Wonders of Cappadocia

Enjoy a sportive horse riding trail in the beautiful Cappadocia region in central Turkey. This progressive trail ride will take you on a 6-day tour of this mysterious region, and is ideal for competent riders looking for a fast trail ride. On horseback, discover the region's famous rock formations and canyons, steppe-like plateaus and orchards. A great adventure for those who want to experience the beauty of Cappadocia and learn about its unusual geography and cultural heritage.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
8 days (6 riding)
From £1,170
Open to non-riders

From the horse’s mouth

  • Wonders of Cappadocia
    March 2019 Myra aged 40
    One of the best equestrian vacations I’ve ever been on. Very well organized, outstanding horses, challenging and beautiful terrain, and plenty of flat out gallops. Accommodations and meals were also very good. Highly recommended. Definitely suitable only for confident and competent riders given the speed, length of... Read all
  • Wonders of Cappadocia
    April 2018 Henrietta aged 61
    A dream of a trail, wonderful horses, very knowlegeable and amusing guides, fantastic local food, very comfortable accomodation (necessary as it is strenuous) and great organisation. I can’t praise it too highly. Everything I could have wished for. Spirited, positively fizzing at times but also an absolute sweetheart... Read all
  • Trail riding in Cappadocia
    Trail riding in Cappadocia
  • Horse and rider on fast trail ride in Turkey
    Enjoy a fast trail ride through this mysterious region
  • Trail ride through Love Valley, Cappadocia
    See the wonders of Love Valley from horseback
  • Horseback ride through Turkey
    Discover the regions famous rock formations and canyons
  • Enjoy spectacular views of Cappadocia from horseback
    Be amazed by the beauty of the Cappadocia landscape
  • Experience the beauty of Cappadocia on horseback
    Uncover the hidden beauty of this spactacular region
  • Trail ride on horseback in Cappadocia Turkey
    Enjoy the spectacular scenery in Cappadocia

Itinerary

Highlights

- A sportive trail with many opportunities for canters and fast gallops - the trail is approx. 200 km.
- Discover the historical and cultural heritage of the area, including troglodyte (cave) citadels and churches now part of the UNESCO world heritage list.
- Comfortable accommodation in three different guesthouses during the week
- Experience the warmth and friendliness of the local people
- Small groups of 8 riders max
- A camping version is also available, see "Riders of Anatolia"
  • Day 1 1 : HOME - KAYSERI AIRPORT - URGUP

    Nazim guesthouse
    Arrival at Kayseri airport. Transfers are included from Kayseri for riders arriving before 22:30. If your flight is delayed or if you plan on arriving later, you will have to catch a taxi. You are transferred to your guesthouse in Urgup (approx. 50 min drive), where you have dinner with your guide.

    IMPORTANT: 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 sportive 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 - AKKOY - 5-6 hours riding

    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.

    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. After a canter across a high plateau, lunch will be made ready: olives, Hummus, vegetables, “walnut-chicken”, different cheese, black bread, traditional yoghurt dish, Turkish black tea are served on a table. The horses are grazing just steps away from your picnic table.

    You spend the afternoon riding through a vast valley to the ghost village of Karai. After some time and a few canters, you reach the village of Akköy, where you will stop for the night. The terrace of the hotel boasts an impressive 180° view on the surrounding valley - and the horses are kept in a paddock just in front of the hotel!
  • Day 3 3 : AKKOY - LAKE DAMSA - AYVALI - 5-6 hours riding

    Today starts with a fast canter across the fields of the high Anatolian plateaus (1600 m above sea level). As you reach a steep trail down to Lake Damsa, you will be asked to dismount and lead your horse on foot for about 20 minutes. Local villagers will cook your lunch on the woodfire.

