Cappadocia Explorer

This riding holiday takes place between Urgup and Ortahisar, in some of Turkey's most spectacular scenery. Ride along lush canyons and steppe-like landscapes that will lead you to breathtaking views over the troglodytic treasures of Cappadocia, in central Turkey. You will be staying in charming hotels in different villages, experiencing the legendary Turkish hospitality and trying out traditional cuisine. This mobile trail is ideal for experienced riders ready to take on the challenges of riding in the unusual landscapes of Cappadocia.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
8 days/6 days riding
From £1,180
Open to non-riders

Itinerary

Highlights

- A more relaxed, less strenuous version of our “Wonders of Cappadocia” trail ride.
- Enjoy the picturesque landscapes of the Pigeon Valley and its fairy chimneys
- Explore the underground village of Golgoli
- Stay in picturesque, comfortable hotels located in ancient stone houses or in renovated cave houses, typical of the local architecture.
  • Day 1 1: Home – Kayseri airport - Urgup

    International flight to Kayseri or Nevsehir (flights are not included, but can be booked upon request).

    Transfers are included (shuttle bus from the airport to your hotel). We strongly recommend that you book a flight arriving at 6:00 pm at the latest so you can enjoy dinner with the guides and the group on the first night - this is important as this is when your guides will make the final horse attributions. If necessary, you can fly in a day early and we can book an extra night at the hotel you will stay on the first night (see dates and prices)
  • Day 2 2: Introductory Ride

    You are driven to the ranch in the morning to meet the horses and get acquainted with the riding equipment. You will have time to try your horse on a training course going around the farm. The trail begins with a short ride through lush vegetation and along the stream of the Uzengi canyon. After a canter across a high plateau, lunch will be cooked for you on an open fire, at the foot of troglodyte citadels of dovecotes carved out of the abrupt rock walls. Very quickly, the first long canter brings you to the Avlak mountain. The views from the top are truly stunning and this is your first proper glimpse of Cappadocia.

    You will be driven back to Urgup to have dinner and overnight.
  • Day 3 3: Mustafapasa - Approx. 5 hours riding

    Today, if the weather allows it, you will have your first long canter along the Avlak mountain
    Make your way to the old Greek village of Mustafapasa where you will have lunch. Afterwards, you can take a nap on the nearest sofa or, if you are feeling energized, you can explore the village’s old stone houses, its Ottoman madrasa and even its painted church.
    In the afternoon, ride along small canyons, through narrow tracks and wide-open fields where you may encounter local shepherds and their flocks.
    Arrive to your guesthouse in Ayvali.
  • Day 4 4: Keslik Monastary - Approx. 5 hours riding

    This morning, expect long canters across the fields of the high Anatolian plateau (1600 m above sea level). Make your way through a steep trail that will lead you to the Damsa lake. Before visiting the monastery, you will enjoy a delightful lunch prepared by the locals.
    The afternoon scenery is made of bare hills surrounding the lake and you may visit the underground village of Golgoli. Continue your ride along tracks of red clay and through hidden canyons that will lead you to your hotel.
  • Day 5 5: Uchisar - Approx. 3 hours riding

    Today’s itinerary will take you to the beautiful valleys of north Cappadocia, and the village of Uchisar. Trot and canter through vineyards and over rolling hills of white tufa to reach Ibrahimpasa. From this picturesque village, you start to climb the “Twin Hills” of Cappadocia. A nice canter at the top takes you to a panoramic viewpoint surrounding northern Cappadocia and the towering rock fortress of Uchisar. As you ride towards the village, admire the multicoloured rock formations of the famous Pigeon Valley, and the picturesque fairy chimneys. Arrive at Uchisar and enjoy a late lunch on the terrace before spending the rest of your day exploring the village. You can visit the churches of Gerome’s Open Air Museum or hike through the pigeon Valley.
  • Day 6 6: Red Valley - Approx. 5 hours riding

    In the morning, we can arrange an optional hot-air balloon ride to enjoy Cappadocia’s magical landscape at sunrise (check the “Dates and Prices” tab to know more).

