Cappadocia Trails riding holiday in Turkey - Far and Ride
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Cappadocia Trails, Turkey





Reviews



VERY GOOD!! Well organised, good order, good material and horses. Fantastic landscape. Demanding (trail) the way I like it. Much cantering!! Lovely. Ahmed and Raphael (guides) did a very good job. Friendly, careful, helpful, checked everybody's saddles and fittings. Real friends.

Leif A.
Excellent. Good horses, well looked after. On the 'luxury' holiday the hotels were fantastic. Favourite memory... taking the horses bareback into the lake for a swim!

Glynis M.
It was an amazing experience - probably one of the most unique holidays I've ever had. It was thoughtfully prepared and well organised - all I had to do was enjoy the fantastic riding. The teepees were great and the hostel/guesthouses were totally gorgeous. The food was delicious and the hosts really made an effort to accommodate my vegetarianism. The horse was great and the saddle was the comfiest I've ever used. The guide Nico was a mine of information and clearly had invested a lot of time finding unique trails for us.

Sophia H.
Very enjoyable, fantastic scenery, busy and very friendly people - both those we had direct contact with and other locals. Very relaxed and informal trail. (Favourite memory?) Cantering uphill "Wild-West" fashion to come out on top of a ridge, with an amazing panoramic view of the wild scenery. Good, reliable, sturdy little horses. (Guides) helpful and very friendly - made it like a family day out every day. (Accommodation?) The cave guesthouse was very basic but very authentic - gave us a real feel of the country and it was very nice not to be isolated in a "posh" hotel. Plenty of food - actually more than enough!

Heidrun & David C.
I'm very pleased, fantastic I would say. Good planning, good horses, the guides were so nice and the scenery was marvellous!

Christer S.
Amazing - a real adventure, test of my riding skills and a huge buzz. I had a big grin on my face, especially on the last day when we had a mad, twisty, up and down canter that my horse loved.

Kate G.
Excellent! Very active - long canters and some walking up and down steep sections. Stunning scenery - Cappadocia is beautiful! Was very happy with my horse (Tootsie) and the equipment. Guide was excellent, very knowledgeable about the area and history. Very passionate about his horses and the trails. And good fun!

Sarah C.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Arab and Arab X

Nature of horses:

Forward-going, responsive and sure-footed.

Height of horses:

Around 15hh

Weight limit:

Strictly no more than 90kg / 198lbs for riders (dressed weight).

Tack type:

McClellan saddles and horses primarily ridden in snaffles or sometimes Pelhams.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

Experience the incredible and unusual beauty of Turkey's Cappadocia region from the back of a horse. Something like a cross between the Grand Canyon and a moonscape, Cappadocia boasts some of the world's most unusual and spectacular landscapes. Traversing the countless valleys and mountains by horseback brings riders in touch with the area's breathtaking beauty. Forget the tour buses or even the rental cars - this astonishing region of Central Anatolia is best seen from a horse.

The farm is just a short distance from the villages of Ortahisar and Urgup. Located in the heart of the national park, away from roads, it is the perfect starting point for these trails and the exploration of Cappadocia's most famous valleys. The stables are composed of 25 forward-going Anatolian Arab and Arab mares who will surprise you with their robustness and agility. They are around 15hh, the ideal size for the tortuous paths. Horses are assigned according to riding levels and riders preferences and of course, according to size.

The ranch is owned and managed by French-born Nicolas who decided to make Cappodocia his home more than eight years ago and has been organising horse riding tours ever since. Riders must be of a confident intermediate standard or above and have good physical fitness as you will be required to lead your horse at times. For this reason, you must also be able to mount and dismount unaided.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation is dependent on your chosen programme. Guesthouses are family run and typically Anatolian. There are double rooms with en-suite toilets and shower. Most guesthouses offer free internet access and a laundry service. For the luxury option, boutique hotels are used which have been selected for their historical architecture (cave hotels), special atmosphere, high quality of service and attention to detail. Single rooms can be arranged at an additional cost.

On nights where you camp, guests are required to help put up and take down their tents. Double tipi tents are provided along with floor mats and single camp mattresses. Camps have a “shower tent” with a bucket and a gas stove where you may heat the water.

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 manti and 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 that are so beautifully prepared in this country.

Breakfast is usually continental style and is taken at the guesthouse 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 days lunch will be a picnic.

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.