    In the afternoon, and weather-permitting, you will have the opportunity to swim with the horses in the lake. Spend the afternoon riding through expanses of bare hills surrounding the lake, with canters along tracks of soft red clay leading to the village of Ayvali through a hidden canyon.
  • Day 4 4 : AYVALI - GOLGOLI - MUSTAFAPASA - AYVALI - 5-6 hours riding

    In the morning, get ready for a quick start with a canter that will bring you to the underground village of Golgoli. With your sure-footed horses, get off the beaten track and follow a scenic path through curious rock formations, vineyards and orchards, surrounded by table-mountains. Lunch at a restaurant in the centre of the old Greek village of Mustafapasa, or by the swimming pool in Ayvali (weather dependent).

    In the afternoon you climb a scenic plateau where you will have the opportunity for another gallop. A short ride will take you back to your guesthouse in Ayvali, for your last night in the village.
  • Day 5 5 : AYVALI - GÜMÜSLÜ VALLEY - CANYON OF TAHTALI - UCHISAR - 5-6 hours riding

    Uchisar guesthouse
    This morning's ride will take you through a varied scenery of narrow tracks, small canyons, farmed land, and the wide-open spaces of Subasi. Ride along the lush, narrow canyon of a remote village, before a gallop on large sandy tracks. There will be time for a visit of the underground village of Kirkule. A long canter on a sandy path lined with vineyards and orchards will take you to the fairy chimneys of Gümüslü valley before you explore the canyon of Tahtali.

    Lunch at an excellent local restaurant, “Babayan evi". You then start the ascent of 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.
  • Day 6 6 : UCHISAR - LOVE VALLEY - UCHISAR - 3 hours riding

    Uchisar guesthouse
    Optional hot-air balloon flight to see the sunrise: travel with the wind over Cappadocia's magical landscape in the early morning ride. (not included, approx. £100)

    After lunch, set out on horseback through rock tunnels and arches, reaching the 4 km-long canyon called the Green Valley. You will also ride to 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.
  • Day 7 7 : UCHISAR - VALLEY OF PANCARLIK - URGUP - 5-6 hours riding

    Nazim guesthouse
    After breakfast, the horses are waiting to take you to a beautiful canyon called the White Valley, named after the colour of its rock. You ride through stone labyrinths and lush vegetation, and pass impressive fairy chimneys. Crossing the picturesque village of Çavuşin, you dismount for a short walk to reach the plateau of boz daha. Enjoy a canter along the crest overlooking Red valley on one side and Devrent valley the other side. There will be more long canters through the maze of woody, sandy paths of the valley of Urgup before reaching the valley of Pancarlik and its multicoloured rock formations, gardens and orchards. You return to the ranch in the afternon. 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 - hamman price not included, approx. 45TL). A short transfer will take you back to your guesthouse for a farewell dinner.
  • Day 8 8 : KAYSERI - EUROPE

    After breakfast you are transferred to the airport in Kayseri for your flight home.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights are not included

- Groups are composed of 2-8 international riders plus guides.

- Transfers are included from Kayseri for riders arriving before 22:30. If your flight is delayed or if you plan on arriving later, you will have to catch a taxi (approx. €65).

- If you wish to guarantee single accommodation for the duration of the trail, the supplement is approx. €245/£210. Please contact us in advance.

- Riders aged 30 yo or younger will automatically get a 10% discount

- Optional air balloon flight can be arranged at €160/£145 per person. Discounted rates available for children. 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.

- 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
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
1 cook
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Inland transport

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

Accommodation

Double (or triple) room - guesthouse

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8, including water, tea and coffee

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

Extras

Hot air balloon flight or additional activities
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    11/10/2020 18/10/2020 £1,390 Full
  • March - April 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/04/2021 11/04/2021 £1,215 Guaranteed departure Book now
    11/04/2021 18/04/2021 £1,215 Guaranteed departure Book now
    25/04/2021 02/05/2021 £1,390 Open Book now
  • May - June 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    02/05/2021 09/05/2021 £1,390 Guaranteed departure Book now
    16/05/2021 23/05/2021 £1,390 Guaranteed departure Book now
    13/06/2021 20/06/2021 £1,215 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • July - August 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    22/08/2021 29/08/2021 £1,215 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    05/09/2021 12/09/2021 £1,390 Guaranteed departure Book now
    19/09/2021 26/09/2021 £1,390 Open Book now
    26/09/2021 03/10/2021 £1,390 Open Book now
    10/10/2021 17/10/2021 £1,390 Open Book now
    17/10/2021 24/10/2021 £1,390 Open 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 90 kg / 14.1 stone / 200 lbs weight limit.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You must be a competent rider with an experience of riding outdoors. You must be able to mount your horse unassisted, and be confident over rough terrain and during group canters. Riders must be riding fit and have good levels of fitness. You must be able to mount from the ground unassisted.

