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Turkey - Cappadocia Sportive Trail
A glorious riding adventure discovering Cappadocia's unique riding trails

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Horse Riding Holidays Turkey – Cappadocia Sportive Trail

PRICES & DATES top

Cappadocia Sportive Trail: Prices 2024

GBP, £ EUR, € USD, $
Choose your currency
$2,762

  • GBP: 2,185
  • EUR: 2,554
per person sharing in standard room
$2,901
  • GBP: 2,295
  • EUR: 2,683
per person sharing in luxury room on 1st, 2nd & last night
$341
  • GBP: 270
  • EUR: 315
single supplement in standard room, $531
  • GBP: 420
  • EUR: 491
single supplement in luxury room

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

Cappadocia Sportive Trail: Dates 2024

7 – 14 April, 28 April – 5 May
12 – 19 May, 26 May – 2 June
9 – 16 June
8 – 15 September, 29 September – 6 October
20 – 27 October

Included – All riding, guiding, full board accommodation, drinks with meals and set time transfers from and to Kayseri airport.

Excluded – Flights, tips, optional balloon trip (approx. €200 payable locally), drinks outside of mealtimes and alcohol.

How To Get There
International flight to Istanbul and a domestic flight to Kayseri Airport.

Transfer
To avail of the included transfer, you need to arrive in Kayseri airport between 05:00am and 22:00pm. Our driver will collect you at the airport and take you to your guesthouse for the first evening. On the first evening the welcome dinner is at 8pm so we recommend clients arrive before 6.30pm.
Arrival at other times is available but at an additional charge of  approximately €65 each way per car payable directly in Euros or Turkish Lira.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

A glorious riding adventure discovering the silent beauty of Cappadocia’s unique landscape of fairy chimneys and volcanic formations on board forward going Arabs horses. Whether negotiating the narrow paths or galloping through the steppe or along the lush canyons, you will enjoy exhilarating trails off the beaten track. The landscape is truly breath taking, unusual and spectacular, something between the Grand Canyon and a moonscape!
You will visit cave villages, troglodytic monasteries and ancient frescoed churches, and you will discover the historical and cultural wealth of this region listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Leaving from the ranch between Urgup and Ortahisar, in the heart of the national park, this progressive trail takes you on a 6-day tour around Cappadocia, stopping at a different location every evening. From the peasants’ Cappadocia of the south to the most beautiful valleys of the north, a succession of fantastic rock formations, lush canyons, high plateaux, steppe-like landscape, along with vineyards and orchards, make for a very varied route. On the way, the villages reflect the Anatolian way of life while frescoed churches and other troglodytic treasures testify of the rich past of the area. Our itinerary takes place entirely within the national park. It is now possible to include during the week a hot-air balloon flight over Cappadocia’s surreal landscape at sunrise, as well as a trip to the underground cities. Steam bath and massage at Urgup’s traditional hamam at the end of the week.
The bivouac trail is for fit, ‘active’ and autonomous riders with an exploratory mind. The trail includes difficult passages where you will be asked to get off your horse and lead it, sometimes up steep paths. The effort is rewarded by stunning views, but a good physical condition is essential.

Your French born hosts are Nicolas and Helene who made this place their home, now with their young son, some 10 years ago. Both are true adventurers and have a deep love of horses. Nicolas once rode through Afghanistan on horse back and he met Helene while she was riding across Turkey with a friend. He relishes his trail rides and has his own farm at the heart of this national park, along with his beautiful Arab and Arab cross horses.

Normally either Nicolas or Helene will personally guide you on the ride and stay with the group at your accommodation.

You’ll find the horses here all super fit and the riding is fast, probably as fast as any ride in the world. The tack is immaculate, the trail saddles so comfy and all hand made by Nicolas in the winter months. This ride is suited to adventurous riders who like a fast pace and are very fit themselves as there is some fairly serious scrambling up and down steep tricky tracks on foot with your horse following you required. You are also expected to look after your own horse and groom, tack it up in the morning. It’s a really magical way to explore this stunning part of Turkey with some really interesting hosts.

