An Unbelievably Stunning Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

An Unbelievably Stunning Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

No visit to Turkey is complete without experiencing a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. After all, it’s one of the most beautiful hot air balloon ride locations in the world. After having seen so many pictures of Cappadocia’s surreal landscape with fairy chimneys and caves, I knew I had to visit this place. On an impulse, I booked my ticket to Turkey and there was no looking back.

With Cappadocia on my mind, I researched for weeks to find the “right” balloon company to fly with. A month before my Turkey trip, after exchanging a few emails with Erdal Yaris, I finally decided to confirm my slot with Turkiye Balloons. Why did I choose them? I will tell you at the bottom of my post, but first I want to share how it was to experience a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey.

Flying over Fairy Chimneys - Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia

The View! Flying over Fairy Chimneys – Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia

What it’s like to experience a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

Pre-Flight

A day before my flight, a staff member from Turkiye Balloons called up my hotel to confirm if I was staying and to let them know that they will pick me up at 4:20 am. Normally it is me who double checks and confirms so it was a pleasant surprise to see that they did it before I did

The Pick Up

At 4:20 am I was picked up from right outside my hotel in a big car with “Turkiye Balloons” logo. I was given a nametag with a code as I entered the car. The car drove us to Turkiye Balloons office where around 50-60 more people were enjoying their delicious Turkish breakfast.

The Open Buffet Breakfast

I was presently surprised when I entered the breakfast hall because it was as lavish as a star hotel. With a lot of variety of bread, cheese, olives, salami, eggs, cereal, juices, flavored tea, baklavas the breakfast spread here was expansive and had something for even the pickiest eaters. Even though I wasn’t so hungry at this time, I couldn’t help enjoying a big breakfast.

Pre-Briefing and Pre-Flight

Getting Ready to fly - Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia

Getting Ready to fly – Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia

After the breakfast, I finally understood the reason for the code on my nametag. The code was an identifier because so that we could find out which group we were in. Our group was called out and soon we were driven from the breakfast hall to tan open field where several balloons were being inflated. I saw a few massive balloons with the logo of Turkiye Balloons being inflated right in front of us as they gradually grew to their massive shape. Soon our balloon was ready and it was time to climb the basket. We also received a pre-briefing with safety instructions, but at this point, I was too excited to listen.

Rising Up

Flying around in Goreme - Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turke

Flying around in Goreme – Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Our pilot made our basket feel as light as a feather because we rose up into the air gently. The pilot held on to the burner for the balloon to gain more height and soon we saw many other balloons flying under us. Soon it was time to enjoy Cappadocia’s epic sunrise.

Epic Sunrise, View, and the Flight

Cappadocia is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and to make things better, the sunrises here are phenomenal. It’s because the sky gets flooded by more than 100 hot air balloons in what looks like a celebration of a brand new day.

So many balloons - Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

So many balloons – Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

As we rose higher, I felt like one of the luckiest people on earth to be enjoying a stunning view both below and above me. The sunlight illuminated Cappadocia’s unique landscape under us.

Cappadocia's stunning landscape - Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia’s stunning landscape – Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

I’m not joking when I say that I felt I was a part of Star Wars and was flying over Planet Tatooine with Anakin Skywalker. After all, George Lucas did want to shoot Planet Tatooine’s scenes in Cappadocia but did not get the permit and he cloned the landscape in Tunisia where the shooting eventually happened.

View from the top - Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

View from the top – Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Luckily, the morning was windy and we flew over some of Cappadocia’s most famous spots. Over the next hour, we gradually floated above the famous rose valley, love valley and around strangely shaped fairy chimneys. I wouldn’t have recognized these valleys but our pilot was nice enough to point them out to us.

Landing and Celebration Champagne

It’s funny how we normally don’t realize how fast the time is going when we are having fun. Even though the sun was shining brighter than before, I was surprised when the pilot told us it was time to land. From up above, we could see a few cars that were lining up below us. These cars had trailers attached and it seemed we were going to land on one of them. How are we going to that? The trailers did not appear to be very big from up above.

