Hot Air Ballooning

Hot-air ballooning

Over the last decade Cappadocia has established itself as a world-class ballooning centre, and it’s easy to see why; when one has spent hours underground, exploring the region’s subterranean cities, monasteries and churches, there’s nothing so liberating as floating clear of the ground to drift among the surreal valley formations – mushrooms and meringues, wigwams and willies – which are Cappadocia’s signature.

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Flights take place around dawn, with the Göreme-based operators collecting bleary-eyed clients from their hotels, often providing buffet breakfasts, before checking wind direction to decide on launch sites. Flights last around an hour, the low balloons casting huge shadows over the pink-tinged landscapes of vineyards and orchards, pinnacles and gullies. Weather conditions make flying possible all year round, though cancellations are a possibility – as I discovered one windy morning in October – so the sound advice is to book a flight for the beginning of your stay so as to reschedule for a subsequent morning if necessary.

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