THE RIDING top

Horses – 25 horses, mostly Arabs, Arab Crosses & Anatolians. Forward-going, sure footed and 15hh – 15.2hh.

Level of Riding & Pace – Intermediate to Advanced. The riding and pace is fast with lots of long and sometimes windy (in and out of rock formations) so you need to be fit. You need to be comfortable at all paces. The horses are superbly schooled and don’t pull and you are encouraged to take your own lines, not follow. You will need to hike up and down some very steep mountain paths which can be very slippy with shingle with your horse following you. The reward is a gallop on top of the ridges on the plateau with the most incredible views.

Tack – Snaffle bridles and comfortable trail riding saddles with saddle bags.

Weight Restriction – 85kgs / 186 lbs / 13.4 stone.

Group Size – Maximum 8.

ACCOMMODATION top

You will be staying in family run guesthouses that are typically Anatolian. There are double rooms with en-suite toilets and shower. Most offer free internet access and a laundry service. Stone built and some cave dwellings unique to the area.

Please Ask About
There are a huge number of other activities in Cappadocia you may want to enjoy. You can choose to arrive earlier or stay a few days longer before or after the trail ride, we can help with arrangements and accommodation.

      • Hot-air balloon flight – at sunrise, travel with the wind over Cappadocia’s spectacular landscape – early wake up at 3.30am!
      • Göreme’s Open Air Museum – the region’s greatest concentration of frescoed churches
      • The underground cities – the larger cities descend to 8 levels through a maze of tunnels
      • Ceremony of the Whirling-Derviches – night representation at the Sarihancaravanserail
      • Trip to the valley of Ilhara – at the foot of Hasan Dagi volcano, this long, lush canyon shelters several churches
      • Trip to the valley of Soganli – off the beaten track, churches and dovecotes unique in Cappadocia
      • Wine testing in Cappadocia’s vineyards
      • Visit to local craftshops and workshops: carpets, kilims, pottery, jewels
      • Steam bath and massage at the hamam

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

Day 1
Arrival at Kayseri airport. You are met by your chauffeur and transferred in 50 min to your guesthouse in Ortahisar, where you have dinner with your guide.

Day 2
You are driven to the ranch in the morning to meet your horse and get acquainted with the riding equipment. You will have time to try your horse on a 1 km training course going around the farm. The trail begins with a one-hour riding through lush vegetation and along the stream of the Uzengi canyon. Very quickly, the first long canter brings you to Avlak mountain, with a magnificent encompassing view of Cappadocia. The rocky hills could provide the perfect background to a Western movie… Cantering on this high plateau brings us to lunch time. Olives, humous, vegetables, different cheeses, black bread, traditional yoghurt dish, Turkish black tea are served on a table, in the heart of a green tiny canyon, with the horses grazing around.

The afternoon is spent riding through a huge valley where the ghost village of Karain takes place. A few more canters let us arrive to Akköy village. The horses are tied just under the hotel, and the group can enjoy a drink looking at them. The terrace of the hotel has an 180° view on the valley and the paddock is 100 m in front of the hotel.

Day 2
We start this day by cantering through fields of the high Anatolian plateau (1600 m high) : barley, wheat, oat and beans fields. We dismount for 20 minutes of a steep single trail down to Damsa lake.

Villagers cook lunch for us on a woodfire.

Passing by and overlooking a valley of fairy chimneys, the afternoon scenery is made of bare hills surrounding the lake. (In case of hot weather, you can swim in the lake with your horse). You canter along tracks of soft red clay leading you to the village of Ayvali through a hidden canyon and stop at your hotel.

Day 3
In the morning, a quick start with a canter brings you to visit the underground village of Golgoli. Your sure-footed horse takes you off the beaten tracks along a scenic path through rock formations, vineyard and orchards, surrounded by table-mountains.

