Cappadocia hot air balloon there’s always the fear when you finally do something that you’ve been anticipating for so long that it won’t be worth it.
Maybe it will be a letdown. Maybe it was overhyped.
This wasn’t one of those times.
To be honest, this wasn’t always on my bucket list but it was number one on my friend’s list so I went along begrudgingly, complaining about the cost and the 5:00 a.m. wake-up time. For all of my hesitancy and complaining this would end up being one of the highlights of more than two years of travel.
We were up before sunrise to meet our transport at 5:30 a.m. Half awake and rubbing sleep out of our eyes we were taken to the offices of Rainbow Balloons to pay, be assigned a balloon and have a small breakfast. We were then back in the transport van and being driven to the launch site.
Upon arrival, we found the pilots and handlers already inflating the balloons in a scene of organized chaos. Huge flames shot into the colorful balloons, which were lying scattered and limp across the field, causing the balloons to slowly start to expand. As the balloons were near fully inflated the handlers assisted the guests into the baskets before releasing them to the sky.
Our balloon initially had trouble getting properly inflated, despite the efforts of more than a half dozen crew members. We were still on the ground fearing we would miss the sunrise even as other balloons were being launched. The pilot and handlers quickly remedied the situation and got us up into the air.
I’m not exactly afraid of heights but I don’t love them either. As we ascended, quickly leaving the ground behind, I couldn’t resist looking over the edge and suffering a bit of vertigo. Before I had time to start freaking myself out the views quickly stole all of my attention. Cappadocia hot air balloon definitely wort it!
The pilot had us bobbing up and down through the valley, sometimes barely skimming over the treetops and sometimes soaring higher than the balloons nearest us. I managed to keep my nerves down for most of the ride but when the pilot would have the balloons “kiss” I was sure we were going to crash.
We spent the next hour hardly speaking, floating above some of the most amazing landscapes I have ever seen. As the sun rose and became brighter the views became even more outstanding.
It wasn’t until the pilot had safely landed us that we could fully process all that we had just seen. I’ve since been to two other destinations that offer hot air ballooning (Bagan, Myanmar, and Luxor, Egypt) and both times decided against it. The bar has been set too high, this Cappadocia hot air balloon experience was too perfect.
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Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon: Practical information
We went with Rainbow Balloons and I highly recommend them as they were completely professional and the experience was safe and hassle-free. The cost was 175 euros per person, which is comparable to the other companies. There is a discount if you pay cash rather than using a debit or credit card.
We stayed with Amor Cave House in Ürgüp. Ürgup is the town that neighbors Göreme which is where the balloons launch from. The hotel was nice and included a basic breakfast but what makes me recommend this hotel to everyone planning to visit Cappadocia is the staff. From the moment we arrived until our departure the staff went out of their way to make our stay the best possible. They are friendly, knowledgeable, and truly went above and beyond.
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.