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Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

Is a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia worth it? My experience!

Is a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia worth it? My experience!

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You have booked your trip to Türkiye! But now you don’t know if a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia is worth it. In my opinion, the answer is quite simple: YES!

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

Flying in a hot air balloon over Cappadocia was one of the most exciting travelling experiences I had so far and one that it’s quite hard to beat. And I promise you I’m not overreacting 😍!

So, in this post, I’m going to tell you all the details of my balloon experience in Cappadocia to make you even more certain that this is a truly unforgettable experience.

Best balloon rides in Cappadocia

Hot air balloon flights are undoubtedly the most popular activity in Cappadocia. Weather permitting, you’ll find more than a hundred balloons in the air in a single day.

There are several companies that offer this service. For example, here are some examples of the best hot air balloon companies in Cappadocia: Royal Balloon, Butterfly Balloons, Cappadocia Voyager Balloons, Discovery Balloons, Turquaz Balloons or Rainbow Balloons.

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

However, I really must recommend the company I flew with – Royal Balloon, which is one of the best hot air balloon companies in Cappadocia. Royal Balloon is one of the most reputable companies in this field and they are true professionals, making the experience even more unbelievable. In fact, this post will be a sort of review of Royal Balloon, where I’ll tell you all about my experience with them.

Is hot air balloon safe in Cappadocia?

Even though there have been a few accidents, this is a very popular tourist activity and the most popular tour in Cappadocia. Therefore, the safety of all passengers is a priority. In fact, it’s important to minimize the number of accidents so as not to jeopardise tourism in the region.

The balloons are subject to various inspections to ensure that they are properly maintained over time and pilots are also required to have a flying licence. Hot air balloons are also subject to the regulations defined by the Turkish Civil Aviation Authority.

In particular, in Royal Balloon our flight had two pilots and, although I was a bit wary of riding a hot air balloon (I don’t love travelling in planes, for example!), I have to confess that I felt quite safe. The pilots conveyed a lot of confidence and reassurance to all the passengers on board.

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Do hot air balloons fly in Cappadocia every day?

To ensure safety, the balloons only take off if authorized by the Turkish Civil Aviation Authority. Therefore, if the weather conditions are not favourable, the balloons will not take off.

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

This is a totally unpredictable factor. However, the good news is that there are around 260 days a year when balloons are authorized to fly 🥰.

💡 EXTRA TIP: Given the unpredictability of flights, I suggest that you book your Cappadocia hot air balloon ride for the first morning you’ll be in the region. If it’s not possible to fly on the first morning, depending on the availability of the companies, you can try to postpone a few more days until it is possible to fly. If it is not possible to fly at all, Royal Balloon will refund 100% of the amount paid.

How long does the balloon ride take?

Although the whole experience is longer, the balloon ride itself lasts between 60 and 90 minutes, depending on the experience you purchase.

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

For example, in the case of Royal Balloon, there are two types of experience:

  • Royal King Flight
  • Royal Queen Flight
Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

Apart from the difference in flight duration (the Queen Flight takes 60 minutes, while the King Flight takes 75 minutes), there are other differences. Namely, the King Flight takes a maximum of 8 passengers, while the Queen Flight takes up to 20 passengers (there is also a ‘Queen Plus Flight‘ option that takes a maximum of 16 passengers).

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: I suggest you have a look at the difference between the various types of Royal Balloon flights here.

Cost of hot air balloon in Cappadocia

The price of a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia depends on several factors, including the time of year, the duration of the flight, what is included in the experience, number of people on the flight, among others.

Most of the hot air balloon companies have similar pricing. However, you should contact them to be sure of the current prices.

Nevertheless, in case you’re wondering, these are Royal Balloon prices for a balloon ride in Cappadocia (updated to October 2023):

High season

  • Royal King Flight: 370€ per person
  • Royal Queen Plus Flight: 320€ per person
  • Royal Queen Flight: 270€ per person
Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

Low season

  • Royal King Flight: 230€ per person (only lasts 60 minutes during this time of year due to weather conditions)
  • Royal Queen Plus Flight: 200€ per person
  • Royal Queen Flight: 160€ per person

💡 EXTRA TIP: The prices of balloon rides in Cappadocia have varied a lot over the last few years, so I suggest you contact Cappadocia’s balloon tours to find out the most up-to-date prices.

How far in advance should I book my hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia?

Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia is VERY popular. That’s why I don’t recommend leaving it too late to book this experience. As soon as you know you’re going to visit Cappadocia and which hotel you’ll be staying in, I suggest contacting the companies that offer these services to find out about flight availability.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: I went to Cappadocia at the beginning of October and when I contacted the company at the end of August, they only had availability for one of the days I was going to be in Cappadocia.

Why is Cappadocia famous for hot air balloons?

Cappadocia is probably one of the most famous places in the world for hot air ballooning. The first balloon flight in the region took place in the 18th century, although it wasn’t until the 19th century that the first commercial flight happened in Cappadocia.

There isn’t a specific reason for the popularity of this type of activity in Cappadocia. However, in my opinion, it’s easy to see why balloon rides have become so famous in Cappadocia.