Arrival in the centre of the old Greek village of Mustafapasa and visit on horseback. You climb a scenic plateau where you have the opportunity to gallop your horse again. After a short ride, you arrive to your hotel in Ayvali.(depending on the season and weather forecast, lunch in Mustafapasa or next to the swimming pool in Ayvali)

Day 4
Leaving the hotel on horseback, you can enjoy a varied scenery of narrow tracks, small canyons, farmed land, and the wide- open spaces of Subasi, where shepherds lead their flock. You sneak your way along the lush, narrow canyon of a remote village, before galloping on large sandy tracks. Visit of a second and different type of underground village: “Kirkule”.

Long canter leads us through vineyards and orchards and over rolling hills of white tuffa to reach the fairy chimneys of Gomeda valley, then more fun riding awaits you in the narrow corridors and arches of the canyon of Gumuslu. You ride uphill to reach one of our best restaurants for lunch: “Babayan evi”. Very good and healthy local food. From this picturesque village, you start ascending the ‘twin hills’ of Cappadocia to reach a panoramic viewpoint encompassing northern Cappadocia and the towering rock fortress of Uchisar.

As you ride towards the village, you can admire the multicoloured rock formations of the famous Pigeon Valley, and Uchisar’s picturesque fairy chimneys. Your reach your panoramic guesthouse on horseback and enjoy a drink on the terrace.

Day 5
Optional hot-air balloon flight in the early morning: travel with the wind over Cappadocia’s magical landscape at sunrise.

You sneak your way through the rock tunnels, arches and small woods of the spectacular, 4 km-long canyons called the Green Valley. You make a detour through the famous Love Valley and its gigantic phallic rock formations, then into the Sword Valley and Red Valley. With its citadels of red, pink and ocre rock, and its beautiful troglodytic churches, this is Cappadocia’s most spectacular ensemble of geological formations.

A cave cafe located in an ancient monastery welcomes you for lunch. In the afternoon, you keep exploring the Red and Rose Valleys, then ride out into the fields, surrounded by the rocky hills of north Cappadocia.

The winding paths of the Shepherd’s valley take you back with a long canter to your guesthouse in Uchisar, in time to admire north Cappadocia in the sunset light.

Day 6
You enter another beautiful canyon called the White Valley, after the colour of its rock. You ride through stone labyrinths and lush vegetation, and pass the impressive fairy chimneys of yet another Love Valley …

Crossing the picturesque village of Cavusin, you dismount for a short walk to reach the plateau of Boz daha, you canter on the crest overlooking red valley on one side and Devrent valley on the other, with its strangely shaped fairy chimneys on the other side.

You enjoy more long canters through the maze of woody, sandy paths of the valley of Urgüp before reaching the valley of Pancarlik and its multicoloured rock formations, gardens and orchards. You return to the ranch in the afternoon. After tea on our terrace, you have an option to be driven to the hamam in Urgüp for a relaxing steam bath and massage. Short transfer back to your guesthouse and farewell dinner.

Day 7
After breakfast, departure to Kayseri (or Nevsehir) airport for your flight to Istanbul.

The list below is only indicative of the visits, excursions and activities available in Cappadocia. Some can be done independently, while others can be arranged through us or the local travel agency we can recommend.

Hot-air balloon – at sunrise, travel with the wind over Cappadocia’s spectacular landscape. The experience of a lifetime!

Cross golf – forget the green, Cappadocia’s landscape provides the perfect playground for this new approach to golf

Visit of Göreme Open Air Museum – the region’s greatest concentration of frescoed churches, with some dating back to the 4th century

Trip to the underground cities – used as shelters during wartime, the larger cities descend to 8 levels below ground level and feature series of rooms, stairs and tunnels.

Ceremony of the Whirling-Derviches – night representation at the Sarihan caravanserai

Trip to the valley of Ilhara – at the foot of Hasan Dagi volcano, this long, lush canyon shelters several churches

Trip to the valley of Soganli – off the beaten tracks, churches and dovecotes unique in Cappadocia

Motor rides (jeep, scooter, ATV), mountain bike
Discovery of Cappadocia’s vineyards and wine testing
Visit to local craft shops and workshops: carpets, kilims, pottery, jewels.
Massage at Urgup or Goreme’shammam.

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