Ever since photos of it began flooding Instagram feeds all over the world, a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia has become one of the world’s most popular travel experiences. Every morning, at sunrise, hundreds of hot air balloons float above Cappadocia’s unique, fairy-tale-like landscape. After taking part in the show recently, I totally understand the hype and why Cappadocia quickly became a ‘bucket list’ worthy travel destination.
Roughly half a million people take a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia every year. This stunning region in the heart of Turkey’s central Anatolia region has now become the world’s number one hot air balloon destination!
Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia is a once in a lifetime experience! I had seen so many photos of it and watched many YouTube videos. But there is nothing like physically being there. Nothing else does the experience justice. But if you are planning a trip to Cappadocia or simply want to dream, here are some of the best photos of our ride for you to enjoy. Just know that it is ten times better than anything these pictures can show. It was so good that I had tears in my eyes!
How much does the ride cost?
Hot Air ballooning has never been cheap. If you are traveling on a budget, this might be a problem. But I believe this is a once in a lifetime experience and it’s totally worth the money. Prices seem to vary a lot depending on the season, the size of the basket and the company you use. In general, prices range between €80 and €400, per person. Bear in mind that cheaper isn’t always better. Because of the nature of this activity, you want to make sure you use a company that is safe and reputable. We read a lot of reviews before choosing a company.
We took a Queen Flight with Royal Balloons. We booked online a few months in advance and paid €290 per person. It wasn’t cheap but we had an amazing time, and we couldn’t fault the company. It didn’t feel cramped as there was a maximum of 16 per basket (four in each of the four compartments. Their King flight is even better at a maximum of 8 per basket, but expect to pay up to €400 for that one.
Book the ride for your first morning
Due to bad weather, rides are often cancelled. The best thing to do is to book your trip for the first morning of your stay. Also, stay a minimum of three days, because most companies will give you the chance to do it again the following day should your ride be cancelled. If not, any reputable company will refund you if things don’t work out. Staying three days also means you get to enjoy all the other fabulous activities Cappadocia has to offer.
Best time to go on a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia?
You’re likely going to have the best weather conditions between May and October and it’s less likely that your flight will be cancelled. However, flights do run all year long. I have heard it’s amazing in winter when it’s been snowing, although I probably would find it too cold!
How long does the experience last?
The flight alone lasts between 45 minutes and 75 minutes depending on the weather conditions and the landing space. Also, some companies like Royal Balloons offer longer flights at extra cost.
The entire experience lasts between two and a half to three hours. We were picked up from our hotel at 5.15 am. The driver took us to the office of Royal Balloons for a light breakfast and coffee before the flight. After approximately half an hour, we were driven to the take off point for our flight. After receiving instructions and safety tips, we took off and the magic began!
Once the flight was over, as with every other hot air balloon experience, there was the obligatory celebratory champagne. We also received our medallions for completing the flight. We were taken back to our hotel, just before 8am. The timing was great as we could still take a day tour afterwards to see more of the sights of this beautiful region.
How to book your hot air balloon experience?
If you know for sure that you will want to go hot air ballooning during your stay, don’t wait too long to make your reservation. You can book it online directly with the tour operator. You can also book through GetyourGuide. Some hotels can also book the experience for you.
Where to stay in Cappadocia?
Zara Cave Hotel
We stayed in Zara Cave Hotel and had a great stay. The hotel was spectacular with rooms carved into the rocks. There were four terraces to enjoy the sights of the hot air balloon rides in the morning. They fly incredibly low over town. The location in Göreme was also perfect. Find out their latest prices here.
Artemis Cave Suite & Spa
Located in the heart of Göreme, Artemis Cave Suites & Spa- Adults Only features a garden. The hotel also has a terrace and views of the city and balloons in the morning. Find out their latest prices here.
Kelebek Special Cave Hotel
If you are after luxury, this cave hotel offers a traditional Turkish bath and an outdoor swimming pool. This cave hotel is situated in the heart of historical village Göreme. The spacious suites of Kelebek Hotel feature fireplace and private balconies with views of Uchisar and Cavusin. Find out the latest prices here.