15 Jul Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia
1. Hot Air Balloon at Sunrise
Experiencing a hot air balloon ride at sunrise is one of the world’s most common travel bucket list items. Cappadocia is the number one region in the world for its incredible hot air balloon destination, where you seamlessly float above the historic cave dwellings of Goreme with over 100 other balloons at sunrise as if you were in a fairytale scene.
With spectacular aerial views at sunrise, as if in a dream drifting gently past enchanting landscapes of valleys, orchards, vineyards, pigeon houses and “fairy chimneys”. Feeling weightless in a basket and soaring high up in the skies, reaching nearly 1000 metres on a mystical hot air balloon is a magical feeling!
The Instagramable photos of Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia have made this region one of the top experiences on many people’s bucket lists – and it’s not hard to see why!
The Cappadocia region of Turkey is the most famous location worldwide for hot air ballooning almost all year round. Either in the hot summers or snowy winters – and the landscape looks incredible in both.
All hot air balloon flights start at dawn, just before sunrise, so it’s a very early start. We were met and picked up from our hotel at 4.30 am!
Most tour companies will serve a light breakfast or have a little ‘doggy bag’ to feed your hunger before taking off. Once your coach has reached the take-off zone, you will experience first-hand how the balloons get inflated with hot air and see the enormity of these balloons.
It was our first trip in a hot air balloon, so we didn’t know what to expect with 24 to a basket; we wondered if the basket would be too heavy for the balloon to lift us off the ground!
Once our balloon reached total inflation, the pilot perched a ladder on the basket so we could climb in. Then, safety instructions were given on what not to do.
Looking up through the balloon, the intense heat from the burning fire was warming our bodies, especially when we were dressed in winter gear to protect us from the chill of the morning!
But from this moment, we felt nervous and excited at the same time!
On the ground, we were surrounded by deflated balloons lying on their sides and some already inflated, ready to take off. The staff were busy setting them up, checking them for safety. Great to see how all this works!
Watch our full You Tube video of the Hot Air Balloon experience below.
Over the next hour, with our trained pilot’s guidance and commentary, we floated up to 1000m. As the sun rose above the horizon, the first light of day awakened the Cappadocia region to its full glory. With the constantly changing morning sky, the views were breathtaking, passing Fairy Chimneys, the Valley, pigeon houses, cave houses and vineyards.
From the highest points, it felt so surreal, taking in panoramic views of the region. The sky filled with over 100 balloons of different colours and designs, and it looked just like someone had drawn a painting in the sky!
Apart from the incredible landscape beneath us, we watched people riding around in ATVs, brides getting married in beautiful white dresses, and photo shoots with ladies in brightly coloured gowns sitting in their vintage cars! It was spectacular!
A hot air balloon ride can cost between €140 – €220 depending on the season and which category you decide to fly, whether shared or private.
Availability of hot air balloons?
Hot air balloons fly every day in every season in Cappadocia unless the weather turns and it gets too windy, rainy, or snowy. Most cancellations are between December and April due to weather; for example, if the wind speed is more than 9 to 10 kilometres per hour, the balloons will not fly.
After the ride experience has finished, the balloon staff will offer you wine, champagne or water and at this time is customary to put a tip in the box. Anywhere from 50 TL – 100 TL ($3 – $6) per person is considered a reasonable amount.
Make sure to book a hot air balloon ride on the first morning you arrive, or better still pre-book it, because sometimes the balloon rides get cancelled at the last minute, due to the weather turning unexpectedly with strong winds or rain.
You are usually informed the night before by the tour company, if the tour is going to be cancelled. So make sure you have planned two or three spare mornings in Cappadocia, just incase!
We had the most fantastic experience soaring above Cappadocia’s otherworldly landscapes in a hot air balloon.
We highly recommend this as a must-do on anyone’s bucket list for an authentic travel experience!
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