Thinking about taking a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia? Great!
Going on a hot air balloon is undeniably the most popular thing to do in Cappadocia, with thousands of tourists flocking to this region of Turkey to experience the magic firsthand. The feeling of gliding through the sky during sunrise peacefully as you take in the surreal desert landscapes of Cappadocia is incredible, and it is something that we’ll probably never forget in our lives.
But there are many things to consider before you take a hot air balloon tour in Cappadocia. That is why we have decided to write this comprehensive guide to answer ALL questions you might have about the Cappadocia hot air balloons.
From prices to tours, safety, and what the experience is like, we’re here to share everything about this Turkey bucket list item!
Are The Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia Worth It?
Before you go online, take out your credit, and book the hot air balloon tours, let’s talk about whether they are worth it or not.
From our experience, the hot air balloons in Cappadocia are definitely worth it. Seeing the unique features of the UNESCO World Heritage Site from above provided a beautiful perspective of the region. Travelers can see all of the fairy chimneys and epic rock formations that make up Cappadocia.
It makes you appreciate how impressive this historic landscape is and gives you a sense of scale that you cannot have just by walking around the valleys.
Combined with the fact that there are usually over 100 balloons in the sky at once, you have scenery that is comparable to a fairytale. And let’s not forget the sunrise, which adds beautiful warmth and colors to this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
If they weren’t so expensive, we would probably go on the hot air balloons every day in Cappadocia.
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Price
Perhaps the most common question we get is “How much do the hot air balloons cost in Cappadocia?” That is not an easy question, as the price of the hot air balloon tours depends on many factors.
On average, you can expect to pay somewhere from 160 USD to 300 USD, depending on which tour company you have chosen, what level of comfort you selected, and when you are booking. The cheapest tours usually have more people in the basket of the hot air balloon (up to 28 people max.), while the more expensive tours can have as few as 6 people.
Of course, you can always rent out an entire hot air balloon if it is a special occasion. For that, the price is around $4500.
Here are some things you can do to make sure you get a low price:
- Book Far In Advance – The price for hot air balloons is based on supply and demand. This means if you book late and most of the spots are already full, you’ll have to pay a premium to get on one. Conversely, if no one is booking (sometime in winter), then you might get a deal on them.
- Prices For Hot Air Balloons Soar The Next Day If They Were Canceled – If the hot air balloon tours are canceled today, then the prices for them for the next day are usually much more expensive since they have to fit 2 days’ worth of people into one day. Make sure you find a company that allows you to reschedule for the following day if that happens (which most do).
- Don’t Book Through Your Accommodation – Most accommodations take a cut when they help you to book a hot air balloon tour. We’ve seen this personally, and the other group ended up paying 25 percent more than we did. That is why we highly recommend you to book online.
Do Hot Air Balloons In Cappadocia Take Off Every Day?
Hot air balloons in Cappadocia do not take off every day because they are weather-dependent. Since they have no brakes on the balloons, it needs optimal weather conditions to fly. If the wind is too strong or there is rain or snow, chances are, your balloon tour will get canceled.
In the summer, when the weather is dry and the wind is minimal, hot air balloons take off almost every day. But in the winter when there is more rain and snow, you might find that they only take off once or twice a week.
How Many Days To Stay In Cappadocia For Hot Air Balloons?
We recommend staying at least 3 full days in Cappadocia to experience the hot air balloons. This way, if your hot air balloon tour gets canceled on the first day, you still have two more days to try. If you are visiting during the winter when the cancellations are more often, it might a good idea to stay a few more days.
Pro Tip: We recommend that you book two hot air balloon tours, one for the first day and one for the third day. This way if your tour gets canceled on the first day, and the tour operator won’t let you reschedule it for the following day (because it’s full or whatnot), then you have one that is planned for the third day.
If he lets you reschedule for the second day, then you can cancel your hot air balloon tour for the third day. It is important that you get a tour with free cancellations up to 24 hours in advance, which is why we recommend booking with GetYourGuide.
What Is The Typical Itinerary Like?
Though there are many different tours for the hot air balloons in Cappadocia, the majority of them follow a similar itinerary.
- Pick-Up From Accommodation (4:30 AM to 6:30 AM) – If you are visiting in the summer, the pickup is early because the sun rises earlier. If you are visiting in the winter, the pick-up time will be later.
- Transport To Breakfast – Most tours include a free light breakfast with Turkish Tea and coffee somewhere indoors
- Transport To Balloon Take-Off Site – A short transport to the balloon take-off site. The site changes depending on the wind conditions of the day.
