Mesmerizing fairy chimneys, picture-perfect sunrise, and excitement of a hot air balloon flight were the highlights of my Cappadocia trip. I never expected a rock formation created by volcanic eruption & weathering action could be this beautiful – when I first found out about Cappadocia 3 years ago through a television show, It took my breath away and it was one of my travel bucket lists. When I finally saw a sunrise hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia with a wonderful fairy chimney landscape featuring behind it, it was one of those special moments of my life.
Cappadocia could be your safe haven for a couple of days from all of life’s noise, but you need to plan ahead and get things right. I believe Cappadocia is not a place where one day you pack your bags and go enjoy, you need to take the time to at least consider the following details.
When to travel to Cappadocia for a better experience
There are around 150 hot air balloon flights in a day when the weather is perfect and if the Turkish civil aviation gives permission for flights to take place. If Cappadocia is in your travel plan & you want to see hot air balloon flights or fly on one of them, you should take into consideration the season of your visit. When the weather conditions are not good and the wind is strong, balloon flight will be canceled. The best time to travel to Cappadocia is from the end of April to June & September to October. My trip was in mid-October and everything was perfect, though I found the sun to be a bit harsh because of my hair transplant surgery in Turkey.
Book a hot air balloon flight ahead of time
I am the kind of person who worries too much about the details and I booked my hot air balloon flight one month ahead, I didn’t even receive my visa from the Turkish embassy in Addis Ababa at that time. Many of the hot air balloon flight companies in Cappadocia offer online booking and you can easily cancel it in accordance with their cancelation policy. And you will save money by booking your flight ahead, I remember our tour guide on Red tour of Cappadocia guessing the details of a phone call with Jose and his wife – couples I met on the tour and the hotel they were staying at; the guide said let me guess, “You hotel found you a balloon flight reservation”, and Jose replied, Yes! – with excitement. The tour guide told us it’s difficult to find balloon flight reservations that close to the date of the flight and most of the calls from a hotel during a tour are related to balloon flights. And from what I have noticed during my 3 days stay in Cappadocia, there are a lot of tourists mostly from Asia, China, Thailand and to be honest, tourists far outnumber the local population. Everyone wants to go on a balloon flight, so it’s better to reserve your spot to make sure of a perfect trip.
Book a hotel in Goreme Cappadocia to get a close up look of the balloons
Here is the thing you need to understand, Cappadocia is not a city or a town its a region. And the most exciting city in the region, at least for me is Goreme – where you could see balloon flight right from your hotel, you could take a walk at night even after midnight the downtown is close & it’s one of the safest places I have been to and Red/Green tours, balloon flights, Turkish night and other activities are available. Goreme is around 45 kilometers away from the nearest airport Nevsehir Airport and there is a cheap airport to hotel shuttle service. Though not very important if you can find a hotel with a terrace it could help you see amazing sunrise scene with the balloons flying over you.
Cappadocia does live up to it’s expectation, this was my first ever trip & even first airplane flight or balloon for that matter and my Cappadocia experience had been a rewarding one. I didn’t know if the universe was giving me signs or it’s just a coincidence, but after the 1-hour sunrise balloon flight ended the balloon flight company hosted a Champagne ceremony(already knew about this, it’s customary with all Cappadocia balloon flights), we celebrated the flight & they announced that they have a Medal for every one of us and I was ecstatic, no other company offers a Medal. I took it as a reward for the dedication, hard work & patience I put myself through over the past five years to pursue Freedom & happiness.
Five years ago I was working in an industry that I felt like I’m an outsider, was feeling unhappy and depressed, that was when I decided to quit my job and try to find what would really make me happy. For me it’s wasn’t very difficult to find the one true thing that could help my pursuit of happiness – Freedom! And Traveling the world symbolizes the ultimate freedom I can pursue, and I had a glimpse of what’s yet to come with my travel to Turkey – Cappadocia & Sultanahmet. Dreams do come true! But still needs further dedication, hard work & patience to maintain the dream life.