The hot air balloons in Cappadocia are a highlight of visiting the region and a great addition to the city’s already stunning landscape. Many people visit Cappadocia for the chance to take the adventure-worthy flight in a balloon, surrounded by the hundreds of other balloons lighting up the dawn.
It is a truly remarkable sight and one of those that you simply have to take in from different vantage points. Luckily, there is no shortage of that in Cappadocia and in this post, I will share some of the best spots to watch the hot air balloons take flight.
Before I get into the list, I would like to highlight a few important points, especially for first-time visitors to Cappadocia. These will help you prepare for what to expect during your visit and optimize your chances to see the balloons fly from land and in the sky.
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Do the hot air balloons in Cappadocia fly every day?
If you’re wondering if every morning in Cappadocia begins with a spectacular display of hot air balloons, they do! But only when the weather permits it. And sometimes, the weather does not cooperate.
We spent 6 mornings in Cappadocia and during that time, the balloons only went up 3 times. On our first morning, we watched them from the balcony of our hotel in Goreme. The flights were the first in 5 days and with each cancellation that came thereafter, I regretted not booking ours for our first morning.
Based on our experience, I would recommend allocating at least 3 mornings in Cappadocia and you should book your flight for the first morning, giving you enough chances to reschedule if there’s a cancellation. You may be lucky and the balloons will fly all 3 days but this also might not be the case.
Luckily, we stayed in Cappadocia long enough not to miss the ride and also got the opportunity to watch the flights twice. Here are some of the places we visited for the show and a few others we didn’t get to but are perfect for both sunrises in Cappadocia, as well as, watching the balloons.
1. Best Locations to Watch Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia: Your Hotel in Goreme or Uchisar
Cappadocia is famous for beautiful cave hotels and many of them have rooftops from where you can watch the balloons fly. This is one of the best places to take in the views, although, depending on where you stay, the rooftops can get very busy.
We stayed at Osmanli Cappadocia Hotel and Mithra Cave Hotel and watched the flight from both balconies. For the former, I had originally planned for us to spend a little while on the balcony before chasing the balloons, but we ended up spending the entire morning there.
The atmosphere was very welcoming and all the guests were gracious. It was the perfect balance between enjoying the scenery and capturing it all on camera.
2. Best Locations to Watch Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia: Sunset Hill
Sunset hill was one of the sunrise spots I included in our itinerary but as the balloons did not fly every day, we did not get to watch them from this spot. We did visit Sunset hill for stunning views of the sun setting over Goreme.
This hill is also quite perfect for sunrises and watching the balloons fly as well because it is vast. On good flight days, the balloons fly over the hill, sometimes, coming close to the ground, which can be very exciting to see and they also provide stunning backdrops for photos.
3. Best Locations to Watch Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia: Love Valley
Another great spot to watch the hot air balloons in Cappadocia is Love Valley, aptly named after the phallic-shaped rocks that litter the valley floor. The balloons fly over this spot making it one of the best places to watch them at sunrise.
4. Chase the hot air balloons in Cappadocia through the town
If you rent a car during your visit, you can simply drive out and stop at various vantage points to enjoy the views and capture wonderful images.
This was what we did on our last morning before our flight to Istanbul. After watching the flights from Mithra Cave Hotel’s terrace, we drove to this spot in the photo above – I believe it’s Sword Valley – and enjoyed the views from there. Red and Rose valleys are also great spots to check out at sunrise and they are often times secluded around this time.
PS: Driving in Cappadocia is easy but if you’re worried about driving in a new country, check out the service below to hire a private car and driver to take you around the sites you’re interested in.
5. Watch Hot Air Balloons in Cappadocia from balloon take-off and landing points
Another great spot to watch the hot air balloons in Cappadocia is at the launch and landing sites. Sometimes, balloon operators know a day before whether they’d be able to fly or not. Other times, it is very last minute but you can always ask your hotel or check this site for updated status.
The site shows red, yellow and green flags – indicating whether the flights are cancelled, waiting on authorities to give the go-ahead or are good to go.
6. Watch hot air balloons in Cappadocia from the sky
Floating up in a hot air balloon is a pretty magical and calming experience. I have been on a hot air balloon flight once in Serengeti National Park and I wrote about that experience in detail here. Our flight in Cappadocia was similar but instead of one other balloon in the sky, there were hundreds!
The view of the landscape from the sky is quite stunning and as I mentioned earlier, if this is an experience you are looking forward to having in the region, plan to spend at least 3 days there.
How much does a hot air balloon ride cost?
Prices vary between $90 and $250 for a ride on a hot air balloon in Cappadocia. Our flight with Voyagers Balloons cost us $112 for a 16-person, 75-minutes flight. We had a great experience with them, and I can highly recommend their services. I’ve also read stellar reviews about Royal Balloon, so they’re another operator to consider when booking your flight.
What happens when there is a hot air balloon flight cancellation?
When there is a cancellation, the provider will refund your payments and will usually make every effort to put you on the flight for the next day. This is why it is important to book your flights in advance and schedule them for your first morning.
During high travel seasons and given a possible backlog of cancellations, booking a flight a day before can be almost impossible.
7. Watch hot air balloons in Cappadocia on horseback
Finally, you can opt to see the Land of Beautiful horses on horseback. Available tours usually go through Cavusin and the Red, Rose and Sword valleys, giving you the opportunity to explore the valleys and enjoy the views of balloons at the same time.
Best time to visit Cappadocia
The months of April-May and September – October are considered the best months to visit Cappadocia because the weather then is much nicer and prices are slightly lower before and after the peak months of June-August.
Where to stay in Cappadocia for a First Time Visit?
I would recommend Goreme or Uchisar to first-time visitors to Cappadocia. Goreme is the main city centre and where we booked all our accommodation but Uchisar also has some stunning properties and views of the valleys.
We stayed in these 3 hotels in Cappadocia and I can highly recommend all three.
I have a detailed review of the hotels in this post.
The Cappadocia landscape is unique and beautiful and the hundreds of balloons that fill the morning sky simply add to that. When you visit, don’t forget to enjoy the show from these viewpoints!