You are standing in a corner of a big basket along with 2 more people. The other three corners are also occupied in a similar way. There is a big balloon tied up to the ends of basket which has been filled with air and thus covering it from all directions. In the center there is gas cylinder and a big flame of fire is blown above at regular intervals. Pilot of your balloon is standing in center talking on walkie-talkie with his crew. Few moments later he is giving you general instructions for the ride. After assessing the wind direction pilot asks the crew to untie the ropes that have kept basket on the ground. The balloon starts to ascend gradually and in few moments you are hundreds of feet above the ground. Everything at the ground is looking very small now. The beautiful rock formation of Cappadocia region is looking more beautiful form the top. The sun is about to rise far away from behind the hills. The early morning cold wind is making you feel fresh and you are lost in the surroundings. Are you enjoying the Hot Air Balloon Ride so far ?
Cappadocia region of Turkey is known as one of the world’s best place for Hot Air Balloon Ride. In addition to technical reasons of favorable wind direction and speed of wind, the beauty of region doubles the experience. Hundreds of balloons take a ride every morning above the volcanic eruption formations It’s an experience of a lifetime and even if you don’t take a ride, you must visit the valleys where ride take place. The view of hundreds of balloons floating in air is a must-see view for any visitor to Cappadocia.
I took a flight with Butterfly Balloons and the overall experience was very nice. The tour starts early in the morning and you are picked from your hotel at around 4:30 in the morning. After having breakfast all registered people are divided into groups based on your pilot and you are taken by a minibus (called Dolmus in Turkey) to the starting point of flight. Exact starting point depends on the wind direction on that day and is decided by the pilot.
Once you reach the spot you can see the balloon being filled with air. It is a good learning to see how balloons are filled with air with the help of big fans.
Balloon Being Setup
Once the balloon is ready we were put into basket attached to the balloon and depending on the capacity people are advised to stand in four corners of basket with the pilot in the middle. After final instruction from pilot, balloon was untied and it slowly started to ascend and within a short time we were flying hundreds of feet above the ground.
View From Top
The balloon flew over the valleys and the pilot started explaining the functioning of balloons. He also described some of the places visible from the top and a history of the region. The sun rise could be seen from the balloon and view was very nice with sun rising at a distance among mountains.
As stated earlier the region is considered one of the best for balloon ride also because of wonderful landscapes. The scenery in all direction was just fantastic with balloons flying around you. The caves inside the chimneys which are formed by volcanic eruption millions of years ago, were visible scattered in the entire region.
Our pilot was experienced and had full control over the balloon. He descended the balloon several times just above the chimneys and again moved upwards. He was managing the communication both with ground staff as well as the passengers very well.
I didn’t realize how quickly one hour passed by. The pilot called the crew and they helped in landing of the balloon. The crew who accompanies the pilot is very important for ride to finish. Once the flight is over, balloon company gives a flight completion certificate. Finally I return to hotel with pleasant memory of the rides. Mission was accomplished successfully 🙂
1. Balloon ride will be undoubtedly most expensive part of your trip. But at the same time totally worth. So plan your budget in advance accordingly.
2. Since most probably you will be taking such ride once in a life time, its ok to spend some extra money and go with a reputed company.
3. Check with balloon company in advance that how many passengers are there per basket. You will enjoy the ride when you have sufficient place for you. In my basket there were 3 people in each corner so plenty of space for everyone to stand near the walls and enjoy views.
4. Unless you have acrophobia, this ride will not be thrilling rather a soothing experience. It is not at all scary.
5. If you have more number of days in Cappadocia, book your ride on first day to have a buffer day. Rides do get canceled sometimes when weather is not favorable. In such cases you can have the ride next day.