Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon: All You Need to Know in 2024

Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Rides Pin

Seeing the stunning fairy chimneys and cave dwellings of Cappadocia from the air should be high on your travel wish list.

And in this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about hot air ballooning over this incredible region of Turkey!

Find every detail of the flight and preparation.

Discover all the secrets that nobody tells you beforehand.

And learn what exactly to expect from a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride without any exaggeration.


Let’s prepare you for the adventure of a lifetime!

Short on time? Here are my top recommendations for Cappadocia:

The Best Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Tour

🏨 Henna Adults-Only Hotel Göreme 🏨

🚗 The Best Car Rental Prices 🚗

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate linksIf you purchase something through one of them, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for helping me create free content on this website!

Where Is Cappadocia and Why Is it Famous for Hot Air Balloon Rides?

Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon
Flying over the famous fairy chimneys rock formations in Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is the top location for hot air balloon rides in the world. The extraordinary landscape and the perfect weather conditions, allowing 260 flying days in a year, make the Turkish region a favorite spot for hot air ballooning.

But where exactly is Cappadocia and how did the unique terrain form?

Cappadocia is an area between the towns of Avanos, Nevşehir, and Ürgüp in Central Turkey. The most famous town in the region is Göreme, situated roughly in the middle of the phenomenal landscape.

Volcanic activity created the unbelievable cone-shaped rock formations of Cappadocia. Then, the nearby Mounts Argeus, Hasan, and Güllü erupted approximately 60 million years ago.

The powers of nature sculptured the soft layers of lava and ash into the stunning chimney shapes you see today. It is difficult to describe the area – everybody’s imagination sees it differently.

Approaching The End Of The Hot Air Balloon Journey
The hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia is an unforgettable experience 

You might spot a camel, a gracious lady, or a simple rock pillar rising from the ground. But once you arrive in the region and glimpse at the fairy chimneys for the first time, you’ll immediately understand the appeal of seeing this phenomenon from above.

You’ll also quickly understand why half of all hot air balloon rides worldwide happen over the surreal landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey. The area has been a favorite location for the most romantic way of flying for decades.

On top of the stunning landscape, the best time of the day for hot air balloon rides over Cappadocia is at sunrise. The sight of tens of vibrant balloons, carrying happy travelers over the stunning cone-shaped rock formations and cave dwellings of Cappadocia, bathed in the gentle light of the first sun rays, is one of the most romantic scenes you can ever imagine!

Life doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

So, if you’re wondering if it’s worth doing a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, the short answer is yes. Flying over one of the most unique landscapes in the world at the start of a new day is an unparalleled, unforgettable experience worth every cent and effort.

Is Air Ballooning over Cappadocia Safe?

Safety Inspection of the Balloon
During the safety inspection of the hot air balloon, the crew checks thoroughly the envelope and the ropes 

Turkish authorities take safety very seriously.

Still, you might be wondering how often hot air balloons crash in Cappadocia.

Since 1996, there have been nine accidents out of 950,000 hot air balloon rides over Cappadocia, Turkey. In the last 10 years, 7 people have lost their lives after their hot air balloon crashed in Cappadocia. Although small, there is still a chance of an accident.

But don’t let these statistics discourage you from flying over the incredible landscape of this stunning Turkish region.

Here’s what makes Cappadocia hot air balloons safe:

The Pilots’ Education

The pilots’ education is as thorough as the training for airplane pilots.

There are three educational centers in Cappadocia alone. The course’s duration is approximately 15 months. By the time the pilot gets all necessary certificates, he has flown well over 200 hours.

The Weather Conditions

Flying High Over Cappadocia Turkey
We were lucky the weather conditions allowed our Cappadocia hot air balloon to take off

The weather conditions – especially the wind – must be perfect for the balloons to get permission to fly.

The Turkish Civil Aviation Authority has an office in Cappadocia that approves balloon flights ONLY if the weather conditions are suitable. There are NO exceptions.

