The morning begins before the first light of day. We provide shared or private transfers from the hotel to the launch site, a location selected by our pilots each morning based on the day's wind patterns. Upon arrival, tea and coffee are served as well as a light pastry while the crew finishes the final flight preparations. Once the balloon canopy is inflated and upright, passengers climb into the basket and the pilot will give detailed safety instructions.
Then, the pilot will fire up the burners and the balloon will slowly rise into the sky as the crew waves farewell. The balloon gently gains elevation and, as it rises above the treeline, fantastic scenery comes into view. During the course of the flight, the pilot will change elevation to catch the winds. The balloons cannot be steered in the way a car can, so the pilot must search for favorable winds to direct the balloon in the desired direction. When dipping low, up-close views of villages, chimneys and sites appear as it is not unusual for locals to come out to wave to the balloon passengers. And when rising high, the birds-eye views get even more expensive.
The pilot will also provide commentary about the scenes below, acting as a bit of a guide. They have extensive knowledge of the terrain, the culture, and Cappadocia’s history. The pilot will also explain how he or she is able to navigate the balloon.
When it comes time to land, the pilot will search out a suitable landing zone with flat terrain and few obstacles. While the pilot will attempt to set the balloon on the ground gently, there is often enough of a breeze that the balloon makes a few light ‘skips’ across the ground. The crew will be there to help secure the balloon so that guests can disembark before the canopy fully deflates.
The fun is not over yet. After landing a small table and chairs are set up, usually amid a field or sometimes on a vineyard. The pilot will pop open a bottle of sparkling wine or champagne for a toast, a ballooning tradition that dates back to the 1800s. A light breakfast will be served and each passenger is awarded a flight certificate to cap off the experience.
Due to weather conditions, flights in Cappadocia usually operate all throughout the year, the best period usually from April until December. From time to time in cases of bad weather, flights are canceled at the last minute. In this case, ticket prices are fully refunded or guests can move to another date depending on availability. Flights typically operate at sunrise.