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Antalya Mountains

Overview

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 be…

Highlights

  • Fast adventurous trail for experienced competent riders
  • 25-38 kms each day with frequent canters, trot & walk
  • Exclusive camping spots in the national park
  • Guesthouse first and last night
  • McLennan saddles

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 5 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: Strictly 85kgs / 187 lbs / 13 stone 5lbs (dressed weight).
    more info

Description

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 will open a new destination in Turkey for you to discover.

Horses & Riding

Tack

The horses are ridden in snaffles or Pelhams and they use McClellan trail saddles which are lightweight and comfortable. These are fitted with two saddlebags which you can use to carry the picnic and personal belongings for the day (water bottle, sunscreen, camera etc.).

Horses

Horses are forward-going Anatolian, Arab and Arab-crosses who are extremely robust and agile. They are small and well-built, the perfect size for following the difficult paths between rocks. Your hosts hope that you will find these horses to be sure-footed, responsive and well-balanced. They are assigned according to guests’ riding levels and preferences, as well as their size and weight.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Lake Beysehir to the Mediterranean Coast is a trail ride

Ages

12+ years

Health

You need to be in good physical condition

Weight

Strictly 85kgs / 187 lbs / 13 stone 5lbs (dressed weight).

Food & Accommodation

Food

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).

Accommodation

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.

Itineraries

Lake Beysehir to the Mediterranean Coast Tented accommodation.

Other Activities

This is strictly a riding trail and non-riders cannot be accommodated.

Travel

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.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

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.

Day 2

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

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.

Day 3

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

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 carpet 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.

Day 4

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

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.

Day 5

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

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.

Day 6

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Leave Selge's Rocks via 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.

Day 7

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Descend from the mountain via a large track which sneaks its way along rock formations and through forests of pine 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 camp on a sandy beach along the river. Transfer to your hotel by vehicle to overnight.

Day 8

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Following the river, you will ride along sandbanks and past beaches, fording streams and brooks. Enjoying a few canters, you will reach a small hill covered in low brush. After half an hour of riding uphill, you arrive on top of a rocky ridge which offers a magnificent view of the antique theatre of Aspendos, the river winding below and the mediterranean sea!

The team will meet you for lunch under the shade of a big tree. Through the afternoon you will ride on long tracks along the canal, following fields that will lead you to the forest of Saklikent. Crossing it through the rising afternoon light, your last and long canter will be on the dunes of the beach, with an opportunity to splash through the shallow water. After a swim, you will be driven back to your guesthouse in the centre of the old city of Antalya where you will enjoy a seafood dinner tonight.

Day 9

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are transferred to Antalya airport for your flight home.

Accommodation

First and final nights will be spent in a comfortable rural hotel. The rest fo the nights will be in simple tented camps along the trail route.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Confident intermediate to advanced riders. There is a lot of walking but there are opportunities to trot and canter every day.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: March 1, 2021 - Nov. 30, 2021  (Additional dates may be possible for groups, depending on availability - please enquire)

Oct. 23, 2021 - Oct. 31, 2021

Oct. 30, 2021 - Nov. 7, 2021  (Additional dates may be possible for groups - please enquire)

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£1715 $2425 €2000
Included 8 nights accommodation in shared rooms/tents, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, tea/coffee/water with meals, 7 days of riding, transfers at set times and set airports.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, transfers outside of set times, soft drinks and alcohol, tips and personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Single Supplement £210 $295 €245
Paid to Far and Ride
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.