Traveling to admire the mountains or relaxing at the beach seems pretty common nowadays. If you’re a hodophile, you can try out new adventures different countries of the world have to offer. That being said, you will be thrilled to know that the hot air balloon adventure in Turkey is popular enough.
In this guide, we will take you through a complete experience of this thrilling ride and also let you learn about the best big balloon ride offered in the Cappadocia city of Turkey. As a matter of interest, Cappadocia also renders a plethora of attractions, which you can easily glimpse from a high point in the balloon. From mountains and lush gardens to classic landscapes alluring everyone’s heart, you won’t be bored for a single minute during this run.
Besides, for all the U.S. folks missing out on a hot air balloon ride, can now undertake a balloon adventure in the Napa Valley. Although the place is usually full of tourists exploring the valley and initiating activities such as ballooning, hiking trails, etc. So, take your cheap flights to California and leverage this amazing place.
Fun Facts About Hot Balloons In Cappadocia
- The first commercial passenger balloon in Turkey was taken by Lars-Eric Möre and Kaili Kidner in 1991.
- Ballooning in Cappadocia, estimatedly takes place for 250 days a year.
- More than 100 balloons fly above the valley every morning at dawn.
- Since it’s worldwide popular, the price of this ride is expensive too. A nominal charge of $150-$200 per person is charged.
- Pilots of Cappadocia balloon tours undergo extensive flight training.
- Cappadocia’s hot air balloons can reach around 3000 meters above ground.
Getting Around Cappadocia
For reaching Cappadocia by taking cheap flights from anywhere in the world, you will be using Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport. The airport is located 30 kms away from the downtown city, with Cappadocia’s tourism center and the village of Göreme. Now you can take an airport shuttle from the airport to your hotel, but you should pre-book it to avoid chaos.
Furthermore, if budget is not your main focus then you can book a cab or a car rental to travel here and there in the city. A cab ride can be booked via the app and will pick you up from the given pickup point. Another option would be to take a bus. Not only is this transport affordable, but also provides a ride throughout the city and even at the air balloon adventure spot.
Where To Stay In Cappadocia
To enjoy balloon rides packed with fun, you obviously need to consider staying at a place where you can watch the colorful balloons flying up in the sky from the rooftop. This way, even if you aren’t taking the excursion, you can still admire the mesmerizing view surrounding the terrace of your hotel.
As far as location is concerned, it’s best to choose a hotel in the area linking the villages of Göreme, Uçhisar, and Ortahisar, and the small towns of Ürgüp and Avanos. In this location, you will find plenty of hot air balloon companies and other sprawling attractions like churches and museums.
Not just that, the balloon companies provide a drive back and forth from their location to yours whose prices are included in your ride’s ticket fare. Doesn’t it sound completely overwhelming to you? Well, if it does then you obviously need to visit here to cherish this feeling.
Also, the ballooning happens at the blink of dawn; hence, you would require to stay a night before your planned ride.
Booking A Hot Air Balloon Ride
There are around 25 companies offering ballooning tours in Cappadocia, Turkey. It might get really confusing on which company to select for the ride.
Considering the fact that this tour isn’t cheap at all, it’s best to book your seat in advance; especially when you’re traveling with family or a group of 5-7 friends. The rides usually fill up faster in summers considering its popularity.
Talking about some renowned ride operators, Butterfly Balloons in Göreme is one of the most established and renowned companies you’d find in the city. They offer standard flights and carry only 16 passengers per tour lasting for a minimum of one hour. Moreover, they also serve higher-end flights which lasts upto 90 minutes carrying upto 12 passengers. The best part is their complimentary breakfast offered to each rider.
Another popular company is Voyager Balloons in Avanos. They also have a good reputation and offer tours lasting for a minimum of one hour. However, they use bigger baskets which carry upto 24 passengers per ride.
Now let’s talk about the views you’d be observing once your balloon ride begins.
At dawn when the tour begins, your balloon will be flying over valley networks of Kızılçukur (Red) Valley, Gülludere (Rose) Valley, Meskendir Valley, and Love Valley. These valleys are spreaded over in the villages of Göreme and Çavusin.
Depending on the weather, wind directions, and other circumstances, the air balloon ride cannot be guaranteed. That said, sometimes your tour might include the village of Ortahisar, known for its rock citadel, or Pigeon Valley. This route will lead towards the hillside village of Uçhisar, covered by a rock fortress.
Although the route might not be confirmed, you will undoubtedly enjoy the journey. The reason why this ride is so popular in Cappadocia, is because of the favorability of weather and thermal conditions in this city. This also means that most of the days these tours provide the most picturesque views and a reason to capture tons of pictures/selfies.
What Happens After Your Balloon Lands
Once the flying balloon lands, a sudden emotion of overwhelming chills can be feeled by every passenger. Additionally, each rider receives some refreshments (snacks and drinks) to give a thrilling and delightful end to their adventure. On the other hand, the crew members start packing up the balloon for the next ride.
Interestingly, most balloon companies hand out certificates to commemorate the entire journey and create a sense of accomplishment.
Post ride, the passengers are asked to hop in the provided transport(usually a minibus or 4WD) and are dropped at their particular hotels. FYI, the whole excursion from picking up to dropping off generally takes somewhere around three to four hours. Although timing completely depends upon the location of your hotel and how actively you initiate the ride.