There is a strict 90 kg / 14.1 stone / 200 lbs rider weight limit on this trail (including riding gear). Heavier riders will be offered a different trail - please contact us.

Pace

This ride will see you riding for approx. 5h-6h each day. Pace is walk, with prevalent canters. Some long canters of up to 15 minutes and some technical canters. The terrain can be tortuous and difficult, and you will on occasions have to lead your horse from the ground, sometimes up or down steep paths, for durations up to 20 minutes.

Tacking ability and participation

Riders are expected to tack and untack their horse, and help with watering/feeding in the evenings.

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, sometimes on steep paths up to 20 minutes. The days in the saddle are long (5-6 hours almost every day) and you should not underestimate the physical demands of this trail. The weather can be hot, in which case you will take a longer lunch break to get some rest in the shade (bring a book!).

An experience of trail rides over several days is necessary.

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 stay in guest houses which are typical of the area with local architecture. They are chosen for their authenticity, intimacy and warmth and are ideally located in the old quarters of the villages within the national park and close to the horses paddocks. Most are double rooms with private bathrooms. Most guest houses offer internet access and laundry service.

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

Your guide will be French-born Nicolas Guillo. He decided to make Cappadocia his home over 11 years ago and has been organising trail rides every since. He speaks English and also Turkish.

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

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
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps as long chaps/long boots can get very hot. Walking boots are preferable as you may have to walk over some stony slopes.
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around the camp
- 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)
- Swimsuit
- Hand sanitiser
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch
- 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

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
- Micropur or similar water purification tablets

Our Recommendations
- 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

Formalities

British nationals need a visa to enter Turkey. You can get an e-Visa online before you travel through the official Republic of Turkey e-Visa website.An e-Visa costs $35 (plus $1.05 service fee) and you can pay by credit or debit card. If you use this option, you should apply at least 48 hours before travel and can do so up to 3 months in advance. In case of technical problems at the Turkish port of entry, carry a printed copy of your e-Visa or keep an electronic copy on a smartphone or other device to show at immigration.

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.

Make sure your passport has a blank page for the visa stamp. If it doesn’t, the Turkish authorities will issue an ‘Entry-Exit form’ and put your entry-exit stamp on there. You should carry this form with you in Turkey and present it to the border officers when you leave.

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.



Did you know?

Did you know?

Cappadocia is a historical region located in central Anatolia, Turkey. It is a region of natural and geological wonders, including impressive rock formations.  Cappadocia is settled on a high plateau located over 1000 m in altitude and is pierced by volcanic peaks, stone chimneys, cones, pillars, mushrooms and deep colourful canyons. Rainfall is sparse during the summer and the region is considered to be semi-arid, although it can see some heavy snowfalls in the winter and some spring rains.

Cappadocia also boasts a strong cultural heritage. During your trail ride you will observed carved out houses, churches and monasteries, and perhaps meet whirling dervishes.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • Myra aged 40 BEVERLY HILLS 2 trips
    March 2019
    One of the best equestrian vacations I’ve ever been on. Very well organized, outstanding horses, challenging and beautiful terrain, and plenty of flat out gallops. Accommodations and meals were also very good. Highly recommended. Definitely suitable only for confident and competent riders given the speed, length of... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide
  • Henrietta aged 61 ST IGEST 1 trip
    April 2018
    A dream of a trail, wonderful horses, very knowlegeable and amusing guides, fantastic local food, very comfortable accomodation (necessary as it is strenuous) and great organisation. I can’t praise it too highly. Everything I could have wished for. Spirited, positively fizzing at times but also an absolute sweetheart... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide