The Most Incredible Hot Air Balloon Ride EVER!


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By Ryan Gargiulo


A visit to Cappadocia, Turkey has been on our to-do list for a few years now. As a matter of fact, we intended on traveling here back in 2010 when we took our around the world trip but it simply didn’t work out. We weren’t particularly interested in the history of Cappadocia, even though there is a hell of a lot of it around these parts. It’s been on our bucket list for one reason and one reason only.


We’ve always wanted to fly high above the fairy chimneys and the one-of-a-kind landscape that Cappadocia has to offer. I mean, who wouldn’t?

Ask anyone who has done it and they’ll tell you that there’s hot air ballooning in [insert your desired destination] and then there’s hot air ballooning in Cappadocia. I’m sure you’re probably wondering, “What makes Cappadocia the best place in the world to take a hot air balloon ride?”

Well, let me show you. Read on to find out more about our first hot air balloon experience in Cappadocia and one of the biggest disappointments we’ve ran into on our travels to date.


The alarm sounds. We’re tossing and turning not wanting to believe it’s already 4 AM. There’s no way! We just fell asleep what felt like minutes ago. Can someone tell me why these hot air balloon rides have to be scheduled so damn early in the morning?

Knowing that it’s going to be a cold morning in the sky, I toss on a sweatshirt over my longsleeve over my t-shirt. This should be warm enough, right?

Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey

When we arrived at the launch point, we were told breakfast was to be served. As it turns out, “breakfast” was served. A piece of bread and some tea. Any questions? Fortunately, at this point, we were so overly excited to take flight and to cross yet another incredible experience off of our bucket lists that we didn’t really care to eat.

Once our balloon fired up, it was only minutes before we were all packed into the oversized wicker basket like sardines. One of the balloon crew noticed that Liz hadn’t quite prepared for her flight so he lent her his fleece. What a guy!

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Can you tell that we were a little cold?

3-2-1… BLAST OFF!

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Before we knew it, we were on the most peaceful, scenic, and exhilarating ride known to man. Our pilot took turns dipping us low enough to just about touch the fairy chimneys to driving us high in the sky at almost 2,800 ft (850 meters).


Here’s what it looked like as we floated low above the landscape.

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey


I’m not scared of heights by any means but once our pilot started yelling out heights of 750 m (2,460 ft), 800 m (2,624 ft) and so on, I couldn’t help but think to myself “Yeah, this is high enough Mr. Pilot. No need to show off, my man!”

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey


Once the sun started to rise over the mountains in the distance, the balloon ride quickly became one of my most memorable travel experiences to date. Silhouettes of hot air balloons in the sky made for picture perfect memories.

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

The temperature started to rise as the sun made its climb into the sky. We had forgotten how cold it was outside due to all of the visuals we had experienced over the course of the previous half hour or so.

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Before coming in for landing we passed by the Tourist Hotel in Cappadocia (shown below). No, really. The actual name of this hotel is “Tourist Hotel & Resort Cappadocia”. If that doesn’t tell you how touristy Cappadocia is, I’m not sure what does.

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

That being said, it would be pretty amazing to wake up to a sky full of hot air balloons passing by your hotel room window, now, wouldn’t it?


Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

After landing, out came the bottles of champagne and the traditional champagne toast/ceremony went down. Everyone sipped away as they received their flight certificates and watched the rest of the balloons soar through the sky.


Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

Unfortunately,not everything went as planned. There was one major disappointment when it came to our hot air balloon experience in Cappadocia and that was when we found out that this guy in the red fleece shown in the photo above had been holding on to a rope which was connected to the bottom of the basket of our balloon.

It turns out this guy was single-handedly controlling our entire flight from the ground. We felt duped as we had been lead to believe that we were actually flying through the sky with no strings attached.

Okay, I’m totally kidding! You didn’t really think this guy was hanging on to our balloon by a rope as we soared to 2,800 ft, now, did you?


Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Turkey

All jokes aside, hot air ballooning in Cappadocia was personally one of my top travel experiences to date. Other epic experiences include things such as the Big Rush, Spotting the Big 5 on Safari, Learning to Surf in Costa Rica, Hiking Angels Landing and a few more that I won’t get into right now. Either way, you get the picture.

In any case, if you’re wanting to take a once in a lifetime hot air balloon ride, there’s only one place on Earth to do so and that’s right here in Cappadocia. Are you ready to book your trip yet or what?


Step 1. Click here to visit the Alaturka booking page.

Step 2. Choose your flight experience (Standard/Deluxe) and click Book Now.

Step 3. Fill out # of persons, date and where you will need to be picked up/dropped off (if known). When finished, click Add to Cart.

Step 4. Add “Referred by Ryan at Pause The Moment” in the Notes field before submitting your reservation in order to get your 15% discount!

Step 5. Shoot a quick email to telling them that you just made your reservation and you would like to apply the 15% discount to your purchase and they will amend the final price for you.


Here are a few more hot air balloon ride experiences from Cappadocia that you might enjoy reading:

Hecktic Travels: Dancing with Fairy Chimneys

The Road Forks: Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia

Jack & Jill Travel: Can Cappadocia Meet You Expectations?

Our 12-day trip to Turkey was courtesy of Alaturka Turkey. As always, all views and opinions expressed above are our own.

22 thoughts on “The Most Incredible Hot Air Balloon Ride EVER!”

    • Wow Natalie, I cannot believe you have yet to take a hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia. I understand where you’re coming from though, especially if you’re someone who is afraid of heights. I’m hoping that you will one day get the courage to take flight, it’s an incredible experience.

      • Hi Natalie,

        I did the hot air balloon trip a couple years ago in Turkey as well. I understand your fear. I’m the guy who walks in the center of bridge, and keeps his eyes forward. But, when you can, and when your ready, it truly is a amazing experience. You obvious have the courage since you travel. Surprisingly, not a lot of people will venture outside their comfort zone.

  1. Aaaaamazing pics and great stories!!!! I need to start my travel crossing off countries on my travel list and you and Liz have convinced me to add Turkey. Its such a beautiful country. The pictures are priceless!!!! Keep them coming Ryan! Where to next?

    • Thanks a bunch Lili! Trust us, Turkey is a must. Add it high on your list of places to visit. We’re currently in Slovenia after spending a relaxing week in Croatia.

    • Thanks Hannah. As I said in the post, there is no better place in the world to take a hot air balloon flight. In our opinion it’s Cappadocia or nothing at all. ;-)

  2. I went to Cappadocia once a few years back, but unfortunately I missed the balloon festival. I’d love to go back and ride one. It looks so beautiful.

  3. Again, our travel paths missed each other by like a week it looks like. Did our balloon ride last week and it was truly amazing. great post summing it all up, guys. You had me with Mr. Red Fleece.

  4. wow amazing photos! I wanted to do the same when i have been to capadoccia but when i saw the prices i gave up. did you book on the spot or in advance? congrats for your site, bellissimo! ciao Andrea

  5. A balloon ride over a safari park, where wild animals are able to roam about wherever they like. So if you’re not a fan of big, scary lions or raging rhinoceroses this balloon flight might not be the one for you. Of course the animals aren’t able to get that up close and personal with the balloon, but it does fly low, close to the animal reserves so passengers can spot as many wild animals as possible! Tigers, lions, elephants and giraffes are just some of the animals you can expect to find whilst flying over a safari.

  6. I’m always in Awe at the photo’s and views from your blog. It sounds like you guys had a pretty good time. You guys really are an inspiration to me to have more adventure while out!

  7. This looks amazing. I’ve done hot air balloons a few times but never with anywhere near as many balloons in the sky at the same time. How do they control the balloons from crashing into each other? Did you ever get close to another one?

  8. Pingback: Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia: the Only Reason to Wake Up Early | Seeking Somewhere

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