- Stay in quaint accommodation, including teepee tents and troglodyte caves
- Ride forward-going Anatolian, Arab and cross-Arab mares who will surprise you with their robustness and agility!
- A comfortable guesthouse version of this trail is also available: please see "Wonders of Cappadocia"
Day 1 1 : EUROPE - KAYSERI AIRPORT - URGUPNazim guesthouseArrival at Kayseri airport. You are met by your chauffeur and transferred to your guesthouse in Urgup (approx. 50 min drive), where you have dinner with your guide. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your riding ability: Nicolas is skilled at matching the right horse with the right rider, so feel free to tell him what kind of horse you enjoy riding.
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 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 (around £50-65 per person per night).
The following itinerary is just an example - the actual itinerary is flexible and will depend on weather conditions and the season. Please note that Equus Journeys is not responsible for changes in the itineraries that are always done with your safety in mind.
Please note: this is a particularly taxing trail and you must be riding fit. Some walking is involved: every morning you start with 5-10 minute walk to warm up, and same in the evenings to cool down. There will also be some steep paths where you will be asked to dismount and lead your horse on foot (up to 20 min).
Day 2 2 : URGUP - RANCH - VALLEY OF CEMECE - 5-6 hours ridingYou are driven to the ranch in the morning to meet the horses. You will have time to try your horse on a training circuit around the farm. The trail begins with a short ride through lush vegetation and along the stream of the Uzengi canyon. After your first canter on the sandy tracks, you will stop for lunch in the natural rock circus of Taslik. From there, a muleteer track carved into the rock leads you to the ancient village of Mustafapaşa. You spend the afternoon riding through expanses of steppe-like bare lands surrounding Lake Damsa. There you may have the opportunity to swim with your horse (weather dependant)! In the evening, you reach your camp in the shady woods of the Valley of Cemece.
Day 3 3 : VALLEY OF CEMESE - CEMILKOY - 5-6 hours ridingYou ascend the Plateau of Avlak where you will enjoy magnificent views over Cappadocia - in the background stands the majestic Erciyes volcano. After a canter on the plateau's larger tracks, you stop for lunch on a cliff overlooking the Valley of Karlik. After more trots and canters on the plateau, you ride down to the Valley of Cemil. As the sun is slowly setting, you pass through orchards and vineyards to reach the camp, near the remote village of Cemilkoy.
Day 4 4 : CEMILKOY - AYVALI - 3-3:30 hours ridingFollowing a track left by the muleteers on the flank of the mountain, you reach a vast rocky plateau overlooking southern Cappadocia. From the top of the cliff, the view is breathtaking. You descend through a lush valley planted with woods, where you stop for a morning break. You ride through the green countryside, crossing narrow streams, winding your way through gardens and orchards.
For lunch, you stop in the village of Ayvali, where lunch is waiting you in front of the swimming pool. It is a nice spot to relax after your lunch. Later, the land turns into wide open, bare spaces where shepherds lead their flock, aided by the impressive Kangal dogs. After a last canter in the steppe, you arrive at camp, where dinner is cooking over a wood fire.
Day 5 5 : AYVALI - GOREME - 5-6 hours ridingYour ride begins from the Valley of Sorkumlu; there are areas so narrow that they form a deep canyon with out-of-the way troglodytic treasures. This morning, you have the opportunity to visit the underground village of Kirkule. You gallop along sandy paths lined with orchards and gardens, still cultivated by the locals using horses or mules. Stop for lunch in a lush green field surrounded by walls of soft colourful rock, where the horses can rest and graze.
In the afternoon, you continue your ride over rolling hills of white tufa (limestone) leading you up to a rock pinnacle embracing Cappadocia's most beautiful valleys. Snaking your way through the rocky labyrinths, tunnels and arches of the splendid Green Valley and its strangely shaped pink rock formations. You pass the fancy fairy chimneys of the aptly named Love Valley before reaching the guest house in Göreme, a friendly local family welcomes you (hot shower, clean WC, staying in dormitory accommodation, single rooms available on request).
Day 6 6 : GOREME - RED VALLEY - 5-6 hours ridingOptional hot-air balloon flight to see the sunrise: travel with the wind over Cappadocia's magical landscape in the early morning ride. (not included, see "dates and prices")
After crossing Uchisar and the so-called Pigeon valley, you enter the White Valley. You take a short morning break among its fantastic rock formations. Through a narrow path carved in the rock, you 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 leads you to the famous rock formations of Paşabaği. After a long canter across the plain of Avanos, you ride along the crests overlooking the forest of fairy chimneys in Devrent Valley. Dismount to ascend the Boz Tepe mountain in order to reach the mausoleum of local saint Alil Dede. From his resting place, you have a 360° view over Cappadocia. You descend through a maze of tracks and paths up the crests and down the canyons of the Red Valley. With its citadels of red, pink and ocre rock, this is Cappadocia's most spectacular valley.
Tonight you will sleep in troglodyte caves and enjoy the sunset while you eat your dinner.
