When I first experienced going on a hot air balloon in 2015, it was during a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The hot air balloon experience was so memorable that I still remember each bite of it today. Like they said, you can’t never forget your first. At that point, going on a hot air balloon was a bucket list item that I got to check off my list. I never even thought that riding again could surpassed the experience and transport me aboye and beyond than fullfilling a bucket list item. As soon, as I arrived to Cappadocia Turkey, I realized that a hot air balloon experience was more than a bucket list item. Here are the reasons why I believe everyone should go on a hot air balloon ride, even if it is more than one time, especially in Cappadocia.
First Hot Air Balloon Experience with Santa Fe Balloon Company
First, let’s start with saying that having a hot air balloon experience in Cappadocia can be inspiring, spiritual and make you feel like you are on a different planet. I remember the first time waking up and seeing them from far from my rooftop at Chelebi Cave House Hotel. We even did a photo-shoot up there arranged by its kind owner. It was indescribable. It was truly one of the most wonderful experiences. Cappadocia is so magical. My eyes even teared up from emotion since it was a long time dream.
Back to the hot air balloon ride, The owners at Chelebi Cave House, arranged a hot air balloon experience with Turkiye Balloons. Let’s start by saying the bad news, to then move to the good ones. You get pick up super early in the morning, so if you are not an early bird like myself, be ready to make the sacrifice. Although it is totally worthy, you can’t miss this experience if you visit Planet Mars, I meant Cappadocia.
Moving on to the Hot Air Balloon Experience Review! In here I will answer most of the frequently asked questions I get from readers, followers and friends from around the world.
How Many Times Per Week Hot Air Balloons Go In The Air In Cappadocia?
Pretty much every day, except when the weather conditions do not allow it. Then for safety reasons, your flight will get cancel. They will reschedule it for you, or if you do not have more time on the area, they will refund you the money.
How Many Times Hot Air Balloons Go In The Air Per Day In Cappadocia?
Regular or slow days maybe 40 balloons. Super busy days you can see over 100 balloons in the air.
How to Dress For A Hot Air Balloon Ride?
It is definitely up to you, but it is recommended boots or sneakers with high shoes because sometimes you do not know where you will land, if the wind conditions change. It’s important to protect your feet from grass burrs, because you might ended up landing on a field. I had wedges shoes, but I usually wear heels for most of my activities. Based on my experience in Cappadocia, they are very professional, experienced and they know what they are doing. They do flight pretty much every day of the year. I did had pants, a top, and a leather jacket. I visited during the fall (October) which it was a little more off season (perfect time) and beautiful weather. Here is a list of what usually is recommended for safety purposes:
- Closed toes shoes: Boots or sneakers with high socks
- Pants that you can move in – since you need to get in and out of the balloon basket. You will need to climb in and out, so you need clothes you can get around in. Of course, the staff will lend you a hand. Especially when you are coming out.
- A Hat – I personally did not wear one on both of my experiences, but it is recommended since you have the burner above you and some people might feel more sensitive to it. What is a burner? It is the fire they used to fly the hot air balloon. Besides that, a hat might be good to protect from the sun if you have sensitive skin.
- Layered clothing or just simply a light jacket depending on the weather
I went on the fall, so with a light leather jacket was more than enough. I know for the winter, you do need a more heavy coat and layers. As you might now, it gets colder at higher altitudes. In the summer, you can wear regular tops. For all year round, I always recommend to wear sunscreen especially in your face! Once you get older, you will thank me!
What you should bring aboard?
Honestly, just yourself, a pair of sunglasses (depends the weather), a camera or phone and maybe some sort of selfie stick. It might come handy to get a good shot from above. It is definitely the perfect time to snap pictures. The view is above and beyond! Note: Try to empty your bladder before going on this flight. The good news is that the staff of Turkiye Balloons took us first after pick-up to their main office (where you can use the restroom before the journey) and in there they had a great breakfast for us and coffee/tea. As a globetrotting latina, first coffee (cafecito con leche) then we can rule the world, and in heels! Especially at that time in the morning.
What You Should Expect?
Once you get there, the inflation and launch process will start. You will meet your pilot and crew at Turkiye Balloons office usually at breakfast and you will go on a van there. They have different launch sites, depending on the wind direction. they are the experts, so just trust them. They will never put your life in risk, they analyze this in advance. It is important to be on time when they pick you up since other people are going and a flight delayed can ruin the experience, especially missing important parts. You can always arrange a private flight if you prefer, which is of course more expensive but only for you and/or group. If you are a solo traveler or just a budget traveler, the group one is recommended. Also, it is an excellent way to make new friends. I still keep in touch with some people from my flights.
Once you get to the launch site, the pilot will assess the weather once again and begin the launch process. The basket and balloon envelope will be laid out so the wind helps with the inflation process. The pilot will connect and check all components to ensure a safe balloon flight. Fun Fact: It was my pilot Mehmet first time flying a hot air balloon. Just kidding!
After all of this, finally the balloon will be inflated with a high-powered inflation fan that will force air into the balloon envelope and usually requires two people to assist holding the envelope open and makes for a great photo moment for passengers. Once the balloon envelope is full of air, the pilot will light the burner and bring the balloon upright by blowing fire into the envelope from propane tanks. After that, get ready to jetset go world by getting inside the balloon gondola/basket and wait for takeoff! It is another priceless moments for awesome pictures. Note: Always follow instructions from the pilot and crew to ensure your safety and the one of the rest of the passengers.
The Hot Air Ballooning Full Flight Experience
Nothing to be scared about, it is super spiritual and peaceful being on the air. You will feel inspired and amazed by the wonders of this world. The panomara is incredicle, seen Cappadocia from above is a total experience. As you travel with the wind, gliding through the air at low and high altitudes, you can capture amazing photos from above. You can also see how the other hot air balloons go on the air and the amazing and majestic sunrise. It is magical!
The pilot will spot out a landing site based on time-of-day, and his knowledge of the are attained from constantly flying. Usually the crew will wait around there with a pick-up truck to help with the process. When we landed, we almost landed on top of the truck. The crew helped and it was a very smooth landing. Since we had calm winds, the balloon calmly rested on the ground with little to no impact. Once the balloon completely stopped; since the envelope was on its side, the balloon quickly deflated and we were able to climb out of the basket with the help of the Turkiye Balloons’ crew.
A Champagne Hot Air Balloon Flight – Say What Bubbles to Celebrate!
After we landed, it comes a great part, The Post-Flight Celebration where you can have champagne, water and hors d’euvres to celebrate. The pilot makes a toast to celebrate the flight’s completion and awards you a certificate of completion with your name in it. What an awesome keepsake!
During the celebration, the balloon envelope and basket were dismantled and packed up by the rest of Turkiye Balloons crew. Once the balloon gear was packed back on the vehicle, the crew and pilot took us back to our respective hotels.
A truly unique experience that cannot be missed if you come to Cappadocia, even if you already being on a hot air balloon ride, since it is more than just a bucket list item to check off from your list. Remember that as a world traveler you will have more fun going where the wind takes you! Or like I constantly say: Ready – Jetset – Go World!
Have you ever been to Cappadocia or ridden on a hot air balloon? Share your experience with us below.
Note: Turkiye Balloons provided me with a complimentary hot air balloon ride, but all my opinions are my own.