The Number of Hot Air Balloons in the Air of Cappadocia

The authorities permit a maximum of 150 hot air balloons to be in the air over Cappadocia at the same time. Usually, there are fewer than that. On some days, only 20 to 30 balloons get lucky to start before the winds change.

On-ground Crew and Safety Belts

Every balloon has an on-ground crew of 20 to 25 people who are in constant contact with the pilot. As for the passengers, belts secure them to the basket. The landings are very precise and soft. Bounces are occasional and passengers rarely suffer any injuries.

Who Can Take a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride?

Flying Higher Than The Other Hot Air Balloons
You must be taller than the hot air balloon basket to enjoy the views

The Cappadocia hot air balloon age limit is 6 years or older. There is no maximum age, as long as you can stay on your feet for an hour. Passengers under 16 years of age should be accompanied by an adult. The minimum height for the ride is 110 cm (3’7″). You should be able to see over the edge of the basket and take position for landing.

The general rule is that if you can stand still for an hour and see over the edge of the basket, you can enjoy hot air ballooning! Here are all the age and mobility restrictions for the hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia:

  • Children younger than 6 years will have difficulty standing still for an hour and following safety instructions.
  • Children shorter than 110 cm (3’7″) won’t enjoy the vistas since they won’t be able to peek over the edge.
  • There is no maximum age for hot air balloon rides, as long as you can stand on your feet for one hour.
  • Unfortunately, the baskets are not wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair-bound passengers cannot get in and out of the baskets.
  • Last but not least, don’t go on a balloon tour if you’re past the 28th week of pregnancy.

When Is the Best Time for Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia?

Hot Air Balloons Over Göreme Cappadocia
The start of an unforgettable day in Cappadocia: a sky filled with hot air balloons flying over Göreme 

The fairy chimneys look magical in every season!

Turkey’s mild climate ensures hot air balloon rides can happen all year long. The best months for flying over Cappadocia are from April to November. During this time, you’ll have the most favorable weather conditions.

The most important factors are the strength and the direction of the wind. Early mornings are blessed with the weakest winds. That’s the reason why Cappadocia hot air balloons fly at sunrise. It’s the quietest time of the day. And the gentle pink and orange hues of the first sun rays are a bonus.

We spent 3 days in Cappadocia. Only on the second morning of our stay, the Turkish Civil Aviation Authority allowed hot air balloons to fly over the majestic landscape of Cappadocia.

You can check the current weather conditions by visiting this website. A green flag means you can fly.

How Much Does the Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia Cost?

Flying over another hot air balloon and fairy chimneys
Flying over another hot air balloon and the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, Turkey 

The cost of a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride varies depending on the operator, the package you choose, and the demand. In 2024, expect to pay between $135 and $325 per person for a standard flight.

Here’s why prices change:

  • When we booked our trip to Turkey, the announced price for the Cappadocia hot air balloon was €140.
  • A few weeks later, when the rest of the payment was due, the price went up to €150. Not a big deal, we thought.
  • Then, shortly before we left for Turkey, the tour operator warned us that the ride would cost us €160… Still, we were OK with it. After all, you can’t put a price tag on happiness!
  • Once we headed to Cappadocia with our tour guide, he announced that the situation had escalated further. The weather conditions hadn’t allowed any balloons to fly over Cappadocia for a couple of days before our arrival.
  • To make up for the losses, the companies have increased the price to €180 per person.
Releasing The Air From The Envelope
Releasing the air from the envelope after landing
  • The day we arrived in Ürgüp, the cost for the next day was even higher. Our guide didn’t give in and the haggling continued.
  • It seemed nobody caved in and there were almost no balloon rides the next day.
  • A day later, all sides agreed to a €180 per person and we were glad to go to bed feeling the excitement of the upcoming adventure.

✔️Tip: Now you know why I recommend booking in advance. Click here to book your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Tour.

