Enchanting Cappadocia

There must have been at least 20 occasions where I was scrolling through my Instagram explore, and stumbled across breathtaking pictures of hundreds of hot air balloons floating over a mountainous terrain at the break of dawn. I was intrigued to say the least. And that’s when Cappadocia made it onto my travel bucket list … quite high up as well!

Where?

I’m sure many of you have come across these images as well, and been just as intrigued as I was. So, where exactly is Cappadocia? Cappadocia is region in central Turkey, which spans mostly across the Nevsehir and Kayseri Provinces.

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Location of Cappadocia. Source: Minimal Group

Why?

If there’s one thing that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list, it should be a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia! Seriously though, the feeling is indescribable!

There are plenty of companies within the town of Goreme providing hot air balloon services. I would recommend booking your flight as soon as you decide to visit Cappadocia. Although there are many companies, there are thousands of tourists visiting Goreme for the same reason, so be sure to book in advance!

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Flying over Love Valley

The flights only take place at sunrise, so be prepared for an early morning! The company will pick you up from your hotel as early as 5am, and take you to their offices for a briefing on safety and what to expect. The company I used was Kapadokya Balloons. They were very efficient, helpful and professional.

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Flight options include standard, deluxe and private.

  • Standard – more people per basket and a shorter flying time = €150 per person
  • Deluxe – less people per basket and a longer flying time = €220 per person
  • Private – entire basket for your group = approx. €1250 per person

There’s no doubt that the cost will dent the bank slightly, but the memories from this once in a lifetime experience are priceless!

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Flights last approximately 1.5 hours, depending on the weather of course. Companies offer snacks before the flight, as well as a champagne celebration at the end.

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When?

The best time to visit is between May and September, because of the better weather conditions. Remember, these hot air balloon flights are weather permitting, and the chances of a cancellation are higher between October and April.

TIP: Plan for 3 days in Cappadocia. That way, if your hot air balloon ride is cancelled, you will have spare days to try again!

I visited in mid April which was quite cold during the mornings… To a point where I couldn’t feel my hands after the hot air balloon flight! Maybe I’m just a baby, but I would recommend gloves, thermals and a good jacket!

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Average temperature for Cappadocia. Source: Will Fly for Food

How?

Travel

Thankfully, getting to Cappadocia isn’t a difficult task. There are many flights from Istanbul into Kayseri, as well as 4 flights from Istanbul into Nevsehir, on a daily basis. The tourist hub of Goreme is located an hour away from Kayseri and half an hour away from Nevsehir. Transfers can be easily arranged through the tour company that you use whilst in Cappadocia, or through a company at the airport.

Accommodation

Have you ever stayed in a cave??? As if Cappadocia wasn’t already so unbelievably unique, 90% of the hotels in the area are cave hotels! The hotels are literally built into the mountains and the rooms resemble caves!  If you think you’re going to find a major chain like a Marriott or Hilton, think again. The hotels are small and boutique-like, and not pricey at all. We stayed at the Elegance Cave Suites. The hotel was comfortable, clean and the staff were extremely helpful!

Bedroom 1 and lounge area

Bedroom 2

I hope this post has sparked your interest in visiting this fairy-tale land! If you need any more advice or help, please contact me!

– A

 

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