    Start your riding day by heading to the White Valley canyon, where you will ride across rocky labyrinths and lush vegetation. From there, make your way to the Sword Valley and Red Valley. Ride through its multicoloured citadels and beautiful troglodyte churches. This is Cappadocia’s most spectacular ensemble of geological formations.
    Stop to have lunch at a unique cave café located in an ancient monastery. In the afternoon, keep exploring the Red and Rose valleys. The winding paths of the Shepherd’s valley will take you back to your guesthouse in Uchisar in time to enjoy the sunset.
  • Day 7 7: Balkan Valley - Approx. 5 hours riding

    After breakfast, you will leave Uchisar and make your way to the Green Valley canyon, through rock tunnels, and natural arches. You will make a small detour to visit the famous Love valley before heading to Ortahisar where you will stop for lunch.
    In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to go on some long canters along sandy tracks. Cross the Valley of Pancarlik and its multicoloured fairy chimneys before arriving to the ranch.
    Transfer to your overnight location in Urgup.
  • Day 8 8: Kayseri airport – Home

    Transfer to Kayseri (or Nevsehir) Airport in time for your flight back home.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights or transportation to your destination are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on two riders sharing a twin or double room during the ride.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 2 riders and a maximum of 8 international riders, plus guides.

- Transfers are included (shuttle bus from the airport to your hotel). We strongly recommend your flight to arrive at 6:00 pm at the latest so you can enjoy dinner with the guides and the group on the first night - this is important as this is when your guides will make the final decision to match horses with riders. If necessary, you can fly in a day early and we can book an extra night at the hotel you will stay on the first night (around £50-65 per person per night).

- An upgrade on the accommodation is possible for an extra cost of $430/€400/£350 for all nights.

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room with another guest of the same sex (twin or triple rooms). In 2022, to guarantee your own room there is a single supplement of $270/€250/£210 and $395/€370/£310 (if choosing the hotel upgrade). Please contact us in advance.

- The minimum age to participate in this riding holiday is 12.

- An optional air balloon flight can be arranged at around €230/£200/$250 per person (prices fluctuate depending on the season). If interested, please contact us in advance. Availability can be difficult in the high season so please make sure to let us know with plenty of notice if you are interested. This is payable locally in cash.

- Non-riders will be offered a hiking programme, in autonomy with GPS device and roadbook. You will hike for around 4hrs a day and meet the riders for lunch. Price on request.

- IMPORTANT : Riders weighing more than 85 kg / 13.3 stone / 190 lbs please indicate this at time of booking so we can ensure a suitable horses are available. If you weigh more than that, an additional horse can be arranged at a supplement, please contact us before booking.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide

Logistics

1 vehicle and driver

Inland transport

Airport transfers on set times (late arrivals will have to pay a taxi)

Accommodation

Double room - guesthouse

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8

Additional equipment

Saddle bags
First aid kit

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras

Transport

International flights

Extras

Tips to the local team
Park, museum and other site entry fees

Insurance

Visas and personal purchase
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement
Upgrade to luxury accommodation

Extras

Hot air ballon flight
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    14/08/2022 21/08/2022 £1,180 €1,389 $1,440 Guaranteed departure Book now
    21/08/2022 28/08/2022 £1,180 €1,389 $1,440 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    18/09/2022 25/09/2022 £1,180 €1,389 $1,440 Guaranteed departure Book now
    09/10/2022 16/10/2022 £1,330 €1,566 $1,623 Full
    23/10/2022 30/10/2022 £1,370 €1,613 $1,671 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The herd comprises forward-going Anatolian, Arab and cross-Arab mares. They are robust and sure-footed, responsive and respectful of their riders. There are no big horses (on average 1,50-55 m, 15hh) so there is a strict 85 kg / 13.3 stone / 190 lbs rider weight limit on this trail (including riding gear). If you weigh more than that, an additional horse can be arranged at a supplement, please contact us before booking.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You must be an intermediate or advanced rider. You must be able to mount your horse unassisted, and be confident over rough terrain and during group canters.

There is a strict 85 kg / 13.3 stone / 190 lbs rider weight limit on this trail (including riding gear). If you weigh more than that, an additional horse can be arranged at a supplement, please contact us before booking.

Pace

Pace is walk, with some good canters. Although not as active as our Wonders of Cappadocia trail ride, this is not a slow ride. The terrain can be tortuous and difficult, and you will on occasions have to lead your horse from the ground.

Tacking ability and participation

Riders are responsible for their horse. You will be asked to help tack, untack, water and feed your horse.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You must be in good physical condition. On some occasions you will have to dismount and walk with your horse for short periods of time (shorter than on our “Wonders of Cappadocia ride”) and to warm up the horses. The weather can be hot, in which case you will take a longer lunch break to get some rest in the shade.

This is a more relaxed, less strenuous version of the Wonders of Cappadocia ride for riders who feel like they might not match the fitness requirements for that ride.

Equestrian equipment

The riding equipment includes McClellan light trail riding saddles. These are fitted with two saddlebags.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

You will stay in picturesque, comfortable hotels located in ancient stone houses or in renovated cave houses, typical of the local architecture. All of them are chosen for their authenticity, intimacy and warmth.

Most guesthouses offer internet access and a laundry service.