Afterward, we heard stories of a man who wanted to pay $5,000 for a private balloon ride to propose to his girlfriend.

However, the wind messed up his plan and no pilot was ready to fly even for this exorbitant price. I hope that the couple still got married ;)

So, to sum it up: the price for a Cappadocia hot air balloon ride varies.

If you find a rate you can afford, book for the first possible morning of your stay in Cappadocia. In case the ride doesn’t happen, they’ll rebook you for the next day or refund your money.

Honestly, having in mind how many people are involved, what services are included, the quality of the equipment, and the training of the pilots, I think you’ll agree the price for this incredible experience is quite reasonable.

The Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride Step-by-Step

Maneuvering Around Fairy Chimneys Cappadocia
The unforgettable Cappadocia hot air balloon ride over the fairy chimneys

Here’s how your Cappadocia hot air balloon itinerary will most probably look like:

The Pick-Up Times for the Tour

The pick-up time for the Cappadocia air balloon ride is usually between 4:00 AM and 4:30 AM. The time may differ according to your accommodation’s location.

The minibus takes you to the company’s office for a coffee/tea and a snack before leaving for the take-off point.

Meanwhile, the crew checks the weather conditions. The waiting time depends on the current situation.

On the day I flew, we waited for approximately two hours. Good thing there was a toilet available after all the tea and coffee we drank to wake up at this eerie hour :)

The Preparations for the Balloon Ride

Getting Ready For Hot Air Ballooning
Getting ready for hot air ballooning: blowing cold air into the envelope 

From the tour company’s office, you drive to the starting point for the balloon ride. There are several spots on the hills of Cappadocia around Göreme, that the tour companies use for take-off.

The first task is to pump air into the balloons.

The envelopes, as they are called, are transported in huge sacks. The crew unpacks and lays them down on the ground. Then, huge fans begin to inflate the balloons.

At this point, the basket and the balloon lie on one side. The crewmembers inspect every inch of the envelope and the ropes.

After the balloons are filled with cold air, the propane burner starts heating the air. The balloon rises up and turns the basket upright.

By the time your hot air balloon is ready for take-off, a whole propane bottle is emptied.

The Take off in Cappadocia

Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Take-off
Hot air balloons dot the sky as far as the eyes can see shortly after our take-off 

Just before take-off, the crew installs a new propane bottle inside the basket. Then, the pilot and the passengers climb in.

The basket is divided into sections. The middle one is for the propane bottle and the pilot, the rest is for the passengers.

Most hot air balloons, which fly over Cappadocia, carry a basket for 20 to 28 people.

Several smaller teaching balloons are available, which have baskets for 14 or 16 passengers. Balloon companies also offer VIP tours for fewer people.

Our balloon’s basket had a capacity for 20 people and was separated into four sections for five passengers each with plenty of room to stand and turn.

After climbing into the basket, the crew secures you with a belt and you are ready for the ride.

The Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Flight

Hot Air Balloons Over The Landscape of Cappadocia Turkey
Colorful hot air balloons over the stunning landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey

Before you continue reading, there’s something very important you need to understand.

No two Cappadocia hot air balloon rides are the same.

The conditions for two balloons are never the same. The take-off spots can’t be the same. The pilot is never the same. The wind is not the same, nor is the path your balloon will follow compared to mine or somebody else’s.

And that’s the beauty of it! Your Cappadocia hot-air balloon adventure is absolutely unique!

So, how long is the Cappadocia hot air balloon flight, you might be wondering?

The duration of the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia is between 45 and 60 minutes, which you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

And if you forget your camera or don’t want to be distracted by taking pictures during the flight, there’s an action camera attached to the balloon, which films the whole adventure.

Cappadocia Turkey from 1000 m high
Cappadocia, Turkey from 1,000 m – the view from the highest point of our flight 

With that out of the way, these are the things I saw and experienced during my balloon ride.

