Ready to ride in the Cappadocia hot air balloon? Here are 12 tips to ensure you have an amazing ride. Get the lowdown on the best time to fly, what to wear, and how to get the best views of Turkey’s stunning scenery.
Let’s get ready for a breathtaking journey in the sky!
Table of Contents
1. What balloon rides are there in Cappadocia?
A balloon ride in Cappadocia lasts 45 minutes to an hour. All balloon flights take place at sunrise because hot air balloons need a low air temperature to take off.
The route of the balloon rides is largely identical because they all take off from the same region. The exact route depends on the wind, which the balloonists have to follow.
You always see the landscapes of Cappadocia from a distance with up to 150 balloons allowed in the sky at sunrise, fairy chimneys, and the Uchisar fortress.
The balloon baskets have space for 16, 20, or 24 passengers plus the flight captain.
The price of the balloon rides includes the entire experience, with the balloon ride, a small breakfast, snacks, warm drinks, a glass of champagne or sparkling wine after landing, a balloonist certificate, and transfers from the hotel and back.
You return to the hotel from the balloon ride around 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Afterward, there is enough time for breakfast, extra hours in bed, or a day exploring the other sights of Cappadocia.
Higher-end balloon rides have smaller baskets of 12 to 16 passengers and a slightly longer flight time of 75 minutes in the air. The most exclusive version is a private balloon ride with family, friends, or a group.
Recommended: The balloon ride with the best reviews is: “Cappadocia: Goreme Hot Air Balloon Flight Tour at Sunrise” with a small breakfast and champagne after landing.
The best way to reserve the balloon ride is with GetYourGuide.de. I also book my tours with them. You have even more hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia with good reviews in comparison.
2. How much does a balloon ride in Cappadocia cost?
The price depends on the season.
A good price for a balloon ride in 2023 is between €95 and €260 per person, depending on the time of year.
The balloon ride, the transfer from your hotel, a glass of champagne or sparkling wine after landing, and a certificate for your balloon ride are included in the price of the balloon rides on GetYourGuide.com .
Balloon rides are cheaper in winter, which is also the time with the fewest travelers. In summer the price increases significantly at the last minute because there are not so many seats in the balloons. There are rarely discounts because the prices are fixed.
Balloon rides are the main attraction in Cappadocia and places are limited. There is no trading like in the Turkish bazaar. Balloon rides booked last minute are therefore more expensive than seats reserved in advance.
Once you’re there, you have to accept the last-minute price.
3. What do I see during the balloon ride?
Balloon flights always depend on the wind direction.
That’s why there are no fixed routes.
One of the reasons Cappadocia has become so popular for hot air balloon rides is the favorable thermals.
This means you can balloon over the most photogenic landscapes on most days.
Most days you’ll fly over the network of rock formations in the Kızılçukur Valley (Red Valley), Gülludere (Rose Valley), Meskender Valley, and Love Valley, between the villages of Göreme and Çavusin.
You will see the famous rock formations of Cappadocia, the fairy chimneys.
Depending on the wind direction, you will see valleys around the Ortahisar fort.
You can always see the Pigeon Valley and the Uçhisar from a distance.
There are always famous pictures of the sunrise in Cappadocia, the view of up to 150 hot air balloons in the sky, and the distant snow-covered peak of the 3,917 m high Erciyes Dağı volcano.
4. What should I wear for the balloon ride?
Always pack a thin jacket, even in midsummer. The balloon rides start before sunrise.
Cappadocia is located at an altitude of more than 1,000 m. During the balloon flight, you can reach altitudes of up to 2,000 m.
Even in midsummer, temperatures of around 20° before sunrise are possible. It would be best if you therefore packed a sweater, a thin windbreaker, and a scarf for all seasons.
There is snow in Cappadocia in winter. There is a large ski area on the nearby 3,917 m high Erciyes Dağı volcano.
For balloon flights in winter, I recommend you bring a thick sweater, a good winter jacket, gloves, thick socks, a hat, and a warm scarf.
5. When is the best time for a balloon ride in Cappadocia?
Balloon rides are possible all year round in Cappadocia.
A balloon flight requires a temperature difference between the gas in the balloon and the air temperature. That’s why the balloon rides take place at sunrise. The temperature differences in Cappadocia are large enough all year round because the landscape is at an average altitude of 1,000 m.
The best time for balloon flights, with calm weather without rain, is between April and October.
On days with too much wind or bad weather, the balloons must remain on the ground.
In midsummer, it is warmer than 30° during the day. You should plan this if you want to see other sights in Cappadocia. However, the hot weather in midsummer has no effect on early-morning balloon flights.
Ideal time: The best time for a balloon flight is the months of April, May, and June with pleasant temperatures, with slightly hotter daytime weather in July and August and slightly cooler weather again in September and October.
