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from £1,820 or €2,100
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Included – All riding, guiding, full board accommodation camping, drinks with meals and set time transfers from Koyna airport on arrival and Antalya airport on departure.
Excluded – Flights, tips, drinks outside of mealtimes and alcohol.
28th October – 5th November 2023
How To Get There
Arrival – International flight to Istanbul and a domestic flight to Konya
Departure – Antalya Airport.
Included, will advise of times at time of booking.
The highlights of this unique trip are:
Crossing the Taurus mountains from north to south, the trail starts in Anatolia with incredible canters along Lake Beysehir and ends on the beach at the Mediterranean side by crossing a river. This trail is unique because of the diverse landscapes and scenery: sandy beaches, an umbrella pine forest; chestnut and arbutus trees and pomegranate orchards; rocky valleys and high pastures, as well as the majestic canyon of Köprülü for which the Köprülü Canyon National Park is named.
You will also discover Selge. Set on the historic Saint Paul trail, this ancient site has astonishing rock formations and Roman ruins – a little diamond between two mountains! Although referencing miles does not always make sense in the mountainous areas, be aware that the trail will be fast and rhythmic! Frequent canters – some unforgettable – along with trots, walks and some passages where you will lead your horse: rubber grip riding boots are a must.
In the anarchic limestone formations that characterise this region, you will ride along tracks including roads, cute narrow paths, and a paved Roman-era road. There will also be some interesting routes alongside the river. This is the perfect trail for a good rider who likes adventure and extraordinary landscapes.
This is a fairly hands on trip where you will need to take care of our own horse; help feed, tack up/untack and at times lead the horse if it’s too mountainous to ride. You need to be fairly fit and comfortable cantering in a group of forward going Arab horses.
Your French born hosts are Nicolas and Helene who made this place their home, some 15 years ago. Both are true adventurers and have a deep love of horses. Nicolas once rode through Afghanistan on horseback, and he met Helene while she was riding across Turkey with a friend. They relish their trail rides and have their own farm at the heart of Cappadocia national park, along with their herd of beautiful Arab and Arab cross horses.
You’ll find the horses here all super fit and the riding is fast. 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 technical riding and you may have to dismount and lead your horse at sections.
You are also expected to look after your own horse – feed at night, groom in the mornings and tack up. It’s a really magical way to explore this stunning part of Turkey with some really interesting hosts who like you are true adventurers!
Horses –Nicolas has 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 canters, you need to be fit. You need to be comfortable at all paces, be in control at a gallop and have an independent seat and hands. 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.
Tack – Snaffle bridles and comfortable trail riding saddles with saddle bags.
Weight Restriction – 90kgs / 198 lbs / 14 stone.
Group Size – Maximum 8.
This is a camping trail for those who enjoy outdoor living and sleeping in a tent or under the stars. You will reach a different location on horseback at the end of each day, with the camp set up in the middle of nature, surrounded by beautiful views. They are exclusive camp spots, all situated in the heart of Lake Beysehir National Park or Köprülü Canyon National Park.
The camp includes a large communal tent like those used by the last nomadic families in the country. Dinners are taken the Turkish way, sitting on a carpet on the floor around a large round tray set in the communal tent or outside by the campfire.
In addition, there are 3 nights spent in guesthouse/hotel style accommodation, on the first night, the midpoint and on the last night.
The food is simply delicious, traditional Turkish meals, fresh and locally sourced. A continental style breakfast, a delicious picnic lunch featuring a local speciality each day and at the camp in the evenings, the dinner is a traditional dish cooked on the wood fire, along with salad and fruits. Vegetarian options are available upon request.
Please Ask About
Antalya Camping Trail
Arrival at Konya airport at 18:55 via the flight TK2038. You are driven to your hotel on the shore of Lake Beysehir, at the gate of the National Park. Dinner with the group and team at 21:00.
Very equestrian morning: nice and fast, with frequent sandy canters along the lake, on earth track lined with small oak trees. A colourful lunch amid fishing boats, the blue skies and yellow reeds; and in the afternoon, we ride up the south delta of the lake, where herds of cows’ graze on these flat grassy spaces. We reach the road and cross a typical village – a mix of modernity and tradition. We walk in the stony riverbed until the canyon diverts us to an oak forest. The camp awaits us in the middle of a clearing.
Via a wide path used in ancient times for transhumance (moving livestock from one grazing ground to another), we ride up until we reach a forest of beech trees. A quick change of scenery after a canter in the undergrowth, and we arrive at the bottom of the first pastures of the Taurus. On an earth and gravel track, we meet feral horses, and avoid them by accelerating our speed. Twenty minutes’ walk in a narrow stony canyon, and we get back in the saddle to canter in an exceptional landscape: on both sides of a wide, dry riverbed, enormous pine trees grow on a carpet of greenery dotted between imposing rock blocks. Shepherds on donkeys gather their sheep and goats during our lunch.
We start the afternoon on a mineral pass before getting down a long track offering a panoramic view of the valley. From pine trees to an undergrowth, we find our camp on a green pasture locked between a cliff and a stream.
In a beautiful ravine created by a stream running through a large round rocky block, we walk on the pine needles. As the trail becomes rocky, we lead the horses for a bit. After crossing a village and terraced fields, we reach brush and then a forest.
After a long canter, we have lunch on the banks of a river with a view of Roman tombs carved in the cliff. This short afternoon will be fantastic for anyone who likes fun canters: 9 km along river, sand, gravel, and dust track and the border of a field. Alternating cadence, slalom between the bushes. With a big smile, we arrive at the only guest house in the area: Erdinc’s place, operated by a nice family who welcome us with a traditional meal.
The village and the fog of the river are behind us when we take a narrow mule track overlooking the Köprülü Canyon. After passing the only bridge, we climb via a hard-surfaced road (very few to no vehicles). Lunch at a curious village built between rocks and chestnut trees. In this fairy-tale like landscape, you could almost imagine trolls making an appearance!
Selge’s rocks, a crater produced by a falling meteor, and the canyon will be viewed at a walk and canter from a high-altitude dirt road.
We leave Selge and the antique theatre via a track in the forest inviting a canter. Then we reach one of the most extraordinary passages on this trail: a large path carved into the edge of a vertical mountain – we will be a few hundred meters above the valley! After 40 minutes of joy and a few passages, we must lead the horses; we eat under huge plane trees shading a fountain.
We then start the most challenging afternoon for both horses and riders. Climbing first by fields (terraced), and then through the forest, we reach one of the most remote parts of the trail – a beautiful pasture reachable only by horse or foot. After some short canter, we dismount and lead our horses on a mule path. No danger of falling, but we need to be focused to get through three rocky 400 metre passes – this will take about an hour. We finish by entering a forest, where we find the camp in the middle of a wide clearing.
We descend the mountain via a large track sneaking its way along rock formations, pine forest and arbutus trees before reaching a cultivated plain. The rhythm of the afternoon will be active: cantering from field to field; crossing a river; and, finally, reaching the camp on a sandy beach along the river.
It’s a 40 kms day, with a lot of canters. We start by crossing the river, (water up to the stirrups) and riding along it for a few kilometres. Crossing villages and fields along the river and in the riverbed. A few canters brings us to small forest hills that we cross in one hour. Lunch after the hills. Fields and rural life, green houses of tomatoes. Canters along a water canal bring us to the sea beach. Its large sand dunes are covered by pine trees and bushes. One of the largest sea forests along this coast. Ride and canter for a few kilometres along the beach before ending the day.
We say goodbye to our horses, thank them for their service and looking after us on our adventure before transferring to our hotel in Antalya.
After breakfast, you will be driven to Antalya airport.
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