This is how the balloons land on top of cars! - Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

This is how the balloons land on top of cars! – Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

To our surprise, our pilot gently guided our balloon and we floated above the trailer. We couldn’t help but clap at the pilot’s precision as we landed on top of one of those cars. It was time to celebrate!

Champagne ceremony - Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Champagne ceremony – Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

With my flight completion certificate in one hand and a champagne glass in the other, I couldn’t stop smiling as I gazed skywards at the birds that flew above us. Yes, I was one of them a few minutes back. If you’re heading to Turkey (or near Turkey), please do yourself a favor and get on one of these flights. There is a reason why many famous travel magazines call this an “experience of a lifetime.”

Tips to make the most of your Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

01 | Research and Pick the right balloon company

Do your research in advance and pick the right balloon company. I highly recommend Turkiye Balloons. A typical flight length is 60 minutes but some operators also provide 90 minute long flights for an additional cost. Turkiye Balloons charges 120 Euros for a 60-minute flight, while the other operators charge 150 Euros and can stretch to 250 Euros depending on the balloon company and the duration.

02 | Watch out for scammers.

There are many fake websites online which will charge your credit card without a flight. If you’re visiting Istanbul before Cappadocia, be careful of tour operators because some of them may try to sell you fake balloon flight tickets.

03 | Reserve your slot

Once you have picked the right balloon company, be sure to reserve your slot in advance because they usually fill out months in advance.

04 | Be Flexible with your schedule

Balloon flight depends on the weather conditions so do stay for a couple of extra days to avoid weather to mess up with your plans.

05 | Carry a jacket and stay warm

Yes, Cappadocia is usually warm during the day but it’s surprisingly cold at 4:30 am. Please do yourself a favor and carry a jacket if you don’t want to be uncomfortable during your flight.

That one time I flew over Mars - Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

That one time I flew over Mars – Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

06 | Planning your Cappadocia itinerary

Be flexible with your itinerary for Cappadocia, else you will be disappointed. The usual pick-up time a balloon ride is 4:30 am in the morning, so if you’re reaching Cappadocia early morning, don’t expect to go for a ride on the same day.

07 | Don’t forget to fully charge your camera

Make sure you fully charge all your gadgets because you’re going to want to click 100s of photos and videos! Carry extra battery if you can.

Why Did I Choose Turkiye Balloons?

If you search online, you will find at least 50+ tour operators and companies that offer hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. Which one to pick and how? Simply reading TripAdvisor reviews was not enough for me, so I wrote to a few hot air balloon companies and decided to pick Turkiye Balloons because of the below reasons:

01 | Experienced Pilots and Company Reputation

Even though Turkiye Balloons is one of the newest hot air balloon ride companies in Cappadocia, they have some of the best pilots of Cappadocia and every pilot has minimum 2500 hours of flight experience. This is an important point for me and should be for you as well because you obviously don’t want to put your life in danger by picking a wrong balloon tour operator. Oh, and by the way, the pilots speak very good English!

02 | Smaller Groups = Better Photos

Here’s the thing – I’m a loner and I don’t like group activities or tours. However, if I ever decide to go on a tour, I always pick up the smallest groups. I had seen too many photos and videos on the Internet of people who went with 20-ish other people on a single balloon ride. Imagine having to share a little standing spot with so many people and trying to fight for a good corner spot for a view! No, I did not want to do that. In one of the emails, Erdal mentioned the group size and I knew I had found the right balloon company. From my experience, I found out that most of the balloon companies had different prices based on the number of people.

03 | Quick Response Time

If you’re wondering why response time matters in this case, I will try to explain in the best way possible. Have ever you decided to pick a brand based on their amazing customer service? Chances are, you have. If so, then why not in the case of your tour provider? More than the resolution, it’s usually the speed of response that makes any brand’s customer service awesome. What if you need to cancel your balloon flight for some reason and you need your money to be refunded? Would you want to wait for weeks before someone acknowledges your email? I have burned my fingers in the past when I never got a refund canceling an expensive boat ride in Myanmar that was booked through a tour agent. I sent multiple emails, but never got a refund and eventually had to give up. In this age of technology and automation, I really don’t understand why some companies take forever to respond to their prospective customers. While most of the balloon providers took a few days and some even weeks, my emails to Turkiye Balloons were usually answered within the same hour.