Cappadocia is a region with unique rock formations and most sceneries are quite pretty. Flying in a hot air balloon is a privileged opportunity to admire these landscapes from different angles. And the fact that most flights take place at dawn makes it even more special.

What to wear for a balloon ride in Cappadocia?

As flights take place close to sunrise, it’s best to dress for colder weather. For example, although I visited Cappadocia in October and the temperatures were quite pleasant during the day, it was very cold at night and early in the morning.

I therefore recommend that you don’t underestimate the cold and that you prepare accordingly for the weather forecast for the day of your flight. This is especially true if you’re flying in non-summer months. If you’re visiting Cappadocia in winter, check out my tips on what to wear in the extreme cold.

What’s it like to fly in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia?

After answering the most frequently asked questions about hot air balloons in Cappadocia, it’s time to tell you about my experience of flying in a balloon in Cappadocia with Royal Balloon.

It was 5.20 am when a very comfortable van picked us up from the hotel where we were staying. The van took us to the Royal Balloon offices, where we were informed of our balloon number. We also received some goodies, such as a tote bag and a cap.

💡 EXTRA TIP: Royal Balloon informs you the day before the flight what time they will pick you up at your hotel. The pick-up times vary greatly depending on the time of year due to the different sunrise times.

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

There was also a breakfast service to boost your energy for what was to follow! Since most hotels don’t serve breakfast at this time of day, it was quite nice to be able to eat something before the flight 😝.

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

At 5.50 am, we returned to the van, which took us to the place where the balloon was being prepared and where it would eventually take off. We still had the chance to watch the balloon’s preparation process for a while. Despite some light in the sky, it was still very dark. But I was already feeling the magic in the air🥰.

A few minutes later, we entered the balloon through some stairs. As I opted for the Queen Flight, there were about 20 people in the balloon, apart from the two pilots. The balloon is divided into sections and we can only circulate within our section.

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

Although people had previously recommended me staying in the corner of the basket for the best photo opportunities during the flight, the truth is that you can swap with the other people in your section during the flight. In addition, the balloon rotates along the way, which allows everyone to enjoy indescribable views.

As soon as the balloon took off, my legs trembled with excitement and, I must admit, it was hard to hold back the tears 🥹. It was an unbelievable feeling of lightness, like nothing I’d ever felt before. It has nothing to do with taking off in an aeroplane, quite frankly. It’s a feeling like no other and very difficult to describe!

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

We were one of the first balloons to take off, but immediately other balloons began to appear on the horizon. The balloon literally moved with the wind. One thing the pilot explained to us was that hot air balloons move freely according to the direction of the wind, with the pilots only controlling the altitude.

At times, we were so high that the other balloons looked like little dots, while at others we were so low that we were almost touching the rock formations so typical of Cappadocia (we flew over Love Valley, Red and Rose Valley and much more)!

The truth is that the 60-minute flight went by in a blink! It was 60 minutes of pure emotion in which all I could think was ‘I’m glad I had the chance to do this at least once in my life’. Balloon rides in Cappadocia have become extremely popular in recent years, but there’s a reason for that: it’s TRULY MAGICAL 😍!

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

Then it was time to land. The landing is done on top of a trailer and with the help of a few Royal Balloon workers who help the balloon land on the trailer. It was a very smooth and quiet process.

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

A few minutes after landing on the trailer, we were told to get out of the basket. After leaving the basket, the balloon immediately begins to deflate slowly.

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

So, it was then time to celebrate another successful flight. Royal Balloon had a medal waiting for each passenger, as well as some sparkling wine and juice for a quick toast.

The tour ends with the vans taking the various passengers back to their hotels. What a beautiful start to the day: I couldn’t believe it 🥹!

Is hot air balloon in Cappadocia worth it

I genuinely hope that this post has convinced you to live this unique experience of hot air ballooning in Cappadocia! No wonder it’s one of the most popular places in the world to do so 😍. So is a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia worth it? TOTALLY!

Disclaimer: this post may contain some affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy something through my links. This doesn’t represent any additional cost to you and you’ll be supporting my work here on the blog😊

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about me

A Ticket To Take Off About Me

I am Mariana from Porto, Portugal. I am truly passionate about traveling and all things travel related. And that’s exactly what led me to create this page: so I can inspire others to travel and help plan all those trips with my tips and itineraries.

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Ankur
5 months ago

Hi Mariana,
This blog post of yours is extremely helpful as I am planning a trip to Goreme for May 2024. I am keen on going with Royal Balloon as your experience and that of many others (Tripadvisor reviews) are very positive. I sent them an email today and they have responded with the following quote:
King Flight: 75 Minutes, max. 8 passengers,390 Euro per person 
Queen Plus Flight: 60 Minutes, max. 16 passengers, 330 Euro per person 
Queen Flight: 60 Minutes, max. 20 passengers, 260 Euro per person
My question for you is – I have read that the basket for 8 passengers is smaller than the basket used for 20 passengers. In light of this, is there really more space for each if one opts for the pricier King Flight as compared to the other 2 options?
Thank you in advance!

Ankur
5 months ago

Thank you Mariana – this really helps!