Tourists flock to Turkey’s Cappadocia as balloons take flight

With its valleys filled with famous fairy chimneys and bizarre rock formations, Turkey’s Cappadocia has been the go-to location for tourists looking for a place in the hills to watch the landscape adorned with numerous air balloons taking to the sky.

The interest in hot air balloon tours in Cappadocia, one of Turkey’s most important tourism centers and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, has been increasing every year, and 2021 has been no different.

Local and foreign tourists have been staking out in the take-off areas in Göreme, gathering in the dark before the sunrise to catch a glimpse of the fairytale-like scenes as the sun comes up.

Osman Ünlü, who works at a tourism agency that arranges tours for locals, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that vehicle and human traffic in Cappadocia at dawn was a rare sight in tourism.

Ünlü said that balloon tours were fully booked and those unable to take flights to enjoy the spectacular bird’s eye view often prefer to watch these balloon rides.

Tourists watch and take photographs as air balloons take to the sky, in Nevşehir, Turkey, Oct. 3, 2021. (AA Photo)
Tourists watch and take photographs as air balloons take to the sky, in Nevşehir, Turkey, Oct. 3, 2021. (AA Photo)

“Due to the demand for the hot air balloon tour, there is a great crowd in the early hours. The ambiance here is too exciting to be explained to those who have never been to the region. Our guests experience perhaps the biggest shock of their lives when they encounter the unexpected intensity,” he said.

“Today, about 180 balloons fly, but there is a problem in finding a place due to the high demand. We were able to find a place on the flight for our guests today, but unfortunately we could not secure a seat for tomorrow’s flight. Cappadocia is a must-see.”

Sedat Sürel, who came from Antalya with his wife for a weekend break, stated that the hot air balloons added to the visual richness of Cappadocia with their bright colors.

“I’m glad we came, it was a very good experience for us. We regret not getting on the balloon, but we want to join the tour as soon as possible. We came on a long journey reluctantly, but we are glad we came, we are very happy. We came for the first time, but it will never be the last.”

Taxi driver Orhan Durmaz also stated that the crowd of people in the area increased as the balloons began to prepare for flight.

“The balloon tour starts in the early hours. We bring the guests here and take them to areas that oversee the fairy chimneys from the top. It gets very crowded, people are very curious about the balloon tour.”


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