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!
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: