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From the ground, Cappadocia is already a marvelous scenery. From the rock-cut churches to the otherworldly moonscape topography and fairy chimneys, the region packs enough sights to blow your mind. Now, imagine a view of the area from the sky? The best way to experience this is to take a scenic balloon flight across the Cappadocian skies.
Early morning balloon expeditions let visitors appreciate the true beauty of Cappadocia. The perfect weather conditions and the breathtaking scenery offered above make this one of the most loved ballooning destinations in the world.
Summer (peak) (April-October): 04:30 – 05:30
Winter (off) (November-March): 05:30 – 06:30
Standard: 1 hour (up to 24 passengers)
Deluxe: 1 h. 30 min. (up to 18 passengers)
Today, there are a total of 25 balloon companies in the region. With the perfect weather conditions and fantastic scenery, Cappadocia is one of the world’s best hot air ballooning destinations.
Each year alone, up to 500,000 tourists get to balloon above this breathtaking region, enjoying an astonishing view of the moonscape landscape and the numerous rock-cut churches. Therefore, it is uncommon not to see numerous hot air balloons in the skies, especially during morning hours- up to 150 balloons take to the skies on a busy day.
For the best adventure flying above this region, flights usually occur at dawn, although it varies depending on the season.
Waking up to a Dream: Cappadocia
Balloon flights usually take place in the early morning during the sunrise. Therefore, at around 5.30 am, passengers enjoy a luxurious minivan transfer facilitated by the ballooning company from their respective hotel to the balloon office.
Here, breakfast is served while the pilot chooses the site based on the day’s weather conditions. Once the pilot finds the best spot and the Turkish Civil Aviation authority permits to fly, you will proceed to the take-off site.
As the pilot prepares the balloon for the flight, enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Cappadocia’s landscape illuminated by the first rays of the rising sun. Tourists also witness the whole preparation process, from unloading and assembling the balloon to inflation.
Once the balloon is ready, and the pilot has given you a safety briefing, everybody boards the basket, and the flight begins.
As the balloon rises, passengers get to witness the awe-inspiring fairytale sight of over a hundred balloons rising to the skies. Here you will only be able to appreciate the true beauty of Cappadocia once you reach a cruising altitude of about 1000 feet. Enjoy a panoramic view of the region’s numerous rock formations and valleys.
This silent flight of the Cappadocian skies is the perfect way to spend time with your family and friends. On top of enjoying the region’s breathtaking scenery and the warmth of the morning sun, you can hold celebrations up here, from simple ones like birthdays to those that touch on the romantic side like marriage proposals, renewing your vows, and even a wedding ceremony.
Photos, of course. Balloon flights present passengers with the best photo opportunities, and thus, we always advise that people carry their cameras fully charged. You will spend +/- 60 to 90 minutes in the air, depending on whether your flight is standard or deluxe.
After a successful flight, passengers are treated to a champagne toast per hot air ballooning traditions and receive a commemorative medal. After the ceremony, you will be taken back to your hotels, where you will spend another hour or two (depending on the season) for breakfast and refreshment before crowning the day with an easy land tour (if booked any).
Cappadocia’s hot air balloon tradition can be traced back to 1991 when professional hot air ballooners worldwide held a competition in the region. After the contest, the first hot air balloon company in the area was founded and took its maiden commercial flight in the same year. As Cappadocia attracted more and more visitors, the general interest in ballooning grew, and in the following years, other balloon companies were established.
With lots of ballooning companies to choose from, it is hard for tourists to pick the right one for their flight. Luckily, Made in Turkey Tours is familiar with the region and the constituent balloon companies, and thus, we make sure to choose the best ones for your tour.
By working with the best companies, you get to enjoy simple yet crucial privileges like flying with the most experienced pilots in Cappadocia in balloons equipped with up to date equipment. You also get a top-shelf flight experience, and most importantly, our partner hot air ballooning companies have full passenger insurance.
The cost of flying across Cappadocia in a balloon depends on the type of flight. A standard flight that lasts about 60 minutes and carries 20 to 22 persons will cost you between 240 and 250 Euros. A Deluxe flight that lasts around 90 minutes and holds 12 to 14 persons in a basket will cost between 300 and 320 Euros. Payment is either in cash or credit, and all flights should be pre-booked for the best experience.
The cost of ballooning will depend on the company’s quality, basket size, and the number of passengers on the flight. Smaller balloons carry few people in the basket, and they charge a slightly higher price than larger ones that have more passengers. An experienced pilot/company will also charge more than an inexperienced one.
