Riding a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon is in many people’s bucketlists and it’s no mystery why. Floating over the fairy chimneys and witnessing the incredible landscapes of Cappadocia from up above is a dream come true.
This guide goes through all the relevant information you need to know about preparing, choosing, and booking your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride, with updated information in these times post COVID-19.
We also discuss great places to stay in Cappadocia to get an amazing view of the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons floating through the sky. Finally, we discuss the all important question: how to know whether your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon is cancelled?
If you’re looking for insider information from someone who went to Cappadocia during the midst of the pandemic and what the current situation looks like there, then this is the Ultimate Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Guide for you!
Facts About the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons
Hot Air Balloon Rides in Cappadocia date back all the way to the 1980’s. The first hot air balloon was brought to Turkey during this time and two decades after, the first Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Company was established in 1991.
Twenty years later, mass balloon flying has become world-renowned. Every day, around 200 balloons fly through the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia with over 20-30 people in each balloon.
So that means, almost every morning, around 2,000 to 3,000 people get the chance to experience the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride. How amazing is that fact?
How Safe is the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon
When it comes to the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride, one question remains in people’s minds: is it safe?
In the last 10 years, there have been around 8 Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon crashes. If you factor in that 200 hot air balloons fly each morning in the last 10 years (or 200 balloons x 250/285 average flying days per year x 10 years), then around 500,000 balloons have flown. With that number, less than 10 have resulted to an accident. Of course, no accident is better but the chances are very low.
Furthermore, for your peace of mind, the Turkish Government amended the regulations for Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons in 2015. Criteria for flying is now stricter along with the necessary qualifications of Hot Air Balloon pilots.
Best Time to Visit Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon in Summer
Cappadocia is a semi-desert region so in the Summer, the climate is often very hot and dry.
Temperatures can go up to 32 degrees celsius or more, which in a hot air balloon means that it would feel much hotter.
Furthermore, summer is the peak tourist season of Cappadocia. So if you want less crowds and cooler weather, we recommend that you avoid going in the summer, especially if you want to have an enjoyable Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Experience.
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon in Spring
Spring is the best time to visit Cappadocia. The weather is milder with warmer days and cooler nights. Although, one thing to note, is that Spring is a rainy season for Cappadocia especially in March.
Thus, if your main goal of going is for the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon, it’s best to go in late Spring such as late May.
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon in Fall
Just like Spring, Fall is also a wonderful time to visit Cappadocia. The weather is cooler with warm days. Similarly, it’s best to go in early Fall (September to October) if your main priority is the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride.
During these months, the days are still long and there are not as much tourists in the region as compared to summer.
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon in Winter
We’ve taken a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon in winter and personally, it was one of the best experiences in our life.
Cappadocia in winter has landscapes that will blow your mind. Winter offers a unique setting as to what you would normally see during the seasons of Spring, Summer, or Fall. This is especially true if you get lucky with the weather and have clear sunny days to see all the fairy chimneys dusted in snow.
Winter is also the cheapest time of the year to visit Cappadocia and there are way less tourists. However, one thing to note, is that winter has the most Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon cancellations due to fog, mist, rain, snow, and wind conditions. Sometimes these cancellations can even run for a few days, so you might not get the chance to do it all during your stay.
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Price
The price of a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon depends greatly on the season. Summer is the most expensive time to visit then Fall and Spring. Finally, winter is when the prices all drop and the cost of a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon is at its cheapest.
In our experience, when we went in the winter of 2022, we paid 60 euros for the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon. But given COVID is starting to settle down and tourism is getting stronger once again, the prices have gone up back to normal of around 120 euros to 200 euros.
There are other Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon companies that charge even higher when you buy from them directly so if you want to budget, booking via Get Your Guide is the best option. The cheapest rate as of March 2022 is 120 euros.
To reserve the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon company that we rode with and also, to see similar alternatives, find our recommendations in the link below.
How to Travel to Cappadocia
Travel to Cappadocia by Air
The easiest and best way to get to Cappadocia is by air from any of the bigger and major cities in Turkey like Istanbul, Antalya, Izmir, etc.
Generally, there are two main airlines that operate flights to Cappadocia: Pegasus and Turkish Airlines.
The cost of the flight is from 30 to 35 euros. Sometimes more depending on the season.
Furthermore, there are two main airports that you can fly into: Nevsehir Airport (around 40 minutes away from Goreme) and Kayseri Airport (around 1 hour away from Goreme).
From these two airports, you must reserve airport transfer to Goreme which costs around 12 euros. You can reserve your transfer tickets in advance (especially in the peak season!) below and the driver will be waiting for you at the airport with your name on a signage.
Travel to Cappadocia by Bus
The next best option to get to Cappadocia is by taking the bus to Goreme from a major city like Istanbul.
Everyday, there are buses that leave from Istanbul at around the middle of the night (between 10pm to 1am) and also, in the middle of the afternoon (between 3pm to 5pm). The bus then arrives in Goreme after 10 to 12 hours.
The price of the bus is around 25 euros/person.
Personally, we don’t find this option as convenient just because the flight can cost the same amount and takes less time.
However, if you would like to go for the bus option, do note that the bus company who usually offers this route straight to Cappadocia is MetroTurizm. You can book your bus tickets below.
Travel to Cappadocia by Car
You can also drive to Cappadocia yourself by renting a car in Turkey. If you’re coming from Istanbul, the trip will take around 6-8 hours and the roads in certain parts of the drive may not be the safest.
If you are coming from other parts of Turkey like Antalya, it is much closer to get to Cappadocia and it will take under 4 hours. So this option is best depending on where you’re coming from.
