Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon: Is it worth it?


Should I do the Cappadocia hot air balloon ride? We asked the internet the question, scrolled through blogs which told us random pieces of information that we didn’t need to know (the workings of what keeps a balloon in the air, for example) and now we’re answering it ourselves.

Obviously, whether or not something is ‘worth it’ is entirely subjective. So we’ll just leave our thoughts here and you can take it or leave it.

Is it worth it?

Short answer, no. Controversial, right? But for us, and maybe others who travel like us it isn’t worth it. We’ll explain why.

We booked tickets at a discounted price (befriending a local who knows a guy, who knows a guy, who knows a guy will do wonders) which meant we weren’t breaking the bank. Most people will spend around 130 euro for a ride, but our ticket cost 40 euro. As it turned out, our tour was cancelled because of bad weather.

A 3:30 a.m wake up for a 4:00 am pick up – all for nothing.

Still, we did get to see them the following day. Another early wake up call, a walk to this viewpoint in Goreme and we were rewarded with stunning views. Now, we’ll explain why we’re secretly pleased that our trip got cancelled and why this particular activity isn’t the one for us and may not be the one for you.

Restricted Movement

Sounds silly but it’s a solid reason to not go up. From the ground, we were able to walk and drive to different spots so we could admire the balloons from all angles, high up and low. Had we been up in the balloon, then we would’ve been confined to the basket. That’s not for us. We would’ve grown restless and felt restricted.

Goes without saying that other personality types won’t be suited to this ride either – people who get restless easily, have a fear of heights and so forth.

Short-lived Excitement

We hate to say it, but we think that the novelty would’ve worn off. We imagine that the first part would’ve been exhilarating – watching the balloon take into the sky, seeing others rising up with you, and then the first glimpse of the landscape. But a 45 minute ride is a long time. Once we’d taken our fill of the landscape, then we would’ve craved the chance to be on the ground to see the sight on foot or by car.

Cost

If you’re a budget traveller or someone with spending limits, then this trip is a big chunk out of your allowance. As we said, we were lucky and found a ticket for 40 euro but most average around the 130 euro mark. Not cheap. If we’d not found a discounted ticket, then we wouldn’t have splashed out this amount of money. Why? Our reasoning was this:

We know ourselves and we know that if we spend a chunk of money, we want it to be a full day thing and not for less than an hour.

Yes, the views would undoubtedly be incredible, but so are those from the hikes we did. They’re both different, but both are impressive in their own way. Why pay money when we can get an equally impressive view for free?

But it’s unique!

We said the whole “why bother paying money when we can get equally incredible views from a free hike” which was met with then met with the reply: “yes, but you can’t do something like this anywhere else in the world.”

Okay, fair point. We can’t think of any other place that has a mass of balloons rising into the air at once to watch sunset. But, if we applied the ‘you can’t do this anywhere else’ attitude – then we’d be spending a lot of money. There are lots of activities that are unique to a particular region or country – snorkelling with whale sharks in the Philippines, visiting the Great Wall of China, camping in an overnight Yurt camp in Central Asia, hiking Everest base camp – and that’s just to name a few. Though unique, we figured that it is one of many unique experiences with the difference being there are others that we’re more suited to and therefore more willing to splurge on.

Of course, if you’re not on a budget and you’re in the position to say ‘okay, I’m forking out 130 euro but I can make that back pretty quickly with my job’, then being selective about a unique experience may not be something you need to factor in.

Wrap Up

If you think your travelling style or personality is similar to ours then maybe this trip is one you should admire for free on the ground or on the top of a viewpoint. Want to go ahead and book a ride? Then, remember that the tours can be cancelled last minute for poor weather. It’s a good idea to book a few days in Goreme just in case your first trip is postponed.

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