Voyager emailed me the day before our scheduled flight and sent me a complete itinerary. As someone who is a crazy-organized, this made me beyond happy. They would pick us up at 4:30am (ugh) at our hotel and we would arrive at their place of business around around 5am. At their business, they had breakfast out for us, including baked goods, coffee, juice, and more. You could meet and chat with the pilots of the hot air balloons. This is also where the business is communicating with air traffic control. On the morning of our flight, there was some slight wind, so we actually had two delays in our take-off time because air traffic control would not give them the green light to fly. They communicated these delays to all of us and explained in detail what was causing these delays. Finally, around 6/6:30am, they announced that they had been given clearance – EEK! It was happening!
You might not have heard about Cappadocia before, but I can almost guarantee that you’ve seen pictures of it. It’s known for having other-worldly landscapes and most famously, it’s known for having a ton of hot air balloons. I was lucky enough to be able to visit Cappadocia earlier this month and I have to say – it was freaking amazing.
Of course, as soon as I realized I was going to be in Cappadocia, I knew I had to go hot air ballooning. When I started researching, I couldn’t believe just how many hot air balloon companies there are. It was super overwhelming. So I did my research on Google, Reddit, Instagram, and more and finally landed on choosing Cappadocia Voyager Balloons. Read on for why I chose them :).
I’ll start off by saying that we are not getting paid by Voyager, I was just really impressed with how organized and professional they were and decided to give them a little shoutout. One thing I will say, is to book in advance. I booked my flight with them for September, in July. And I noticed that some days were not available. So, if you want to book with a reputable company, definitely book 2-4 months in advance.
We drive only about 15 minutes away from the place of business, and then we get off the bus. We then follow our guide and he helps us hop into the balloon. Within 10 minutes, we were slowly lifting off. If you are nervous about doing this because you are scared of heights – I am personally not afraid of heights, but I was traveling with two people who are, and they said they never felt scared. The basket you are standing in goes up pretty high – it was up to about my chest and I’m 5’2. I felt totally secure.
Here are a few tips that I would recommend:
– Take warm clothing – although the days in Cappadocia are very hot, it really cools down at night. Because you are going so early, it will be chilly outside.
– You will be taking a ton of pictures while you are in the balloon – obviously. One thing I would recommend is to have a phone case with a necklace or strap attached so that if you lose hold of your phone, it won’t fall and it will just hang there. I didn’t have that, and I had to take the risk of holding my phone out of the basket to take some pictures – it was terrifying and stressful.
– And finally – enjoy it! I know the need and want to get some amazing pictures. But after a while, I had to tell myself, you’ve taken way too many pictures as is, just be in the moment. Hot air ballooning is so peaceful, so for the last few minutes, put your phone away and enjoy the experience.
The flight itself took about one hour. The landing was insanely smooth. Everything felt totally in control and we felt very safe the whole time. Landing can seem very intimidating because there are literally hundreds of other balloons also looking to land around the same time. But our pilot handled it like a pro – I guess because he is one! After landing, they popped some champagne to celebrate and handed out certificates to mark your flight. They also give you the option of purchasing some pictures from them that they took on their go pro during the flight. We were then driven back to our hotel.
All in all – would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY. It was such an amazing experience. For more information on Voyager Balloons, check out their website here.