Type of horses:
Arab and Arab crosses
Nature of horses:
Forward going, responsive and sure footed.
Height of horses:
Strictly 90kgs / 198lbs. All riders are weighed on arrival.
Hackamore bridles and McLellan trail saddles.
The Taurus Mountains are situated in southern Turkey and divide the Mediterranean Coast from the central Anatolian plateau. With Lake Beysehir to the north and the coast to the south, this trail crosses the Taurus Mountains.
The trail is notable for its diverse landscapes and scenery - sandy beaches and umbrella pine forests; orchards of pomegranates and chestnut and arbutus trees; rocky valleys and high pastures; plus the majestic Koprulu canyon.
You will also pass the Roman ruins of Selge. Set on the historic Saint Paul trail, this ancient site has astonishing rock formations and Roman ruins - a little diamond between two mountains. The remains consist mainly of the encircling wall and acropolis, with the theatre being the best conserved monument.
Although referencing miles does not make sense in a mountainous environment (you will cover 25-38 kms each day), this trail is fast and rhythmic. Frequent canters - some unforgettable - are interspersed with trots, long walks and some passages where you need to lead your horse on tricky sections - decent footwear is a must!
Riding through the limestone formations which characterise this region, you follow tracks, narrow paths and a paved Roman-era road. There is some improvisation alongside the river, making this the perfect trail for adventurous, competent riders.
This ride is offered by our partners in Cappadocia, so you can be assured of their high standards. If you have ridden with them before, then this NEW trail for 2017 will open a new destination in Turkey for you to discover.
You camp each night in a different location - the exclusive camping spots are in the heart of the national park and have beautiful views. There is a large communal tent for dining and you eat in the traditional Turkish way, sitting on carpets on the floor around a large table. If the weather is fine then you may sit outside around the campfire instead.
There is also a shower tent with a bucket shower and gas stove for heating the water.
You sleep in double tipi-type tents with floor mats and single camp mattresses. You are responsible for setting up and dismantling your tent each day but help is on hand.
Your arrival and departure nights are spent in a guesthouse or hotel with private bathrooms.
Breakfast is continental and lunch will be a picnic out on the trail, with local specialities.
Dinner is a traditional meal cooked on the open wood fire, with fresh salads and fruits. Vegetarian options are available on request.
Tea, coffee and mineral water are included, but wine, beer and soft drinks are payable locally (a small selection is brought along for you to purchase from).
Languages: English, French, Turkish
Health requirements: You need to be in good physical condition
Age limit: 12+
Included: Riding, accommodation, meals, tea/coffee/water, transfers at set times
Not included: Flights, transfers if outside the set times, soft drinks and alcohol, travel insurance
Your flights will arrive and depart from different airports (known as Open-Jaw). You can book these as connecting flights online with Turkish Airways.
You should arrive into KONYA airport, which is accessed on 9 daily flights from Istanbul. Although flights do arrive at different times of day, the set transfers are scheduled to coincide with this specific flight:
Arrival Konya at 18:55 on flight TK2038 from Istanbul.
If you arrive earlier than this then you can wait at the airport for the group transfer or take a taxi (cost c. 120 euros and carries 3-4 people). The group transfer will take you the 100km to Lake Beysehir which is a journey of c. 90 mins.
After the ride you will depart from ANTALYA airport which is on the coast. You can extend your holiday to explore this Mediterranean coastline if you wish. The group transfer is set to depart after breakfast and so you should book flights departing late morning/midday or later.
Alternative Airport: Antalya
Cross the Taurus Mountains from north to south, starting beside Lake Beysehir in Anatolia and finishing by crossing a river by the Mediterranean shore. Covering 25 to 38km each day, you traverse mountainous areas but also enjoy unforgettable canters. This is the perfect trail for good riders who live adventure and extraordinary landscapes.
You will be met on arrival at Konya airport at 18:55 and transferred to your hotel on the shores of Lake Beysehir and close to the entrance to the national park. Dinner with the group and your guiding team will be at 21:00.
Your first day of riding is a fast one with frequent sandy canters along the shore of the lake and on earthy tracks lined with small oak trees. Stop for lunch in a colourful spot where fishing boats float amongst yellow reeds against a blue sky. In the afternoon, you ride through the southern delta of the lake, where herds of cows graze on flat, grassy pastures. Reach a road and cross through a typical village which is a mix of modern with tradition. Walk along the stony riverbed until the canyon diverts you into an oak forest and camp in the middle of a clearing.
Ride along a wide path which was previously used for transhumance (moving cattle between grazing lands) until reaching a forest of beech trees. After cantering through the undergrowth you arrive at the pastures at the base of the Taurus mountains. You may meet feral horses here and may adjust your pace to avoid them! After walking on foot for c. 20mins along a narrow, stony canyon, you re-mount to canter across a beautiful landscape - on both sides of a wide, dry riverbed, enormous pine trees grow from a carpeet of green interspersed with imposing rocks. During your picnic lunch you may see shepherds on donkeys as they gather their sheep and goats.
In the afternoon you ride up a mineral pass and then drop downhill on a long track which offers panoramic views of the valley. Breaking the cover of the pine trees and emerging into lower undergrowth, you find your camp amidst green pasture between a cliff and a stream.
Ride through a beautiful ravine which has been created by the stream which runs through the rock, firstly on soft pine needles but as the trail becomes rocky you dismount and lead the horses for a short distance. After crossing a village and terraced fields you reach brush and then another forest. After a long canter you stop for lunch on the banks of a river with a view of Roman tombs carved into the cliffs.
The afternoon is short but full of fun and fast riding! There is 9kms along the river, then sandy and dusty tracks before ending on the boundary of a field. Slalom around the bushes at speed and with a smile on your face, pull up outside the only guesthouse in the area: Erdine's place is run by a family who will welcome you with a traditional meal. Overnight in the guesthouse in twin rooms with bathrooms.
Leave the village and the mist over the river behind you and follow a narrow mule track which overlooks the Koprulu canyon. After passing the only bridge, you climb up a hard-surfaced road (very few, if any, vehicles) and stop for lunch at a curious village which is built between rocks and chestnut trees. In this fairytale landscape you can almost imagine trolls making an appearance!
In the afternoon you ride past Selge's Rocks - this crater was created by a falling meteor and you can view the canyon from both a walk and a canter from a high altitude dirt road.
Leave Selge's Rocksvia a track which leads into the forest and invites you to canter. You then reach one of the most extraordinary passages on this trail - a large path carved into the edge of a vertical mountains, at a height a few hundred metres above the valley. There are sections where you will have to lead the horses. Stop for lunch under the shade of huge plane trees beside a fountain.
The afternoon is challenging for both horse and rider. Climb firstly across terraced fields and then through a forest until reaching a beautiful, remote, pasture which can only be accessed on foot or horseback. After a short canter you must dismount and lead your horses on a mule path. There is no danger of falling but you need to concentrate to get through three rocky 400m passes, which will take c. 1 hour. Eventually you reach a forest and your camp is situated in the middle of a wide clearing.
Descend the mountain on a large track which snakes through rock formations, pine forests and arbutus trees before reaching a cultivated plain. The afternoon will be active as canter from field to field, crossing a river and continuing until you reach a sandy beach alongside the river. Here you say goodbye to the horses and are transferred by vehicle to your hotel for a final dinner.
After breakfast you are transferred to Antalya airport for your flight home.
|Minimum group size:||4|
|Maximum group size:||8|
|Ability description:||Confident intermediate to advanced riders. There is a lot of walking but there are opportunities to trot and canter every day.|
|Type of ride:||Trail|
|Total riding time:||6 riding days of 5-6 hours riding each day|
2017: 21-28 May (introductory special offer!), 18-25 June, 29 October-5 November, 5-12 November.
Additional dates may be possible on request for groups - please enquire.
£1264 per person sharing
It is not possible to request single accommodation.