Cappadocia & Hot Air Balloons - What To Know Before Going

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A short ninety minutes flight from Istanbul takes you to Cappadocia - a region in the middle of Turkey famous for its hot air balloon rides. Every year almost four million people visit Cappadocia to witness the surreal setting of over a hundred hot air balloons ebbing and flowing through candy colored skies above Cappadocia's unique landscape. It has become one of the most popular destinations for hot air ballooning and its easy to see why.

Here is what you need to know about Cappadocia and hot air balloons, before you travel.

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Where Is Cappadocia?

Cappadocia is in Central Anatolia, Turkey. It is important to recognize that it is not a city but a region that sits in multiple provinces within Turkey. There are two main airports to reach Cappadocia - Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) and Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV), both around an hours drive away from the centre of Cappadocia. Within Cappadocia there are multiple cities and settlements with Nevşehir, Uçhisar, Göreme and Ürgüp being the most popular places to stay with visitors.

When Should You Visit Cappadocia?

You can visit Cappadocia all year round, however it is best to visit April - June and September - October. The weather tends to be better with warm days and cool nights. Summer can get very hot and winters can see snowfall. Although, there is something really magical about taking a hot air balloon ride over snowfall.

When Can You Fly In A Hot Air Balloon?

Unlike many hot air balloon festivals that take place annually, Cappadocia is open for hot air balloon rides all year round, whether it has been snowing or its the middle of summer. This means that you can quite easily book a hot air balloon ride for your desired dates of travel (although it is recommended to book your hot air balloon ride soon after you book your trip). Hot air balloons take flight in the morning only due to favorable weather conditions. The time depends on sunrise which varies throughout the year. There are two flight times in the morning - right before sunrise and just after sunrise. Which you take is assigned for you by the hot air balloon company.