 

Activities

This trail is specifically designed for horse riders, you will spend a long time in the saddle so evenings are spent relaxing. There are other activities available on the Family/Luxury Trail as listed.

Non-riders can follow a specific non-riding itinerary - this is designed for walkers/hikers who are happy to follow a non-guided trail using a GPS and guide book. The trails are 2-4 hours of hiking each day and you meet the riders at lunchtimes and in the evenings. Please enquire if you have a non-riding partner/friend who would like prices/itineraries for this.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, French and Turkish.

Health requirements: Fit and healthy, able to withstand long hours in the saddle.

Age limit: 12 years and above.

Tuition: No

Included: All riding, accommodation, meals, non-alcoholic drinks (water, tea and coffee), guiding and luggage transfer as per itinerary.

Not included: Transfers outside of set times, drinks, flights and travel insurance.

 

Travel Information

Turkish Airlines, BA and Easy Jet all fly to Istanbul, Turkey. From Istanbul Ataturk airport, you should take a domestic flight to Kayseri. There are a number of different options to take and guests should aim to arrive between 5am and 10pm. Return will be on the following Sunday morning, leaving Kayseri from 9am.

Transfer from/to Kayseri airport is available at any time of day, but will be charged additionally for arrival times outside of the above stated times.

You can also travel to Cappadocia by night bus from Istanbul or anywhere in Turkey. Buses are modern and comfortable but they are often full so you should book in advance (agencies can be found in city centres or at bus stations). From Istanbul, a one way ticket is about 25 Euros, and takes about 12 hours (with regular breaks).

Airport: Kayseri airport

Alternative Airport: Istanbul

 

Programmes


Bivouac Trail



Leaving from the ranch between Urgup and Ortahisar, in the heart of the national park, this progressive trail will take 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, compose a surprinsingly 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. This itinerary takes place entirely within the national park. 

It is possible to include during the week a hot-air balloon flight over Cappadocia's surreal landscape at sunrise, as well as an excursion to the underground cities. A steam bath and massage at Urgup's traditional hamam are also available at the end of the week.

Sunday

Arrival at Kayseri airport. You will be met by your driver and transferred to your guesthouse in Ortahisar, where you will have dinner with your guide. The transfer takes approximately 50 minutes. 

A welcome dinner will be served at 8pm, for those guests who arrive in good time, and is a great opportunity to meet your hosts and guides. 

Monday

You will be driven to the ranch in the early morning to meet and choose your horse and get acquainted with the tack. The trail will begin through the lush canyon of Uzengi, where abrupt rock walls shelter troglodytic citadels of dovecotes. After your first gallop on the sandy tracks, you will stop for lunch in the natural rock circus of Taslik. From there, a muleteer track carved in the rock will lead you to the ancient village of Mustafapasa. You will spend the afternoon riding through expanses of steppe-like bare lands surrounding Lake Damsa. You will have the opportunity to swim with your horse. In the evening, you will reach the camp in the shady woods of the Valley of Cemece.

Tuesday

You will ascend the Plateau of Avlak for a magnificent encompassing view of Cappadocia. In the background stands majestic Erciyes volcano. After a canter on the plateau’s larger tracks, you will stop for lunch on a cliff overlooking the Valley of Karlik. After more trots and canters on the plateau, you will ride down to the Valley of Cemil. As the sun is slowly setting, you will pass through orchards and vineyards to reach the camp, near the remote village of Cemilkoy. 

Wednesday

Following a track left by the muleteers on the flank of the mountain, you will reach a vast rocky plateau overlooking the south of Cappadocia. From the top of the cliff, the view is breathtaking. you will descend through a lush valley planted with woods, where you will stop for a morning break. You will ride through the green countryside, crossing narrow streams, winding your way through gardens and orchards. For lunch, you will stop in the village of Ayvali. Lunch will be waiting for you in front of a swimming pool. The afternoon is taken at leisure, by the pool. 

Later, the land turns into wide open, bare spaces where shepherds lead their flock, aided by the impressive Kangal dogs. After a fast gallop on the steppe, you will arrive at the camp, where dinner will be cooking on the wood fire. 

Thursday

You will begin from the Valley of Sorkumlu; there are areas so narrow that they form a deep canyon with out-of-the way troglodytic treasures. You will visit the underground village of Kirkule. After visiting the village, you will gallop on a long sandy path lined with orchards and gardens, still cultivated by the locals using horses or mules. In a green field you will stop for lunch, surrounded by walls of soft colourful rock, where the horses can rest and graze. 

In the afternoon, you will continue over rolling hills of white tufa leading you up to a rock pinnacle embracing Cappadocia’s most beautiful valleys. You will sneak your way through the rocky labyrinths, tunnels and arches of the splendid Green Valley. You will admire the valley’s strangely shaped pink rock formations. You will pass the fancy fairy chimneys of the aptly named Love Valley before reaching the guest house in Goreme, a friendly local family will welcome you (hot shower, WC, overnight in dormitory, single room on request). 

Friday

There will be an optional hot-air balloon flight in the early morning, travel with the wind over Cappadocia’s magical landscape at sunrise.

After crossing Uchisar and the pigeon valley, you will enter the White Valley. You will take a short morning break among its fantastic rock formations. Through a narrow path carved in the rock, you will reach the plateau again for a wild gallop and break for lunch in the village of Cavusin, in front of a fantastic panorama. Later, a scenic path carved in the red rock of Mount Boztepe will lead you to the famous rock formations of Pasabagi. After a long canter across the plain of Avanos, you will ride along the crests overlooking the forest of fairy chimneys in Devrent Valley. You will dismount to ascend the Boz Tepe mountain in order to reach the mausoleum of local saint Alil Dede. From his resting place, you will have a 360˚ view over Cappadocia. You will descend through the maze of tracks and paths up the crests and down the canyons of the Red Valley. With its citadels of red, pink and ochre rock, this is Cappadocia’s most spectacular valley. You will sleep in troglodyte caves and enjoy the sunset. 

Saturday

You will leave the torturous paths of the rose valley to take advantage of larger tracks for a long gallop. You will cross the Valley of Pancarlik and its multicoloured rock formations, gardens and orchards, then canter on the large tracks leading you to the natural rock circus of Taslik. You will stop for a picnic in a shady canyon cut deep in the mountain. (OR lunch at a restaurant with a swimming pool). 

In the afternoon, you will sneak your way among the fairy chimneys of Gumuslu Valley, then more fun riding will await you in the narrow corridors and arches of the canyon of Tahtali. You will ride uphill to reach the crests again, then follow a spectacular, narrow path along a cliff overlooking the canyons. You will return to the ranch in the early afternoon. After tea on the terrace, you will have the option of being driven to the hamam in Urgup for a relaxing steam bath and massage (free 4x4 transfer). Short transfer back to your guesthouse in Ortahisar and farewell dinner. 

Sunday

After breakfast, departure to Kayseri airport for your flight home to Istanbul. 



Accommodation: 3 nights are spent in tipi-tents including floor mats and single camping mattresses. 1 night will be in a Turkish family home, 1 night will be in a troglodyte cave and 2 nights will be in guesthouses.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate riders and above.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6 days riding, 5-6 hours per day
Departure dates: 2019: 9-16 June, 11-18 August
 
Pricing: 2019:

£1079 per person, based on double/twin camping accommodation.
£81 single supplement (only available on 3 nights, unless the guesthouse option is booked).

Price includes 7 nights full board tented accommodation, Kayseri transfers at set times, horse riding and guide.

*Optional hot air balloon flight available at an additional cost of £135 per person. This must be booked in advance!

Extra nights available on demand.

Price does not includes flights or travel insurance.



Sportive Guesthouse Trail



Leaving from the ranch between Urgup and Ortahisar, in the heart of the national park, the 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, compose a surprisingly 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.

During the week, it is possible to include a hot-air balloon flight over Cappadocia's surreal landscape at sunrise, as well as an excursion to the underground cities. Steam bath and a massage are also available at Urgup's traditional hamam at the end of the week.

Accommodation is in charming guesthouses in Cappadocia's prettiest villages, in front of which your horses are spending the night.

Sunday

Arrival at Kayseri airport. You will be met by your shuttle driver and transferred to your guesthouse in Ortahisar, where you will have dinner with your guide. The transfer takes approximately 50 minutes. 

A welcome dinner will be served at around 8pm, for those guests who arrive in good time, and is a great opportunity to meet your hosts and guides.

Monday

You will be driven to the ranch in the early morning to meet and choose your horse and get acquainted with the tack. You will have time to test your horse on a 1km training course going around the farm. The trail will begin with one hour of riding through lush vegetation and along the stream of the Uzengi canyon. Your first long canter is the ascension of the Avlak mountain with a magnificent encompassing view of Cappadocia. The rocky hills could provide the perfect background to a Western movie. Cantering on this high plateau brings you to the lunch spot where you will enjoy olives, hummus, vegetables, different cheeses, black bread and a traditional yoghurt dish. Turkish black tea is served at the table, situated in the heart of a tiny green canyon with the horses grazing around you. 

The afternoon is spent riding through a huge valley where the ghost village of Karain is situated. After a few more canters you will arrive to Akköy village. The horses will be tied just under the hotel and the group can enjoy a drink looking at them - the terrace of the hotel has a 180 degree view over the valley and the paddock is just 100m in front of the building. 

Tuesday

Today starts by cantering through the fields of the high Anatolian plateau (1600m): barley, wheat, oats and beans. You will dismount to walk and lead your horse along a steep trail, single file, for approximately 20 minutes. This brings you down to Damsa lake. The villagers will cook lunch for you over a woodfire.

The scenery in the afternoon is made of bare hills surrounding the lake and you will also be overlooking a valley of fairy chimneys. In hot weather you can swim in the lake with your horse. There are tracks of soft red clay this afternoon, ideal for cantering, and you will eventually reach the village of Ayvali by passing through a hidden canyon. Here you will find your hotel. 

Wednesday 

This morning you have a quick start with another canter, bringing you to the underground village of Golgoli. Your sure-footed horse will take you off the beaten track, following scenic paths through rock formations, vineyards and orchards, all surrounded by table-mountains. 

You will arrive to the centre of the old Greek village of Mustafapasa, visiting on horseback, and then onto a scenic plateau with a chance for another blast on your horse. After a little more riding you will reach your hotel in Ayvali. 

Depending on the season and the weather, lunch today will either be in Mustafapasa or next to the swimming pool in Ayvali. 

Thursday

After leaving the hotel on horseback you will find yourself amidst varied scenery of narrow tracks, small canyons, farmed land and the wide open spaces of Subasi where shepherds are still leading their flocks. You wind your way along the lush, narrow canyon of a remote village, before galloping on large sandy tracks. Today you will visit a second and different type of underground village called Kirkule. 

Another long canter leads you through vineyards and orchards, over rolling hills of white tuffa to reach the fairy chimneys of Gomeda Valley. More riding fun awaits you here as you ride through the narrow corridors and archers of the Gumuslu canyon. Riding uphill you will reach one of the best restaurants for lunch, 'Babayan evi'. This serves very good, healthy, local style food. 

After lunch in this picturesque village you can start ascending the 'twin hills' of Cappadocia to reach a panoramic viewpoint which encompasses northern Cappadocia and the towering rock fortress of Uchisar. As you ride towards the village you can admire the multi-coloured rock formations of the famous Pigeon Valley and Uchisar's charming fairy chimneys. You will reach your panoramic guesthouse on horseback and enjoy a drink on the terrace. 

Friday

This morning there is an optional hot-air balloon flight (additional cost) in the early morning - travel with the wind over Cappadocia's magical landscapes at sunrise. 

Today you wind your way through the rock tunnels, arches and small woods of the spectacular 4km-long canyon called the Green Valley. 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 citadels 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 explore more of the Red and Rose Valleys and then further out into the fields, surrounded by the rock hills of north Cappadocia. The winding paths of the Shepherd's valley take you back (with a long canter) to your guesthouse in Uchisar in time to admire north Cappadocia in the sunset. 

Saturday 

This is your last riding day and you begin by exploring another beautiful canyon called the White Valley, named after the colour of its rock. You will ride through stone labyrinths and lush vegetation, passing by more of the impressive fairy chimneys which will leave you with lasting impressions from your ride. 

On crossing the picturesque village of Çavusin you dismount for a short walk to reach the plateau of Box daha, cantering on the crest overlooking the Red Valley on one side and Deviant Valley on the other. 

The maze of woody, sandy paths of the valley of Urgüp invite you to more pacey riding, before reaching the valley of Pancarlik and its multicoloured rock formations, gardens and orchards. You return to the ranch in the afternoon. 

After a final tea on the terrace you have the option to be driven to the hammam in Ürgüp for a relaxing steam bath and massage (extra cost). There is a short transfer back to your guesthouse for a farewell dinner and overnight. 

Sunday

After breakfast, departure to Kayseri airport for your flight home to Istanbul. 