Our skilful pilot Ali did a few incredible stunts. Again, your captain might do the same or may have other tricks up his sleeve:

  • Ali flew so close to the ground that we could see the color of the eyes of the people waving at us.
  • For several minutes, we were the highest-flying balloon over Cappadocia. We rose up to 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) before starting to descend at 5 m/s (11 mph).
  • Our pilot flew us over the rooftops of Göreme and we almost scratched the tips of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys.
  • He spun the balloon to give us incredible 360° panoramas of the surreal landscape.
  • Ali steered the balloon around and squeezed us between some of the chimneys.
  • At the end of the ride, he performed a perfect soft landing on the transportation platform.

The Landing in Cappadocia

Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Landing on the Trailer
Our Cappadocia hot air balloon is perfectly aligned and preparing to land on the trailer 

Since the basket weighs over 250 kg / 550 lbs, the skillful Turkish pilots try their best to land the hot air balloons as precisely as possible on the transportation trailers.

In this way, their crewmembers don’t need to do the heavy lifting – the balloon does it.

The flat fields around Göreme serve as perfect landing grounds for the hot air balloons. Most of them land very softly on the trailers or on the field, and the passengers don’t experience even the slightest bump.

Only occasionally, you’ll see a basket slightly bouncing off the ground before stopping its ride. To secure the passengers’ safety, police cars and ambulances control the traffic in the area and watch out for accidents.

Once on the ground, the crew helps you climb out of the basket. At the end, the air from the envelope is released by opening the top.

Celebrating a Successful Flight Over Cappadocia Turkey
Celebrating a successful hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia with our Captain Ali and his crew 

Afterward, you toast with a glass of champagne a successful and unforgettable hot air balloon ride. This tradition originates from the first hot air balloon flight back in 1783. The French pilots landed in a field and destroyed some of the crops. To make it up to the farmer, they offered him a drink of Champagne.

Before heading back to your accommodation, you receive a certificate to remember the flight. Not that you could ever forget such an intense morning, of course ;)

FAQs About the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride

Still have questions about hot air ballooning in Cappadocia?

No worries, I got you covered!

Below are the most frequently asked questions about the Cappadocia hot air balloon ride:

How to Get to Cappadocia, Turkey?

Rising Up Over The Fairy Chimneys Of Cappadocia
The unique landscape of Cappadocia makes the hot air balloon adventure unforgettable

The main town in Cappadocia, Göreme, is easily reachable from the major Turkish cities and from the Mediterranean seaside.

You can travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia by plane, bus, or car, and from Antalya by bus or car.

The easiest option is to book a guided tour.

I recommend choosing between these amazing tours:

🌍 From Istanbul: 2-Day All-Inclusive Cappadocia Guided Trip: Explore Cappadocia’s otherworldly landscape, sample delectable Turkish dishes, and travel in comfort.

🌍 Istanbul: 8-Day Cappadocia, Ephesus, Konya, Pamukkale Tour: Discover Istanbul, Cappadocia, Konya, Pamukkale, and Ephesus on a multi-day sightseeing trip from Istanbul.

Where to Stay in Cappadocia, Turkey for Hot Air Balloons?

The best places to stay for your Cappadocia hot air balloon ride are Göreme and Ürgüp.

These are the best hotels that I recommend:

📍 Kayata Cave Suites – an exceptional luxury stay inside a cave with modern amenities and spectacular views.

📍 Underground Cave Suites Hotel – the best affordable cave hotel in Cappadocia with stunning vistas and great service.

📍 Henna Adults-Only Hotel – rustic luxury at affordable prices, featuring fantastic panoramas, great food, and top-notch location.

How to Get Around Cappadocia, Turkey?

If you want to explore the staggering region on your own, the best way to do so is by renting a car. You can compare rates and find the best options at Discover Cars via this link.

How to Book Your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride?

I highly recommend booking your Cappadocia hot air balloon ride in advance. The reason for this is that you won’t have to gamble on weather conditions and availability. The moment you organize your trip to Cappadocia, book your hot air balloon as well.

