WHY IT'S DIFFERENT?
Immerse yourself in Istanbul's lively culture and tradition before a once in a lifetime balloon ride over the stunning Cappadocia landscape.
Based on two people sharing, not including flights learn more
The Balloon Ride
Slowly floating up high about the arid Cappadocia landscape, surrounded by other balloons watching the sun rise is most definitely a pinch yourself moment. Nicely capped off with a glass of bubbles upon landing.
Where West and East meet, Istanbul is one of our all-time favourite cities, brimming with cultural treasures including the iconic Blue Mosque, the Ottoman Topkapi Palace and the fascinating Haghia Sophia.
One of Turkey's biggest exports is its cuisine - baklava, turkish delight, juicy kebabs and much much more. The food is simply delicious and full of flavour so don't be shy to try as much as you can, you won't regret it.
Known for its distinctive fairy chimneys, tall, cone-shaped rock formations and Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls by cave dwellers. Cappadocia offers the perfect backdrop for your balloon ride.
"Our Hot Air Balloon Experience was absolutely incredible! Our accommodation in Istanbul and Cappadocia was stylish, spotless, and welcoming."
NEED TO KNOW
|SEASON||June 19 - 24 2019|
|GROUP SIZE||8 people|
|FLIGHTS||For more information on flights from the UK please refer to the Trip Details section.|
|VISA||UK, EU & US required|
Upon arrival in Istanbul, an airport transfer will take you to your boutique accommodation. Spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring the city and its cultural treasures, including the Blue Mosque, Haghia Sophia and Grand Bazaar.
A transfer will take you to Istanbul airport, where you fly to Cappadocia. After your arrival and transfer to your hotel in Cappadocia, you can spend the afternoon exploring the rock churches of Goreme, underground cities and breathtaking valleys on a walking tour of the area or get involved with some horseback riding or hiking (not included).
Pick up from your hotel before dawn and transfer to the take-off site for breakfast and to watch the preparation of the hot air balloons. Once in the balloon, you will have a one hour experience over Cappadocia’s stunning rocky landscape, caves and fairy chimneys. On landing, you will be greeted with a glass of Champagne, before being transferred back to your hotel. You have the rest of the day to spend at your leisure; so relax, explore the area or indulge in some incredible local cuisine!
A transfer to Cappadocia airport for your flight back to Istanbul. On arrival in Istanbul, you will be transferred to your hotel. Take your time to explore the city at your leisure.
Transfer to Istanbul airport for your flight home.
A selection of our accommodation, which is subject to availability, however alternatives are always of a similar price, grade and location.
With all our accommodation well located in the center of the city near the sights, you'll be able to explore at your leisure.
Typical Accommodation: Astan Hotel Taksim, Peyk Hotel or similar
Our accommodation gives you the opportunity to stay in your very own cave hotel room.
Typical Accommodation: Serinn House, Selcuklu Evi Cave House or similar
WHERE YOU'RE GOING
Towering fairy chimneys, rock-cut caves, and rocky valleys that undulate as far as the eye can see—the distinctive landscape of Cappadocia is a result of ancient volcanic eruptions that layered the terrain with soft, porous rock. Nature has artfully eroded the rock into a series of intriguing and comical shapes, most famously the mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys that are scattered throughout the rocky valleys. But man, along with nature, has played a role in shaping the region into the fascinating place it is today. Age-old civilisations carved entire underground cities into the soft rock where they lived for hundreds of years. While these rock-cut dwellings are no longer inhabited, they've been transformed into chic cave hotels that give insight into troglodyte life with a luxury twist.
"Airport transfers require a little bit of patience as taxis have to wait away from the airport terminal so once you are met by the transfer company then you need to wait until your car reaches the terminal"
Dragos Pavel - Untravelled Paths
While Turkish tap water is heavily chlorinated and considered safe to drink, we always recommend sticking to bottled water to avoid any stomach upsets! Far from ideal when exploring.
If you are visiting local mosques, including the Blue Mosque, you need to cover your shoulders, upper arms, legs, take off your shoes and women need to wear a scarf over their heads.
Consider an Extra Night
With so much to discover in Istanbul you may wish to consider an extra night so you can fit it all in. It's worth noting that a visit to Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia takes at least half a day.
UK passport holders can apply for an e-visa via the Turkish immigration website for $20. Other nationalities will need to confirm the requirements but it's always prudent to do this.
As a tour operator we are not able to offer inclusive flights as part of our experiences however we are more than happy to help you find the most appropriate incoming and outgoing flights for you. All the listed airports fly directly in and out of Istanbul with multiple different airlines to choose from. We highly recommend using Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
It is worth noting that Istanbul has two airports – Istanbul Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW), the former is about 40 minutes and the latter is 70 minutes from the centre of Istanbul. We can organise your airport pick ups from either but it’s worth noting there is a £25 premium per leg from Sabiha Gokcen Airport as it is further away.
You will also need to book the domestic flights between Istanbul and Cappadocia. There are two airports in the region of Cappadocia, Nevsehir Airport (NAV) and Kayseri Airport (ASR), the former being the closer (40 minutes) to Cappadocia but more expensive to fly to and the latter being further away (1 hour) and cheaper to fly to. There is no additional charge for flying to Kayseri, however there is a £25 premium if you are flying from Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) in Istanbul (per leg).
In order to be fully covered on your trip should anything happen, we suggest getting an insurance before you travel. We recommend True Traveller, designed especially for adventure travel, who will be able to tailor an insurance package based on your needs. You can find out more here.
