Ranch Hotel, Turkey, December 2008, Sue K.
I stayed at the Ranch Hotel over New Year 2008, and had virtually a personalized riding week, as it was the first time that they had opened over New Year. The setting is stunning and meals in the restaurant have one of the best backdrops you could imagine, looking out across the pool, past the horses grazing freely in the field below, over to the two bizarre volcanic peaks.
The riding was excellent, I rode the same horse all week (Selin) mainly because we got on so well on the first day – the pace was very fast, I have never done so much cantering, and the scenery was stunning with a great mix of snow-capped mountains in one direction and beach in the other. At that time of year the beach was almost totally deserted and we galloped flat out for miles. However if you wanted to go at a more leisurely pace, the horses were well trained and easy to control, despite gentle bits and bridles.
The geology of the area is fascinating and we visited an ancient iron ore excavation from Roman times. Other days we visited a small inlet and fishing area and a beautiful lush mountain stream.
The main guide, called Isa, is a very entertaining combination of horse expert and stand-up comedian! There is never a dull moment, he speaks very good English and has some fabulous anecdotes. He is also incredibly friendly and together with the other employees at the stables he showed me the night life in the nearby town on a few of the nights. On New Year’s Eve, I danced the night away with the restaurant staff who were also delightful.
I would love to go back in the Spring or the Autumn, it is great value for money and to be highly recommended.
Read more about the ride here: Ranch Hotel, Turkey.