You can find my recommended Cappadocia hot air balloon tour by clicking on this link.

When Do the Flights Take off in Cappadocia?

Fairy Chimneys and Hot Air Balloons Cappadocia Turkey
You can never get tired of the otherworldly views of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys

Hot air balloons take off at sunrise in Cappadocia.

This is the time of the day with the most favorable wind conditions.

There’s no exact time for the start of your adventure. It depends on the weather forecast for the day and the time your crew needs to prepare the hot air balloon for take off.

All I can say for sure is that you need to be patient and enjoy the process.

Is It Cold During the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Flight?

Due to the area’s elevation of 1,050 m / 3,445 ft., early mornings in Cappadocia can be quite chilly even in the summer months. Expect the temperature to be a few degrees lower than during the day.

What to Wear to Cappadocia Balloons?

Wear comfortable clothing for your Cappadocia hot air balloon ride. You’ll need to climb in and out of the basket, and stand (almost) still for about an hour.

For these reasons, I recommend sturdy shoes and a jacket. Sunglasses or a cap might be useful as the sun is low during the flight.

How High Do the Balloons Go Up in Cappadocia?

The Turkish Civil Aviation has limited the maximum altitude for Cappadocia hot air balloons to 1,800 m (6,000 ft.). Depending on the wind conditions and the pilot’s skills, most balloons will rise up to about 1,000 m (3,280 ft.).

What’s Included in the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Tours?

Hot Air Ballons Over Cappadocia Approaching Landing
Hot air balloons over Cappadocia approaching the landing site

The best-rated tour on GetYourGuide and the one that I recommend includes:

  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off.
  • Hot drinks and snacks.
  • The main event: hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia.
  • Champagne and a certificate at landing.
  • Insurance.

And most importantly, the unforgettable memory of the romantic journey over the magnificent landscape of Cappadocia, Turkey!

Click here to book your unique hot-air balloon adventure.

What Else Can You Do in Cappadocia?

Hot air ballooning is the coolest but just one of the awesome things to do in Cappadocia.

Don’t miss wandering around the fairy chimneys or exploring the underground cities, too!

These are my favorite things to do in Cappadocia after the hot air balloon:

  • Dive into Derinkuyu, the underground city.
  • Explore the most famous fairy chimney rock formations at the Love Valley, the Pigeon Valley, and the Rose Valley.
  • Discover the countless churches and dwellings at the Göreme Open-Air Museum.

Now You Know How to Plan Your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Adventure

There you have it – all the tips and tricks about planning the best Cappadocia hot air balloon adventure.

You’ll need a lot of patience and some luck with the weather to make the ride happen.

But I promise you, once the balloon lifts you above the fairy chimneys and the roofs of the houses, you’ll have one of the best travel experiences of your life!

So, are you ready to book your unforgettable Cappadocia hot air balloon ride?

Here’s the link to my recommended tour again:


  1. jojo vito says:

    Your photographs of the place look really amazing. I agree this place must be seen from the top to see its entirety.

    1. Thanks, Jojo! Glad you agree that Cappadocia is best seen from the air :)

  2. This is a more than enough guide to getting a memorable experience in Cappadocia. it is one of the most beautiful places in Turkey.

    1. Thanks, Flora! Agreed, Cappadocia is stunningly beautiful and the best way to see its beauty is from above :)

  3. Hi i experience motion sickness and cant take bumps like the air pocket ride on a plane or Ferris wheel. Do you experience any of these on the hot air balloon ride? Any feeling of weightlessness ?

    1. Hi Savitha,

      The hot air balloon ride is more like floating than flying. The motion is very smooth. You feel like standing on a balcony which slightly moves.

      The only potentially bumpy part is the landing. But it’s not shakier than a car driving over a speed bump.

      At least that’s my experience from two balloon rides in completely different destinations.

      Let me know if you have any further questions.


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