Turkey is a very special country to visit for tourism. One of the most important activities that people all around the world go to Turkey is to experience Cappadocia Balloon Tour. Especially if you take a hot air balloon ride starting from Goreme in Cappadocia, you can have an amazing view over the fairy chimneys from hundreds of meters above. Read below for Cappadocia Balloon Tour prices, deals, and special discount for my readers.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Cappadocia – Kapadokya in Turkish – is a unique piece of land. Among most important places to visit in Cappadocia are Urgup (Ürgüp), Goreme Open Air Museum (Göreme), Avanos, Ihlara Valley, Uchisar (Uçhisar), Ortahisar and Derinkuyu Underground City. To see and digest them all, you need a minimum of 3 days. Apart from all these beautiful and unique places to visit, a trip to Cappadocia is never complete without a hot air balloon ride experience.
Get up very early any morning (during dawn) and get to a place with a wide view (preferably in Goreme). You’ll soon experience the taking off of many hot air balloons creating a beauty of colors in the sky. Once you witness this, it is very likely that you die for being in one of those balloons the very next day.
How is the Process of a Balloon Tour in Cappadocia?
Now, let’s go step by step to understand how to choose and arrange a Cappadocia balloon tour. Once you buy a balloon tour from an agency, they tell you what time you have to be ready in the morning. At the designated time (it’s always very early), they pick you from your hotel in Cappadocia with a minibus. Depending on the quality and the price of the balloon tour company, they either take you directly to the spot where the balloon will take off, or invite you to their office for a warming up with a light breakfast and get you ready.
As a curious traveler and blogger who loves to observe and experience each and every detail, I told the company that I do not want the breakfast but prefer to go to the field with the team to observe the preparation process and take some photos and videos. They were kind enough not to disappoint me, so I was in the field very early at freezing cold while other guests were just waking up in their comfy beds.
The team comes to the field in off-road vehicles with trailers. They open up the huge balloon on the field and start pumping in air with huge ventilators. Meanwhile, the wicker basket is also connected to the balloon. All this process starts in early morning while it’s still dark, illuminated by the headlights of the vehicles.
And the next is the more fun part. Thanks to the gas inflated, the balloon slowly begins to arise and take a vertical position. Thanks to the flame, it becomes basically an audiovisual show at dark. And imagine this happening by balloons at various points in the valley simultaneously. Quite impressive!
Right at this point, having had their breakfasts, the visitors arrive. Maybe you imagine it just a simple process, but for each balloon flight, there is a team of 7-8 people just working in the field; the pilot, drivers and the technicians. Of course there’s the administrative staff working at the office apart. It’s a great team work. Finally we are ready for the balloon ride. Guests jump in the wicker basket one by one and the adventure begins. The basket seems very small in comparison to the huge hot air balloon. Some baskets have a capacity of 12 people, and some may have more than 20.
Is it Safe to do a Balloon Ride?
Hot air balloons in the world are flown by an experienced hot air balloon pilot. After having gone through tough theoretical and practical training, they get their certificates which qualify them to fly with passengers. Basically by pumping in gas inside the balloon and managing the special ropes which open and close the flaps for letting the gas go, they can ascend and descend as they like. However, it is not quite possible to manage the direction of the balloon ride. That is the decision of the current wind and air conditions. Every morning they do an evaluation of the daily weather forecast, wind speed and direction, and accordingly choose the taking-off spot. Where you will land basically depends on the conditions and the experience of the pilot. If the weather conditions are not appropriate, flights are canceled for the day for hot air ballooning flight safety.
The pilot of Butterfly Balloons was quite experienced. He could fly the balloon skillfully, being able to pass within several meters of distance to the fairy chimneys to give us a great experience. Before the takeoff, he gave a short instructions about basic safety rules. Generally it is very safe to do a balloon ride; there is nothing to worry about. During the flight, the pilot was communicating through two radios, one with his ground team which follows us on land in off-road vehicles, and through the other radio channel with other balloon pilots around in order to keep their distance and inform each other about their next move. This gives confidence. They also assign you insurance once you pay for the balloon tour in Cappadocia.
