The ultimate guide to hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey
See this incredible landscape from the best viewpoint - several hundred feet in the air!
Cappadocia is one of nature’s great wonders. The vast landscape of valleys and volcanic rocks, known as ‘fairy chimneys’, creates a unique and truly beautiful view that only gets better when seen from above. This is why Cappadocia has become one of the world’s busiest airspaces, not with planes but hot air balloons. Read on to see how you can experience Cappadocia from above.
How can I hire a hot air balloon in Cappadocia?
The only way to see Cappadocia from a hot air balloon is with a registered balloon operator. There are over 25 companies operating upwards of 200 balloons, so there’s plenty of choice - but you’ll need to book your Cappadocia balloon flight early. As you can imagine, it’s a super-popular activity and turning up on the day isn’t a good idea, especially in the busy season (June-August).
Cappadocia hot air balloon tickets
The best way to avoid disappointment is to buy your Cappadocia hot air balloon tickets online. This means your slot is confirmed when you arrive. We recommended booking in advance, as you can choose operators that provide free cancellation. This means you won’t lose your money if the flight is grounded due to bad weather.
How much does a Cappadocia hot air balloon flight cost?
Cappadocia hot air balloon prices aren’t the cheapest; you can expect to pay up to £180 for an hour-long flight but there are always great deals and discounts if you book through an online tour operator. However, we found flights for as little as £88 and all the way up to £300+ for a private guided flight.
When is the best time to take a balloon flight over Cappadocia?
Up to 100 balloon are licensed to take off before sunrise, and another 50 are allowed to take off half an hour after sunrise. This means an early start so it’s recommended to book a hotel in Goreme. Getting to the balloon take off and landing sites can take a while so you may need to schedule several hours before and after your flight to get where you need to go.
What time of year is best for Cappadocia balloon flights?
Balloon flights take place almost every day of the year. The quietest times are the winter months (December-February) but you’ll also stand a better chance of getting on a balloon in March-May and September-November. The summer months are the busiest and you’ll need to book up to a year in advance.
Are Cappadocia hot air balloons safe?
Short answer, yes. All tour operators are licensed and pilots must be a) registered pilots and b) highly experienced going through hundreds of hours of training. As with any form of flight there are, of course, risks including bad weather, collisions and bad landings. However, injuries from Cappadocia balloon flights remain very low and you’re thousands of times more likely to have a smooth, safe journey than a potentially dangerous one.
Are Cappadocia hot air balloon flights worth doing?
100% yes. The fairy chimneys and rock formations are pretty enough to start with, but mix in the rising sun and the sight of dozens of other balloons floating majestically through the air and the experience suddenly becomes even more magical.
Best hotels in Cappadocia
It’s advisable to stay near your take off point the night before as balloon flights are always early in the morning. We’ve hand picked some popular Cappadocia hotels so you can get a good night’s rest before your flight.
Sultan Cave Suites
Sultan Cave Suites is located near the airport in the heart of Nevsehir making it ideal for reaching the balloon airfields by taxi. The hotel is carved into the hillside with many of the rooms featuring smooth stone walls that make for a lovely cool stay at the height of the summer.
Goreme Open Air Museum and Zelve Open Air Museum, as well as Uchisar Castle and Göreme Roman Castle, are well worth a visit too.
Hotel Taskonaklar offers uniquely designed rooms and suites that combine simplicity and comfort in one of Cappadocia's most stunning valleys. Taskonklar is right in the heart of Pigeon Valley, a stone’s throw from the hot air balloon airfield. There is a restaurant and a bar on-site as well as free WiFi and private parking. The Deluxe Suites include private terraces with breathtaking views so consider upgrading if you’re looking for something extra special!
Seraphim Cave Hotel
Seraphim Cave Hotel is located in Urgup, 4.3 kilometres from Nikolos Monastery, and features a restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a lovely garden. Seraphim Cave Hotel offers room service and a concierge service as well as free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel has an indoor pool, hammam and certain suites have hot tubs and terraces with superb views.
How to get to Cappadocia
Cappadocia is pretty much slap bang in the middle of Turkey and around three hours from the capital city, Ankara. The easiest way to reach this fairly remote part of the country is by air with Kayseri Erkilet International Airport or Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport the best options. It’s then another good hour from both airports to the balloon take-off sites. So, again, it makes sense to stay the night before.