Turkey: Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Nov 13, 2015

Turkey: Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

I'm such a scaredy-cat. I would excuse myself from the adrenaline rush that my husband greatly enjoys most of the time, but the moment I saw a photo of hot air balloons flying above the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, I told myself that one day, I will not let my fear of heights get me. I will hop on that basket and have a magical adventure in the air! 

hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia
the dreamy hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia

The Wishing and Hoping
The moment I have been waiting for, saving up for, and praying for finally happened on our second day in Cappadocia. Well, I thought it was never bound to happen for some time. The weather was really bad that hot air balloon flights were cancelled for two consecutive days before we arrived in Turkey. It was cloudy when we went out of the airport and was raining cats and dogs when we arrived in our cave hotel in Goreme. I was quite worried, but seeing the "sun peeking through the clouds" icon in the weather app left me optimistic. 

The next day, I was already up on my feet before the call of prayer echoed through the valleys. It was no longer raining, but it was super chilly. As in tagos sa buto! I was beaming with positive vibes, but still couldn't confirm if the weather is suitable for hot air ballooning. 

Thirty minutes later, while Ed and I were keeping our fingers crossed at Kelebek Special Cave Hotel's reception, a good news from Butterfly Balloons was delivered through a quick phone call! Then, a shuttle bus picked us up from the hotel and dropped us off at the hot air balloon company's office where we filled up a form with our personal details and had light yet hearty Turkish breakfast!    

weather forecasting stone in Cappadocia
Stone is Dry! Woohoo!
the breakfast nook at Butterfly Balloons office
the breakfast nook at Butterfly Balloons office
breakfast food at Butterfly Balloons office
light and healthy breakfast - I love that Simit!

The Preparation
Right after breakfast, we were transported to a valley which seems to me a perfect take-off point.  I guess that spot is exclusive for Butterfly Balloons. Most of the hot air balloons took off near the town, while we were in the midst of serene landscape bound to experience something even more special. 

Adrenaline started to rush through my veins as I watch the hot air balloons being inflated. The ground crew called our names when it was time to launch. Together with fourteen other guests, we excitedly hopped in the big basket. Lucky us to have an ample room to move and lucky us to be in Chief Pilot Mike's balloon! He explained the rules, safety measures like what should we do in case of rough landing, before take-off. My fear greatly lessened knowing that he is one of the most experienced pilots in the region. 

Butterfly Balloons in take off area
the ground crew setting up our balloon and basket
Hot Air Balloon preparation
It was a good day for hot air ballooning! 
Ed and Lady Hot Air Balloon ride
Here we go! :)

The Magical Ride
And then, we went up, up and away! Up above the land of fairy tales. Up above the valleys that were formed by volcanic eruption millions of years ago. Up above where nature and history are in perfect harmony! It was magical! 

Hot air balloons near Uchisar
We flew higher than the tallest point in Cappadocia - Uchisar...
Hot air balloons in Goreme
and higher than the pigeon houses!

Hot air balloons in the fairy chimneys
We flew above the fairy chimneys...
Hot air balloons above Sunset Point
above Sunset Point...

Hot air balloons in Love Valley
and above the famous Love Valley.

It was amazing how we were wrapped in serenity for a few minutes, then realized we were not alone when Chief Pilot Mike gently swirled our balloon, letting us face the kaleidoscope of hot air balloons flying above the town.    

Butterfly Balloons in Cappadocia
serenity up in the air 
hot air balloon flights in Cappadocia
magical kaleidoscope of hot air balloons

It was thrilling when we flew high above the out-of-this-world landscape and saw the trail where we got lost a day before. But it was beyond breathtaking when we flew low, low enough that I can reach out and touch the rock formations if I want to, but of course I didn't! Well, I was on a dreamy state, but I was still sane. It could have caused me to break the number 1 rule in hot air ballooning: Stay inside the basket at all times! :) 

I think that what makes Butterfly Balloons the finest in Cappadocia. Their pilots are well-trained, competent to fly not just above the town and the valleys, but through the stunning rock formations! Chief Pilot Mike also made the flight very interesting by sharing loads of information about the stunning landscape. It was my first, but I can already say that it was an unparalleled hot air ballooning experience.

white valley in Cappadocia
We flew above the valleys...
Butterfly Balloon flight in the valleys
and through the valleys!
the finest hot air balloon in Cappadocia
It was a thrilling, yet super safe hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia! Definitely the finest in town.  

The Smooth Landing
After an hour, it was time to go back to reality, and the whole ride was wrapped up in the most amazing way! Chief Pilot Mike precisely landed our basket on top of the truck trailer. How cool is that? 

But the fun isn't over yet, it continued at the landing site. We helped the crew in deflating the balloon that took us to the skies. Then, we celebrated the dreamy flight with champagne and strawberries and delicious cake slices!     

Butterfly Balloons truck landing
the perfect landing
end of hot air balloon ride
back to reality - awww, this was bittersweet
Ed and Lady in Cappadocia 2
It was an honor to deflate the massive balloon that took us to a once-in-a-lifetime ride.

The Celebration
It's quite strange to have champagne early in the morning, but fulfilling a long time travel wish deserves a glass of bubbly. So, I joined the celebratory toast with my flight certificate in one hand, a chilled sparkling drink in the other, and a big big happy smile on my face! :)

And so, wish #13 on our 20 before 2020 travel list is finally marked with a big check!  

hot air balloon flight certificate
Yay! No fear! :) I made it! :) 

champagne after the hot air balloon flight
the ballooning tradition: celebrating the fun and safe flight with champagne and nibbles

Lady went hot air ballooning in Turkey
Another one for the books! :)

Hot Air Balloon Flight Details:
Balloon Company: Butterfly Balloons
Price (as of October 2015): 175 Euro per person 
*discount is offered on cash payment 
Location: Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Email: fly@butterflyballoons.com

Disclosure: Our hot air balloon ride was not sponsored by Butterfly Balloons. We were given a special discount, but rest assured that this blog post was sincerely written and all opinions are my own. 

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