Cappadocia is one of the few ballooning destinations in the world where you can balloon for most parts of the year- approximately 250 days a year. Whether it is in the summer or cold winter, the region still maintains its world-famous beauty. Nonetheless, the day’s weather will determine if a balloon flight is possible.
Nonetheless, the best seasons for a trip across the Cappadocian sky are the spring and summer months, late March-August. The calm winds and clear skies make it easier to schedule a hot air balloon flight in the region. Autumn (September- November) also offers mostly favorable conditions for ballooning.
During the winter months (December-February), the winds become stronger; hence flight cancellation is a frequent occurrence thanks to the unpredictable weather conditions. Nonetheless, if you are lucky enough to balloon above Cappadocia in the winter, the view of this otherworldly landscape covered in snow is a once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget. A considerable number of tourists even rank this mesmerizing sight as more beautiful than the one you get in the summer.
During the flight, you are encouraged to dress in accordance with the temperature. And of course, as the attitude rises, the temperatures get cooler. Warm clothes are thus advised; during the summer months, put on light sweaters, and in the winter months, we recommend that you dress in heavier clothing. No matter the season, only wear flat shoes since you cannot enter the basket while in high heels and other pointed shoes.
Apart from giving you an experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life, safety is another major priority of the ballooning companies. With lots of effort and due diligence, Cappadocia is one of the safest ballooning regions globally, with thousands of hot air balloons flights completed each month safely.
To achieve a PPL (Private Pilot License), pilots have to complete 45 hours, followed by 40 hours of training. To fly a balloon smaller than 250 cubic feet, pilots need a minimum of 6 months of training for a CPL (Commercial Pilot License).
For a license to fly larger balloons, pilots must undergo an additional six months of training and complete 100 more flying hours. Pilots must renew their CPL every two years by undergoing and passing a written test meant to refresh their knowledge on emergency procedures.
Balloon companies have three managers that oversee the hot air balloons, a flight operations manager with a minimum of 3 years pilot license, a quality control manager with a minimum experience of 2 years, and a maintenance manager with at least two years’ experience in maintenance.
The hot air balloons in operation have to meet the highest standards of quality to fly. The balloons in Cappadocia come from Spain and the Czech Republic, and they are tested regularly for any signs of tear by the company’s maintenance manager.
Since 2019, Pasha Balloons has been producing balloons and their necessary parts domestically, also providing support for maintenance and dome replacements domestically.
Before and after a flight, the pilot must thoroughly check the balloon and sign the logbook’s appropriate information. The inspection helps to detect and avoid issues with the balloon, like fuel leaks. In case there is a problem with the fuel system, the spare parts used are strictly from the manufacturer, and any unauthorized repairs are forbidden.
The manufacturer may issue airworthiness directives (AD) and service bulletins (SBS) during their balloon’s operational life. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) also conducts thorough checks on the balloons every twelve months before renewing their airworthiness license.
During flights, all balloons carry a VHF aircraft radio set to a uniform frequency to allow operators to communicate with each other whenever necessary. This measure has in effect for 12 years now and has helped the balloons to avoid collisions.
You will be handed an information card with your pilot’s name and undergo a standard briefing on windy landings before taking off for your safety. The weather has a significant influence on your flight’s safety and quality, which is one of the other reasons we work with the best balloon companies. Their experienced pilots are well-versed in metrology and the weather and will make sound decisions if and when the need arises. They also receive one fire/rescue emergency training from the fire department every year.
All the above safety measures and efforts from the balloon companies and the CAA have helped Cappadocia succeed in launching and landing close to 200 hot air balloons a day safely. On our end, by choosing to work with the best professional companies, we ensure that you experience the safest flight possible.
There is no upper age limit in hot air ballooning; passengers in their 70s and even 90s can enjoy this exhilarating experience.
Nonetheless, for safety purposes, kids below 6 are not allowed in the balloons.
Also, whereas flying in a balloon may be an excellent experience for women in the early stages, those in the latter stages of pregnancy, around 28 weeks pregnant, are discouraged from flying.
We encourage booking your hot air balloon flight in advance to aid in planning. If your trip to Cappadocia is 1-2 days, booking 5-6 days before arriving in the region is advised. If you will stay for a week or so, booking a flight on the first morning of your trip is the way to go. Those staying in the region for longer have the privilege of postponing their flight if the weather does not agree on the planned date of the balloon flight.