6. You have to book your balloon ride early!
Balloon rides are the most popular activity in Cappadocia. They are the main reason why travelers come to Cappadocia in the first place.
The places fill up quickly. The number of balloons allowed in the sky is limited. Just because 100 hot air balloons go up every morning doesn’t mean a spot is guaranteed. This is especially true in the summer season.
It’s best to book your balloon ride on the same day as your flight to Cappadocia and the hotel. You should reserve the balloon ride for the first day of your trip.
This increases your chance of a balloon ride because the rides can be postponed or canceled in bad weather.
7. Where should I book my balloon ride?
There are around 20 approved companies that are allowed to operate balloon flights in Cappadocia. The number of balloons allowed in the sky is limited. Due to the narrow selection, all providers have similar quality.
The most flexible site for booking balloon rides is GetYourGuide.de. You can postpone or cancel the balloon rides free of charge up to 24 hours before the planned date.
The best-rated balloon ride is “Cappadocia: Goreme Hot Air Balloon Flight Tour at Sunrise” with a small breakfast and champagne upon landing.
The easiest way to reserve them is with GetYourGuide.de. You have even more balloon rides in comparison .
If your travel plan changes, you see bad weather or decide otherwise, you log in to GetYourGuide.de and change your booking without giving any reasons with just a few clicks of the mouse. If you cancel due to continuous bad weather in Cappadocia or postpone it due to bad weather, GetYourGuide.de will also take care of everything.
Your money will be automatically refunded or there will be a new date during your trip if the balloon ride is canceled.
Reservations! I once again recommend booking for the first day of your trip to Cappadocia! This gives you the greatest chance that the balloon ride will actually work.
8. Can I take a balloon ride with the children?
Small children are not allowed to board. The baskets are usually 140cm high.
No good balloonist takes children under 5 years old.
This is the rule for all balloon flight bookings in Cappadocia.
Some companies also have a minimum height requirement of 110 cm.
But remember that your children should be at least 140 cm tall so that they can easily see out of the basket.
If your children meet the requirements, a balloon ride is no problem.
9. Cancellation of balloon rides
The balloons are not allowed to take off on a day with bad weather. What to do in the event of a cancellation?
Balloon rides depend 100% on the weather. The balloons are not allowed to take off on days with strong winds and bad weather. You can’t plan the weather in advance.
There is only one time, between April and October when you can expect the best possible weather for balloon flights.
Most balloon flights are canceled in February, March, and winter. In the event of a failure, the balloon companies will refund all your money. How this works depends on the booking. If you make a reservation with a local travel company, you will have to get the money back from them.
If you book directly on a company’s website, they will refund you your money. If you book with sites like GetYourGuide.com (recommended) or Viator.com , your money will automatically be returned within a few working days.
The alternative to this is a free postponement to another day if there are free places and you have time. You don’t have to accept the postponement.
10. Plan a trip to Cappadocia
Many people think that they can see Cappadocia in one day from Antalya or Istanbul. That doesn’t work. There are at best two-day trips to Cappadocia from the Turkish Riviera or Istanbul.
The balloon rides always start at sunrise. That’s why at least one night in Cappadocia is necessary. With the other sights in Cappadocia, you can easily spend two to three full days in the region.
These include the cave cities, Byzantine cave churches, fortresses, hiking trails, markets, and caravanserais along the ancient Silk Road.
11. How do I get to Cappadocia?
Cappadocia is the name of a historical landscape in the center of Central Anatolia in Turkey. Today Cappadocia refers to the area in the triangle between the cities of Avanos, Urgüp, and Uchisar.
The easiest way to get to the region is to fly to the megacity of Kayseri, 75 km from Cappadocia. For this, you have to plan a stopover in Istanbul or Ankara.
There is also the local airport Nevsehir. For the airport, you also have to plan a stopover in Istanbul or Ankara. There are more flights to Kayseri, so you are most likely to land there.
12. Where should I sleep in Cappadocia?
The price of your balloon ride includes the transfer from the hotel and back from Ortahisar, Ürgüp, Çavuşin, Avanos, Göreme, Kaymaklı or Nevşehir.
There is no transfer for the balloon ride from Kayseri. You should therefore reserve your hotel in one of the places.
In Göreme you will find some of the most beautiful cave hotels in Cappadocia. The boutique cave hotels have terraces from which you can watch the balloonists in the morning during breakfast.
The second best place to sleep is Ürgüp, which also with a good view of the balloon landscape, with cave hotels and easy travel to the other attractions in Cappadocia.
I recommend at least one night in one of the cave hotels. If you want to sleep in such a special hotel, there is no other such place in the world.
The hotels are available in all price ranges, from cave hostels for backpackers to 5-star high-class cave suites with a private pool. Reserve the rooms in the cave hotels as early as possible, regardless of the category, because they are quickly booked up in the summer season.
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