Microsoft Flight Simulator includes the whole planet, which means that it’s possible to go on a literal tour around the world that would make Jules Verne proud.
While exploring every corner of our planet will take years, flying all the way around it is a much more attainable goal, and that’s exactly what I set out to do almost exactly one month ago.
Of course, flying the whole distance in one go would be rather taxing, so I decided to take it easy and split it into several legs, with each keeping me in the air approximately one or two hours.
As my departure point, I selected the airport of Florence in Italy, simply because I’m Italian and Florence is a beautiful city to take off from.
For my ride, I picked the Cessna Citation Longitude. It’s fast so the trip wouldn’t last 80 days like in Verne’s novel, and it’s really sleek. May as well do this in style.
Once I had my departure point and my aircraft selected, I picked my first destination and took off. I didn’t do much pre-planning. Every time I sat at the controls, I simply decided a target that I wanted to visit approximately east of where I was. That would have brought me back home, sooner or later.
The whole tour lasted 33 legs flown between Aug 26 and Sept 22, for approximately 50 flight hours across Europe, Asia, America, and two oceans, briefly touching Africa as well. Here’s the route I followed.
Since Microsoft Flight Simulator is a beautiful game, below you can find 2,906 screenshots taken across all legs.
Having them all on the site would be a bit cumbersome, so clicking on each picture will bring you to the full gallery for that specific leg. You can also find a massive gallery with every single picture here.
And yes, for the realism-savvy among you, I’m perfectly aware that I shouldn’t fly this low over urban areas. This is a sightseeing trip in a Flight Simulator, so I had to break a few rules.
Leg 1: Florence to Athens
Florence is beautifully rendered in Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Athens is an absolutely massive city. Yet, I immediately run into an unforeseen problem. The Longitude has a glitch that degrades its fuel economy considerably, so I loaded a lot less juice than I need and I have to stop on the island of Corfu for refueling.
Leg 2: Athens to Istanbul
This time around I leave Athens with a full tank, and Istanbul is no less splendid, worthy of the connection point between Europe and Asia.
Leg 3: Istanbul to Cairo
Before diving deeper into the Asian continent, I wanted a tad of Africa, so I hop across the Mediterranean to Egypt, where I can witness the majesty of the pyramids from above.
Leg 4: Cairo to Tel Aviv/Jerusalem
Time to fly back to the Middle East with a visit to Israel’s main international airport Ben Gurion, which serves both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Yet, first I take a closer look at the Giza pyramid complex thanks to the departure route that leads me straight above the famous wonder of antiquity.
Leg 5: Tel Aviv to Dubai
The sixth leg brings me across Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf to the glitzy capital of the United Arab Emirates. Its majestic skyscrapers and beautiful marinas are as stunning as expected.