NB: This itinerary is an example. In case of rain, the trail will be modified accordingly to ensure the safety of horses and riders.



Accommodation: Accommodation will be in comfortable guesthouses, most of which offer internet access and laundry. You stay in four different accommodations during the week.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Confident, strong experienced riders only. This ride includes long canters over difficult terrain and steep down hill sections where you will be expected to walk and lead your horse. You must be able to tack up and to mount your horse without help several times a day.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6 days riding, 5-6 hours per day (averaging around 35km a day). Canters can be long, 15 minutes at a time, and sometimes technical.
Departure dates: 2019: 31 March - 7 April, 14-21 April (full moon), 28 April - 5 May, 12-19 May (full moon), 1-8 September, 15-22 September, 29 September - 6 Oct, 13-20 October.
 
Pricing: 2019:

31 March - 7 April: £1124 per person
14-21 April, 1-8 September, 15-22 September, 29 September - 6 October: £1236 per person
28 April - 5 May, 12-19 May, 13-20 October: £1326 per person

£189 single supplement.

Price includes 7 nights full board accommodation, Kayseri transfers at set times, horse riding and guide.

*Optional hot air balloon flight available at an additional cost of £135 per person. This must be booked in advance!

Extra nights available on demand.

Price does not includes flights or travel insurance.



Family Ride



An thoroughly enjoyable stay in Cappadocia tailored to suit families with young children, who wish to enjoy a holiday on horseback in the midst of nature. Discover Cappadocia, its culture and its magical landscape with a week spent amongst horses, goats, cows and a variety of other farm animals, surrounded by a magnificent tableau of dramatic rock formations. Learn the basics of horsemanship and take rides amongst this incredible scenery. Enjoy sightseeing trips, cultural visits and hands-on workshops, as well as a whole host of activities to thrill and delight the whole family.

Below is an example itinerary and can be modified on request in relation to guest's ages, interests and ability.

Sunday

Arrival at Kayseri airport. You will be met by your driver and transferred to your guesthouse in Ortahisar, where you will have dinner with your guide. The transfer takes approximately 50 minutes. 

A welcome dinner will be served at 8pm, for those guests who arrive in good time, and is a great opportunity to meet your hosts and guides.

Monday

Meet and learn about the different animals on the farm before being introduce to the horses. A tasty lunch will be served on the farm, after which you will be able to get on your horses for a good introductory walk around the farm. All being well, you can then enjoy a 2 hour ride in the surrounding country.

Back to your guesthouse in the early afternoon for a good rest before dinner.

Tuesday

Today you will have a delicious breakfast on the farm, before heading out to discover some of the fun activities that farm life offers.

Perhaps you will try your hand at milking the goats and learn the process of making cheese from the milk. Afterwards, you will be given a good introduction to the art of natural horsemanship techniques, which are used to train all the horses on the farm. A short ride will take you up to lunch, which will be in the local village of Mustafapasa, followed by a visit to the Gomeda Valley and a self-guided walk back to the horse farm to finish off the afternoon (you will be provided with GPS devices for this).

Dinner and overnight will be back at your comfortable guesthouse.

Wednesday

After breakfast you will be able to enjoy a 2 hour ride in the Yatak and Tartale Valleys with your equine friends. On retunr to the horse farm, you will be able to enjoy a delicious lunch in the local town of Uzumlu Kilise before enjoying another lovely walk in the aptly named valley of the roses near Cavusin. 

Transfer on to a new guesthouse in Uchisar for dinner and overnight.

Thursday

This morning you will take the chance to explore the Green Valley on a 3 hour mountain walk. A well deserved lunch in the town of Goreme will set you all up nicely for a visit to the Goreme open air museum. This wonderful place is home to centuries old monasteries that have been cut deep in the rocky cliffs. You will learn so much about the ancient cultures and people of this area - it is a favourite visitor site for any traveller in Cappadocia.

Weary and filled with new found knowledge, you will take a short transfer back to your guesthouse for dinner and a peaceful nights rest.

Friday

The morning will bring with it another chance to explore the hills of the White Valley this time, followed a tasty by lunch in Cavusin on your way back to the farm. The afternoon will give you some more time to spend with the horses, perfecting natural horsemanship training and perhaps even taking part in some horseback games.

Finally, back to your guesthouse in Ortahisar for dinner and overnight.

