Life was meant for memorable experiences and we should appreciate the value of every moment. I strongly believe that beautiful experiences make us enjoy life more. The hot air balloon flight is one of those experiences which should be lived at least once in a lifetime.
I have always dreamed to fly in a hot air balloon above Cappadocia, which is in my opinion, the best place to live such an experience. Fortunately, my dream came true during my most recent trip to Turkey. I have always wanted to live this experience in the magical region of Cappadocia because there is something special about this place. Cappadocia is situated in the middle of Anatolia, 750 kilometers away from Istanbul. This region is blessed with amazing landscapes that seem to be cut out of a fairy tale. Cappadocia is famous for its unusual orange and light brown rock formations of different shapes and sizes which became the image of the entire area. Besides these interesting rock formations, this fabulous area shelters churches dug in volcanic rocks, troglodyte dwellings dug by water and mysterious underground cities.
Beyond all these interesting tourist attractions, Cappadocia gained its notoriety thanks to the colorful hot air balloons. Some time ago, someone came up with the idea of organizing hot air balloon flights above this wonderful area and thanks to the thousands of pictures taken there, Cappadocia started attracting more and more tourists. I must confess that my obsession with flying in a hot air balloon above Cappadocia started the moment I saw a gorgeous picture with the sky full of hundreds of colorful balloons. During peak season more than 200 balloons fly at the same time above Cappadocia and the sky looks like a festival of colors.
I dreamed of this moment with all my heart and maybe this is why I still remember every detail of this experience. I must confess that the morning when the car from the agency came to pick us up and take us to the take-off field, I felt a bit scared and anxious because I was afraid of heights. It was still dark outside when we got to the land where the balloons take off. We had already seen the balloons the previous morning when we admired them rising in the sky. It was great to see the entire preparation process again, but this time the best part was to be in one of those balloons. It goes without saying that I panicked a little at the beginning, but after the balloon went up, I had a feeling of peace and relaxation. It’s an incredible feeling to fly in a hot air balloon above Cappadocia, surrounded by hundreds of other colored balloons.
We tried to immortalize those memorable moments and we took a lot of pictures. An interesting aspect is the fact that the pilot can only handle the balloon up and down, any lateral movement being caused by the air currents. This is why we didn’t land in the same place where we took off. It was a one-hour flight, but time went by too fast and I must confess that I could have spent hours in the balloon. The experience ended with a cup of champagne offered by the travel agency after we landed.
I strongly recommend this experience because it is the most beautiful thing you can do in this fairytale land. If you are already planning a trip there and the hot air balloon experience is on your trip list, there are a few things you should take into account. First of all, you should know that there are two types of balloons, the standard balloons and the VIP balloons. The platform of the standard balloons has a capacity of 20 people and it is divided into five different compartments, one for the pilot in the middle of the balloon and the other four for the tourists. The platform of the VIP balloons is smaller and it has a capacity of 8 people.
During peak season, the flights are organized twice every morning. One flight takes place before the sunrise and the other one immediately after the sunrise. My advice is to choose the first flight because this way you will have the chance to admire a beautiful sunrise in the air.
After choosing the type of flight, the next step is to make the reservation. I advise you to book the flight in advance, at least a few months before you get to Cappadocia because this way you will save some money. Also, the balloons have a limited capacity and you might not find tickets for sale.
Another important advice is to book your flight for your first morning there. The flight might be delayed because of the bad weather conditions and in this case, you will be rescheduled for the next day or you will receive your money back. The standard hot air balloon flight costs between 150 and 300 euros per person, but it is worth every penny.
I hope you are a morning person because the mornings in Cappadocia start very early. I woke up at 4 o’clock every morning to fly in the balloon or to admire the sunrise and the sky full of balloons. All things considered, in case you plan a trip to Cappadocia, you cannot leave this region without trying the hot air balloon experience.