Nice (NCE)

Nice is definitely a nice arrival into the Med.

Nice is unquestionably a pleasant arrival into the Med.

Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

Like Genoa alongside the coast, and Santos Dumont in Rio, Nice’s airport is constructed on water, with the runway on reclaimed land. From the left hand aspect, you will probably glide previous the Côte d’Azur shoreline as you are available, whereas on the best you will see the glittering sea. Sitting on the left for take-off ought to internet you views of Monaco, too.

Sit on the left

São Paulo (GRU)

Swoop in at night over the glowing cityscape of São Paulo.

Swoop in at evening over the glowing cityscape of São Paulo.

Julia Buckley/CNN

The world’s largest Portuguese-speaking metropolis, with a whopping inhabitants of 12.3 million, São Paulo can really feel intimidatingly large on the bottom, however flying in is a distinct factor fully.

Take a night flight to see the final word city panorama rolling out beneath you — a galaxy of lights beaming so robust that even in cloud cowl, those self same clouds gleam as in the event that they’re alive. Wherever you sit (so long as it is not over the wing) you will have a glowing view.

Sit both aspect

Innsbruck (INN)

You have to swoop over the surrounding mountains to land at Innsbruck.

You must swoop over the encompassing mountains to land at Innsbruck.

Robert Buchel/Alamy

Nervous fliers may need a drink earlier than they begin their descent into Innsbruck. The primary airport in Austria’s Tyrol area, it is cocooned by mountains on all sides — mountains the planes should clear on remaining descent earlier than making it into the valley to land.

Having mentioned that, it is a spectacular entrance — significantly in winter, when those self same mountains are dusted in snow. Either aspect’s spectacular, although down within the valley, the mountains on the left, dotted with villages,are arguably extra fascinating to have a look at.

Sit on the left

Queenstown (ZQN)

Fly into Queenstown and you might get spectacular views of the Southern Alps.

Fly into Queenstown and also you may get spectacular views of the Southern Alps.

Henning Gloystein/Reuters

The climate is the primary concern flying into the primary airport on New Zealand’s South Island — and means it’s possible you’ll barely get a view in any respect.

But if the clouds are enjoying ball, touchdown right here means spectacular views of the Southern Alps. The left aspect ought to provide the finest views of the mountains and the South Island’s coast unfolding forward of you.

Sit on the left

Hong Kong (HKG)

Fly into Hong Kong for incredible views of the South China Sea.

Fly into Hong Kong for unbelievable views of the South China Sea.

Nora Tam/South China Morning Post/Getty Images

Hong Kong International Airport (also called Chep Lak Kok) is constructed on reclaimed land within the South China Sea, so that you already know it is going to be one other nice touchdown. Visibility tends to be not nice, however you will nonetheless have excellent views of the South China Sea and its islands as you get beneath cloud degree.

You’ll swoop over container ships, fishing boats and junks, earlier than descending near Lantau island (often on the best) and onto the tarmac.

Sit on the best

Santiago de Chile (SCL)

Flying into Santiago gives you top notch views of the Andes.

Flying into Santiago offers you high notch views of the Andes.

Ricardo Ribas/Alamy

If snowcapped mountains are your factor, that is the vacation spot for you. You’ll have ravishing views of the Andes as you are available in the direction of Santiago, giving strategy to arid hills after which the plains, these mountains rearing up within the distance, as you come into the basin to land.

Stay on the left aspect to maintain the Andes in sight all the way in which down.

Sit on the left

Las Vegas (LAS)

Night flights into Vegas show off the Strip's neon at its best.

Night flights into Vegas exhibit the Strip’s neon at its finest.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Sit on the best of the aircraft and look north as you come into land at Sin City for spectacular views of the well-known Strip. Make it a night flight to see the neon lights at their best, or fly in in the course of the day for views of the endless Mojave desert surrounding it.

You’ll often method over Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, whereas take-offs whisk you over the sandstone ‘hills’ of Red Rock Canyon.

Sit on the best