04 | Passenger and Flight Insurance

Let’s face it, accident CAN happen everywhere and it’s better to be insured before than to cry later. Luckily, Turkiye balloons also insures their passengers and flights to protect against unforeseeable circumstances.

How to Book:

Visit Turkiye Balloon’s website and book yourself a slot. Alternatively, you can send them an email at fly@turkiyeballoons.com.

An Unbelievably Stunning Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey
An Unbelievably Stunning Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey
An Unbelievably Stunning Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Disclaimer: A big thanks to Turkiye Balloons for the complimentary balloon ride. All opinions, as usual, are my own.

Have you ever experienced a hot air balloon flight? If so, I’d love to know where. Let me know in the comments.

You may also like:

Sleeping in a cave in Goreme, Cappadocia

50 Surreal Travel Destinations

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

Sleeping in a Cave in Cappadocia – Ottoman Cave Suites, Göreme

Sleeping in a Cave in Cappadocia – Ottoman Cave Suites, Göreme

Fancy a trip to Mars but can’t afford it? Cappadocia is your answer. Cappadocia in Turkey is the land of unusual rock formations that have further been carved into underground cities, churches and cave houses. Some of these rock formations look like mushrooms (or penises lol) and are called “Fairy Chimneys”. Yes, and people actually live in these caves! Many of the cave houses have now turned into high-end boutique hotels. Hence, this is one of those few places on earth where you can actually sleep inside a cave.

Cappadocia's unique landscape caves carved in volcanic formations

Cappadocia’s unique landscape of caves carved in volcanic formations

So a few months back, I decided to visit Cappadocia and sleep in a cave. After weeks of research, I finally zeroed out on a hotel where I wanted to stay – Ottoman Cave Suites in Göreme (or Goreme). I came here to sleep in a cave but ended up having one of the most amazing hotel stays of my life. Here’s why:

Location

While Cappadocia is the most famous tourist area of Turkey, Göreme (or Goreme) is the most popular town of Cappadocia. I usually avoid staying at touristy places but I couldn’t stop obsessing over Göreme after seeing its pictures. Moreover, I was traveling alone and I wanted to stay in a lively area and this is the only part of Cappadocia where you can experience the nightlife. Ottoman Cave Suites is a minute walk away from Göreme’s main shopping / restaurant area. Also, this hotel is right next to Göreme’s bus stop that makes is easy to reach here by walking if you reach Cappadocia by bus.

Reception and Courtyard

The entry area of Ottoman Cave Suites, Göreme

The entry area of Ottoman Cave Suites, Göreme

I couldn’t help being wide-eyed as I walked into the reception of this boutique hotel. On my right was the reception desk and on my left was a massive dining area that overlooked the courtyard. Everything was reddish-beige in color… like the rest of Cappadocia. On that beige, a massive wall mural splashed a little color to liven up the aesthetics. Across this courtyard were a few ornate doors, which opened up into luxurious cave suites. One of them was mine for a few days!

Ottoman Cave Suites, Goreme, Reception

Ottoman Cave Suites, Goreme, Cappadocia

Cave Suite

My jaw fell as I entered my “cave” suite. It was massive and super luxurious! Was I in Queen Cersei’s chambers in King’s Landing?

My cave room at Ottoman Cave Suites, Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

My cave room at Ottoman Cave Suites, Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

A king size bed, many chairs, a desk, a teakettle, drawers – this room had more than everything that I needed. I quickly heated some water to brew some apple tea and sat on a plush chair at the corner of the room. I felt like a royalty.

