Aydinli-Orta Mah. Uzundere Cad. No:29, Goreme, Turkey
www.butterflyballoons.com - +90 384 271 3010
Butterfly Balloons Goreme Reviews
Expensive but wonderful experience Oct 08, 2012
All the research I did before my trip pointed to the Butterfly Balloons company. Even though they were the youngest company out there, for some reason they were everybody’s favorite. So after much debating, considering that their prices are much higher than others’, I decided to give them a try. It was my birthday and I wanted to have the best experience possible.
They were very professional. Brought us all into their office for a very nice breakfast that included cookies and coffee or tea. The room was crowded, but somehow people managed to find seats and have a bite before going to a takeoff site. While we were eating, every 15 minutes or so, somebody would come in to let us know when we will be leaving. They would tell us over and over again that they worry about our safety, and pilots were checking different take off sites, for wind speed and direction, so that they would pick the best spot for our flights. They also said most companies fly always from the same spot, but Butterfly tries to find the best spot every morning. I have no way of knowing if this is true.
Then we all boarded mini buses, and they took us to the nearby spot, which looked on the outskirts of Goreme. Many balloons were already up in the air, and sun was not out yet.
We watched our balloon getting inflated, and soon we were ready to go. Captain Mustafa was joking all the while, and it made everybody relax. There are four compartments in the balloon, and four people per compartment, which is just about right. I read that other companies put more people in a compartment, but can’t picture it. Soon after we got in, we took off. It was very smooth, take off and our whole flight. Captain scared us few times, coming very close to the rocks, just brushing them off. We also came so close to a walnut tree, that some of us, including myself, picked a walnut. Our flight was far from the center of Goreme, just over the tip of Zemi Valley. It was over an hour long, but really covered very little of the fascinating rock formations. We landed near a cemetery in Urgup. After landing we had a ceremony with champagne and everybody got their flight certificate. Then we were given a ride to our respective hotels.
As it was my birthday, they surprised me with a chocolate cake, so that was a really nice gesture.
I enjoyed the flight very much, but was disappointed with the area we covered. Watching all these other balloons flying over the center made me think that my choice wasn’t the best. Maybe this was my luck, and maybe for all the safety reasons they don't go where all the other balloons are.
I have no idea how much flying in a hot-air balloon is anywhere else in the world, but for me this was a very expensive adventure. Their price is 175EUR, and you can negotiate a bit down, especially if you're paying in cash. Everybody in Turkey will give you discount if you pay in cash, as they are charged 10% by their bank when customers pay by credit card.
I am not sorry I did it though, and would do it again, but would do even more research, and possibly go with a different company, just to try flying with somebody else.
Part of the Turkish Adventures 2012 travel blog
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Beautiful Balloon Trip in Cappadocia Feb 21, 2011
I took my Balloon trip in Goreme with Butterfly Balloons. I arranged the trip through the Kelebek Hotel nearby, which has an association with this Balloon company (See my review of Kelebek Cave Hotel & Pansiyon). In fact, Kelebek means Balloon in Turkish. The price can range depending on the season, so check the rates if you decide to book with them. Generally the prices will run 140-180 EUR. A bit expensive, but worth every cent. This is an excellent company to go with because they put safety as a number one priority. I had conversations with the owner at the Kelebek Hotel as well as the staff at Butterfly Balloons and the attitude is that they will fly only if they are sure the conditions are good. They don’t take chances and put the customer first. Other companies will fly when it is more risky, but for an adventure like this, I would prefer a company that puts safety first.
With this said, Butterfly Balloons has a great crew. Our pilot was a British man named Mike Green (Captain Mike as he is called) and he is an excellent pilot. He is well spoken, witty and enjoys explaining some of the aspects of Balloon flight. Aside from the flight, which is a magnificent experience, Captain Mike fills you in on his maneuvers and explains what is going on during the flight. The flight will last about 60-90 minutes and covers a fairly large area at various elevations, so there is much to see. There is a flyover around Goreme valley and then on to the landing. Captain Mike took us up into the clouds too for an interesting experience. After the landing there is a small celebration with Champagne and some treats, followed by some photo opportunities with Captain Mike in front of the Balloon basket.
This was one of the highlights of my trip to Cappadocia. Butterfly Balloons made it an extra pleasant experience with the personalities of the crew and pilot. I highly recommend a Beautiful Balloon trip and Butterfly Balloons as a company of choice should you have the chance to enjoy this activity in Cappadocia. It's out of this world in an otherworldly place! Check out a couple of short videos I captured while Butterfly Ballooning for a live action feel:
Part of the Land of Fairy Chimneys (Feb 19-21, 2011) travel blog
Part of the list Turkey: Review List
Part of the list Special Interest: Review List
Part of the list Turkey: Hotels, Sights & Restaurants
7 / 7 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy