Cappadocia: The best places to see hot air balloons at sunrise!

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

At the first light of the rising sun, hundreds of colourful air balloons also rise. It looks magical, all those balloons in the sky while the first rays of sunlight turn the valley and rock formations gold. In this blog, I will tell you everything you need to know to find the best locations to see and to photograph the balloons around Göreme in Cappadocia!


What are the best locations to spot hot air balloons in Cappadocia?

One of the reasons that so many tourists go to Cappadocia every year, is to go on a balloon flight, or to see the hundreds of balloons flying at sunrise. And to be honest, seeing the hot air balloons is definitly one of the highlights of all my travels. I mean, we woke up every morning at 5:30 to see them!

However, we did not take a flight in a hot air balloon. Because Cappadocia is part of our trip around the world, a balloon flight didn’t fit into our budget. But I think watching those beautiful balloons from the ground was already magical!

Hot Air Balloons in Göreme Cappadocia

Hot air balloons in Goreme

We have done a lot of research in advance into the best locations to see the hot air balloons in Cappadocia. And of course, we are happy to share everything we have discovered with you! We stayed in the city of Göreme. The locations below are therefore all within walking distance (max 1-hour hiking) from the centre of Göreme.

Below you will find first the most popular places (and therefore the busiest locations). Secondly, I tell you our three favourite locations to spot the hot air balloons. Then I will tell you the three roof terraces in Göreme with the most beautiful view on the hot air balloons. And finally, we have found some hidden places which are perfect to ask your partner to marry you with a beautiful background.Hot Air Balloons in Göreme Cappadocia


1. The hill above Göreme

By far the best-known place to see the sunrise and sunset is from the hill just above Göreme. This hill is visible from almost the entire city and recognizable by the red Turkish flag on the top. Click here to see the location on Maps Me. To be able to look at the rising balloons from this viewpoint, you have to pay 3TL. We don’t recommend this place, it is extremely busy and you stumble over the selfie sticks.
Tip: use Maps Me instead of Google Maps during your stay in Göreme. Maps Me indicates almost all viewpoints and hiking trails, these are not visible on Google Maps.
Hot Air Balloons in Göreme Cappadocia

2. The official viewpoint in the Love Valley

In the Love Valley, there is a large viewpoint where you look out on the valley and have a good view of the balloons. Click here to see the location on Maps Me. This is also the place where some hot air balloons take off and/or land. You will find a lot less people here than on the hill in Goreme, but it is still quite busy with dozens of tourist buses. It takes +/- 60 minutes to get here on foot, you can also go by car.

Photography tip: If you are on this side of the valley, you are mainly shooting against the light. Keep this in mind.

Hot Air Balloons in Göreme Cappadocia

3. The sunset viewpoint in Rose Valley

Also in Rose Valley, you have a point from where you can see the balloons well. Click here to see the location on Maps Me. This location is very popular during sunset, you will find a lot of tourists on quads here. It is also very busy here during sunrise, as it is a take-off point for balloons. It takes about 30 minutes to walk to this location from Göreme, you can also go by car.

Photography tip: The sun rises in your back here, so it is usually not on the photo, but Göreme and the surrounding valleys are beautifully illuminated!


The best places to photograph hot air balloons in Cappadocia
(unique places with few tourists)

1. Love Valley opposite the official viewpoint – Goreme

Our first sunrise with hot air balloons was from a beautiful point in the Love Valley. Click here to see this location on Maps Me. We were actually on our way to another place, but (luckily) we got lost. And then we came across this place, completely deserted. With a view on the Love Valley, we see the sun rise slowly and the balloons rise. From this place you have the sun in your back, so you (in my opinion) take the most beautiful pictures of the balloons that fly above and sometimes in the valley. This place is right across the street from the official viewpoint in the Love Valley.

↠ You can walk from Göreme to this place in about 30 minutes. You can also come here by car, but you have to walk the last 100 meters.

Tip: leave on time! Already at the first light, about fifteen minutes before sunrise, a part of the balloons takes off. In October the sun rose at 06.40, so we got up at 5.30.

Hot Air Balloons in Göreme CappadociaHot Air Balloons in Göreme Cappadocia

2. Viewpoint over the Pigeon Valley

We came across this place during a hike through the Pigeon Valley, among others. Click here to see this location on Maps Me. It’s a short walk but definitly worth it! You look out over the beautiful Pigeon Valley, through the unique shapes, one of the most beautiful valleys, in my opinion. The sun rises on your right, on your left you see the Uchisar castle and the balloons are flying all around you. Because there are no other tourists, this is really a unique place for me to see the balloons in Cappadocia. Note: if the wind is wrong, the balloons will not come close, so keep this in mind.

↠ You walk to this place in about 45 minutes from Göreme. You can also come here by car, so consider taking a taxi.

Photography tip: at this location, you can see the most balloons in the distance, a few come close, but not many. Take this into account in your photography by taking a telephoto lens.

Hot Air Balloons in Göreme CappadociaHot Air Balloons in Göreme Cappadocia

3. The view of the Rose Valley

Our last attempt to see the balloons was here ( click here to open the location in Maps Me). And it was so worth it! You are close to the take-off location of part of the balloons and you can see them from close by. By the way, beware that you don’t stop at the first official viewpoint, because it is quite busy here. Walk a little further up the hill and you are suddenly all alone! Also very nice, you see the first group of balloons take off and fly away, the second group rises behind you half an hour later, they come flying very low! At this place, you can always see the balloons up close.

↠ You can walk here from Göreme in about 40 minutes. It is also possible to take a taxi to the official vantage point and walk to this hill in 10 minutes.

Photography tip: because you are so close to the ascent here, it is nice to photograph this moment too. However, it is almost completely dark at that time. So a tripod is a must!Rose valley


Best roof terraces in Göreme to photograph the balloons!

Do you want to photograph the balloons from a rooftop race? It is not only nice to photograph the balloons between the cushions, carpets and blankets on a roof terrace. You also don’t have to hike a whole stretch first and after seeing them you can immediately go back to bed again! We have visited the most beautiful roof terraces * and have listed them below.

Please note: these roof terraces belong to hotels. Access to the roof terraces is for hotel guests only.

1. Sultan Cave Suites – Goreme

This is definitely the hotel with the nicest roof terrace. You have a view of the balloons and a beautiful part of the city. Also spectacular is the breakfast that you can get here during the sunrise, to complete your “insta photo” ;-). Click here to view this hotel.

Hot Air Balloons in Göreme Cappadocia

Source: Sultan Cave Suites

2. Mithra Cave Hotel – Göreme

Mithra Cave hotel sits next to Sultan Cave Suites and has several small terraces at different heights. Nice because there is more variation! Click here to view this hotel.

Hot Air Balloons in Göreme Cappadocia

Source: Mitrha Cave Hotel

3. Koza Cave Hotel – Goreme

This super luxury hotel has a beautiful roof terrace with good views. Nice detail, you can also smoke shisha here (or put it on your photo). Click here to view this hotel.

Hot Air Balloons in Göreme Cappadocia

Source: Koza Cave Hotel

* We visited the above rooftop terraces during sunrise but didn’t stay in the hotels. None of the hotels allowed us to continue to look on the roof terrace, this is limited to hotel guests.

Tip: at hotel Maccan Cave we were allowed to sit on the roof terrace during sunrise, even though we were not staying at the hotel. However, that may also be because the receptionist did not fully understand us, or because the balloons did not take off …

Hot Air Balloons in Göreme Cappadocia


What is the best place for a marriage proposal in Cappadocia with balloons as a background?

Not only did we see a lot of bridal shoots that took place in Cappadocia, it is also a beloved place to ask someone to marry. Do you also want to ask your partner in a very special way to marry you? What is a better moment to “pop the question” than with an amazing background during sunrise?

Rose valley

A little research in advance it necessary, since it is quite difficult to find a place away from the groups of tourists with at the same time a beautiful view! Fortunately we have found two beautiful places, in the Love Valley and in the Pigeon Valley. When we were here, there was nobody and we had the view of the balloons and the valley all to ourselves. In addition, both locations are on a flat piece of land, so you can go down on your knees and set up a camera on a tripod to capture the moment.

Curious about the locations of these places? Send me a message. To ensure that this place is not packed with other tourists in no time, I will share the locations with you via email. This way you are assured of a quiet place and a wonderful moment!



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Click here for all my blogs about Turkey


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The best spots in Cappadocia to see the hot air balloons at sunset


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