One of Turkey’s most beautiful regions, Cappadocia is famous for its surreal rock formations created from volcanic activity and erosion through the years. But what makes this magical place stand out from the rest are the hot air balloon rides. Almost half a million people take to the skies from here every year. It’s no surprise that this once-in-a-lifetime experience has found a place in many people’s bucket list.
The hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia is special because of the picture-perfect panoramic views of the unique landscape from above. Hundreds of balloons in rainbow colors floating through the beautiful skies makes for a picturesque sight. Watching an extra-ordinary sunrise right in front of your eyes and capturing this unique moment is the most sought-after experience you can ever ask for. Come hop on to a hot air balloon as we take you through all that you need to know about Cappadocia hot air balloon.
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What To Expect On A Hot Air Ballooning Day In Cappadocia
The day starts with an early pick up (between 4:00am and 4:30am) from the hotel. Well before sunrise one needs to reach the launch site. When you get there, you can see plenty of balloons lying on the ground already half inflated. While the ground crew prepares the balloon for the ride, you will be treated to a light breakfast. After breakfast everyone will be boarded into basket partitions in threes or fours. There will be 15-20 other tourists who will be sharing the ride with you.
Once up there, don’t be surprised by the sheer volume of balloons. There will be over 100 balloons doting the sky. There are doubly trained pilots with excellent safety records to take you up. Which path your pilot takes on the day depends on the direction of the wind. Whichever direction the wind takes you, be prepared to witness some amazing landscape. Now’s the time to take some magical photos to show off on social media platforms.
The descent is usually very calm, the pickup team and ground crew will be ready to get everyone unloaded. Finally celebrate this magical experience with a glass of champagne and a commemorative flight certificate. The entire flight from lift off to landing will take about an hour.
7 Best Hot Air Balloon Rides In Cappadocia
Cappadocia in Turkey is probably the most famous place on earth to soar above in a hot air balloon, hence there are many tour operators offering different experiences. Here’s a list of top rides to choose from. All these tours are inclusive of pick-up and drop facility from the hotel, breakfast, coffee/tea, Champagne & Commemorative Certificate.
Cappadocia Sunrise Balloon Tour – The sunrise tour mainly focuses on takes off during the time of sunrise. The hot air balloon escalates to an altitude of about 700-1000 meters above the ground from where you get to see the beautiful sunrise.
Balloon Flight Over Cappadocia Cat Valley – This flight is most popular among offbeat travelers and adventure seekers. It takes off from the village of Cat which is 20km away from Goreme. The one hour balloon ride takes you through Cat Valley which is very famous for its multiple cave dwellings and lunar-like rock formations.
Balloon Tour Over Fairy Chimneys – Fairy chimneys are a result of ancient volcanic eruptions which ended up creating ‘tuff’. Tuff is a solidified rock made out of thick ash from rain and winds. Tuff valleys have beautiful ancient rock-cut churches which look absolutely amazing from above.
Deluxe Tour Over Goreme Valley – The Goreme valley has several dwellings, underground towns, and cavemen villages from the post-Iconoclastic period. The views of these rock sites from above are purely magical. One gets a bird’s eye view of the entire valley with this ride. Deluxe tours generally take people for rides in smaller groups with longer durations.
Private Hot Air Balloon Ride – Tourists generally book this ride to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays or for Honeymoon. One gets to choose the duration of the flight here plus surprises can be planned to make the experience even more special.
Balloon Flight and Göreme Museum Tour – Set out to explore the ancient Byzantine cave churches after a beautiful hot air balloon flight over Cappadocia with this tour. 10th century frescos, paintings, and artwork depicting the life of Jesus Christ can be seen in the museum. You can also try your hand at pottery with this tour.
Hot Air Balloon Tour + Cappadocia Red Tour + ATV Quad Bike Safari – After the hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia one gets to see the animal-shaped rocks in Devrent Valley. Surprisingly this valley has everything in red. After that you get to ride an ATV through a valley with a surface that feels similar to the moon. The entire tour takes about three hours to complete.
Things To Know Before Booking A Hot Air Balloon Tour
Now that you are ready to tick one of your bucket list dreams, keep these things in mind about hot air balloon rides before embarking on a ride of a lifetime.
Book Your Ride In Advance
Going all the way to Cappadocia and not being able to do the hot air balloon is highly disappointing. Hundreds of people come in everyday from all over the world to experience this thrilling activity. Some reserve the morning tour to experience sunrise and some prefer the evening tour for mesmerizing sunsets. So plan in advance and book according to your preference.
High Chances Of Ride Getting Canceled
As hot air balloons are a very primitive form of aviation there are high chances of the ride getting canceled due to bad weather or other technical issues. Under such circumstances your ride may be rescheduled to the next day or may even get canceled. In the event of cancellation you will get a full refund.
Come Prepared For Cold Weather
Be it summer or winter the winds up in the sky are generally very chilly. Keeping extra layers of clothing and jackets can help beat the cold winds. Check for weather updates before booking your ride.
Flight Path Depends On Wind Direction
The path of your flight heavily depends on the wind’s direction and speed. There is nothing really to worry about whichever direction the wind takes you, be ready to see beautiful valleys, fairy chimneys, volcanic rock formations, and cave dwellings. The hot air balloon will also take you over two most popular towns in Cappadocia – Göreme and Uçhisar town.
Follow All Instructions Carefully
Before taking off, the pilot and crew members will explain in detail about the entire ride. Please listen to all the instructions carefully and follow them. You are in safe hands as all Pilots have undergone ultra-careful training and have completed hundreds of hours of flight time. Moreover the Turkish Civil Aviation Authority keeps a close watch to ensure safety.
Use Camera Strap
Hot air balloons fly around 3000 feet above the ground, so to ensure that the camera is safe use the camera’s strap. By doing so there is no fear of the camera falling down and ruining the entire experience. Using the camera’s strap will also make you more relaxed, it’s also very convenient when you are not using your camera.
Keep your Skirts and frocks away as they are a little impractical for the activity. Wearing pants or shorts are great choices for getting into the Hot air balloon basket. Also dress as per the weather, comfortable, loose fitting clothing are highly recommended.
Suggested Reads: Turkey will soon open more underground cities in Cappadocia
Finally, Is Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Worth It
Seeing Cappadocia from the vantage point of a hot air balloon is going to stay with you for a long time. Cappadocia’s surreal landscape from above is something out of a dream. If you get a chance to experience it, there is no thinking twice, just go for it. And for those who are scared of heights, make an effort to watch them at least from the ground. It’s absolutely worth it!
FAQ’s On Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon
The Cappadocia hot air balloon festival generally happens in the month of July. During Cappadocia hot air balloon season more than 150 balloons can be seen flying in the sky at the same time. This truly spectacular view can be seen only from this place.
All children up to 6 years old will not be allowed to fly in the hot air balloon. Children from 7 to 16 years should be accompanied by a responsible adult who is 18 years or above. Do check with your tour operator before booking the tickets.
Because of the perfect year-round weather conditions, hot air balloons in Cappadocia turkey can be experienced throughout the year. However from April until November is the best time for this activity as there are less chances for flights getting canceled due to bad weather.
Duration of the flight generally depends on the type of tour. Most of the rides are completed within one hour. However a Deluxe tour will last for about 90 minutes. The entire pickup to drop will take 3 to 4 hours to complete.