Hot Ballooning in Cappadocia

Cappadocia has been one of the most magical places I’ve visited in my life.

We started off after a massive 40-odd hours of travel, door to door from KL to Istanbul, then hopping on another flight to get us to Kayseri airport almost at midnight because of a plane delay, and having to wake up about 3 hours later in order to get on our balloon ride.

To be honest, I’ve always been afraid of heights, and the thought of going up on a balloon at over 2000 feet was intimidating, but I’d heard so much about how the landscape would look like from the air so I decided it was something that we absolutely had to do.

And it was absolutely worth that AM wakeup. 

We drove out while it was still dark to the office of Kapadokya Balloons for the standard breakfast that they offer to all participants of the balloon ride while their pilots figure out how the weather will be on the day. Our pilot Murat walked through table to table updating us on the progress as they figured out how safe it would be, and eventually we set off in our minivans.

As we drove to the balloon site, we were greeted by the sight of dozens of balloons in various stages of fueling; from those still on the ground to the ones which were fully inflated and were floating above ground. Even watching the balloons being fueled at dawn at close range was kind of magical, to see the flickering fire slowly breathing life into the balloons.

Balloons in the Dawn

The balloons held from 16-20 people and you had to climb up into the basket where there were different compartments – about 4 people to one compartment. They had harnesses for us, although we weren’t told whether it was mandatory or not to actually put them on. 

Despite my fear of heights, it was a very smooth takeoff and the actual balloon wasn't as shaky as I thought it would be. We glided up so smoothly as the skies slowly brightened as the sun started to rise and streak the sky with its golden rays, painting the sky in red and gold.

Fleeting Sunrise

I had a moment of momentary panic when I realized how far up we were (3000 feet at one point!!), especially when I looked down and realized how far off we were! Our balloon was a bit bigger so we probably could go up a bit further than some of the smaller balloons – so it was especially nerve wrecking to be one of the few balloons out of dozens to be floating up this crazy height, but then I eventually got used to the height. 

Hot Air Balloons

The view was AMAZING. I got blown away by how stunning everything was despite the partially cloudy weather, especially since the Cappadocian landscape in itself is such a strange and magical view. It wasn't just about the height, but the amazing Cappadocian scenery was quite the experience- dipping in between valleys and going up high in the sky. 

Check out how nervous we look (we're both afraid of heights)!

Check out how nervous we look (we're both afraid of heights)!

We would fly near enough for Murat to point out the details in the cave residences, and glide up a slope the next moment. He seemed to take particular pride in how smoothly he was able to navigate the balloon, and it was fantastic to have an aerial view, something that you might not always get.

It was an interesting experience seeing how they actually land the balloon – the team actually has to chase the balloon with their truck as the pilot then lands the balloon on the back of the truck once they’re near enough. 

We ended the experience with juice and champagne, and even got a certificate out of it!

I survived the balloon ride!

I survived the balloon ride!

It was absolutely fantastic – if you’re ever in Cappadocia, you should definitely try it out.

We went with Kappadokya Balloons, and we paid about EU150 for an hour flight. It actually seems to be a bit cheaper to book in Cappadocia through your hotel, or directly at the company all through, so I would recommend doing that instead of booking online! You can find them at Kapadokya Balonculuk, TR-50180 Göreme, Nevşehir, Türkiye.

For more travel photos, check out the hashtag #FoxyTravelsTurkey on Instagram.