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What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons

Cappadocia, Turkey is famous for many things…However, its hot air balloon rides are perhaps its most distinguishing feature. Roughly 100 balloons take to the skies every morning (weather permitting). It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen…and it happens every morning at sunrise! (This area has the perfect weather for ballooning, and it also has some spectacular landscapes.)

Needless to say, taking a hot air balloon ride while you’re here is a must! I was fortunate to be able to ride with an incredible boutique balloon company for this adventure – Butterfly Balloons. Even Rick Steves recommends flying with Butterfly Balloons! I’ll explain why they’re highly rated in this post + what to expect on your journey.

  • Click here to book your Butterfly Balloons Flight.

*For this experience, we took their “Butterfly Flight.” This takes just over an hour. Another option is the BUTTERFLY Beyond Flight. This flight takes 1 1/2 – 2 hours and allows less people on the balloon. *Note: The BEYOND flight is NOT available from November to March, due to unsuitable weather conditions.

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons

Before Dawn Pick Up

The ideal time of day for a balloon ride is just after sunrise. This is because there is hardly any wind at this time of day. After 10 a.m. it’s generally too windy to safely fly a balloon. Your pick up time from your hotel will vary depending on when sunrise is. We went in early November, so we were able to sleep in a little more and didn’t get picked up until 6 am.

Our hotel, the Sultan Cave Suites, also works with Butterfly Balloons. So, everything went incredibly smooth for pickup. Our names and pick up time were even written on a little chalkboard in the lobby before we went to bed.


Given you’ll be taking off well before your hotel serves breakfast, Butterfly Balloons will provide you with a buffet style breakfast feast when you arrive at their office in Göreme. You won’t get too much time to eat, though. So, don’t dilly dally! Haha.

After you eat your breakfast, you’ll then be shuttled a little ways to the launch field. This is SO cool, in my opinion. All the partially inflated balloons look like sleeping giants in the fields. (I’m so sorry! I didn’t have time to get a photo of them all! The photos above are the best I got.)

  • Click here to book your Butterfly Balloons Flight.

…And We’re Off with Butterfly Balloons!

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons

You’ll then climb into the basket, listen to a safety briefing…and poof! You’re floating!

Aren’t You Afraid of Heights?

And yes, I’m terrified of heights! However, given how smooth the ride is and how safe I felt in the basket… I didn’t have any issues with my fear of heights. This is also due to the fact I was able to feel quite stable wedged in a corner of the basket.

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons

Butterfly Balloons Double-T Baskets

Speaking of which, Butterfly Balloons has some baskets that you don’t see on many of the other balloons. They’re called “double-T baskets.” They’re partitioned off to allow only a max of 5 people per partition, so a group of 20+ people isn’t all vying for the same photograph. I REALLY liked this.

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons
These partitions made me feel a lot safer!

Balloon Basket Etiquette

4 people is really the ideal amount for these baskets. Our basket had 5 people, though. This wouldn’t have been an issue. However, I was the first one to jump on the balloon (not one to dilly dally!)…so I was wedged in the back of the basket by the pilot. This wasn’t always ideal for photographs, and my fellow passengers in my partition did not really feel the need to share the view.

I did witness all the other partitions sharing and switching back and forth, so everyone would get a shot and a sufficient amount of time in each spot. BE like these people. SHARE your view. Everyone will have a much better experience!

(This is just something to consider for your flight. I’m not complaining about the people in my basket – I honestly don’t think they were trying to be rude, they were just wrapped up in the moment and the view…which is very easy to do!)

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons


Regardless of where you are in the basket, though…your jaw will drop at the views! You’re guaranteed at least ONE good photo with these views…so, be sure to enjoy the moment and don’t get too caught up in the photos!

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons
This gentleman had the right idea – just enjoy the view!


I was super impressed with how our pilot, Gökhan, and his crew, managed to land the balloon directly onto the trailer! That’s incredible! I don’t believe this happens every single time, though. We were very fortunate to have such a calm day.

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons
Coming in for landing!

Once you’re on the ground you can also help get the air out of the balloon by walking on it. And jumping in it…like my husband did, below!

landing the balloon
Landing the balloon

Landing Ceremony

Wahoo! You just experienced an incredible hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey! Now…of course, it’s time for champagne and cake! You will also receive a flight certificate and a medal to commemorate your flight.

Landing Ceremony
Cheers! I have my medal and champagne and cake in my mouth, haha!

Honest Thoughts on the Experience

This was my first time in a hot air balloon, so I really have nothing to compare it too! However, watching the sunrise with 100 other hot air balloons floating around you is a really surreal experience.

