We are doing the RS Turkey tour in Oct 2019. I was looking at the schedule and I was wondering if there is any time for a balloon ride. On day six, thre is a guide led walk through the valley in the morning. I assume that would be the time to skip it and do the balloon ride. Thanks.
David & C, I was on the RS Turkey Tour this past year in May. Time for the optional balloon ride is built into the schedule, you won’ t need to miss anything, except some sleep. Those who take the balloon ride, as I did, get up at a very early pre-dawn hour, are driven to a staging site, where they pay (about $200 pp as I remember) then get driven to the balloon site, get in, ascend, fly around for some time, descend, celebrate, then are transported back to the hotel. Then as I remember, there is still time for breakfast (I may be wrong about that) before driving off for day’s itinerary. Obviously, that can become a long and tiring day.
I was on the RS Turkey tour in October. I believe Day 6 we woke up at 4:30 am to get dressed and the balloon ride personnel picked us up, drove us to their offices where they had prepared us a lovely breakfast with fresh fruits, breads cheeses, orange juice and fantastic coffee. Then we were driven to the valley where all the balloons are blown up and we take off as the sun rises. Fantastic ride - gentle and quiet. $200 cost and worth every cent!
Then we returned to the hotel for a second breakfast and joined the rest of the group for that day’s activities.
Balloons are weather dependent, but weather issues have been rare, so it normally works out that everyone who wants to buy this optional excursion does get to do it as described above.
We took the RS Turkey tour and my wife went on that balloon ride and said it was an adventure of her life time. I chose not to go since I am afraid of heights never being on the roof of either of the two homes I have owned nor going up any ladders. Guess I really missed something,
We have been using AIG Travel Guard for Medical/Evacuation insurance coverage. One of the "exclusions" in a recent policy reads:
This plan does not cover any loss caused by or resulting from:
(g) air travel on any air-supported device, other than a regularly
scheduled airline or air charter company;
A hot air balloon would seem to fit the description of "any air-supported device".
I might also add that because the balloon rides are weather-dependent, there is also a possibility that people will do this optional activity on Day 5 instead of Day 6. I did this tour in May 2018 and the weather was forecasted to be nicer on Day 5 than Day 6 so we did it a day earlier than what is on the itinerary. You will not need to reserve anything in advance yourselves--the guide will get a scope on who is interested early on in the tour and will make the reservations for everyone. More of that will be explained at the orientation meeting.
The night before the flight, some people from the hot air balloon company will come visit the hotel where you can sign their release waivers and make your payments. As of 2018, the cost was €165 if you pay in cash or €175 if you pay by credit card (you may be able to pay in Turkish lira as well if you wish). The flight itself lasts about an hour and we are all back to the hotel just in time for breakfast.
I would definitely consider this activity for anyone who does the Turkey tour, there aren't many places in the world were you can hot air balloon in a place that tends to have reliable weather, nevermind as beautiful, as the Cappadocia region!
I cannot recommend a balloon ride ENOUGH. Do it!! You will remember it for the rest of your life. We went for a champagne breakfast balloon ride and it was well worth rising very early in the morning to see sunrise over the fairy chimneys.