Have you always wanted to experience a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia?
Cappadocia, a mystical region in central Turkey, has long been renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and unique rock formations. Amidst this otherworldly beauty lies an exhilarating adventure that offers an unparalleled perspective of the region’s wonders – hot air balloon rides. Taking flight in Cappadocia is an experience truly unlike any other, as travellers are treated to panoramic vistas of towering fairy chimneys, ancient cave dwellings, and rolling valleys bathed in hues of gold and pink. In this article, we will delve into the magical world of hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia with Royal Balloons, exploring why it has become one of the most sought-after bucket list experiences for adventurers from around the globe.
Our guide will help you to understand what it is like to go up in a hot air balloon, what to expect prior to take off, during the flight and landing at the end.
Cappadocia is the best place to experience a hot air balloon in Turkey. When you visit Turkey we can highly recommend a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for more information.
Related Reading: Turkey One Month Itinerary
Do you need a visa for Turkey?
You will need to complete a Turkey Health Declaration Form.
What To Expect on a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia Turkey
Hot Air Balloon Ride Attempt #1
Our pick-up by Royal Balloons was scheduled for 4.50 am from Kismet Cave House where we were staying. Jane woke up at 4.00 am in a panic saying that she could not go through with this. She is a seasoned flyer having flown in two-seater training aircraft, air hostessed in 10-seater aircraft and private jets, flown around the world in various aircraft even Concorde and has had many helicopter rides in Australia and New Zealand. The fear of being in a basket open to the elements unnerved her.
Royal Balloons Transfers arrived at the designated time and took us to their headquarters for a substantial cooked breakfast. It was dark, freezing with a strong wind blowing. All eyes were on the weather as the previous three days all takeoffs at sunrise had been cancelled. As we were finishing our breakfast, Chief Pilot Suat Ulusoy announced that the flights were cancelled once again. He apologised saying safety is of utmost importance to Royal Balloons. There were slight groans from a few people around us as they had been waiting for the last three days for take-off at dawn. Jane was a very relieved person. Then it suddenly dawned on her that she would have to go through the next 24 hours feeling the nervousness again.
Hot Air Balloon Ride Attempt #2
The next morning the weather was better. The same routine, Royal Balloons Transfer collected us at 4.50 am and we headed off to enjoy their cooked breakfast once more. Chief Pilot Suat came to our tables and announced that we were flying and we headed off to our designated minibus to the fields where the balloons were being prepared for flight.
It was still dark and cold as we stood and watched the movements of the teams preparing the balloons. We started to hear the roaring of the gas burner heating the air inside of the balloon to a temperature of around 100 degrees centigrade. The balloon or envelope as it is known starts to inflate, it was an amazing sight in the still of the dawn. We were close now to entering the basket, one or two more bursts of the gas burner and we were ready. We moved into the basket and settled down to hear Chief Pilot Suat run through a very comprehensive safety drill. We practised our brace manoeuvre for landing. Suddenly we realised that we were above the ground floating and we slowly rose up into the cooler air.
Chief Pilot Suat is chatting about the landscapes and pointing out important features. Jane appears more relaxed at this point. All the time he is looking out for other balloons around us, talking to his other pilots and keeping his ground team up to date on where the balloon was taking us. He keeps firing hot air into the balloon at regular intervals to ensure that the balloon is kept stable.
There were twenty-four companies flying that morning and it was a sight to behold, possibly over two hundred balloons flying that day. The unique landforms of Cappadocia with the sun rising and the colours of the many balloons at different height levels flying all around us make an amazing spectacle.
Chief Pilot Suat headed towards Red Valley and Rose Valley where we skimmed the top of the Fairy Chimneys. He explained the formations of the Valleys to us as we silently floated through the air, the only constant noise was the gas being let off into the balloon chamber. As we floated over the rugged unusual landscape we viewed vineyards and fruit trees growing amongst the many cave homes and pigeon houses hewn into the rock formations.
What seemed only minutes later Chief Pilot Suat informed us that we had been flying for 1 hour and 8 minutes and it is time to land.
One of the other passengers on board who had flown many times with Royal Balloons challenged him to 100 Turkish lire that he could not land the balloon in the trailer of the support vehicle. Always up for a challenge, Chief Pilot Suat runs through a safety briefing with us all as this will be a different landing than the brace position we had practised before. Slowly he pulled on the cord that opened the valve letting the hot air escape, this decreased the inner temperature. The cooling of the air inside the balloon caused it to slow down its ascent, Chief Pilot Suat with a small movement brought the balloon down gently into the back of the trailer. Loud cheers and congratulations all around from all of us and his team.
We waited for the balloon to be deflated before we were allowed to disembark to the waiting glasses of chilled champagne, which signalled the end of our adventure that morning.
And Jane? Well, she can’t wait for our next hot air balloon ride in Bagan, Myanmar.[su_note note_color=”#ffc400″]Read other travellers reviews of Royal Balloons in Cappadocia Turkey[/su_note]
To Travel Too Tips and Recommendations
- Choose your company carefully as there are over 24 companies flying
- We chose Royal Balloons for their safety records, their ISO 9001:2008 Certification, the experience of their pilots and the reviews from Tripadvisor
- Allow yourself a few days either side of your planned balloon ride to allow for inclement weather. The best times to visit is from mid-April through to October.
Book Your Hot Air Balloon Rides Here
The King Flight is 90 minutes flying with a maximum of 12 in the basket. (Prices from USD290 per person)
Cappadocia Turkey Map
We can recommend staying at the Kismet Cave Hotel in Goreme with a rating of 9.5 with Hotels Combined. It was a hotel that was recommended to us and we can feel comfortable recommending it to you. Staying in a cave hotel is a unique experience. Say hi to Faruk and his family when you visit.
As it is a popular hotel and you will need to book in advance here are further options to choose from:
Visa For Turkey
You may require a visa to enter Turkey. You can check the details below:
How to get to Cappadocia
Cappadocia Airport: there are two main airports that you can fly into for access to the Cappadocia region.
- Kayseri Erkilet – 1 hour away in Kayseri
- NevsehirKapadokya located in Gulsehir
Turkish Airlines fly into both airports.
Find the cheapest flights with Skyscanner our go-to when we are researching and booking flights throughout the world.
Bus services are excellent throughout Turkey. Many of the bus services use Goreme and Nevsehir as their bases. For the latest bus schedules and ticket prices click here.
Estimated travel times:
- Ankara 5 hours
- Antalya 9 hours
- Bursa 11 hours
- Canakkale 17 hours
- Istanbul 12 hours
- Izmir 12 hours
- Konya 4 hours
Car Rental Cappadocia
For details on car rental click here.
We recommend taking out travel insurance as soon as you book your flights and pay deposits on any cruises, tours or hotels.
Read More of our Articles:
Are you on Pinterest? We are at To Travel Too and we have many travel-related boards check us out at Pinterest. If you enjoyed our article why not pin it to your board.
In conclusion, a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia with Royal Balloons is an experience like no other. The breathtaking landscapes, unique rock formations, and mesmerizing sunrise create a truly magical setting for this adventure. As you soar above the fairy chimneys and valleys, you are filled with a sense of awe and wonder. The skilled pilots and safety measures ensure a smooth and exhilarating journey that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Whether it’s your first time or tenth time visiting Cappadocia, taking a hot air balloon ride should be at the top of your bucket list. So don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the beauty of Cappadocia from high above the ground – book your hot air balloon ride today!
Our To Travel Too Shop
We have our own To Travel Too Shop so if you are in need for new luggage, packing cubes, shoes, guides and anything else related to travel and your adventures check out our travel shop.