I also really liked our pilot, Gökhan, he was cracking jokes left and right to put everyone at ease. He also clearly is experienced with how well he could maneuver the balloon! The whole experience was very efficient. We were back at our hotel for second breakfast (the Hobbits would be so proud) well before the tour I had planned for the day.

And like I had mentioned, I did like the partitioned baskets…more because of my fear of heights. Just looking at the other big open baskets with a crowd of people gave me anxiety!

It’s also worth noting, that your views will likely be different than mine, even if you take this exact flight with this exact pilot. This is because your route for the day is completely determined by what direction the wind is blowing that morning. There is no steering the hot air balloon into a designated path! On the days after this ride, I woke up at dawn to watch the balloons from our hotel’s famous terrace. And one morning the balloons were incredibly close to our hotel…and the next day they were barely even in the city. It really all comes down to the wind!

  • Click here to book your Butterfly Balloons Flight.

What I Wore for This November Flight

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons

It gets cold in Cappadocia in the month of November! All those photos you see of girls in cute sundresses and barefoot were likely taken during summer…or these ladies were freezing to death! I do admit, though, that I did not notice the cold as I was so wrapped up in the view and taking photos. However, my husband assures me it was cold. Haha. So dress warm!

I wore a T-shirt, chunky knit cardigan, winter coat, scarf, jeans, hiking boots, headband and gloves. (I did end up taking my gloves off, though to use my camera better.) This kept me warm. The biggest thing for me was to keep my ears warm and wear a warm coat to keep any wind out. (All linked in the widget, below.)

A big thank you to Butterfly Balloons for such a wonderful day! Please enjoy more photos of the flight in the gallery below (feel free to click on them to make them full-sized). And I’m curious, has anyone else ever flown in a hot air balloon? And if not, would you? Let me know in the comments!

  • Click here to book your Butterfly Balloons Flight.
  • Click here to see the Sultan Cave Suites rates. (This is the hotel we stayed at who works with Butterfly Balloons, you can also click here to see the views from their famous terrace.)

Travel Insurance

It’s a good idea, no matter where your adventure takes you, to have travel insurance. You never know what might happen! Whether you get sick before your trip and can’t go, or you become sick or injured while on your adventure – being covered with travel insurance is a must. Some credit card companies do provide this service (check with yours), or you can get a quote from companies such as Squaremouth to find the best plan for you and your adventure. (This is the company I, personally, use. They are even recommended by Forbes!) To get a free quote, click here.

Visa Requirements

To check if your country requires a Visa for traveling to Turkey, click here.

What It’s Like to Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey with Butterfly Balloons
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*Disclosure: some of these links are affiliate links. Meaning, if you click a link and make a purchase, Have Clothes, Will Travel gets a very small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! I am also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

*Thank you to Butterfly Balloons for partnering with me for this post. As always, all opinion are my own, and I am never compensated for a positive review.


  1. I took my first balloon ride there last month. It was a delightful and memorable experience. Highly recommended when you are in Cappadocia.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      It is such a cool experience! 🙂

  2. I have ALWAYS wanted to take a hot air balloon ride! Oh it looks BREATHTAKING!!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      I hope you get to one day! I never thought I would…and it really is a magical experience! (Not the least bit scary.) 🙂

  3. Danila Caputo says:

    This is one of the things my husband always wanted to do. And yet I’m terrified of trying! 🙁 The view is amazing but heights scare me a lot. I feel like I’m missing out!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      I absolutely hate heights…but I swear, it never bothered me. I think it had to do with the basket I was in, and the views kept me distracted! Haha.

  4. marionhappywanderess says:

    What an amazing experience! It looks so beautiful! I’ve seen so many pictures of this before but it’s the first time I read a full review of the flight… Love the hobbit reference <3

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Aw, thank you so much! YES! So glad someone appreciated the Hobbit reference, haha.

  5. Joannda | A Zest For Travel says:

    Lindsey, this looks incredible!! I’ve not been on a hot air balloon ride myself but it is definitely on my bucket list. A shame about your group not sharing the views but it still looks like you got some amazing photos and having so many other balloons around must have been crazy cool!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      It feels unreal to have so many other balloons around you. And oh yes, that was unfortunate, but we still had a great time. 🙂 Thank you, Joannda!

  6. Blair villanueva says:

    I haven’t experienced balloon flying and this is amazing! I learned few points on what to wear, and layering. Thanks!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you for reading! 🙂

  7. Casa Speed says:

    Wow, this looks awesome! I expected the baskets to be way smaller, which was one reason I was afraid of doing a hot air balloon ride. Your post makes it seem like an amazing experience!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      I expected that as well! This made me feel a lot more comfortable. It was really a cool experience. 🙂

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