- Waiting For The Balloons To Inflate – You’ll wait around for 15 to 30 minutes for the hot air balloons to inflate. It is actually quite cool to see how they are done, with so much precision and expertise.
- Hop On The Basket Of the Hot Air Balloon
- Enjoy a 45 to 90-minute Hot Air Balloon Ride – Your balloon operator will take you up and you’ll glide through the sky for 45 to 90 minutes, depending on the tour you’ve picked.
- The Sun Will Rise While You Are In The Air
- Landing The Hot Air Balloon
- Enjoy Champagne With Snacks
- Hot Air Balloon Certificates Are Handed Off
- Transport Back To Your Hotel – You are usually back by 7 AM to 9 AM, depending on what time of the month you are doing the hot air balloons.
Best Time To Go To Cappadocia For Hot Air Balloons
The best time to go to Cappadocia for hot air balloons is between May to October. During this time of the year, precipitation is at its lowest, which means the hot air balloons have the highest chance of taking off.
The months of July and August are particularly dry, and it is rare that the hot air balloons don’t take off for more than two consecutive days.
Though hot air balloons don’t take off regularly during the winter, it is quite a unique experience when they do. The landscape is usually covered by a blanket of pure white snow, which makes some of the features in Cappadocia even more attractive. But if it is your first time going on a hot air balloon in Cappadocia, we recommend you to go when it is not covered in snow.
What to Wear For The Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons
What you wear for the hot air balloons in Cappadocia will hugely depend on when you are visiting. But since the balloons take off early in the morning and Cappadocia is a desert, it can get pretty cold even in the summers.
For that reason, we recommend you pack some layers to stay warm, especially when you are waiting for the hot air balloons to inflate.
Once you are on the hot air balloon, it usually gets warmer because you are near the fire that propels the balloon. But if you are visiting in the winter, you’ll need lots of warm clothes regardless.
You might be tempted to wear someone really nice and fancy, but just keep in mind that you’ll be standing on your feet for quite a long time.
Are All Hot Air Balloons Tours In Cappadocia The Same?
Depending on the price and the tour company you go with, your hot air balloon experience might NOT be the same.
The main difference is the comfort tour vs the budget tour. Comfort tours typically have fewer people per balloon and are between 15 to 30 minutes longer than budget tours. Budget tours, as the name suggests, are usually the cheapest tours you can get.
While the views you get are more or less the same, budget tours are less comfortable because you have so many people in the basket at once.
Some tours can be a little bit more expensive because they are one of the first hot air balloon tour operators in Cappadocia. This means their pilots have the most experience, and your safety is most likely guaranteed.
Some tours also offer better transport to the takeoff site, a better breakfast, and sometimes even better post-flight champagne and snacks.
However, it is also worth noting that some tours are just expensive because they want to appear “premium”. When in reality, they are no different than any regular tour companies.
That is why it is important to go with a trusted tour operator so you know you are getting good value for the money you are paying.
How High Do The Hot Air Balloons Go?
Typically speaking, the hot air balloons go as high up to about 3,000 feet off the ground. Though for the majority of the time, the balloons don’t go higher than 1,500 feet up. That is because the views from very high are exactly the best because the features of Cappadocia are so tiny.
Most of the time, the hot air balloon hovers slightly above the ground, allowing visitors to get a good glimpse of the fairy chimneys and rock formations from a unique angle.
The hot air balloons in Cappadocia are not permitted to fly above 6,000 ft above ground by the Turkish Civil Aviation. But that is usually not a concern since the balloons are way below that limit.
What Time Do The Hot Air Balloons Take Off?
All hot air balloons in Cappadocia are scheduled to take off right before sunrise. This is so the guests can admire the beautiful sunrise on the horizon from the hot air balloons.
Depending on the time of sunrise, the takeoff could be anytime from 5 to 7:30 AM. However, you’ll need to get up earlier before that because the tour company will pick you up, feed you breakfast, and drive you to the takeoff point.
Do They Have Hot Air Balloons In Cappadocia In Winter?
Yes! Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia fly every day as long as the ideal weather conditions are met. Unfortunately, in the winter, the conditions are not as frequently met as they are in the summer.
But when the hot air balloons do take off in the winter and there is snow on the ground, it is a beautiful sight for everyone.
Where Is The Takeoff Point For Hot Air Balloons In Cappadocia?
