Planning a trip to Turkey’s Cappadocia? Find out where the best viewpoints to see Cappadocia’s world famous hot air balloons are.
Located in Central Turkey, the region of Cappadocia is by far the most mind blowing place we have ever visited. The area is known for its fairytale backdrop, incredible rock formations, cave dwellings and hiking trails. But it’s the hundreds of hot air balloons that fill the sky every morning at sunrise that draws thousands of visitors to Cappadocia every year… including us!
The hot air balloons take off from several different sites around Göreme, Uçhisar & Çavuşin. There are countless locations where you can enjoy this magical morning spectacle, so we thought we’d put together some of our favourites.
A cave hotel rooftop terrace
Undoubtedly, the most popular place to get those ‘insta’ snaps, are from one of Cappadocia’s many hotel rooftop terraces. Although the views are amazing, the downside is that the terraces get really busy. You kinda need to wait your turn for an uninterrupted photo, which can really test your patience. What we thought would be a cruisy morning of photography, quickly became a very pressured ‘dog eat dog’ situation! Incase you’re wondering, you don’t typically get to enjoy breakfast on a communal terrace whilst the balloons rise around you. The tables with fruit and coffee you see in photos are purely props. And you have to queue for a photo at one of these.
We stayed at Sultan Cave Suites in Goröme for 2 nights. It’s probably the most famous cave hotel in the area with an awesome rooftop terrace. The views of the valley and balloons are wonderful, but it’s definitely one of the busiest terraces in Goröme. It’s become so busy, that staff have to check that guests are actually staying in the hotel to avoid non guests flooding the terrace. Everything about the hotel was super, but we found the morning madness a bit much.
Aydin Kiraği – Aka: Sunrise point
This is one of the most easily accessible places to see Cappadocia’s hot air balloons take off in the morning. Located at the top of the hill surrounding Goröme, this area is unmissable, thanks to the Turkish flag flying high. Its convenient location means you’ll reach the top in as little as 10-15min walk from the heart of Goröme. The best part about this area is that the balloons launch right behind the hill in the Rose Valley. The downside of course, is that it gets super, super busy!
We ventured up to this area on our second morning, hoping to get some slightly different photos. We wandered away from the flag and tried to find a little spot for ourselves. But the hoards of people swarming the area as the sun popped up, made this mission virtually impossible! This is definitely a place for those who are not bothered by crowds!
The Red Valley
The Red Valley is another awesome place to see Cappadocia’s hot air balloons. And it’s also one of the areas where the hot air balloons launch. To get there, you’ll either need a car or be prepared to hike half an hour (give or take) depending on where you’re staying. And there’s plenty of unofficial places in the Red Valley to watch Cappadocia’s balloons float by. We found a spot all to ourselves, which was bliss!
The balloon launching sites
If you book a hot air balloon flight, then you’ll get to witness dozens of balloons setting up and taking off around you. If you don’t book a flight, you can still head to a launching site in the morning to see the action up close and personal. These areas are a little trickier to reach and are easiest accessed via car, scooter or quad bike.
The hills around Göreme, Uçhisar & Çavuşin
For a more tranquil experience, it’s worth venturing further away from the towns. There’s plenty of hills and quiet spots, many of which offer the perfect place to view the balloons. You may need a car or scooter to get a little further a field, but if you’re after a more intimate experience, it’s worth the effort.
We stayed in Çavuşin for 2 nights which was super quiet and definitely more to our liking. Our first morning was spent watching the balloons launch, just above our hotel with almost no one else around. We couldn’t believe we had the entire area to ourselves for at least an hour. The balloons came so close to us, we could almost reach our and touch them! After an hour or so, a few people appeared, but only stayed for 10-15 minutes, which was crazy! In our opinion, this was the best place to see Cappadocia’s hot air balloons.
It’s possible to see balloons flying overhead when following the hiking trails around Göreme. We experienced a few late morning balloons whilst hiking the Pigeon Valley trail. Be mindful that if you’re in a valley, the surrounding rock formations may block the views of any passing balloons. So you’ll want to find a good vantage point.
A hot air balloon flight
Of course, one of the best places to witness a morning of Cappadocia’s hundreds of hot air balloons filling the sky, is from a hot air ballon itself. And having a birds eye view of the surrounding landscape is an added bonus! We didn’t end up taking a hot air balloon flight, but we really wish we had been able to. It’s definitely on the list for our next visit!
Don’t miss – Hot air ballooning Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a very unique place and we understand why so many people visit the region every year. If you’re planning a trip to Cappadocia, make sure you have enough time to explore the area. You definitely don’t want to miss the beauty of Cappadocia’s hot air balloons!
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