Saturday

An early mornign start will see you paying a visit to the Urgup market, a lively and diverse gathering with the chance to pick up some interesting souvenirs. On return to the horse farm you will saddle up and take a longer ride to the Pancarlik Valley. Enjoy a wonderful picnic lunch in the valley whilst your horses take a pick of grass and a well deserved rest beside you. The afternoon will bring you winding through the valley of Ortahisar and finally back to the horse farm. Saying goodbye to your loyal equine companions, you might like to take this chance to go to for a relaxing steam bath and massage at the hamam in Ürgüp.

Transfer back to your guesthouse and a final farewell dinner to round off your holiday.

Sunday

After breakfast and bags are packed, you will be taken by road back to Kayseri in time for your departure flights.



Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Minimum age advised: 5yrs. Beginners to advanced.
Type of ride: Based
Total riding time: 5 half days riding.
Departure dates: 2019: 4-11 August, 11-18 August, 18-25 August.
 
Pricing: 2019:

£710 per person.

Price includes 7 nights half board accommodation, Kayseri transfers at set times, 5 half days trekking in the horse riding and guide, 5 half days activities with horses, donkeys for small children (under 30kg) to ride, daily nature workshops, optional hot-air balloon flight (typically £135 per person, but reduced prices are available for children), hiking with a guide or self-guided with GPS, or other local activities and swimming pools are available.

NB: Hot air balloon rides must be booked in advance: £135 per person.



Sportive Comfort Trail



This is a sporty ride which involves plenty of adventurous riding and cantering, as much as on the Sportive Guesthouse Trail, but is less demanding. Participants don't have to walk and lead their horses for long durations and a groom service is included, plus the programme is six nights with five riding days so is a bit shorter. There will also be an additional guide once the group becomes more than four riders to ensure personal service.

You are able to choose from standard accommodation or to upgrade to luxury hotels instead.

Sunday:

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.

Monday:

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.

Tuesday:

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 center 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.

Wednesday:

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.

Thursday:

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.

Friday:

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.

Saturday:
 

After breakfast, departure to Kayseri (or Nevsehir) airport for your flight to Istanbul.

NB. Please note that whilst this is the proposed itinerary, the guide may change the plan due to weather or unforeseen circumstances.



Accommodation: You can choose either standard or luxury accommodation. During the programme you will stay in 3 different accommodations, all of which are near to where the horses stay.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 7
Ability description: Strong intermediate riders. You should be confident on rough terrain and able to control a forward-going horse in group canters.
Type of ride: Trail.
Total riding time: 5 days, 5 - 6 hours per day (35km a day on average). Canters are sometimes long, up to 15 minutes or more.
Departure dates: 2019: 7-13 April, 5-11 May, 2-8 June, 16-22 June, 4-10 August, 18-24 August, 8-14 September, 6-12 October.
 
Pricing: 2019:

7-13 April: £1124 standard, £1484 luxury.
5-11 May, 2-8 June, 6-12 October: £1326 standard, £1686 luxury.
16-22 June, 4-10 August, 18-24 August, 8-14 September: £1236 standard, £1596 luxury.



The Great Cappadocian Ride



The Great Cappadocian Ride is an incredible new concept combining a spectacular trail ride with an orienteering game and an endurance race. The event is being organised by three reputable stables working in conjunction with one another to provide a large selection of quality mounts and staff. You will ride in teams of six (including one guide), spending the nights in camps. It will take place just once a year during the best season, showcasing the most beautiful and unique landscapes of Cappadocia and providing a real adventure.

This ride is a challenge involving horsemanship, orienteering and team spirit. The winners will not be the fastest team, they will be the smartest team! The ride ends with a 40km endurance race. Nights are spent around the fire in comfortable camps offering a warm atmosphere and surrounded by your horses. The ride is not purely a quest for speed and performance but designed to draw on the riding skills and qualities of each rider and their spirit of solidarity, as well as their orienteering skills when navigating the labyrinth of rocks in Cappadocia. The aim is to follow the smartest route (using Google Earth), to find all the highlighted points along the way, to respect riding times and speed, to win the challenges and to prepare your horse for the final test - the endurance race!

The first 'Great Ride' took place in 2018 and involved 27 riders. For 2019 they expect to have 8 teams with each team consisting of 6 riders (5 guests and 1 guide). You will be grouped with riders from the same travel agency where possible. The 5 guest riders will be in charge of their strategy

The ride starts at Bird Paradise Lake in the Sultan Sazli National Park and crosses Cappadocia from south to north, finishing up in the fantastic Red Valley. The itinerary will let you see all the varied landscapes that have made Cappadocia so famous. 