Note: There’s the possibility to upgrade the accommodation throughout the holiday, please check the “Dates and Prices” tab to know more.

Meals

Turkish and continental breakfast at the guesthouses
Lunch breaks in village restaurants
Dinners are taken at the guesthouses - starter, main and desert.

Water, tea and coffee are included. Cappadocia wine, beer and other drinks are available and payable locally. Vegetarian meals are available on request.

Climate

Cappadocia has a continental climate and stands at over 1000 m above sea level. Expect cool nights from May through late June and possible rain during the day (average temperature is 15°C). This is a good time to visit and it also marks the beginning of the hot air balloons season. The summers are dry and hot with the hottest weeks from late July to late August.

Guide and local team

The local guide Ibrahim is very knowledgeable about the terrain and the horses. He has been working with Helene and Nicolas, who run all of our trails in Turkey, for a few years now and has learned the tricks of the trade from them!

Tips

Tips and gratuities are not mandatory in Turkey, although it is customary to leave a tip at restaurants (some already include a 10% in the bill). Tips to the local team and appreciated but are left to your discretion.

Packing list

Your luggage will be transferred by a logistics vehicle. You should pack several, lighter bags rather than one large, heavy suitcase.

Head
- Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and dust
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket - the rains can be difficult to foresee in spring and it's better to be prepared. Layering is key to cope with the fluctuations in temperature between day and night
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts for lazy lunchtimes
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- We recommend that you bring hiking shoes with half chaps as some of the passages you may take on foot can be steep. Riding boots are not suitable as they don’t have enough grip.
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for the evening
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear
- Pyjamas

Other useful items
- Mandatory: Water bottle (1.5 litre or two x 1 litre)
- Hand sanitiser
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - must be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Rehydration sachets (dioralyte or similar)
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Ear plugs, particularly if you are a light sleeper

Our Recommendations
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- You should also bring a copy of your passport/insurance in case you lose your documents. You can also save a copy into your mobile phone.

Visa & Health

Formalities

British Citizens travelling to Turkey for tourist or business purposes are able to travel without a visa for visits of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

If you plan to remain in Turkey for a period of more than 90 days, you should either apply for a longer stay visa before you travel, or get a residence permit from the local authorities in Turkey before your 90 day stay has elapsed. If you intend to work in Turkey, ensure you have the correct permits. More information is available from the Turkish Ministry of the Interior. If you don’t abide by the terms of your visa or permit, you may be fined, deported and banned from re-entering the country.

If you’re entering Turkey via a land border crossing, make sure your passport has a dated entry stamp before you leave the border crossing area.
Turkish visit visas issued on arrival are valid for multiple stays up to a maximum of 90 days in a 180 day period. In case of problems with the computer systems at the Turkish port of entry, print off and carry a paper copy of your e-Visa, or make sure you have an electronic copy on a smart phone or other device to show to the immigration officer.

Passport validity
The Turkish government advise that your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date you enter Turkey and that there is a full blank page for the entry and exit stamps. You can find more detail about the requirements for entry into Turkey on the website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey/entry-requirements

Addresses of consulates

  • Consulats de Turquie
    184 bd de Malsherbes
    75017 Paris
    Tél. : 01 56 33 33 33
    Fax : 01.42.27.58.18
    parisbsk@wanadoo.fr
  • Consulat de Turquie
    87 rue de Sèze
    69006 Lyon
    Tél. : 04 72 83 98 40
    Fax : 04 78 24 86 75
    tclyonkonsolos@wanadoo.fr
  • Consulat de Turquie
    363 avenue du Prado
    13008 Marseille
    Tél. : 04.91.29.00.20
    Fax : 04.91.22.78.21
    marsilyabk@wanadoo.fr
  • Ambassade de Turquie
    16 avenue de Lamballe
    75016 Paris
    Tél. : 01 53 92 71 12
    Fax : 01 45 20 41 91
    paris.be@mfa.gov.tr
  • Ambassade de Turquie
    Case postale 34, Lombachweg 33
    3000 Berne 15
    Tél. : 031/359 70 70
    Fax : 031/352 88 19
    tcbern@tr-botschaft.ch
  • Ambassade de Turquie
    Rue Montoyer 4
    1000 BRUXELLES
    Tél. : +32 (0) 2 513 40 95
    Fax : +32 (0) 2 514 07 48
    info@turkey.be

Health

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), is not valid in Turkey. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Budget and money

Turkish Lira is the local currency of the Republic of Turkey. Visitors can exchange their cash money for Turkish Lira at exchange tiles and banks. International credit and debit cards are widely accepted in shops and restaurants throughout Turkey. However it is advisable also to carry cash for the smaller shops and cafes, particularly in more rural areas.