Cappadocia hot air balloon ride – Turkey
I hope this blog adds value to the planning of your hot air balloon ride vacation in Cappadocia – Goreme, Turkey. I have added every bit of information which could come in handy for the visitors going to Cappadocia – Kappadocia for the balloon ride.
1- From Istanbul to Cappadocia (Goreme)
Goreme is the actual name of the town where the hot air balloon rides take place, it is famously known all over as Cappadocia or Kapadokya but people living there, the locals call it as Goreme. There are two airports through which you can reach the town of Goreme (Cappadocia)
- Kayseri airport
- Nevsehir airport
With Kayseri the farther one which takes approx. 1.5 hours to reach the town of Goreme people usually opt for Nevsehir from which you can reach the Goreme center in 45 minutes but since we had chosen Turkish Airlines of the certain day we had to leave, so we had to opt for Kayseri airport. We were staying near the stop Hava-Ist bus which takes you straight from your designated area to the airport, we reached the Istanbul airport and boarded our flight to Kayseri airport. One thing that you MUST DO is that you MUST book your airport transport from Kayseri to Goreme or from Nevsehir to Goreme beforehand through the hotel you are staying in or from any other online airport drop service because the airport taxis will break your bank. They are extremely expensive. We paid 45 Lira from Kayseri to Goreme one way per person. From Nevsehir it is a little cheaper. Everything was pre-booked through booking.com including airport transportation, you should to that too.
2- Choosing the hotel in Cappadocia – Goreme
Bear in mine that not all the cave hotels you see on booking websites have air conditioning in their rooms. They become an oven to stay in because Cappadocia gets extremely hot in summers. So be sure to check out if your hotel air con. if you are planning to go anywhere from March to September. We chose Sarihan Elite Cave Suites but their website does not seem to be updated so we chose to book from booking.com & their hotel manager Tural is a great guy to deal with. Since we went on the month of November and it was nearing 0 centigrade, we chose the cave room which didn’t have the air con. since we did not need one. This hotel lies on a hill top and you need to walk down a bit to reach the Goreme center. Always make sure to check if the room has air con. if you plan to go in summers & adequate room heating if you plan for winters.
3- Which hot air balloon company to choose from?
Now the question arises that which hot air balloon company to choose from out of the numerous ones out there? First I wanted to go with the Royal Balloons because of their top-notch reputation in this industry. I wanted no mishap since I was there for only 2 days, Oh and yeah .. at least go for 2 days in Cappadocia becasue of the fact that these hot air balloon flights are very weather dependent, so I did not want to take any risk of choosing a single day and missing my long awaited flight. I made my priority list of going with Royal Balloons or the second choice was to go with the Butterfly balloons their prices vary from time to time with different packages to choose from and mostly people opt for these companies as they are one of the best hot air balloon companies in Cappadocia to choose from out of the many. I thought of booking online, as these flights get filled up really quickly, but my hotel manager Tural suggested me to go with Urgup Ballons, I reluctantly agreed as my hotel manager vouched really highly for them. I guess the ride I chose, the basic one, costed me 165 Eutos for one hour with 24 people in the basket & I am glad that the choice was the best one.
4- The flight
We were told to get up at 6:00 AM in the morning but because of the pre-flight excitement we got up at 5:00 AM. The van of Urgup Ballons came to pick us up from the hotel at he allotted time and took us to their breakfast place first, where we were served with Cakes, cookies, coffee and tea to choose from. After having our light breakfast we headed straight to the launch site where we saw balloons being prepared for launch. We were directed to hop in a basket and we took offf :D. The experience was nothing short of magical, a once in a lifetime experience. It is expensive, but it is worth it. We went up really high and then we came down really low too, the expert pilot of Urgyp Ballons navigated beautifully through the chimneys before landing us smoothly on their trailer.
After the flight landed we were given a non-alcoholic champagne & medals for out participation. On our final day we booked the same airport transfer from our hotel manager Tural and took Turkish airlines from Kayseri to Istanbul and from there we took Oman Air from Istanbul to Karachi, Pakistan. For my YouTube vlog channel kindly click HERE it has all my travel Vlog in Urdu/Hindi.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section and I would be glad to help all the fellow travelers.