Itinerary:

Saturday 25th May: 

 Arrival to Kayseri (or Nevsehir) airport. You will be met and driven to Sultan Sazli National Park. The first night is spent in a guesthouse with direct views of the wetlands of Bird Paradise.

Sunday 26th May:   

After breakfast teams will meet together and the rules of the trail will be explained. You will meet your horse and start out with an hour of easy riding along the south part of the lake, through a flat landscape ideal for building confidence with your horse, team and guide. Each team will choose their own way and you will often be able to see other riders in the far distance.

After lunch your team will have three hours to cross some agricultural areas before climbing to the crater of Yesilisar. From there you will take either a long ride through Akkoy lake and Keslik village or will go directly to Erdemli Valley for the first night's camp. 

After dinner the day's rankings will be discussed and assigned. Overnight spend in Erdemli Valley. Before you sleep your team will meet to decide strategy for the next day. 

Monday 27th May: 

For the second day the last team will set out first. You will spend about six hours in the saddle with many different riding options. The day starts on a stony high plateau and through fields and meadows which are characteristic of the high Anatolian Plain (1600m height). You will be overlooked by the volcanic Erciyes Mountain with its snowy peak. 

You will have chosen your team's route, either going around Hodul Daha or riding downhill through the Dams Valley. The more challenging route will earn you the maximum points. 

Dinner tonight will be around a big camp fire and rankings for the day will be discussed and assigned. You can debate team strategies for the next day and then will camp overnight in the green and peaceful Karlik Valley. 

Tuesday 28th May: 

Now that your team has become familiar with the rules and has started to recognise how other teams are performing, the third day will be an exciting competition! Missing the entrance of a valley could mean you lose your position. 

There are many remote canyons to visit as well as underground villages and churches that you shouldn't miss along the way. Keeping your eyes open will ensure you win a lot of points! 

Later in the day the landscape turns to wide, open spaces where shepherds lead their flocks assisted by the impressive Kangal dogs. After a last canter across the steppes you will arrive at tonight's camp. 

Wednesday 29th May: 

Today's ride will take you through vineyards, orchards, valleys and remote villages. Finding your way through the labyrinth of Cappadocia will make it difficult to arrive in time at the evening camp! Will you take one of the easier routes or a more challenging one?

Along the way you will encounter a training course where your horse will have to navigate some obstacles (mud, gates, U-turns, slaloms) in order to score points for your team. 

Tonight's camp is in the lush Uzengi canyon at the bottom of steep rock formations cut with troglodytic citadels and dovecotes. 

Thursday 30th May: 

Arriving in the north part of the National Park you will see the most scenic and sculptural valleys of Cappadocia: the Zemi, Pigeon, Love and White Valleys. 

The day will end after a long canter across an open plateau, overlooking the maze of colourful valleys. 

You will spend the night in the beautiful Rose Valley where a big camp party is awaiting all the riders. 

Friday 31st May: 

Today is a recovery day. After an early wake up to admire the sunrise and witness the balloons taking off close by, you will take your horse for a vet check before being briefed with all the rules and organisation of tomorrow's 40km endurance race. 

There will be an opportunity to shop in Gorëme, to visit the open air museum or to laze around. There will be an equestrian show late in the afternoon. 

Overnight tonight is spent in a hotel. 

Saturday 1st June: 

Today is the endurance race with 40km to be covered. The race will follow Belgian rules - the speed limit is 15km / h and your horse's cardio rate on arrival at the finish line will make all the difference to your score. 

Overnight in a hotel. 

Sunday 2nd June: 

Departure after breakfast with transfer to Kayseri or Nevsehir airport. 



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: The ride is designed for strong intermediate and experienced trail riders who are looking for a fun, fast ride and a more challenging itinerary than a standard trail. You won't be riding nose to tail! You will be independent riders who are riding together. You must be in good physical condition in order to cope with the distance and the difficult sections of the trail.
Type of ride: Trail competition!
Total riding time: 6 full riding days, up to 40km.
Departure dates: 25 May - 2 June 2019.
 
Pricing: 2019:

£1888 per person

Price includes shuttle buses from and to Kayseri/Nevsehir airport, 8 nights of shared twin accommodation (mostly camping in two person tents), all meals and riding.

Single supplement: £144 per person (no single supplement if willing to share).