Riding Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons in Turkey

Riding Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons in Turkey

Last month we spent a week in Turkey, and the highlight of the trip was easily the Cappadocia hot air balloon ride. It’s been on my bucket list for ages, and it was such a special surprise that not only did we get to see them but we got to go up in one!

Riding Cappadocia hot air balloons was the highlight of our Turkey trip. See more photos and read about what to expect and tips for your experience here // localadventurer.com

The Cappadocia region of Turkey brings tourists from all over the world. Not only do you see amazing landscapes and historic spots, but the weather is perfect for hot air ballooning. The air is so still that there are roughly 300 flyable days each year. On any given morning, you’ll see anywhere from 50-150 balloons fill the morning skies.

The Experience (3-4 Hours)

Once you’ve booked your flight, they give you a pickup time at your hotel. Let me warn you if you’re not a morning person, it’s earrrrrly! Lucky for us it was winter, so we were picked up at 6AM for a sunrise at 730AM, but yours may be earlier (or later) depending on the sunrise and time of year you visit. We were shuttled over to the Royal Balloon headquarters, where they split us into groups and had a breakfast spread waiting for us. Then they bused us over to our launching point. The launching point each day could be different based on the wind conditions.

Riding Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia, Turkey with Royal Balloon // localadventurer.comRiding Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia, Turkey with Royal Balloon // localadventurer.com

When we arrived, the balloon was almost ready to go. We watched as they finished filling the balloon and then we hopped in once they flipped the basket into position. Each basket was broken up into 5 sections. The center was for the pilot, and each corner had a separate section that fit 3 people. The pilot went over the basic rules, and then we were off!

Magical Experience Riding Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons in Turkey // localadventurer.com
Riding Cappadocia hot air balloons was the highlight of our Turkey trip. See more photos and read about what to expect and tips for your experience here. // localadventurer.comRiding Cappadocia hot air balloons was the highlight of our Turkey trip. See more photos and read about what to expect and tips for your experience here. // localadventurer.com
Magical Experience Riding Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons in Turkey // localadventurer.com
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons look so magical - an must if you visit Turkey // localadventurer.comCappadocia Hot Air Balloons look so magical - an must if you visit Turkey // localadventurer.com
Riding Cappadocia hot air balloons was the highlight of our Turkey trip. See more photos and read about what to expect and tips for your experience here. // localadventurer.com
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Rides are Magical and definitely worth putting on your bucket list! // localadventurer.comCappadocia Hot Air Balloon Rides are Magical and definitely worth putting on your bucket list! // localadventurer.com
Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Rides are Magical and definitely worth putting on your bucket list! // localadventurer.com
Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia Turkey - a truly magical experience and worth putting on your bucket list! // localadventurer.comHot Air Balloons in Cappadocia Turkey - a truly magical experience and worth putting on your bucket list! // localadventurer.comCappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride - checked off the bucket list! // localadventurer.com
Riding Cappadocia hot air balloons was the highlight of our Turkey trip. See more photos and read about what to expect and tips for your experience here. // localadventurer.com

You start to slowly rise amongst a sea of balloons as the sun starts to pour over the mountain ranges. The pilot skillfully rises and lowers through canyons and viewpoints for the next hour.

The landing was also very impressive. They walkied to figure out a landing position and landed right in the bed of a trailer. SKILLZ. After hopping out, they treat you to some chocolate covered strawberries and a glass of champagne.

Royal Balloon Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride was amazing! // localadventurer.comChampagne Breakfast after a magical Hot Air Balloon RIde in Cappadocia, Turkey // localadventurer.com

Afraid of Heights?

I get it. Many people I’ve talked to mentioned they’d be too scared to go up in a hot air balloon. I have a fear of heights, and before my first ride, I was concerned too. However, it doesn’t have the same sensation as standing on a high roof or ledge. They never go up in windy conditions, so the basket rarely rocks or sways. I never felt like I was going to fall and was more afraid of dropping my camera or my phone, so I had a death grip on both. It felt even smoother than riding up an elevator (and trust me, even those glass elevators sometimes have my knees shaking).

Magical Experience Riding Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons in Turkey // localadventurer.com

Photography Tips

The experience is magical, but in terms of photography, I was somewhat disappointed. I had seen several photos before the trip where the skies were completely filled with balloons, so I came in with that expectation. I hadn’t realized that many of them had been photoshopped and the balloons were cloned. Keep in mind that there are 50-150 balloons each day, not thousands, and they do get spread out.

If you don’t want to photoshop in balloons, be ready to take your photos as soon as the balloons are launching. Many of them are launching from similar locations, and that’s when you’ll see them more densely together. They usually get more spread out over time since the pilots can only control the balloons vertically.

Camera Gear We Brought:

  1. Camera Body
  2. Wide lens to include more of the landscape.
  3. Long lens for tighter shots of the balloons.
  4. SONY RX100 Mark IV for video
  5. iPhones for snapchat and instastories
  6. Lowepro Whistler 350 Backpack
 

What to Wear

During our trip, it was cold in Cappadocia. It was 35 – 46 deg F (2 – 8 deg C). Since you’re up before the sun rises, it’s on the lower end and extremely chilly. During warmer weather, it’s still good to bring layers so you can adjust accordingly. The temperature drops roughly 6 degrees every 1000 feet, and you can fly up to 3000 feet. The heat from the hot air balloon helps balance out the cold, but I wouldn’t say it was warm. This is what we wore:

Cappadocia Balloon Rides // localadventurer.comHot Air Balloons in Cappadocia Turkey // localadventurer.comView from Sultan Cave Suites in Cappadocia, Turkey // localadventurer.comView from the Sultan Cave Suites Cappadocia Turkey - a wonderful hotel to stay at! // localadventurer.com

It was truly an amazing experience that we hope to do again. We’ll be posting more about our experiences in Turkey in the next couple of months so stay tuned!

Check out some other posts by our new friends from the trip!

Special thanks to Inflow TravelTurkish Airlines, and Royal Balloon for hosting this adventure and sponsoring our trip to Turkey. Check out the amazing video they did on Cappadocia. They will be hosting a Travel Summit in April 2017 (which is also a wonderful excuse to go back and explore more of Turkey!).

Have you been in a hot air balloon or would you try it? How was your experience? Have you been to Turkey or are you hoping to visit soon? Would hot air ballooning here be at the top of your list?

“Meet

ESTHER + JACOB

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 50 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They move to a new city every year and currently live in Portland, Oregon.

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Magical Experience Riding Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons in Turkey // localadventurer.com
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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Love your post so much. Thank you for writing this informative post.

  2. Woow, these amazing pics motivates me to try it, I never tried the hot air balloon before

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