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from £1,245 or €1,375
Non Riders/Walkers are very welcome –please ask. The non-rider itinerary is designed for walkers (2 to 4 hours hiking per day). It’s self-guided with GPS and guide book. Non riders will join the riders at lunch time and at the end of the day. It’s a very nice way of discovering Cappadocia for non riding partners and family.
Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.
Included – All riding, guiding, full board accommodation (except on the Family Ride which is half board) drinks with meals and set time transfers from and to Kayseri airport.
Excluded – Flights, tips, optional balloon trip (€200 payable), drinks outside of mealtimes and alcohol.
How To Get There
International flight to Istanbul and a domestic flight to Kayseri Airport, except for the Antalya Camping Trail, which is arrival into Konya Airport and departure from Antalya International Airport.
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 €65 each way per car payable directly in Euros or Turkisk Lira.
Open from March to November.
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.
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.
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 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 – 90kgs / 198 lbs / 14 stone. Please do still contact us if you are over this weight as there may be some bigger horses available on the dates you request, depending on the group.
Group Size – Maximum 10.
Accommodation is dependent on your chosen programme.
Guesthouse Trail – They are family run and 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.
Comfort Trail – Upmarket, luxury and boutique style hotels which have been selected for their historical architecture, some cave hotels with special atmospheres, a high quality of service and attention to detail. Single rooms can be arranged at an additional cost.
Mountains of Antalya Camping Trail – Crossing the Taurus mountains from north to south, the trail starts in Anatolia with incredible canters along Lake Beysehir and ends on the Mediterranean side by crossing a river. This trail is notable because of the diverse landscapes and scenery: sandy beach and an umbrella pine forest; chestnut and arbutus trees and pomegranate orchards; rocky valleys and high pasture, 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!
Family Stay – Local guesthouse accommodation.
Turkey is famous for its kebabs, mezes (different types of appetizers) and also very rich in vegetable and fish dishes. Central Anatolia is well known for its pasta dishes such as mantiand gözleme, a hand-made and hand rolled pastry filled with, for example, spinach and cheese. Guests will be able to sample a vast array of different foods which are filling and tasty.
Breakfast is usually continental style and is taken at the guesthouse or hotel or whilst camping, the Turkish way, sitting on a carpet under the communal tent. On most days you will ride to a local restaurant for lunch although some day’s lunch will be a picnic or prepared by a local farmer.
Dinner is Turkish style, comprising of a starter, one or two main courses and a dessert. Vegetarians can be catered for with prior notice. Water, tea and coffee are included. Cappadocia wine, beer and other drinks are available and payable locally.
Please Ask About
There are a huge amount 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.
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.
Arrival at Kayseri airport. You are met by our driver and transferred in 50 minutes to your accommodation inOrtahisar, where you have dinner with your guide and the rest of the group.
You are driven to the ranch in the early morning to meet your horse and get acquainted with the riding equipment. The trail begins through the lush canyon of Uzengi, where abrupt rock walls shelter troglodytic citadels ofdovecotes. After your first gallop on the sandy tracks, we stop for lunch in the natural rock circus of Taslik. Fromthere, a muleteer track carved in the rock leads you to the ancient village of Mustafapasa. We spend the afternoonriding through expanses of steppe-like bare lands surrounding Lake Damsa. In the evening, we reach the camp inthe shady woods of the Valley of Cemece. Guesthouse trail: short transfer to your accommodation in Mustafapasa.
We ascend the Plateau of Avlak for a magnificent view of Cappadocia. In the background standsmajestic Erciyes volcano. After a canter on the plateau's larger tracks, we stop for lunch on a cliff overlooking theValley of Karlik. After more trots and canters on the plateau with views over the chain of the Taurus mountains, weride down to the Valley of Cemil. As the sun is slowly setting, we pass through orchards and vineyards to reach thecamp next to the ancient troglodyte monastery of Keslik, near the remote village of Cemilkoy. Guesthouse trail:short transfer to your accommodation in Mustafapasa.
This day we ride for 3 and a half hours in the morning The afernoon is at your leisure in Cappadocia's most picturesquevillages: Uchisar and Göreme. Following a track left by the muleteers on the flank of the mountain, we reach a vast rocky plateau overlooking thesouth of Cappadocia. From the top of the cliff, the view is breathtaking. We descent through a lush valley plantedwith woods, where we stop for a morning break. We ride through the green countryside, crossing narrow streams, winding our way through gardens and orchards. Later, the land turns into wide open, bare spaces whereshepherds lead their flock, helped by the impressive Kangal dogs. After a last gallop on the steppe, we arrive at thecamp, where lunch is cooking on the woodfire. We are transferred to the guesthouse in Uchisar in the early afternoon. Dinner at the guesthouse. Activities available for the afternoonare; Visit the ancient troglodytic village of Uchisar, its rock fortress and crafts shops. Visit the Underground Cities Visit the churches of Goreme’s Open Air Museum Walk the Pigeon Valley to Goreme (4km)
We ride along the crests overlooking the forest of fairy chimneys in Devrent Valley. We dismount to ascend the BozTepe mountain in order to reach the mausoleum of local saint Alil Dede. From his resting place, we have a360°view over Cappadocia. We descend through the maze of tracks and paths up the crests and down the canyonsof the Red Valley. With its cidatels of red, pink and ocre rock, this is Cappadocia's most spectacular valley. In theafternoon, we leave the difficult paths behind us to take advantage of larger tracks for a long gallop. We crossthe Valley of Pancarlik and we arrive at the ranch in the late afternoon. Short transfer to your accommodation inOrtahisar. Before dinner, you have an option to be driven to the hamam in Ürgüp for a relaxing steam bath. Farewell dinner with your guides at the guesthouse.