The takeoff points for hot air balloons in Cappadocia vary depending on the wind conditions. The balloon operators need to pick the precise spot for takeoff so the wind works in his favor, or at least not against him.
That is why it is difficult to know ahead of time where the hot air balloons will take off from!
Best Viewing Spots For Hot Air Balloons
Watching the hot air balloons in Cappadocia at sunrise is as incredible as being in one of them. If you have enough days in Cappadocia, we recommend that you wake up early one morning and watch the hot air balloons at sunrise.
There are many spots to watch the sunrise in Cappadocia, but we recommend a location that is facing east (because that is where the sun will rise).
Two of our favorite spots are:
- Goreme Sunset Viewpoint (Lover’s Hill)
- Love Valley (on top of the ridge)
You can also get a balloon viewing tour from one of the tour companies. They take you to some of the best spots in Cappadocia that only locals know!
What Is The Minimum Age To Get On A Hot Air Balloon In Cappadocia?
Though Cappadocia is filled with family-friendly activities, the hot air balloons might not be one of them.
To participate in one of the hot air balloon rides, your kids must be at least 7 years old (sometimes 6 depending on the company). Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at age of 18 or older.
The basket for the hot air balloons is 4 ft 6 in high, so guests need to be over that in order to see out of the balloon.
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons FAQs
Are The Hot Air Balloons In Cappadocia Safe?
Flying in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia is very safe. Accidents rarely occur and the pilots are trained professionals that have plenty of experience and hours flying hot air balloons. They also have to be licensed to fly one. Matter of fact, the FAA said that you are more likely to be injured driving a car than being in a hot air balloon!
How Long Is A Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride?
Depending on the type of tour you have selected, the hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia last somewhere from 45 minutes to 90 hours. There are a few companies that do 2-hour flights, but they are pricey and rare.
What Happens When Your Hot Air Balloon Tour Is Canceled?
This largely depends on the tour company you have selected. For the majority of the companies, you have the option of getting a full refund or having your tour rescheduled for the following day. As long as you’ve selected a trustworthy company, you’ll be properly handled.
Can You Take A Camera On A Hot Air Balloon?
Of course! Taking a camera is perfectly fine on a hot air balloon, just remember to strap it around your neck so you don’t drop it!
Should You Take A Hot Air Balloon If You Are Scared Of Heights?
People that are afraid of heights typically find the hot air balloon experience fairly pleasant. Hot air balloon rides are very smooth, so smooth that you don’t realize you are in the sky until you look down. It’ll depend on how afraid you are of heights, but knowing that you are very unlikely to be hurt is reassuring.
Do You Get Motion Sickness On Hot Air Balloons?
Motion sickness is rare on hot air balloons, even for people that are very prone to them. That is because the entire experience of floating through the sky is quite peaceful and smooth. There is no turbulence or anything that would cause sudden motion.
Do Hot Air Balloons In Cappadocia Fly At Night?
Hot air balloons only take off during VFR conditions, which means the pilots need to be able to see as far as one to three miles. As result, they do not take off in the dark or in the fog.
Can You Smoke Or Drink On A Hot Air Balloon?
No, you are not allowed to smoke on a hot air balloon or even near a hot air balloon. That is because the propane gas used to generate the hot air for the balloons is highly flammable. You are also not allowed to drink or eat anything once you are in the hot air balloon. You have to wait until you get down.
Do You Tip After A Hot Air Balloon Ride In Cappadocia?
Tipping is not mandatory but always appreciated. At the end of your hot air balloon flight, you’ll be served champagne and a light snack. On the table where these refreshments are located will be a small tip box for guests to put in a tip. Generally speaking, a tip of 10 to 15 percent is recommended.
Are Pregnant Women Allowed On The Hot Air Balloons In Cappadocia?
According to Turkish Aviation rules, pregnant women are not allowed to go in a hot air balloon. However, some companies do allow you to get on one, as long as you are not more than 28 weeks pregnant. Some pregnant women do decide to fly in a hot air balloon if they just recently got pregnant.
Are The Hot Air Balloon Rides Insured?
The majority of the hot air balloon companies in Cappadocia include insurance when you participate in one of their hot air balloon rides. However, the details of the insurance policy vary company by company. If you are worried, it is best to ask the company what their insurance policy is.
This concludes our comprehensive guide on the hot air balloons in Cappadocia. We hope we have answered all your questions regarding them. And if we have not, free feel to leave a comment or shoot us an email and let us know!
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