Day 7 7 : RED VALLEY - URGUP - ORTAHISAR - 5-6 hours ridingYou leave the tortuous paths of the Rose Valley to take advantage of larger tracks for a long gallop. You 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. Stop for your picnic lunch in a shady canyon cut deep in to the mountain. In the afternoon, you sneak your way among the fairy chimneys of Gümüslü valley, then more fun riding awaits 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. Return to the ranch in the early afternoon. (depending on the season, and availability of the cattle at the ranch ; cattle drive, ranch sorting, cutting will be offered for the rest of the afternoon). After tea on the terrace, you have an option to be driven to the hamam in Ürgüp for a relaxing steam bath and massage (free 4x4 transfer - but the entrance fee is payable locally, approx. 45TL). Short transfer back to your guesthouse in Ortahisar and farewell dinner.
Day 8 8 : KAYSERI - EUROPEAfter breakfast you are transferred to the airport in Kayseri for your flight home.
Dates & prices
- Flights are not included
- Groups are composed of 4-10 international riders plus guides. If there are 3 riders in your group, we may offer the "Wonders of Cappadocia" ride instead, with accommodation in guesthouses. A supplement will be payable.
- 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 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 (around £50-65 per person per night).
- Young riders may be allowed on the trail if they are older than 12 and meet the physical and equestrian demands of the trail. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
- If you wish to guarantee single accommodation for 3 nights on the trail, the supplement is £80. There is no single accommodation possible when it comes to the teepee tents.
(based on a double room accommodation): €790 - £705
- Optional air balloon flight can be arranged at around €160/£145/$190 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. Rate per person in 2018 (based on a double room accommodation): €790 - £705
- 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.
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.
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
Airport transfers at set times (late arrivals will have to pay a taxi)
- 1 night in a Turkish family house.
- 1 night in troglodyte cave.
- 2 nights in guesthouses in the nearest village (arrival night, and departure night) in double or triple room.
First aid kit
Price doesn't include
Park, museum and other site entry fees
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
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
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.
Tacking ability and participation
You will also be asked to put up/take down your tent and help dismount the camp in the mornings.
Trip conditions and Requested experience
An experience of trail rides over several days is necessary.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.
- 1 night in a Turkish family house.
- 1 night in a troglodyte cave.
- 2 nights in guesthouses in the nearest village (arrival night, and departure night) in double or triple rooms.
Logistics: by 4x4. You will often have to move your luggage during the week so we advise you pack several lighter bags rather than one large, heavy suitcase.
Lunch: varied picnic with local specialities, carried in the saddlebags
Dinners: usually a main traditional Turkish dish cooked on the woodfire, with salad and fruit.
Water, tea and coffee are included.
Vegetarian meals are available on request.
Guide and local team
-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
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and dust
- 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
- 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
- Comfortable boots. There will be some walking involved so we recommend short hiking boots with half chaps as long chaps/long boots can get very hot.
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around the camp
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding
- Pyjamas (thermals in the Autumn)
- Sleeping bag. We recommend a comfort factor of 0°C/-2°C, and you can bring a sleeping bag liner for extra comfort and warmth.
Other useful items
- Mandatory: Water bottle (1.5 litre or two x 1 litre)
- Hand sanitiser
- Wet wipes for when showers aren't possible
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around camp at night
- Toilet paper and small plastic bags for taking rubbish away
In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag.
- Small penknife
In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat
- 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
- Micropur or similar water purification tablets
- Take a second, smaller bag to pack things you may need during the day such as a book or suncream then you can easily access it during the long lunch break
- 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
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.
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.
Addresses of consulates
- Consulats de Turquie
184 bd de Malsherbes
Tél. : 01 56 33 33 33
Fax : 01.42.27.58.18
- Consulat de Turquie
87 rue de Sèze
Tél. : 04 72 83 98 40
Fax : 04 78 24 86 75
- Consulat de Turquie
363 avenue du Prado
Tél. : 04.91.29.00.20
Fax : 04.91.22.78.21
- Ambassade de Turquie
16 avenue de Lamballe
Tél. : 01 53 92 71 12
Fax : 01 45 20 41 91
- Ambassade de Turquie
Case postale 34, Lombachweg 33
3000 Berne 15
Tél. : 031/359 70 70
Fax : 031/352 88 19
- Ambassade de Turquie
Rue Montoyer 4
Tél. : +32 (0) 2 513 40 95
Fax : +32 (0) 2 514 07 48
Budget and money
Did you know?
Did you know?
There are many activities you can enjoy in Cappadocia before, after (and possibly during!) your trail ride! Cappadocia is a culturally rich region and a paradise for outdoors lovers:
- Enjoy a hot air balloon flight at sunrise, discovering Cappadocia's fascinating scenery from the air
- See a Whirling Derviches show
- Visit Göreme's Open Air Museum, to see the region's greatest concentration of frescoed churches
- Go on a wine-tasting excursion in the local vineyards
- Enjoy a traditional sauna and massage at a local hamam - perfect to recuperate after many hours in the saddle!