My Cave room at Ottoman Cave Suites, Goreme, Cappadocia

My Cave room at Ottoman Cave Suites, Goreme, Cappadocia

Massive Bathroom and Twin Showers for Couples

Twin Showers at Ottoman Cave Suites, Göreme

Twin Showers at Ottoman Cave Suites, Göreme

This has got to be the biggest bathroom that I have ever stepped in. There were two rain showers next to each other – one square and one round. The shower was perfect for couples that like showering together without fighting for water. Oh, and thank God they had a hair dryer. I never travel with one but I always need to use one after I wash my hair.

Spectacular View from the Terrace

Ever seen pictures of legendary sunrise shots of Cappadocia with many hot air balloons around? Well, you can witness one of those sunrises on the terrace here.

Sunrise View from Ottoman Cave Suites, Goreme

Sunrise View from Ottoman Cave Suites, Goreme

Waking up early is not my favorite thing but I woke up at 4:30 am every morning just to see Cappadocia’s epic sunrises. Moreover, the terrace offers spectacular sights at sunset when a lot of caves and chimneys around start lighting up. The terrace also offers a view of the famous Uchisar castle and Kayseri’s Mount Erciyes.

Eat Breakfast Like a King

Turkish Breakfast at Ottoman Cave Suites

Turkish Breakfast at Ottoman Cave Suites

Do you like coffee, cheese, olives, and salami? You’re gonna love the breakfast here! To add the cherry on the icing, Ottoman Cave Suites offers delicious scrambled eggs, baklavas, juices, and apple tea along with Turkish coffee. I couldn’t help but take a second helping of everything because it was delicious.

Tours

Cappadocia is massive and I highly recommend you sign up for a tour while you’re here to learn more about history and geology of various sites. If you ask at the reception of Ottoman Cave Suites, they will help you pick the right tour for you with their own tour agency – New Göreme Tours. I did a tour with them to check out the underground city with a highly knowledgeable tour guide – Masud. The tour includes free pick-up and drops, water and a lavish lunch. Want more details about my tour? I will write a separate post about it soon.

Staff Always Went an Extra Mile

No matter how fancy a hotel is, the experience can turn sour if the service is not up to the mark. Clearly, the staff at Ottoman Cave Suites was well trained because they always provided more than what I asked for to ensure my comfort. Moreover, they also provided excellent recommendations for places to visit and one of the staff members also took me to a spectacular sunset spot. Being bad with directions, I would have never reached this spot on my own.

Who / What do I recommend this hotel for?

Destination Wedding – Cappadocia offers a perfect backdrop for wedding pictures. Ottoman Cave Suites is massive and can perhaps hold your entire wedding guest party.

Couples – with its charming rooms, views, and couple showers, this hotel is perfect for a honeymoon.

Families – the cave suites are big enough for an entire family.

A bachelorette / bachelor party group – An entire group can stay in a single suite by requesting extra beds.

Solo Flashpackers – If you travel solo and love your space and comfort, you’re gonna love this hotel. Moreover, the proximity to the bars and the restaurant area will keep you entertained. I don’t recommend this hotel if you’re traveling on a shoestring budget.

How to book?

Agoda – Click here to book Ottoman Cave Suites on Agoda

Hotel Website – Click here to view the Hotel’s website

Disclosure: My stay at Ottoman Cave Suites was complimentary but the opinions are my own. Some of the above links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a booking.

Pin to save the post for later

Sleeping in a Cave in Cappadocia - Ottoman Cave Suites, Göreme

Sleeping in a Cave in Cappadocia – Ottoman Cave Suites, Göreme

A hippie travel writer with flowers in her hair, Sonal Kwatra Paladini should have been born in the 1960s! Bitten by the infamous travel bug, she has an itch to explore resort-free destinations, offbeat islands and small villages. Join her and her husband (Sandro) on their journey as they hop from one music festival to another and explore the beautiful world that they are in love with! Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Sonal Kwatra Paladini

Pin It on Pinterest

Want More Fun? Join Our Travel Madness!

Want More Fun? Join Our Travel Madness!

Our occassional emails will make you smile even on your dullest day. Feel free to unsubscribe if we bore you. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

badge