This was another of the highlights of the Cappadocia visit. I am scared of heights and said yes to this very quickly without thinking about it - some experiences just can't be missed!
We got up very early as our ride was scheduled just after sunrise. We were provided with breakfast before being divided into groups for each balloon that would be flying that day. All the organisation was very smooth. I was quite sleepy so I wasn't really feeling nervous at that point.
Our pilot in the balloon was very nice and began going up slowly so everyone would get a feel of what it was like, and kept explaining the sights our balloon was taking us to (as that depends on the air currents on the day!) and kept close to the rock formations for a while so we could get an bird's eye view of the ground below. Then later on he took us high up to join the other balloons for an amazing view. I can't remember how high we went, but the view was so beautiful and amazing (the sun had come out that day) that I could only think about taking pictures and admiring it.
The descent was very smooth and quite interesting to see the balloon manoeuver. I was sad to be back on the ground! We had a champagne toast and then were taken back to our hotels. After the balloon ride we had another day of touring, which was very good but I felt quite tired, since we had tried to pack everything in just two days. I would definitely recommend doing it, as is considered one of the best hot air balloon rides in the world!
I have to admit I was not really sure what to expect of this tour. We hired a 2 day tour to see the main highlights of Cappadocia, of which I was mostly looking forward to the fairy chimneys. We landed from Istanbul the morning the tour began, and kicked off the day with a easy hike along the Rose Valley. After spending a few days in all the hustle and bustle of Istanbul I was so grateful to find a bit of quiet, admire the rock formations and listen to our guide explaining how the area originated and enjoy a quick stop for tea.
Lunch involved a typical place in Avanos, overlooking the river. After refuelling we were taken to see one of the Christian underground cities in the area. It was amazing how much they had excavated into the rock and being able to explore it.
On the second day we visited the Goreme Open Air museum. Our guide was very knowledgeable and explained quite a few of the buildings and the frescos in the churches built by the Christians. This was just as beautiful as the fairy chimneys we went to see in the afternoon before finishing our visit.
All in all, I greatly recommend this tour. When we went (early june) there were a few tour buses but felt quite laid back, and the group we were in was small and the guide very friendly. I wish I could have stayed one or two days more to relax a bit and enjoy the area, but I think I got a good overall impression.