My first time in a hot air balloon, and it was the most magical moment of my life!
Cappadocia is located in the middle of Turkey. You can drive there, but the more time efficient way to get there is by plane. There are two airports you can fly to, Kayseri and Nevşehir. I flew into Nevşehir because it was the closest to Goreme, I was coming from Istanbul.
My hotel was kind enough to organise me a transfer from the airport to the hotel, I highly recommend you get your hotel to do this as there are no services at the airport. Plus your hotel would be able to help book a shuttle bus which is cheaper than getting a taxis.
I stayed at the Local Cave House, I would recommend this hotel, especially as a solo female traveller, they looked after me so well! They even helped me book my ballooning tour and my jeep tour.
Goreme is a small town, and these days it’s occupied mainly by tourists coming to do the hot air balloons. But the main attraction of this area are the chimmey houses – Caves. The caves themselves date back to the 1200 BC and Goreme is now a UNESCO listed.
Of course, according to your budget you can get a more luxurious cave hotel room.
After checking in my hotel, I went straight to Sunset point on top of the rocks to watch the famous sunset.
The following day my hot air balloon experience started at 4.30am pick up. Then they drop you off at their head office for a light breakfast before splitting everyone up in groups. Around 5:30am they drop you off at the launch point.
Hot air ballooning is essentially going up and down, and they can’t guarantee where the balloon will be floating or what you see. The pilot doesn’t steer the balloon, instead it is purely driven by wind. Luckily for me, it was a clear morning with a bit of wind which helped my balloon moved around Goreme nicely, giving me the chance to see everything. We were in the balloon for an hour, watching the sunrise. At first I was a bit turned off by the number of people who were all there doing the ballooning, but as soon as you’re floating in the sky and looking out to see the other balloons, it all made sense to me – we were all part of the spectacle, making it even more magical.
One very happy customer.
After the hour in the air, we landed smoothly onto a trailer, I’m still so impressed they managed to do that! We celebrated with some non-alcoholic beverage, and you will receive a certificate as well.
Perfect ending to a perfect morning.
They will drop you back at your hotel by 7.30am. I took a nap before heading out exploring more of the area, before my next tour later that afternoon.
The sunset jeep tour started at 4.30pm, they pick you up from your hotel before driving off to other Chimney areas outside of Goreme. It’s good to have a local guide showing you these areas or else you would never discover them.
The rock formations of this UNESCO city are truly beautiful and I can see why it attracts so many tourists.
The jeep tour ended at another sunset point, this time on the other side, viewing of the entire town.
The next morning I woke up early to watch the sunrise and the launch of all the hot air balloons, only this time I was on the ground instead.
Views from my hotel.
I went up to sunset point again for the sunrise, and found myself a travel buddy.
Spent the remainder of my day exploring other areas of the Fairy Chimneys, before getting on my flight back to Istanbul.
Stay tuned for my post on how to spend 48 hours in Istanbul.