A classic symbol of travel and adventure, hot air balloons truly evoke a sense of wonder hard to describe. It´s a once in a lifetime experience that we just had to tick off our bucket list.
The Cradle of Civilizations, known as the Land of Beautiful Horses, is considered today as the ballooning kingdom of the world. With unique vertical rock formations, cliffs, and sensuous folds in the soft volcanic rock, Cappadocia’s ethereal landscape is certainly best appreciated from above, onboard a hot-air balloon.
Our Balloon Tour
The excitement starts early in the morning. Between 05.15 -05.30, we were picked up from our hotel Sultan Cave Suites and taken to have a pre-flight breakfast of fruit, Turkish pastries and coffee.
Then, we were driven to the take off area where countless of balloons were being prepared to reach a thousand feet. Minutes later, we were climbing into in a wicker basket that would twirl us high above the ochre mountains and valleys.
The vast region is immense in dimension and impression. The natural pinnacles that give the landscape its magical feel are called ‘fairy chimneys”. These formations made of rock have been formed through the years by solidified volcanic ash, wind and water.
The ride was surprisingly tranquil, broken only by the clicks of the cameras and the radio chatter. Our knowledgeable, friendly pilot happily answered all our questions in great detail which made the adventure even more memorable.
The experience felt even more dreamlike because it took place at sunrise. The spellbinding spectacle of valleys and cliffs aglow under the first rays of light will linger in our memories forever.
At the end of our flight, we toasted with champagne, which is actually a ballooning tradition since the Montgolfier brothers made the first flight in 1873 and celebrated a successful landing with the sparkling wine, and got a flight certificate to commemorate the event.
There are countless of hot air balloon tours to choose from, but we opted for Butterfly Balloons which has been recommended by many guide books including Lonely Planet. Flights normally last anywhere between 45 minutes to two hours and costed 165E per person. Bear in mind it’s so chilly up there, so consider wearing warm clothes.