Cappadocia, which means ‘ Land of the Beautiful Horses’ in Persian is as UNESCO world heritage site and famous for it’s geological, historical and cultural features. Vulcanic eruptions and erosion over 10 000 years have formed the bizarre and unique landscape with its Fairy Chimneys – spikes of volcanic tuff. Byzantine christians have carved curches, houses and whole underground cities which could be closed off when being attacked into the soft stone, following generations have continued to use these caves up to the present day. Discover the amazing landscape and history on horseback.
Kayseri or Nevşehir Airport, Turkey
You will enjoy full and adventures days of riding through some of the most unique landscapes imaginable. Your guide, Ercihan Dilari, born and raised in the region is an excellent horseman who loves nothing more than riding with guests through this beautiful environment and sharing his knowledge of the region. Turkey is famous for its hospitality and it is not unusual for people to stop their work, come to see the horses and insist that you try the fresh fruit from their orchards. On these rides there are tea stops in villages and if lunch is not a picnic, it will be enjoyed in a local restaurant.
The horses are a mixture of pure Arabians, Arabians-Anatolian and Akhal-Teke crosses. They are very fit and some are used for endurance. They can be lively and strong in canter. The terrain is very varied with some steep ascents and descents and technical riding. Due to the terrain much of the riding will be at a walk and there may be some particularly stony or steep areas where you may have to dismount momentarily and lead your horse.There are opportunities for canter on most days and also some gallops on the hard tracks. You should be an experienced, confident rider happy to ride a spirited horse in open terrain at all paces.The horses are normally ridden in Turkish trail/endurance saddles.
The camping experience : the team will make sure that everything is ready on your arrival. On the camping sites, the tents will be set up as you ride in. Each double tent has a mattress and pillow that are provided. A shower and toilet are available in the trailer. Your luggage will have been brought to the campsite for you and a trailer with shower and toilet is ready to use. The cook prepares the evening meal. After a day in the saddle you can just relax, enjoy a drink by the campfire and watch the sunset before we sit down at the big table to eat and chat. In the morning, the team looks after the horses, while we have breakfast to prepare us for a new day4 nights will be spent in the very comfortable Saddle Cave Hotel in the ancient Greek town of Mustafapasa.
Arrival at Nevsehir or Kayseri Airport, transfer to your comfortable Saddle Cave Hotel in the historic town of Urgup. Dinner and meeting your host to talk about the riding program.
Transfer to the horses after breakfast. Today we ride to Özkonak where you will visit one of Cappadocia ́s famous underground cities. When excavated, the city revealed ten floors that could have housed 60,000 people for three months at a time, the first four floors are open for visitors. After lunch we return over Ziyaretdagi Mountain to the ranch. If you wish, there is time to visit the ceramic and carpet stores in Avanos and the surrounding area.
We pack our bags as tonight will be our first camping night. We ride through Dereyamanli and the White Valley. After lunch we will ride across the Göreme Valley where you can look out onto the Rose and Red Valley until reaching the old fortress town of Ortahisar. Tonight we will camp in the Rose Valley.
Today we ride from Ortahisar to Mustafapasa, which was an old Greek village formerly known as Sinassos and to Gol Golu where many ancient Roman cave ruins can be seen. We stop for tea and then ride on to the quiet village of Ayvali and have lunch at a shaded trout farm. We camp overnight just outside the village of Cemil and take the opportunity to visit the 11th century Keslik Monastery known as the Monastery of the archangles.
This morning your ride will take us through the Cemil Valley across the plateau and then through the valleys filled with Cappadocia’s famed fairy chimneys. The horses scramble down a dramatic canyon to the village of Taskinpasa. It is normally possible to visit the 14th century mosque before riding on to Karain and the overnight camp.
After breakfast we ride up to the Akkoy plateau and enjoy a breathtaking view and then on to the quaint village of Sofular. On a clear day it’s possible to see all the way to Mount Erciyes (3,918 m). Following the ancient 13th century caravan route – the Uzun Yol (long road) – we make our way towards our campsite near the Kizilirmak River, Turkey’s longest river.
Depending on the weather those who wish might get up very early for a hot air balloon ride (balloon ride not included).This morning we will have a shorter ride along the Kizilirmik River where we can enjoy some lovely long canters along the path winding its way between craggy cliffs and caves. Overnight in our Saddle Cave Hotel in Urgup.
Today we will ride to Sarihidir, a tiny fishing village on the Red River. After a short break we can enjoy a long canter along the river, before we pass a beautifully restored 13th century caravanserai where you will also see the whirling dervish performance. After lunch we will ride through the fairy chimneys of Zelve before returning to the ranch. Farewell dinner and overnight in Ortasihar.
After breakfast transfer to Kayseri or Nevsehir for departure flights.