A hot air balloon ride was on my 30×30 list, and Goreme was the perfect place to check it off. Hundreds of balloons take off nearly every day here, taking tourists on an unforgettable sunrise trip over the surreal fairy chimney landscape. Our host at Nostalji Cave Suites arranged our ride with Voyager Balloons. And when we returned to Goreme with my parents the next year, they had a similarly wonderful experience with Anatolian Balloons, which was arranged through Kelebek Hotel. No matter where you stay, your host will be able to arrange a balloon ride for you. It will cost about $200 per person, but it’s worth every penny. Budget for it in advance!

5am getting ready for our flight.
5:00 am getting ready for our flight. The baskets fit up to 16 people plus the pilot.

If you’re only in Goreme for a few days, I would recommend taking a balloon ride on the first day. There’s no telling when weather will deter your excursion, so waiting until your last day could be risky. I would also recommend waking before dawn every single day you’re in the area —watching the balloons from the ground is just as magical as being in one! Need convincing? Here’s the proof this will be the most epic experience of your trip:

The pilots will take you into the valleys, low enough to touch the trees!
The pilots will take you into the valleys, low enough to touch the trees!
Goreme
The landscape is truly incredible.
See the sun rise like you've never seen it before!
See the sun rise like you’ve never seen it before.
Here's how it looks from the ground.
If you’re scared of heights, the view from the ground is just as wonderful.
This photo was taken from our terrace at Kelebek Hotel.
This photo was taken from our terrace at Kelebek Hotel.
Goreme
You may even end up in another village, depending on the wind.
Goreme
These pilots are highly trained in ballooning AND passenger therapy.
Goreme
Play Marco Polo with the other balloonists.
Goreme
Don’t drop your camera!
Your ride will last about an hour. Have fun!
Your ride will last about an hour.
Champagne celebration—and all before 7am!
Epic ride and a champagne celebration—all before 7am!

About The Author

Traveling as often as possible while also running a vintage shop from our home in Texas. Obsessed with ancient sites, Turkish carpets, and tacos.

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