Sometimes a person wants to take off, like a bird, to look around, to feel the boundless freedom of the sky. The dream is feasible if you get to a small town in Turkey. Balloons in Cappadocia are as familiar as pigeons in a Moscow square. This is a well-established business with 25 companies. Therefore, the task of the tourist is only one – to choose the ball he likes.
The unforgettable sensation of getting off the ground as the balloon rushes into the sky will be remembered for a long time. The view of the natural beauty from the top is spectacular. Rarely does one get to see more than one sunrise, but during the flight it is possible, as the basket with the passengers rises and falls almost to the ground. Cappadocia in Turkey is called the city of balloons, where they float in the air like fabulous birds, beckoning dreams to come true.
In the vicinity of the city there are unique landscapes, more like the setting of a sci-fi movie or the surface of another planet. Walking around them is unreal, but from a height they open in all their glory, which attracts a huge number of tourists tired of visiting underground caves and mindless lying on the beaches.
Choosing a Balloon Company in Cappadocia
The main part of the companies is located in the town of Göreme. It is a tourist center in Cappadocia and the only place in Turkey from which tours leave almost all year round, taking into account the number of willing and weather conditions.
The civil aviation service gives permission to fly; without it, no balloon will take off.
Determining where best to go to buy a ticket is difficult. The wide choice is sometimes confusing, with offers literally pouring in from all directions. But sometimes there is a full house when the baskets are full, so you should not delay your flight until the day of departure. The conditions in the various companies at first glance are about the same. The demand for balloons in Turkey is high, in Cappadocia organizes individual and group flights when the basket accommodates up to 20 people.
Cost of a balloon flight in Cappadocia
The price policy is quite flexible and varies from 80 to 180 euros. It consists of several components:
- pilot experience;
- time of day, season;
- the number of places in the basket;
- the prestige of the company;
- the number of lifts per day;
- the duration of the flight.
The cost of luxury travel can go up to 300 euros. Romantic flights for honeymooners or couples in love with the presence of a photographer are more expensive than group flights, the price ranges from 400 to 500 euros. The increase in cost is influenced by the extra breakfast in the restaurant, the brand of champagne in the glass at the initiation of balloonists and other nice little things.
With a large crowd, even expensive tickets are difficult to buy, so it is better to think about pre-booking. You’ll have to pay a little extra, but you’ll be assured of a guaranteed spot in the basket.
How is a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia?
Early in the morning, a bus arrives at the hotel and takes you first to breakfast and then to the outskirts of Göreme, where the launch pad is located. Sometimes up to a few dozen balloons take off simultaneously.
It is very interesting to watch the balloons being prepared for flight. A huge shell unfolds from a small roll of three by three meters. It is spread out on the ground, and with the help of a heat gun begins to fill with air. Then the burners are turned on, and after a short period of time a thin but very strong dome rises above the ground. Some companies, like Cameron Baiioons, use silver additives to increase strength.
In the case where the body is not well tolerated rocking, it is better to give up breakfast.
After placing the tourists in the basket, the pilot gets permission to climb. The balloon gains altitude several times and descends smoothly almost to the ground, the pilot keeps track of the cylinder heating level, calls the altitude, tells about the terrain over which the flight takes place. The first ascent is the longest, the pilot gives you a good look around, to feel the charm of heights. He gently spins the basket, creating a great view for everyone. The duration of the flight varies from 40 minutes to an hour and a half.
Upon return to land, tourists are in for a pleasant surprise, they are given a certificate of balloonist with their name on it and the obligatory glass of champagne.
How to dress for the flight?
In Cappadocia there is no specific season, balloons fly when there is permission to lift from the appropriate service. Therefore, in the clothing should be guided by the temperature outside the window and add to this jacket and knitted hat. At 1,000 meters altitude, it’s chilly. It is more comfortable if the clothes are layered, it is easier to adjust the level of warmth. As an option, you can take a blanket with you and wrap yourself in it when you gain altitude.
Do not go on a trip with fever, with a bad cough and after drinking alcohol.
Balloon launch time
Preparing for an air trip, you need to consider that you have to get up very early. At the beginning of the sixth, cargo cars with passenger baskets arrive at the launch pad, and by 9 a.m. only units remain in the sky, eager to land. The mass launch is between 6:00 and 8:00, depending on the duration of the flight.
Start from a certain point and land wherever you can. Not too far from the starting point, but you do not have to walk, special transport comes for passengers. Experienced pilots are able to lower a basket of passengers directly onto the platform of a cargo vehicle, which follows the ground behind the balloon throughout the flight.
How do I book a place to fly in a hot air balloon?
Flights are held regularly, but in the summer and fall months there are a lot of applicants. It happens that on a particular day simply no seats remain, so it is worthwhile to use reservation services. This can be done at the hotel reception, through the manager, at the travel agency or directly on the website of the selected company.
For example, electronic booking is available at Sultan Balloons, Kapadokya Balloons, Voyager Balloons, Royal Balloons
Before booking a ticket you should ask the representative of the company about the availability of insurance policy for passengers. With it the cost of the flight is a little higher, but the precautions are much stricter and the pilot is more experienced. Since more than two dozen companies are engaged in conducting aerial tours, it is profitable for them to comply with safety rules and keep a good business reputation that attracts customers.
Hot air ballooning in winter
In strong winds flights are forbidden for safety reasons. This is especially common in winter, when the ban is extended for 3 to 5 days. But if the atmosphere is calm, brightly colored balloons with passengers on board take to the sky every morning. Another peculiarity is the winter weather. Often the sky is obscured by dense clouds, so that the flight passes over a cloudy canvas, and all the beauty of the area remains inaccessible to the eye.
Balloon Festival in Cappadocia
This colorful event occurs closer to the middle of June, lasts 4 – 5 days. It attracts pilots, technicians and spectators from many countries. In the program:
- balloon parade;
- traveling exhibitions of contemporary art;
- culinary show of national dishes;
- competition of pilots in the skill of balloon control.
The festival in 2018 was held for the fourth time, and because of the large number of participants had to increase the duration of the event to 6 days.
Balloon flight video
Good spots for balloon sightings in Cappadocia from the ground
In an effort to capture the riot of colors and stunning morning balloon flight on video, tourists are looking for favorable angles. The best view is from Love Valley. When dozens of balloons rise simultaneously in the rays of the rising sun, this picture is simply breathtaking. One gets the feeling of being on a grandiose movie set, and it is hard to believe that the purpose of this beauty is to provide unusual tours for tourists.
In Cappadocia, dreams of flying come true for anyone who has ventured above the ground in a hot air balloon basket.