After breakfast, departure to Kayseri airport.
Arrival at Kayseri airport. You are met by your shuttle driver and transferred in 50 min to your guesthouse in Urgup, where you have dinner with your guide.
You are driven to the ranch in the morning to meet your horse and to get acquainted with the riding equipment. The trail begins with one hour of riding through lush vegetation and along the stream of the Uzengi canyon. Villagers cook lunch for you on the woodfire, at the foot of troglodytic citadels of dovecotes carved out the abrupt rock walls. Your first long canter is the ascension of the Avlak mountain (in case of rain, the Avlak mountain is unrideable and will be avoided), with a magnificent encompassing view of Cappadocia. The rocky hills could provide the perfect background to a Western movie… you will then spend the afternoon riding through expanses of bare hills surrounding Lake Damsa. (In case of hot weather, you can swim in the lake with your horse). After lunch, you ride through a maze of paths lined with orchards and vineyards, then enter into the village of Ayvali through a hidden canyon, and stop for the night in your hotel nestled in the rock.
In the morning, you have a quick start with a canter through the fields of the high anatolian plateau (1600m height): barley, wheat, oat and bean fields which bring us to visit the underground village of Golgoli. Your sure-footed horses take you off the beaten tracks along a scenic path through rock formations, vineyard and orchards, surrounded by table-mountains. Tying horses in front of the restaurant, you will have lunch in the centre of the old Greek village of Mustafapasa. After lunch, you may stroll among Mustafapasa’s old stone houses, its Ottoman madrasa and its painted church or take a nap on the sofa. In the afternoon, you can enjoy varied scenery of narrow tracks, small canyons, farmed land and the wide-open spaces of Bahceli, where shepherds lead their flocks. You sneak your way along the lush, narrow canyon of Sorkumlu, before galloping on large sandy tracks. You arrive to your guesthouse in Ayvali for your last night in the village.
Leaving the guesthouse on horseback, you can enjoy a varied scenery of narrow tracks and farmed land. You sneak your way along the lush, narrow canyon of a “Gomeda” before a beautiful canter through the fairy chimneys of Gümüslü valley. You ride uphill to reach the lunch at one of our best restaurants: “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. You reach your panoramic guesthouse on horseback and enjoy a drink on the terrace. You may spend the rest of the day exploring Uchisar.
Optional hot-air balloon flight in the early morning: travel with the wind over Cappadocia’s magical landscape at sunrise (paid directly to the balloon company). You sneak your way through the rock tunnels, arches and small woods of the spectacular 4 km-long canyon called Zemi. 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 cidatels 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 to your guesthouse in Uchisar, in time to admire north Cappadocia in the sunset light.
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. You canter on a dust path overlooking Red Valley. You enjoy more long canters through the maze of sandy paths of the valley of Ortahisar before reaching the village for lunch on a terrace with a nice view of a dovecote. You return to the ranch in the afternoon by the valley of Pancarlik and its multicoloured rock formations, gardens and orchards. After tea on our terrace, you have an option to be driven to the hamam in Ürgüp for a relaxing steam bath and massage.
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 doneindependently, 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 tothe 4th century
Trip to the underground cities – used as shelters during wartime, the larger cities descend to 8 levels below groundlevel 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 craftshops and workshops: carpets, kilims, pottery, jewels.
Massage at Urgup or Goreme’shammam.
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.
Transfer to your hotel by logistic vehicle.
After breakfast, you will be driven to Antalya airport.
The Family Stay itinerary below is for information only; it can be modifed upon request, in relation to the participants’ ages and interests.
The itinerary runs from Sunday to Sunday. Guests are free to take in the various activities according to their wishes.
Walk in valleys are sometimes self-guided with a GPS ( training will be given), or with a local guide.
Arrival at Kayseri airport you will be collected by our driver and transferred in 50 minutes to guest house in Ortahisar. Evening meal with your guide.
Discovery of the farm and the animals. Lunch on the farm. 2 hours ride (initiation and short walk around the farm)Back to your guesthouse in Ortahisar
Breakfast at the farm. A morning of the farm activities (goat-milking and cheese-making). Some Natural horsemanship. Lunch in the village of Mustafapasa. Walk back to the farm through the Gomeda valley (Self-guided with a gps)Dinner and night in your guesthouse in Ortahisar.
2 hours ride in Yatak and Tartale valley. Lunch in UzumluKilise, walk to Cavusin through the valley of roses. (Self-guided with a gps). Transfer to your guesthouse in Uçhisar, diner and night in Uchisar.
Walk in the Green Valley (3 hours)Lunch in Goreme.Visit of the Goreme open air MuseumDinner and night in Uchisar.
Walk in the White Valley. Lunch in Cavusin and transfer to the farm for some training on natural horsemanship and cattle penning.Dinner and night in Ortahisar
Early visit in Urgup' market. Ride to Pancarlik Valley, picnic with horses on the valley, back to the farm by the scenic valley of Ortahisar. You have an option to be driven to the hamam in Ürgüp for a relaxing steam bath and massage. Dinner and night in your guesthouse in Ortahisar
Breakfast& departure to Kayseri airport