Visiting Cappadocia in a hot air balloon is an ethereal, dreamlike experience, and it’s not difficult to book a tour before you even get there.
There are few experiences in Europe that offer the same incredible aerial views and resemble those from a hot air balloon. In a place like Cappadocia, where its deeply rooted history is so evident in its landscape, the experience is only surpassed by the real magic itself. Being suspended hundreds of feet in the air as the world slowly recedes below is something dreamlike and exciting at the same time.
Some would even say that a hot air balloon is the best way to see and appreciate all that Cappadocia has to offer, and many people would tend to agree. This once in a lifetime excursion is worth investing in on any trip to Turkey, and here’s how.
What to know before booking
Before even considering a hot air balloon travel business, there are some things travelers should know. For starters, hot air ballooning is not something that is usually done at dusk; preferably, tours start at dawn. Therefore, all the photos and videos of hot air balloons in Cappadocia were, most often, taken during Sunrise rather than sunset. Travelers can expect to wake up while it is still dark to enjoy a visit that takes advantage of the early hours of the day. The reason behind this delay is that it is safer because the atmosphere is more stable, which leads to a smoother flight. Since the start of the flights at at dawn, travelers will need to be awake before being picked up – again, while it is still dark.
For almost all travel agencies in Cappadocia, breakfast and transportation are included services. This makes it incredibly easy to pick a tour and be ready at the agreed time, and attendants won’t even have to worry about eating ahead as it’s taken care of. Food is the only thing that varies from company to company.
- Tours begin before dawn.
- The accompanying persons are picked up from their hotels with the other passengers.
- The morning consists of eating while the balloons are being prepared (travelers have the chance to see them inflate).
- Breakfast is included.
- After breakfast, 4×4 trucks arrive to take passengers to the balloons for take-off.
- Snacks are provided after landing.
- Passengers are returned to their hotels between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
What does the flight look like once you’re up there?
That’s the whole reason for the tour, isn’t it? Once passengers are taken into the air, they will experience spectacular views of the Cappadocia landscape. This includes Kızılçukur Valley, Meskender Valley, Gülludere Valley, and Love Valley. The villages of Göreme and Çavusin are also visible, with longer flights taking tourists above the outskirts of these valleys.
Among the green hills of Cappadocia, tourists will see various rock formations and the ‘fairy chimneys’ the region is so famous for, providing a unique perspective on what is already a beautiful destination.
- Flight duration : 45 – 75 minutes
- Number of passengers: From 16 to 24 years old, plus the captain
- Flight paths: Determined by weather conditions (which are generally stable)
- Restrictions: No children under six or passengers under 140 centimeters
Book a hot air balloon in Cappadocia
Now that the basics are settled, how do you go about booking a hot air balloon flight in Turkey? This is also very easy to do thanks to reputable companies that maintain stellar records and routine procedures while flying hot air balloons.
Travelers are strongly advised to book travel in advance, either weeks before their trip or months before; It is a good rule of thumb to book at the same time as you have booked a trip to Cappadocia. Even though these hot air balloons can carry up to 24 passengers, that doesn’t mean they will have last minute openings or fill up quickly, especially during the summer months in Turkey.
The best hot air balloon tours
Butterfly balloons. This hot air balloon company is well known throughout the region and is arguably the most popular in Cappadocia. Located in Goreme, these flights have a minimum airtime of around an hour, with a maximum of 16 people on board at any one time.
- Cost: 100 € for 1h, 150 € for 1h30
Travelers Balloons. Another well-known and reputable company located in Avanos, Voyager Balloons has been taking travelers into the air and showing them the best of Cappadocia for quite some time now. They have also received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence four years in a row. They offer standard, ULTRA comfort, luxury and exclusive tours with varying prices; interested travelers should request pricing information.
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