Before meeting our driver-cum-guide, Yasar, in Cappadocia, we had earlier decided to book one of the top two companies for our flight. But as he suggested and promised that we would have the best experience, we booked our flight with Cihangiroglu.
The basket we got was small one for 12 people and we were 10, but were comfortable enough to enjoy as well as to take photos. Initially, we were little worried as how would the ride be, as it was not amongst the top-rated companies (as per Tripadvisor). But, as we went higher, we found that almost all the balloons were flying over similar areas even though the take-off areas differed. Even the heights that these balloons were flying were more or less the same. At the end, we could say that we had an amazing experience while saving some money on hand.
Few tips for balloon ride:
1. There’s really no need to splurge on higher-priced Balloon Companies. Also, the prices on the companies’ websites are much higher than you’ll get it directly. So, book your rides on arrival and directly at their office. Do bargain for better rate; you can get it for as low as 70 EUR depending upon season. There are numerous balloon companies in the Goreme market area.
2. Do not worry about the brand name of the Balloon Company, as all of them are approved by Aviation Department with regards to the safety standards. They have professional pilots, and usually they fly in the same area.
3. As you start very early in the morning, the climate could be cold even in summers, so carry a jacket or stole.
4. Preferably, book a basket where only maximum 2 peoples are accommodated in one cabin.