Best Things To Do in Cappadocia: A Guide to the Hot Air Balloons

Best Things To Do in Cappadocia: A Guide to the Hot Air Balloons

Cappadocia, Turkey: a wonder of the world that is truly a dream come to life. Discover moon-like landscapes, hotels inside caves, and hundreds of hot air balloons floating across the golden sky. Whether you’re hiking between rock formations, riding on horseback at sunset, or lying down under a blanket of stars, every experience in Cappadocia is magical. This will be a bucket-list trip of moments that leave a mark on your mind and heart forever.

Welcome to Magical Cappadocia!

Cappadocia is situated in Central Anatolia, one of Turkey’s most beautiful regions, if not the world! The area of Cappadocia became famous for its unique landscapes, filled with mushroom-shaped rock formations and deep valleys, created through the years from volcanic activity and erosion.

It’s hard to believe that nature itself can create this kind of otherworldly scenery, likened by many to the moon! Over hundreds of years, the people of this region have used what nature has given them by carving the rock into houses, churches, and underground towns.

1. Experience a Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Flight

The number one thing to do while you’re in Cappadocia is to go on one of the world-famous balloon rides. Hundreds of hot air balloons, in various rainbow colors, fly through the beautiful skies above the fairy tale landscapes, in a display like no other.

Most tour companies will collect you from your hotel at 5 AM before taking off at 5.45 AM in time for sunrise. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and, as a result, it can be expensive. Tickets usually cost upwards of $180. However, they do normally offer breakfast and champagne. What’s more, you can’t put a price tag on a bucket list experience like this!

2. Sunset Horse Riding Through Rose Valley, Cappadocia

Rose Valley is where Cappadocia’s moon-like reputation comes to life. Situated a 15-minute drive from Goreme, it’s home to pink-tinted rock valleys, huge rolling rock formations, and craters. These one-of-a-kind landscapes are what make Cappadocia, and particularly Rose Valley, so great for hiking and horse-riding.

If you’re horse-riding, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, we highly recommend the 2-hour sunset ride with The Dalton Brothers. You can’t beat being at one with nature and getting to visit secret viewpoints; perfect for watching the sun go down.

Hiking in Cappadocia

If horse riding isn’t your thing, you can choose from a variety of hiking trails instead. They vary from 2 kilometers to 10 kilometers, and you can discover the famous cave houses and churches en route. Additionally, if you want a little more speed, there are other options to see Rose Valley, such as quad biking.

Depending on your choice, the hot air balloons can get really close- almost close enough to touch. We actually had to move out the way of a balloon at one point in order to not get hit by the basket! The chance to get up close and personal is not only an amazing travel experience but a photographer’s dream and easily one of our favorite things to do in Cappadocia.

How to get to the balloon take-off site

Because you’ll need to leave at 5 AM to see the balloons take-off, it’s best to rent a bike or motorbike the evening before. When you wake up, search on Google Maps for ‘The Dalton Brothers’, and you’ll find a road that runs at the foot of the valley. Follow this for about 5 minutes and park as soon as you see hot air balloons beginning to light up. From here, hike up as high as you can onto one of the ridges and experience balloons flying all around you as the night stars fade, and the sun rises.

Tip: Another option is to head to Lovers Hill, another panoramic viewpoint in Goreme town. It’s a great place at sunrise to watch the balloons take off, or a peaceful place to simply sit and watch the sun go down.