Personally, we recommend this option for those who would like to be more independent in your Turkey itinerary. You can check our available car rentals in Turkey using the link below.
Best Hotels with Views of the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons
Below we have compiled four of the best Cappadocia hotels in Goreme that will give you sweepings views of the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon during sunrise.
We’ve also included prices and information on their facilities such as if they have an instagram-worthy rooftop terrace.
LUXURY HOTELS IN CAPPADOCIA
– Sultan Cave Suites: Made popular by influencers, this authentic cave hotel is perfect for those on a honeymoon or looking for a more luxurious option. The hotel boasts a beautiful rooftop terrace with Turkish decor. Furthermore, the hotel is surrounded by fairy chimneys that give you a beautiful view of Goreme and the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons. Room rates start at 150 euros/night with buffet breakfast.
– Charming Cave Hotel: A second option for those looking for a luxurious and elegant stay. This authentic cave hotel also features a rooftop terrace with Turkish design perfect for a sunrise photoshoot with the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons. Room rates start at 100 euros/night with buffet breakfast.
– Azure Cave Suites: A final option those on a honeymoon or looking for a luxurious option. This authentic cave hotel features as well an incredible terrace with views of the valley beyond and interesting decor. Room rates are a bit more affordable than the first two options starting at 120 euros/night which includes a buffet breakfast.
Budget Hotels in Cappadocia
– Milat Cave Hotel: This is the cave hotel we stayed at. We loved it here because when we booked, we found it to be affordable without sacrificing the quality of the services and the facilities. The hotel features not only 1 rooftop terrace but 5 terraces where you can watch the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons. Room rates start at 50 euros/night with buffet breakfast.
– Elite Cave Suites: Another beautiful yet affordable cave hotel that features traditional Turkish furnishings and a spacious rooftop terrace for sunrise photos. It is also surrounded by fairy chimneys with room rates starting at an budget-friendly 30 euros/night including buffet breakfast.
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Cancellations
How to Know if Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon is Cancelled
When it comes to finding out whether you’re Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon is cancelled, the best resource would be to hear it straight from Turkish Civil Aviation Authority. They are the Turkish body that gives the green light if Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons will fly or are cancelled for a particular day.
This means that once they say it’s cancelled, your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon company cannot go against this decision as it is ultimately for the safety of the passengers.
For an official announcement, you can find updates on whether your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon ride is cancelled or will be flying on the next day via this useful source:
Everyday, this official website is updated at around 2pm, local Turkish time. You can see from the website that there are flags which either turn green or red. When they turn green, your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon will be flying the next day and if they turn red, it is cancelled.
However, if it is NOT updated by 2pm (i.e. the flags don’t change color to red or green from the previous day), then that means there’s a 50-50 chance can go ahead the next day or get cancelled.
This is what happened to us, we had booked a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon for the following day. But at 2pm, there was still no final news on whether it would be going through. We had generally sunny weather during our stay but because it was forecasted to be windy, there was still a 50-50 chance that it would be risky.
When we inquired our Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon company on this, they said to wait until the next morning. The next morning, fortunately, there was no wind at all. The forecast was wrong and we were able to fly. This is why, sometimes, they don’t change the flag colors, because they’re not entirely sure what the conditions will be the next day despite what the forecast says.
We were already picked up by our Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Company and on the way to the flight zones when the flags turned green. That’s when we knew for sure that everything would work out and we would get to experience the magic of the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons.
To summarize, if the website above is not updated by 2pm local Turkish time, you will only know whether your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon will be cancelled on the morning of your flight.
Things to Know about the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride
There are a few things you need to know before going for a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride:
– Out of 365 days in the year, only 250 to 280 days on average are approved flying days. Meaning, there is always a chance that your hot air balloon ride will be cancelled, especially during early Spring, late Fall, or Winter.
– Reasons for the cancellation of a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride can be due to different weather conditions such as wind, rain, clouds, fog, snow, and mist.
– Hence to ensure that you still get the chance to experience the ride, we highly suggest that you book your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride on the first day that you are in Goreme or Uchisar. In this way, if it gets cancelled, you are immediately put on the list of passengers for the next day.
– In case it gets cancelled, you don’t have to worry about getting your money back. You will immediately be issued a refund as long as you don’t get the chance to experience the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons.
– Sometimes the weather forecast can be wrong. For example, when were were in Cappadocia, the wind forecast was supposed to strong but on the morning of our Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride, there was no wind at all. It’s best to wait till the official announcement from the Turkish Civil Aviation Authority because anything is possible.
– There are various flight options. The standard flight is usually 60 minutes with around 25-30 people onboard the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon. However, there are also more premium options with longer flight time (1 hour and 30 minutes) and with lesser people (private tour or a comfort ride).
– Make sure to dress properly for your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride. Depending on the season, it can get quite hot or cold up there. We discuss more on what to wear in the next section.
What to Wear for the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride
It’s important to wear the appropriate clothing for your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride. Depending on the season you go, it can get very hot or cold up there.
In the Summer, we recommend wearing light and airy pieces since the weather is dry and hot. In the Spring and Fall, having a light jacket or windbreaker would be a good idea as it can get quite chilly. While in the Winter, it’s important to dress warmly and have many thermal layers as it is freezing up there.
So there you have it! We hope this answers everything you need to know about the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride. We guarantee you this experience is one of the magical and unforgettable you’ll have in your life.
We were amazed by the sceneries we got to experience going in a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon from flying through the fairy chimneys and watching the sun rise. No matter the season, you won’t regret it.
Have you ever been on a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon? How was your experience like and would you do it again? Let us know your thoughts and questions in the comments below!