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Hot Air Balloon Flight in Cappadocia

N 3838.636', E 3449.103'
2018-09-10
Our rating: 8.00
Overall rating:
Like many other tourists, we came to Cappadocia for a balloon flight. This is the only place in the world where more than a hundred colorful balloons fly into the air every day. It looks incredibly beautiful and at least once in life you need to fly here.

Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak

Now flights are organized by more than two dozen companies. The two main ones are the oldest and most famous Kapadokya Balloons (http://kapadokyaballoons.com/en/index.html) and the largest Anatolian Balloons (https://www.anatolianballoons.com/). We chose the latter simply because we saw their office along the road here N 38 38.639 E 34 49.099. Though, it's not necessary to visit the office, you can buy tickets in many places in Goreme.

In general, all the balloons fly according to the standard program, lasting about 90 minutes, so it makes no sense to search a particular company.

Prices are pretty high. In 2008 it was possible to fly for 70-80 euros, now the flight costs 160 euros in a large basket (Standard Flight) or 200-230 euros in the middle basket (Comfort or Delux Flight). Small baskets for 2-3 people are only for VIP flights and cost from 1000 euros. A large basket looks like this.

Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak

Though this is Turkey and in Turkey the prices on paper and real prices are always different. We came for tickets in the evening and without bargaining bought Delux flight for 150 euros per person. Probably the guys in the office were in good mood :)

Early in the morning, before dawn, you are taken from the hotel to the starting point. On the way we stopped at another hotel, where we waited for other passengers, drank tea and ate sandwiches.

Next we went to the balloon and took off. There is no point in choosing some “best” place, as balloon constantly rotates and all passengers will see the same landscapes.

Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak


Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak

Takeoff is the most exciting part of the flight, since 100 balloons take off in 5-10 minutes. Another 50 balls get permission to take off in half an hour.

Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak


Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak

We were lucky with the weather and got a beautiful sunrise.

Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak

20 minutes after sunrise perfect light will appear.

Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak

Before dawn hundreds of spectators are waiting on the hills around Göreme.

Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak


Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak

The lazy ones watch from the roofs of their hotels.

Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak

Next, the balloons are flying over Goreme and the nearby valleys.

Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak


Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak


The Valley of Love in Cappadocia
The Valley of Love in Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak


Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak


Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak


Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak

Sometimes they will go down to a height of 1-2 meters above the ground.

Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak

Landing was very easy, we did not even realize that we landed. Without wind, the pilot was not difficult to put the ball directly on the cargo trailer!

If anyone is interested how to shoot a video from a ball without hands, then see the next picture. It is better to have a camera with a stabilizer (like Hero7), since the balloon shakes a little.

Cappadocia
Cappadocia Yuriy Buriak

Is it safe to fly a balloon in Cappadocia?

I think many are wondering, how safe is it? So, this is very dangerous! Clashes of balloons happen every day, we ourselves saw several. But there are also tragic cases. In 2009, the ball fell from a height of 30 meters and a famous British physicist died. In 2013, 3 Brazilians were killed and another 20 were seriously injured. And in 2014, a Chinese tourist was killed.

The moment when the balloon with the Brazilians fell down:

Because of these events, the authorities made anxious faces and decided to do something with flight safety. They even built an air traffic control tower. Though, due to bureaucracy, it still not in operation and the pilots continue to receive commands on the radio from the ground, from their partners. So that you understand why it is so dangerous, think about how you will gain altitude in the sky, where a hundred balloons are flying, when you cannot see the area over your balloon?

With the growing number of balloons, the number of incidents has only increased. In 2017, several tragic incidents occurred, in the most famous of which died the French consul. His balloon flew into the high-voltage line.

There are no safe companies, Kapadokya Balloons and Anatolian Balloons are not better then others. This is still dangerous and in 2018 the balls fell few times. The last incident occurred in October 2018.

The best guarantee of a good flight is the good weather. With low wind pilots can control the balloons much better and incidents are almost eliminated. So choose a warm, sunny day and go ahead.
Tags, Turkey: balloon

Tags, all countries: balloon
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