A cable car is not something I seek out when I go on holiday but I’m always delighted when there is one! This is because a cable car (or chair lift or mountain gondola) usually means there are some spectacular views to be had. Here’s a variety of cable cars from around the world – from Brazil to the Scottish Highlands!
Anacapri Chair Lift in Italy
Whilst the thirteen minute ride is slightly scary (and probably not for those scared of heights), the panoramic views at the top make up for the shaking knees! There’s also a restaurant at the top and a lovely terrace to enjoy a drink.
Cost: €12 per person return or €9 one way
Duration: 13 mins each way
Funchal Cable Car in Madeira
If you’re planning a visit to Madeira, make sure you put the Funchal Cable Car on your list. The cable car offers gorgeous views over the city and the sea whilst it slopes up the mountain to the top of Monte Parish.
Cost: €16 for a round trip or €11 one way. Children 7-14, €8 round trip and €5.50 one way. Children 6 and under go free.
Duration: Less than 20 mins each way.
Porto Cable Car in Porto by Our LDN Life
The Porto cable car, Teleferico de Gaia, connects the Gaia riverside promenade to the upper deck of D. Luis I bridge over the River Douro. You can either start at the bottom or the top – or do a round trip – giving panoramic views of the beautiful houses, glistening River Douro and stunning architecture of the famous bridge.
Cost: Prices start at €6 for one-way and €9 for a round trip for adults and €3 for children (5-12) one-way and €4.50 for a round trip.
Duration: Around 5 minutes.
Ngong Ping 360 cable car in Hong Kong
One of the highlights of our trip to Hong Kong was getting the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to Lantua to see the Tian Tan Big Buddha. At 5.7km long and a 25 minute ride one-way, it’s one of the longest cable cars in the world.
We opted for the crystal cabin which has a glass floor… not for those scared of heights! It felt very safe though and sturdy. When you arrive in Lantau you can have a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants or you can do a bit of shopping before walking to the impressive Tian Tan Big Buddha.
Cost: Standard cabin $235 per adult, $155 for 65+ and $110 for children aged 3-11 for a round trip. Crystal cabin costs $315 per adult, $235 65+ and $190 for children aged 3-11. Prices are in Hong Kong Dollars.
Duration: 25 mins each way.
Prague by Tag Along Travel
We visited Prague in 2011, and by far the best experience we had was exploring the city’s spectacular zoo. In 2005 flooding decimated the zoo, which required a major restoration. The redesign accommodated its 5,000+ animals within natural enclosures that provide segregation while blending with the environment.
The result is the delightful illusion of not being separated from the animals at all. The zoo’s vast and hilly terrain means that visitors get a good workout while walking through the site. The big reward is taking the cable car chairlift back to ground-level while enjoying the panoramic view.
Cost: CZK 25 one way. Children under 6 are free.
Gibraltar by Mostly Food and Travel
If you want to get up the famous Rock, this is the quickest way. You will be 412 metres above sea level in just 6 minutes!
The cable car runs every 10 minutes from 9:30am to 17:15pm daily and access is from the southern end of Main Street. The cost for a return ticket is £17 at the booking office. You can get it cheaper if you book beforehand or buy a package. We got a combo ticket for £34 which included the cable car ride and the dolphin tour (This was with Dolphin Adventure).
Once at the Top of the Rock you can view 2 continents, 3 countries and the meeting point of 2 great bodies of water.
If you fancy a bite to eat or have a drink there is the Top of the Rock Café and the Mons Calpe Suite Restaurant.
If you do not have a lot of time it is a great way to get panoramic views of Gibraltar. On my next visit I would get a tour to the Top of the Rock just so I can get more local information and have more stops for different views. There are many taxi/tour companies touting for business around, just be careful to go with a reputable firm or recommendations.
Cost: £17 per adult return. Children aged 5-12 is £8 and students and those aged 65+ is £15.50.
Duration: 6 minutes each way.
Scottish Highlands by Kerry Live and Loves
If you are ever lucky enough to be in the Scottish Highlands, then the cable car (or mountain gondola) up Aonach Mor is a must. The gondola is the only one of its kind in the UK and slowly ascends 650 meters skywards. The journey takes about 15 minutes, and If you look down you will be treated to far reaching views of the Nevis Range.
But it is the view from the top that is the real reward. The beauty of the landscape laid out before you is breath-taking. The water of the Great Glen twinkles below and Ben Nevis mountain is remarkable in its size, even at that distance away. It is an experience not to be missed in the Highlands.
Cost: Prices start from £19.50 but there are lots of different options so best to check their website for the ticket you need.
Duration: Approximately 15 minutes each way.
The Heights of Abraham, Derbyshire by She Gets Around
The Cable Cars to the Heights of Abraham are like a homing beacon when I return home to Matlock from afar. Even when closed the cable cars hang across Matlock Bath valley, easy to spot for anyone visiting the area. They take you to the top of the Derwent Valley where you will find a cafe, playgrounds, historical walks and can even head down into some of Derbyshire’s famous show caverns – not for the claustrophobic!
The entrance to the cable cars is found behind the train station in Matlock Bath, where you can park and head up to the top of the valley. On your return down into town you will find a row of shops, cafes and arcades along the riverfront. Matlock Bath is known as the ‘seaside resort far from the sea’. You will find everything you expect of a typical British seaside resort, fish and chip shops, games arcades, even an aquarium… just no beach or sea! If you’re here for a while make sure you head in Matlock too or do some of the amazing walks around the areas for views across the Peak District.
Cost: £17 for an adult ticket, £11.50 for children (under 5s are free), seniors £13.50.
Duration: Around 10 minutes.
Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro by Be-Lavie
When visiting the Carnival capital of South America, Rio de Janeiro, one of the ‘must-do’ trips is to the great Sugar Loaf Mountain. It runs from between Praia Vermelha, passing through Morro da Urca and then finally summits at 1,299 foot (396m) on Sugar Loaf Mountain.
This ride really is not for the faint-hearted but hands down is the best vista you will see in Rio. With Copacabana and Ipenema beach on one side and Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain on the other, I defy you not to be blown-away!
Cost: R$110.20 (there are different options so best check the website)
Duration: Approximately 10 -15 mins