The Bucket List: Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia

Ever wonder what it's like to go for a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey? So do we. That's why we dug into it and found out what it takes to get there and do this bucket list item. 

Let's dive in. 

What is it?

Cappdocia, Turkey has continually been voted one of the BEST places in the world to go for a hot air balloon ride. Between the breathtaking sunrises over a barren Turkish landscape, photos of Cappadocia shared on social media have put going for a hot air balloon ride at the very top of their bucket lists in this magical place. 

Cappadocia also is one of the only places in the world where you can go for a hot air balloon year-round, making it a prime destination for people globally. To put this in perspective, Cappadocia was also home to more than 50% of all the hot air balloon rides that took place last year. And lucky for you - they run trips in the heat of summer, and also the dead of winter. 

And while on a flight, you will see more than just a few balloons....the sky will be filled with hundreds of other people all sitting in mesh baskets beneath a blue sky. But, don't worry....Cappadocia is one of the most regulated places on earth and boasts an incredible safety record. To be able to fly here, balloon pilots must train five times as long as any other pilots in the world. 

Pretty rad. 

The stunning landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey

The stunning landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey

When to go?

Since tours run year round (and there are hundreds of tour operators) you can find a tour that best fits your schedule during any month. Obviously, temperatures in Cappadocia can fluctuate significantly, so please make sure to dress appropriately! 

Temperatures in January can be anywhere from 15 F to about 35 F and in the midsummer, temps typically range from 65 F to 90F. 

Keep in mind, Cappadocia also does have a rainy season (February through April) and balloon flights do not fly in the rain, so it may be best to avoid that time of year if you are thinking about that time frame!

So, when is the best time to go? 

The answer is Summer. 

Anytime from May through September is usually the best time to head to Cappadocia, but it is also the busiest and most expensive! While prices may be higher and accommodations more expensive, the best pilots from around the world all head to Cappadocia to take bucket list travelers for the experience of their lives. 

How to get there?

You should fly into this national airport: Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR)

There are two main airports that you can use to reach Cappadocia. One of them is Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) located in Kayseri and nearly one hour driving to the center of Cappadocia region. Turkish Airlines operates several direct (nonstop) flights from Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) to Kayseri Erkilet Airport.

But - for the most part, your tour operator (or hotel) you choose to stay at will have transfers and pickups from the airport. The drive is only about 45 minutes to 1-hour away from the Cappadoccia region. 

You can also take public transportation from the airport (ASR) or rent a car from within the airport, but from various reviews etc. I have heard it is better to organize a pick-up from your hotel or tour operator themselves. 

For a more extensive list on activity providers, see here. Or, you can see more activities here. 

How much does it cost?

The average cost of the balloon rides can be from $150 USD and up. Some flights (in peak seasons) can be as much as $250 per person, but it often depends on the experience of the pilot and crew. 

How long does it last? 

Flights can last up to 1-hour or longer. Again, it depends on the experience of the pilot and the tour you book, but including the early morning drive from the hotel, inflation of the balloon and ride up to altitude (as high as 2,500 feet) it can depend on the weather, amount of balloons and many more variables. 

What else is there to do in Cappadocia?

There ample ample sightseeing and hiking to do in Cappadocia. From guided walking tours of the cliff houses carved into  ancient rock, to hot air balloon rides, to dining at 5-star restaurants and more, you won't find yourself bored at all. 

Our recommendation would be to stay for 3 or 4 days and really soak in all the activities and scenery you can. After all, it's pretty much like being on the moon. I mean, look at this landscape! 

See here for a full list of tours you can do in Cappadocia.

Where to stay?

You are strongly recommended to stay in one of the cave hotels which are the specialty of the region. There are also many accommodation options in UrgupGoremeUchisar and Avanos towns for every budget of traveler. you can find also bewitching historical greek mansions and cave hotels in Güzelyurt. 

See here for a full list of hotels in Cappadocia.

Why you should do it:

Overall, this is one of the most unique things you can do in the world's best location. This is the kind of thing that will make you put your phone down and will keep you on the edge of your seat, literally. Going for a hot air balloon ride over the stunning landscape of Turkey? 

Add it to the bucket list, already!

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