Hot Air Balloon images in Cappadoccia have been blowing up on Pinterest and Instagram for the past few years. You’ve probably seen the ridiculously staged breakfast photos where a girl is sitting in a flowing dress, with an extravagant breakfast (which may have gone cold) surrounded by hot air balloons. Yes? Well, it’s not actually that expensive to organize a trip like that.
When I was 13, I saw a hot air balloon over my house and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I remember taking a picture of it with my pink digital camera, and thinking I want to do that! After extensive research, I stumbled upon Cappadocia and fell in love with all the pictures from this magical place. This is how I went about booking the trip.
I flew from Dublin to Istanbul return with Lufthansa, which meant a quick layover in Frankfurt. These flights were so much cheaper than the Turkish Airlines flight and it only added an extra 2 and a half hours to the overall flight itinerary.
Then from Istanbul, I flew to Kayseri with Turkish Airlines. This was the best option to go to Cappadocia, as the flights were cheaper, and the flight was only 1 hour and 25 minutes long. I booked the flights to return back to Istanbul and they cost €40.
On the way back I made sure the flight time to return from Kayseri to Istanbul was 2 hours before the flight to Dublin so that I would have enough time to board the flight back to Ireland.
The best option for transport is definitely renting a car once you arrive in Kayseri. This gives you the freedom to explore the area and the drive from Kayseri to Cappadocia was only 1 hour and 10 minutes long.
We rented the car with Avis and the car cost €100 for three days rental. The price was split between two people so it worked out ok. You can use a price comparison site like Kayak, to compare car rental prices.
There are so many beautiful places to stay in the area, and a lot of them have beautiful rooftops to view the balloons from at sunrise. I chose to stay at Doors of Cappadocia Hotel which was such a beautiful cave hotel. When I visited in April the pool was closed so bear that in mind.
The hotel was not too expensive but if you are really on a tight budget there are definitely cheaper places to stay.
Weather and time of year have a massive influence on the price and availability of hot air balloon rides in Cappadoccia. There are roughly 260 flyable days allowing hot air balloon flights in the area, which is extremely good when considering a trip here.
The ballooning companies operate the flights in the early morning at roughly 5 am-6 am depending on the season. This is when the weather conditions are the most stable, with little wind and mild temperatures. The best time of year to go is from the end of April to November. There are still balloon flights from December to March, they just aren’t as frequent.
During the first few weeks of April, there can be a lot of wind which means the flights must be cancelled. It is very dangerous to fly when the weather is windy. When I went, I was extremely lucky that the day I booked to fly we were actually able to go. The day before our flight and the day after our flight they cancelled flights for people.
Due to the irregularity of the weather at this time, my balloon flight was cheaper than if I had booked in the high season. If you would like to go at the same time as I did I would suggest you book more than 3 days to ensure you get to experience a hot air balloon ride in Cappadoccia.
Hot Air Ballooning
I spent a long time researching the cheapest option for this. As this is the event everyone travels here for they definitely charge a premium for special treatment. You have to go in a hot air balloon if you travel to the area! Watching them all from a rooftop of a hotel isn’t as great as being a part of it.
It isn’t as glam as you would think though as the cheapest option or the Standard Flight means you and 23 other people are all crammed into one basket. I paid €120 for the sunrise balloon ride. This included pick up, drop off, breakfast, the balloon ride, a “champagne” reception, and a flight certificate. I booked with Istanbul Balloons, and now this balloon company no longer seems to have deals as cheap.
This company seems to still have cheap options but it’s also dependent on the time of year you book. A lot of hotels work closely with ballooning companies so they can book your balloon flight for you, this saves you the hassle but it might not always be the cheapest option.