Apart from low flight, of course we did a high one as well. Our pilot told us ‘now we’ll be the highest balloon in the air’, and started to ascend. And seriously, in few minutes time, we were above all other 40+ balloons around. An amazing Cappadocia view. Since you are free up in the air, it is nothing comparable to the view from an airplane or from the summit of a mountain. That was awesome!
The Cappadocia ballon tour that begins in dawn enlightens with a stunning sunrise up in the sky. With the high quality light, it’s the best time to take good photos of Cappadocia from air. One can also take hot air balloon photo as there are plenty of them all around.
Cappadocia Balloon Tours in Turkey
For many years, people do balloon tours in Cappadocia in Turkey; therefore the standards are very high, and due to the competition, the quality of service is excellent. There are many balloon tour companies; some very well established with many years of experience, and others with less. Standard balloon rides take 1 hour. If you want to have a long tour, there are possibilities of exclusive balloon rides which basically cost more. They have a duration of 1,5 hours. Depending on the size of the balloon basket and the package they sell, the number of passengers start from 6 and can be as many as 22 – 24.
I took the standard tour of Butterfly Balloons with its basket with a capacity of 12 passengers (and 1 pilot of course :). My first time for a hot air balloon tour was in Spain. This time, doing it in one of the best hot air balloon ride locations in the world was a privilege.
How to Choose Hot Air Balloon Tour Company in Cappadocia?
As there are many options, it may be quite confusing which balloon company to fly with. You can search for the reviews of companies online, that will give a great idea by comments of previous guests. Once you talk with companies, you can ask them questions like: For how many years have you been in business? How many pilots / balloons do you have? How many hours of flight experience do your pilots have? (obviously the more the better) What is the capacity of the basket and how many passengers will we be? (the more empty space the better for comfort) What is the duration of the flight? Are we flying tomorrow for sure or not? (that should be depending on the weather conditions; if there is risk (due to strong wind etc), a trusted company will never fly). How to choose balloon company requires some pre-knowledge and investigation.
How Much is a Hot Air Balloon Tour in Cappadocia?
Unfortunately, it is not something cheap. You may even not understand why hot air balloon tours are so expensive and why anyone would pay that much money? I was thinking like this before having experienced it all, so let me explain you why.
First of all, as you may have already got the feeling from what I wrote so far, flying in a hot air balloon is absolutely an amazing experience. And doing this over the beautiful Cappadocia landscape is priceless! I can assure you that it would be a once in a lifetime experience. I know it is in the bucketlist of many people, so it was for me; and yeah, you should do it!
Due to all the general expenses, it is expensive to make a balloon rise in the air. You need special and very pricy equipment, you need expensive energy resource, a big team working in the field and back in the office, the pilots which cost a lot as they go through an expensive training process, and the taxes and prices that should be paid for local authorities. Depending on weather conditions, the company can not run all year around; which means many days without flying. When all these add up, balloon tour prices end up being expensive.
Cappadocia Balloon Tour Prices
Prices of Cappadocia balloon tours depend on the company, the tourist season of the year and depending on the package. Roughly speaking, the price of flying in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia range from 100 euros to 250 euros per person. This price includes transport from / to your hotel, usually a breakfast, and treats after the ride. I was quite happy and satisfied with my balloon experience with Butterfly Balloons. It is among the oldest and most experienced balloon companies in Cappadocia. I had the opportunity to chat with the owner and representatives of the company. I even asked for a special balloon ride discount for my readers and got it for you! So, you have 10% discount for your flights. Please contact me mentioning your name and possible date you want to fly, and I’ll communicate with them to get you the discount code.
Hot Air Balloon Tradition
I tried to explain the whole process of a Cappadocia balloon ride from the initial preparation to the end. Is it over? No! We have one more important thing to mention. As a tradition worldwide, once you land safe and sound, the guests are offered a champagne. The idea is to celebrate the successful balloon ride and safe landing. This is accompanied with some snacks, cake and fruits. You deserve a champagne at 8 o’clock in the morning! And you even get your flight certificate from your pilot.
Now it’s over.