There are several places in the world that uniquely lend themselves to the breathtaking sights as they are viewed from a hot air balloon. Cappadocia Turkey is one and Cappadocia balloon tours in the Goreme Valley join the ranks—like similar flights over the fabled Valley of the Kings in Egypt, the great Serengeti of Kenya and Tanzania, and the Napa Valley in northern California. Balloon tours in Cappadocia add a matchless and memorable experience to any visit of the early Christian and Byzantine Cappadocia churches and monasteries of this fairy tale landscape, and scenic Cappadocia balloons have become increasingly popular in this tourist destination.
The Goreme Valley is filled with fanciful fairy tale chimneys formed of soft volcanic tufa rock that the local people used to carve out their homes and even entire cities. Cappadocia balloon tours over this valley reveal the incredible sight of hundreds of fanciful oddly shaped pillars, cones, and chimneys in all colors of the spectrum from pink and yellow to rusty brown. The air currents that swirl in the deep canyons and valleys create the perfect conditions for hot air balloon flight. This is definitely one of the best things to do here.
Many of the cave hotels in the area can assist you in booking your balloon tours in Cappadocia onsite. But the capacity of the flying machines is limited, so it is a good idea to make these arrangements in advance, especially if you’ve decided that when to go is during the summer peak season. Balloon baskets have a capacity of as many as 24 passengers, but most of those in this region hold only 6 to 16. If you’ve booked vacation packages, this option may be included in the price of the package. Usually, Cappadocia balloons are an elected option, since not all people in a group are exactly keen for the experience of soaring at such heights in an open basket.
However, Cappadocia balloons are quite safe. And the lack of a sensation of motion and the silence of the flight are well worth swallowing any fear of heights. These Cappadocia balloon tours are not inexpensive, even though you can book them from either budget hotels or luxury hotels. The cost ranges, but generally is in the hundreds of dollars per person for a three to four hour experience, only about one of which is actually aloft. You awake and arrive at the balloon site before dawn. You’ll then receive a safety briefing from the captain (often a former commercial airline pilot with many hours of flight time), before taking off for a flight lasting about an hour depending on wind conditions. You will drift at the whim of the wind as low as treetop height (during the apricot season, it’s possible to pick fruit from the trees!) and as high as 1,500 feet above the ground. When you set down, the balloon operator’s staff will have set up a brunch buffet, and you spend time dining on a sumptuous feast and enjoying a champagne toast before being transferred back to your hotels or resorts with a certificate memorializing your flight.
The timing of balloon tours in Cappadocia allows you to have a nap when you return to your hotel, and then spend the rest of the day enjoying tours of the sights on the ground. It is possible to book slightly longer flights, and to charter a completely private flight (much more expensive).