If you think that the terrain of Cappadocia is stunning, remarkable and breathtaking--- and it is!—wait until you see it from as high as 1825 meters above sea level!
That’s how far Voyager Balloons will take you, floating you past the geologic wonders of eroded volcanic formations such as mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys, ribbons of hills that look like soft serve ice cream, multicolored carved mesa-type reliefs and more.
You’ll also see the many pigeon houses that were created in days gone by as a source of natural fertilizer, which some Cappadocians are now working to bring back for organic farming in the area.
From up on high you can also see otherwise hidden doors to one-time cave houses and churches that dot the landscape as well.
You can spot the Open Air Museums in Göreme and Zelve and landmarks like the Uçhisar Castle.
Hiking trails through the Rose Valley and others come into view, as do the beautiful orchards and terraced gardens in farms weaving over the land.
This is a landscape with a distinct personality—albeit that of E.T. or some other very friendly extraterrestrial.
Our most able pilot and co-founder of Voyager Balloons, Mehmet Halis Aydogan, has decades of experience as a Cappadocia tour guide and it shows. He rattles off facts of geology (e.g. the volcanoes were 9000 years ago),
history of Cappadocia tourism (began with French visitors in the 1950’s and 60’s who had read a book by a French priest about the religious history of the area),
and all details of ballooning big and small that are simply fascinating.
Did you know that there are only four places in the world that make the silk envelopes, as the balloons are called, of the typical 12 or so passenger size hot air balloon? (Two in Bristol, England; one in Barcelona; and one in Czechoslavakia).
Voyager invests in the best and pricier kinds made of silver silks that weather best over time.
Every three years or so they change the balloon envelopes, just one of many safety features that are so apparent as you fly. As a confirmed acrophobe I can report that I didn’t experience even a millisecond of fear. The basket that the Voyager balloon takes up hits that Goldilocks just-right spot of being snug without crowded.
If the views weren’t so mesmerizing perhaps those of us who appreciate well-honed organization would just enjoy ourselves watching the crew orchestrate the flight from soup to nuts.
This is a well-oiled machine and the overall workings are as tight as the most practiced ballet.
You’ll need to get up at 4 AM or so to catch the mini-bus to the gathering point where a small Turkish type nosh of sweet and savory awaits you—with coffee!—as your fellow tourists arrive and gather. Then you head out into the fields where there are about 100 balloons from various companies readying for flight—some on their sides awaiting hot air infusion and others all perked and inflated seeming to call you aboard. After brief instructions on how we might need to assume a safety posture for landing—we didn’t—the float up began. It seems so seamless, perhaps because the crew is out much earlier in the morning taking measure of winds and temperature to know how that day’s flight should best be handled.
Seeing the army of colorful balloons over Cappadocia simultaneously is part of the fun. As if that weren’t enough you’ll also get a glass of champagne with cherry juice to celebrate the flight and landing.
How foolish we were to think we could go to Cappadocia and skip the balloon ride! This is a not-to-be-missed lifetime experience. You are not only taking a hot air balloon in a climate that is so amenable to such flight. You are also getting a unique gander of an amazing vista first carved by geologic forces and then crowned by ancient peoples moving in and out of caves bequeathing beautiful vineyards and farms to their modern-day descendants.
Voyager Balloons, one of the oldest hot air balloon operations in Cappadocia, is a top pick for safety, knowledge of Cappadocia’s geology and history, and organizational flair.
Watch Voyager Balloon’s promotional video on Youtube to get a sense of what it is like—
Flights are scheduled daily and only cancelled infrequently due to poor weather conditions. Last year Voyager Balloons flew 328 mornings. Tours are available in English, Japanese, Spanish and Korean. You can pre-book a flight by contacting Voyager Balloons through their website.
+90 532 717 5050
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