Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia: The best experience

Assuming you’re now in Cappadocia, Turkey… while floating over fairy chimney-dotted valleys in a hot air balloon before dawn. That sounds like the ultimate trip to cross off your list, right?

Yes, you may have seen the images. But is it really worth the 150 to 250 Euro asking price? Continue reading to learn what we thought, from our misgivings about making the reservation to our final reflections and evaluation of our hot air balloon ride above Cappadocia.

On what to anticipate from a hot air balloon journey in Cappadocia, we’ll address ALL of your inquiries. If you have inquiries about the duration and cost of a hot air balloon trip, the ideal season to visit Cappadocia, what to pack, and MORE.

Want to book the ride? You can find it here on Viator.

I’ll also give you the lowdown on how frightening a balloon trip is or isn’t if you’re like me and a bit timid about adventure tourism activities.

To discover the answers to your questions and to read our evaluation at the conclusion of this page, just go through each of the sections below. Learn everything about the specifics of a hot air balloon journey in Cappadocia.

How much time is spent in the hot air balloon?

Cappadocia with an amazing view of the air balloons

In Cappadocia, hot air balloon flights take off and land after an hour-long trip. Soon after 4 a.m., the tour operators will pick you up from your lodging. Around 5 a.m., the balloons take off, and they land around 6 a.m.

Following the landing, a little ceremony is held while the balloon is packed, and some sparkling grape is served. And before 8 am, the drivers will return you to your hotel in time for breakfast.

How often do the balloons take off?

Hot air balloons can’t fly every day because they need little or no wind. The Civil Aviation Authority decides the day before or the morning of whether the balloons can fly safely or not.

On average, hot air balloons fly 250–280 days per year. So your chances are pretty good if you plan to stay in Cappadocia for four nights. Just so you know, we stayed in Goreme for four nights, and on three of the mornings we were there, the balloons flew.

If you are in Istanbul, you can book a tour to Cappadocia in 2 days here.

How likely it is that the balloons will fly depends a lot on when you go to Cappadocia. Between April and November, Cappadocia has the best weather for hot-air balloon tours.

During the winter, you might see dramatic photos of snow-filled valleys. This is a beautiful and cheaper time to visit as well. But because weather systems are less predictable in the winter, you can expect to see balloons flying less often. Of course, it’s also much colder, so make sure you’re all bundled up. Since the days are shorter, the times would also be different.

Stick to April to June and September to November, which is the months right before and after summer. That way, you can avoid Cappadocia, which is much hotter. If you can, you should also try to avoid busy times like school breaks and national holidays. Cappadocia is always crowded, and the hot air balloon rides sell out quickly.

We had to change everything about our Turkey road trip because we hadn’t booked a place to stay in Goreme or a hot air balloon ride ahead of time. So make sure your dates don’t fall during busy times and book ahead of time.

What does a hot air balloon cost in Cappadocia?

Prices for a ride in a hot air balloon vary. Depending on the tour company, the time of year, school breaks in Turkey and Europe, and just plain supply and demand.

During the pandemic, prices dropped so low that each person paid less than 100 Euros. At their peak, prices can go up to more than 250 Euros per person, but in the winter, you can book a ride for as little as 100 Euros.

Is it best to plan ahead for a hot air balloon ride?

Cappadocia turkey

This is a harder question to answer because it again comes down to supply and demand.

Look at the Booking Platform for Royal Balloons in Cappadocia to get an idea of how busy it is. You can move through the months to see how busy the upcoming dates are. Check it out online at Viator.

When I know it’s going to be an experience I truly don’t want to miss, I’ll usually err on the side of caution and make reservations in advance. Because I waited too long to reserve a hot air balloon trip and lodging, as I described above, we had to adjust our vacation plans.

Booking with a reputable tour company in Cappadocia has the advantage that they will attempt to get you into a balloon the next day if the weather doesn’t cooperate. And if the weather hasn’t been in your favor by the time your stay is up, you’ll get a complete refund.

How Much Time Should You Spend in Cappadocia?

In light of the fact that hot air balloons are usually in the air for around two-thirds of each year, I believe that staying in Cappadocia for three nights will offer you a fair opportunity of seeing the sunrise.

However, I would advise spending at least four nights in Cappadocia due to the abundance of attractions. A hot air balloon trip is more likely to materialize, and you’ll have more time to see everything that Göreme and Cappadocia have to offer as a result.

What Should I Bring on a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia?

Throw away pretense… That’s best done first thing in the morning at one of the valley lookouts before heading out to see the balloons take flight.

Instead, visualize something cozy, functional, and warm.

To enter or exit the hot air balloon basket, some stooping may be required. In the early hours of the day, especially in the shade, you’ll want to bundle up. Next, you could feel some heat from the hot air balloon’s gas burner.

If you tend to feel overheated easily, dress in layers and carry a small bag to store them in. Especially when dealing with children!

In Cappadocia, do hot air balloons go to the skies after sundown?

Mornings often have more favorable wind conditions for flying. Consequently, you won’t be able to take a hot air balloon flight above Cappadocia around sundown.

Is it safe to bring kids on a hot air balloon ride?