Our prices are based on people sharing, for solo travellers who would prefer a private room the price per person will include a solo occupancy fee.
If you wish we can also organise extra nights at either end of your trip for you.
Book your trip in five easy steps.
Once you’ve chosen the dates you’d like to travel on using our availability calendar all you need to do is head over to the booking page and fill in the enquiry form.
BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS
We will get back to you answering any questions you might have and confirming availability. If all is good, we can hold the places for you for 48 hours while you book your flights. Please note that this stage does not represent a guarantee of the booking.
Once you have booked your flights, we will send you a booking form you will need to fill in with your details, flights and other relevant information.
PAY FOR YOUR TRIP
As you fill in the booking form, you will also be asked to make the payment through a secure link; if you are travelling in less than 8 weeks, the payment will be paid in full, otherwise only a 35% deposit will be taken.
Shortly after you pay, you will receive a confirmation invoice, followed by a personalised itinerary and digital booklet. All you need to do now is write the dates in your diary, prepare your packing list and look forward to your next adventure!
Please note deposit is non-refundable. The balance will only be refundable if you cancel with more than 8 weeks in advance. More information about the cancellation policy can be found in our Terms & Conditions. We highly suggest getting insurance before you travel to avoid any problems. Our personal recommendation is using True Traveller.
Turkey's currency is the Turkish Lira (TL). Banknotes exist in denominations TL1, TL5, TL10, TL20, TL50 and TL100, and coins from 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents to TL1.
Our preferred method for getting access of holiday cash is to withdraw money from a local cash machine on arrival, which are ubiquitous particularly in Istanbul. It’s safest to use ATMs that are connected to banks during working hours just in case you have any issues, and ensure that
you are not overlooked whilst keying in your pin number.
You can also buy TL before your trip from most banks and post offices.
Most major credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted throughout Turkey (chip-and-pin), however it can be a good idea to have cash on you just in case particularly for smaller purchases in the bazaars, a quick kebap, or drinks in cafes. It is always advisable to inform your bank that you’re travelling abroad in order to avoid the frustration of having your card blocked.
Tipping is a part of Turkish culture. Round up fares in taxis and a 10% tip in restaurants in considered the norm.
Spring: Early April can play host to some windy days and unpredictable weather but by the end of the month and throughout May the weather is idyllic with sunny blue skies and warm daytime temperatures ranging from a very comfortable 20 to 25°C.
Summer: Temperatures average 25-30°C, and most days are sunny with blue skies. Rainfall is rare, and humidity makes it feel much hotter, especially in August. Cappadocia, in particular, can get extremely hot for a few weeks between the end of July and the end of August with daytime temperatures easily reaching 40°C!
Autumn: With warm sunny days, cool evenings and beautiful sunsets, weather in the autumn is pleasant and temperate. As with the beginning of the spring, however, the closer to the end of October you travel the more likelihood of bad weather.
You can always contact the UTP team on +44 207 101 4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Before you travel, you will also receive a personalised itinerary with the contact details of the local manager in Romania should there be any problems. Your guide will be on hand throughout the trip as well, so you're in safe hands.
Our digital booklet, which you will receive before travel, contains all the information you need about optional activities. Simply drop us an email letting us know what you'd like to do during your trip, and we'll take care of the rest. Please note that the payment for the optional activities will be taken locally in cash.
While Turkish tap water is heavily chlorinated and considered safe to drink, we always recommend sticking to bottled water to avoid any stomach upsets!
Turkey is currently in a fragile state having experienced a fair amount of political unrest. With that in mind, please be aware that there may be more police checks than usual, particularly across Istanbul so do keep a copy of your passport and e-visa on you at all times in order to prove your identity to authorities should you be required to. Stick to touristy areas and avoid any rallies or demonstrations that take place. Be extra vigilant and patient at airports, and if you have any concerns about your safety please do not hesitate to contact us.
Hat, sun cream, sun glasses, comfortable layers made of cotton, a couple of long-sleeved tops and loose, long trousers/skirts, trainers or lightweight walking shoes, swim suit in case you want to visit a hamam, a shawl to cover up in mosques; a daypack, a jumper for evenings, sandals, some warm clothing for pre-dawn ballooning excursion.
British citizens will need to obtain an electronic visa before arrival. The evisa costs $20 and can be purchased Simply visit https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ and follow the simple and quick application and payment instructions. The evisa costs $20, is valid for up to 90 days and can be obtained up to 3 months prior to the start of your trip. Citizens of other countries will need to check the entry requirements for Turkey with their respective consulates. Regardless, your passport will also need to be valid for 6 months beyond your stay. Please note it is your responsibility to ensure your documents are in order and your visa is obtained in advance.
Hot air ballooning is extremely safe! The company we use is commercially insured for flight, ground transportation, and chase crew operations. Their balloons are fully insured by Euroko, fully covered at international standard and insured for third party and passenger liability. Experienced and friendly pilots who practice wise weather ballooning, and a fleet of modern hot air balloons that pass FAA inspections.
There are about 18 different launch and landing sites in Cappadocia. Each day is different. The launch and landing sites used on any given day will be determined by the speed and direction of the wind that day.
Hot air balloons are completely dependent on the wind and as the sun heats the earth the air begins to boil just like a pot of water. Early morning air and the first hour of flight is the safest time of day to fly.
About an hour depending on prevailing weather conditions and suitability of landing sites, but the whole experience lasts at least three hours.
The balloons will fly from ground level to three thousand feet above ground level, depending on wind direction and speed. The maximum altitude is 6000 feet and is limited by Turkish Civil Aviation.