Images of hot air balloons in Cappadoccia have been blowing up on Pinterest and Instagram for the past few years, and it has become a bucket list place for many. This is the best guide to planning a hot air balloon trip to Cappadoccia without spending too much money.
Flights to Cappadoccia
I flew from Dublin to Istanbul with Lufthansa, which meant a quick layover in Frankfurt. These flights were much cheaper than flying with Turkish Airlines. It only added an extra 2.5 hours to the overall flight itinerary. Other layover options can be Paris with AirFrance and Amsterdam with KLM.
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. I booked return flights to Istanbul and they were €40.
Top tip: Book the return flight from Kayseri to Istanbul so that it arrives 2 hours before the flight back to Dublin, that way you don’t need to worry about spending too much time waiting in the airport.
Transport to Cappadoccia
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.
We rented the car with Avis and the car cost €100 for a three-day rental. The price was split between two of us, so it definitely made it more affordable. You can use a price comparison site like Kayak, to compare car rental prices to get the best deal.
Accommodation in Cappadoccia
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 still closed so that’s something to note.
The hotel was not too expensive at €83 per night in the off-season and €112 per night in peak season.
Weather in Cappadoccia
When planning your hot air balloon trip to Cappadoccia, the weather and time of year can have a massive influence on the price and availability. There are roughly 260 flyable days allowing hot air balloon flights in the area, which are extremely good odds when considering a trip here.
The ballooning companies operate the flights in the early morning from 5am – 6am, 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 actually 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 in the area to ensure you get to experience a hot air balloon ride in Cappadoccia.
Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadoccia
I spent a long time researching the cheapest option for the hot air balloon ride. As this is the event everyone travels here for, they definitely charge a premium for special treatment. Watching the balloons fly from the rooftop of a hotel is great, but nothing beats being a part of it.
The hot air balloon ride itself isn’t as glam as you would think though, if you choose the cheapest option or the Standard Flight, 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 when I went it was €120 but unfortunately it is no longer that price.
However, this balloon company seems to still have cheap-ish 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 of booking but it might not always be the cheapest option.
Summary of planning a Hot Air Ballooning trip to Cappadoccia
Overall planning a hot air balloon trip to Cappadoccia can be a stressful time as there are many components to take into consideration. If you book from May-August you can be guaranteed good weather but you will be paying a premium, and the place will be so crowded. Booking a trip for April, as I did, is great to save some cash, but if the weather is not in your favour you could have your whole trip ruined!
Be sure to do your research and if you do get the chance to go, enjoy!