Hot air balloon rides are appropriate for youngsters over the age of six. Depending on the company, the minimum age to fly may be much higher or much lower. That depends on the airline you book your flight with. When our daughters were seven and nine, flying was a breeze. Several of my acquaintances have taken their five-year-old on plane trips. As a general rule, it’s preferable to inquire before making a reservation.

And if you don’t want to take your very young children or toddlers on a hot air balloon flight, you still have other possibilities. To find out which hotels in Göreme have a babysitting service, you should inquire about this option before making your hotel reservation.

Also read: THE BEST 10 hookah bars in Istanbul Turkey

Is it Unsettling to Ride in a Hot Air Balloon?

As someone who enjoys traveling so much, I have a surprising amount of anxiety when it comes to flying. For this reason, I was anxious that I would get an anxiety attack while floating through the air in a hot air balloon. What I went through was not frightening at all, to be honest.

The following may also serve to reassure you:

  • The training for pilots of hot air balloons is rigorous.
  • Both a pilot and a co-pilot are on board.
  • The hot air balloons’ ability to fly depends on the weather, and that decision is made by Civil Aviation.
  • The flight crew provides a pre-flight safety briefing.
  • The highest height at which a balloon may go is 1800 meters (6000 feet).

It might be the silent ascent of the balloon that does it. My fears, if any, lasted hardly more than a few of minutes. That being said, I do not find hot-air ballooning to be terrifying.

Tips for Your Cappadocian Hot Air Balloon Ride.

Expect to get up early on the first day. Between 4 and 4.30 in the morning, minivans swarm the streets to pick up balloon passengers. They don’t like to wait, so you’ll have to be prepared.

After everyone has boarded, the tour departs for its designated departure location outside of town. You’ll find the balloons lined up and partially inflated when you arrive, and you won’t have to wait long to get crammed into the baskets in groups of four or three.

Each of the eight sections of our balloon could fit between three and four people. It’s packed, but you won’t be crammed in there like sardines. We were a party of four, and we got a whole room to ourselves. With both the pilot and the co-pilot on board, all it takes is a count of three to lift off in the balloon.

Hot air balloon in Turkey

Naturally, the direction the wind is blowing will have the most significant role. We watched balloons above Cappadocia for many days and observed them go in a variety of directions depending on the wind. At 5 a.m., we took off, and by 6 a.m., we had landed.

After landing, balloons are placed into the back of a vehicle by the pickup team and ground personnel. After everyone has finished unloading, a small drink of celebration is in order. You’ll get back to your lodging in time for breakfast by 8 a.m.

Is Cappadocia Really That Amazing? Unbiased Analysis.

The number of Euros they wanted made feel uncomfortable. If you’re in the same boat, you’ll want an unbiased opinion. Do you think it’s a good idea to ride in a hot air balloon above Cappadocia?

Here are some disadvantages:

I blame Instagram in part for turning Cappadocia into a fairy-tale land of hot air balloons and mystical rock formations. It’s a great pity since I think there’s so much more to Cappadocia than just balloon rides.

Thus, many tourists go to Cappadocia to capture stunning images of hot air balloons. However, this is precisely where the dilemma resides.

No daily balloon flights would occur if so many people weren’t always dropping in. Indeed, the mere spectacle of so many balloons floating over the valley adds to the enchantment of Cappadocia.

Therefore, a large number of visitors would result in a greater need for balloons, and a consequent increase in price. Nonetheless, the more balloons there are, the more magic there will be.

To recite the benefits:

When thinking about environmental impact, there are probably worse methods to travel. Concerning environmentally friendly travel, we found the trip to be a net plus. Propane gas, which is what hot air balloons use to go into the air, is safer for the environment than other gases. Furthermore, the event resulted in less waste because of efficient planning.

To me, the romance of it all was one of the major benefits. Visiting Cappadocia has been on my bucket list for a very long time. To be honest, we have long since forgotten the 150 Euros per person that we spent on the hot air balloon journey, but the memory of it lives on.

Wrapping Up Our Cappadocian Hot-Air-Balloon Adventure.

To sum up, should you go on a hot air balloon trip to Cappadocia? Absolutely, in my opinion.

Could I even claim it justifies all the fuss? Most likely not, but I’m not the kind of traveler to get carried away by rumors and urban legends.

Having said that, taking a hot air balloon ride is an incredible opportunity, and you should take advantage of it if even for only once in your lifetime. If the timing works out and you have the chance to visit Cappadocia, then you shouldn’t hesitate.

Useful Advice for Having a Fantastic Time in a Hot Air Balloon.

The first piece of advice: Schedule your flight on the day you arrive in Cappadocia. Don’t wait until you’re halfway through your journey to check the weather forecast. Many folks we encountered were really disappointed that they were unable to book a balloon flight. For starters, it wasn’t a good time due to the weather, and secondly, tickets had already sold out.

Here’s a second piece of advice: always get on the first wave of hot air balloons. At daybreak, a hundred balloons lift off, and 45 minutes later, only about 50 return. To really appreciate the awe-inspiring sight of the vast number of hot air balloons floating in the sky all around you, you need to be on the very first trip.

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