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Uber Introduces Hot Air Balloon Rides in Turkey

Users can now use the app to tick a Cappadocia sunrise balloon ride off their bucket list

by Fergus Cole

December 19, 2023

Photo: Capacocia, Turkey. Courtesy of Dmitri Zotov / Unsplash

Tourists visiting the beautiful Cappadocia region in Turkey can now experience a hot air balloon ride through Uber’s ridesharing app.

This new service offering is part of Uber’s global efforts to expand its services. Cappadocia, located in central Turkey, is a historically significant region famous for its “fairy chimneys” – unique rock formations adorn the valleys in this semi-arid area.

The heart of the region is Göreme National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 – that sees around 150 to 200 hot air balloons take to the skies each morning to give tourists a glimpse of the magnificent scenery below.

Photo: Courtesy of Uber

Users can now use the Uber Reserve feature to book an hour and a half ride in a hot air balloon during sunrise over Cappadocia’s stunning scenery, with trips costing as little as €150 ($159), although bookings must be made at least 12 hours in advance.

The service also includes transportation between the user’s hotel and the launch site during the hot air balloon season.

Göreme National Park has long been a popular tourist destination in Turkey. In 2022, around 10% of the country’s 44.6 million foreign tourists visited the region, according to Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. On the ground, visitors can explore ancient underground cities, relax in luxurious cave hotels, and sample traditional Turkish cuisine and hospitality.

According to Uber, Turkey is also one of its fastest growing markets, claiming that international trips to the country have increased by over 30% in 2023, while nearly 26 million people have used the app this year.

“What better way to help people quite literally go anywhere with Uber than by making one of the most iconic travel experiences in the world available on our app,” said Anabel Diaz, Vice President of EMEA Mobility at Uber.

Photo: Capacocia, Turkey. Courtesy of Daniela Cuevas / Unsplash

“Turkey is one of our most popular destinations for international travelers, and this is yet another way they can use our app to access a magical experience when visiting the country. We’re always looking for new ways to add a little Uber magic to people’s vacations, so keep an eye out for more bucket-list experiences coming to the Uber app next year.”

Other unique travel experiences that Uber has launched in the past include boat rides in London and Mykonos, tuk-tuk rides in Sri Lanka and India, sleigh rides in Finland, and helicopter rides in New York.

If you’re interested in experiencing Uber’s hot air balloon rides, you can reach Cappadocia via two airports – Nevsehir (NAV) and Kayseri (ASR). These airports are served by Turkish Airlines and a few low-cost carriers, with Istanbul (IST) being the primary hub for Turkish Airlines and connected to numerous destinations worldwide.

Currently, Turkish Airlines provides nonstop flights to Istanbul from twelve cities in the United States – Washington D.C. (IAD), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Miami (MIA), Atlanta (ATL), Houston (IAH), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Newark (EWR), and Seattle (SEA).