Hot air ballooning Cappadocia – Turkey: A complete guide with everything you need to know about Cappadocia’s famous hot air balloons.
About the hot air balloons in Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a region, located in central Turkey and is famous for its valleys, unusual landscape and cave hotels. There’s many incredible things to do in Cappadocia, but it’s the hundreds of picturesque hot air balloons taking off in the mornings, that draw in thousands of tourist every year from around the globe. Turkey’s very first commercial passenger balloon took flight in 1991. Since then, over 25 ballooning companies and 200 hot air balloons are registered in Cappadocia.
Thinking of taking a flight? Here’s everything you need to know about booking a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia.
Where is the best place to stay in Cappadocia
Most travellers visiting Cappadocia base themselves in Göreme. It’s a small but busy town which offers great accessibility to the hot air balloons. There’s plenty of accommodation options, restaurants, cafes and shops to suit all budgets.
The nearby towns of Uçhisar & Çavuşin are also great places to stay when visiting Cappadocia. They are smaller than Goröme and not as crowded, yet still offer great accommodation, eating and shopping options.
If you book a hot air balloon flight, the company you book with will pick you up from your hotel, regardless of which nearby town you stay in.
When is the best time of year to go hot air ballooning in Cappadocia?
Cappadocia’s hot air balloons operate all year round, subject to weather conditions and typically fly around 250 days of the year. If there’s rain, fog, snow or strong winds, flights get cancelled. The best time of year to go hot air ballooning in Cappadocia is between April – November. The weather conditions during these months are at their best and flights are more likely to operate. Most flight cancellations occur between December – March, due to the poorer winter weather.
How to book a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia
Booking a Cappadocia hot air balloon flight is pretty simple. Almost every hotel/hostel offers balloon flights and there are many local agencies in Göreme where you can make a booking. Furthermore, you can book directly with ballooning companies either online, in person or via phone.
Which is the best hot air balloon company in Cappadocia?
This is a tricky question as everyone has different opinions of what constitutes as ‘the best’. There are a lot of hot air ballooning companies in Cappadocia to choose from, so where do you start? As mentioned above, almost all accommodation providers will have a hot air balloon package to offer you. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best option available. We recommend researching the different companies and shopping around for the best deal. To help you out, here’s an awesome website we found which compares many of Cappadocia’s hot air balloon companies.
How much does a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia cost?
The price of a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia starts at around €130 p/p but can cost much more. The price of the flight will depend on:
- The company you book through
- How many people on the flight (smaller groups cost more)
- The length of the flight (longer flights cost more)
- What kind of breakfast is included (open buffet/champagne/simple)
Insurance and return transfers are typically included in the price of a balloon flight.
Tip – The wind will dictate where you fly, where you land and how short your flight is.
What times do the hot air balloons launch?
The hot air balloons in Cappadocia actually launch at 2 different times. Around 100 balloon depart and are up in the air prior to sunrise. The advantage of a pre-sunrise flight is that you will witness the sunrising whilst floating across the valleys. But despite this being the most popular flight time, it’s important to note that you will ultimately spend a chunk of your limited flying time in the dark or in low light conditions.
A further 50 balloons are permitted to launch about 30 minutes after sunrise. Given that the surrounding landscape looks spectacular in the mornings light, you will get maximum light to take photos of the landscape. You should also be able to see the pre-sunrise balloons setting up and launching too.
Flights generally last between 45-90 minutes, depending on the package you book and weather conditions.
Tip – It can get super cold in the mornings, especially high up in the air. Wear layers to make sure you don’t freeze!
Where do the hot air balloons take off from?
There are several hot air balloon launching sites dotted around Cappadocia. These include Love Valley and Rose Valley behind Aydin Kiraği (sunrise point). The launching site may differ each day depending on which company you book with.
What happens if your hot air balloon flight gets cancelled?
If you are unlucky enough to have your hot air balloon flight cancelled in Cappadocia, you’ll generally receive a refund. However if you want to rebook, you may have a bit of trouble doing so. Hot air ballooning is THE most popular thing to do in Cappadocia. Flights can book out days in advance, especially during the peak tourist months of July-Sept.
If you absolutely don’t want to miss out on a flight, then make sure you book in advance. It’s worth staying in Cappadocia a few days, giving you a few extra mornings to play with. If your flight does get cancelled (which can happen just moments before take off), you’ll need to act quickly and try to rebook straight away. Don’t just rely on your hotel to rebook your flight, as they may only call one or two companies. You may need to call several companies to find a spot!
Is a Cappadocia hot air balloon flight worth it?
This really is a personal opinion and one that everyone should decide for themselves. We spent 4 nights in Cappadocia, giving us several mornings to see the hot air balloons. They flew every morning during our stay, which was awesome to see. We spent a considerable amount of time researching everything about the hot air balloons, but in the end, we decided not to book a flight.
To be honest, it came down to price for us. Converted to AUD, two tickets was more than we could justify on our then, backpacker budget. As we were mid way through 18 months of travelling, we took advantage of the amazing views for free from below and chose to invest our dollars into months of more travelling instead. That’s not to say that a Cappadocia hot air balloon flight isn’t worth it. The prices are actually quite reasonable in comparison to other places in the world. And floating above the valley’s would be an incredible experience. Had we had more money, we would have definitely booked a flight. We thought long and hard about it but in the end, we simply choose to enjoy the views from below instead!
Cappadocia is by far one of the most fascinating and incredible places we have every visited. And witnessing the magic of Cappadocia’s hot air balloons was definitely worth the early morning wake up! But this part of Turkey offers more than just hot air balloons. There’s loads of things to do here, so we definitely recommend staying a few days to see all that Cappadocia has to offer.
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