Horseback ride through Turkey

Wonders of Cappadocia - Special Equus departure

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 £1,495
Open to non-riders
  • Riders cantering along a path in Cappadocia on an active trail ride
    Enjoy long, active canters on fit, forward Anatolian and Arab crosses
  • Trail ride through the region of Cappadocia
    Gallop along the sandy tracks and explore the valley
  • Trail ridrs in Cappadocia, Turkey
    Cappadocia between your horse's ears
  • Trail rides in turkey for all riding levels
    Magical trail rides through fairy chimneys
  • Discover Capadoccia in the saddle
    Thrilling trail rides in Turkey
  • Horseback ride through Turkey
    Discover the regions famous rock formations and canyons
  • Riders on a fast riding holiday in Cappadocia in Turkey
    Enjoy an active riding holiday with long, bendy canters.
  • Cantering on wide open spaces in Turkey, Cappadocia
    An exciting trail ride in Turkey with Equus Journeys
  • Sportive and comfortable trail ride in Cappadocia
    Beautiful villages and guesthouses for your nights

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 different guesthouses during the week
- Experience the warmth and friendliness of the local people
- Small group of 8 riders max, including Equus' very own team member Louise Carelsen!
  • Day 1 1 : HOME - KAYSERI AIRPORT - URGUP

    Arrival at Kayseri airport.

    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).

    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 - KARAIN - 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. After a canter across a high plateau, villagers cook lunch for you on an open fire, at the foot of troglodytic citadels of dovecotes carved out 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 spend the afternoon riding through a vast valley to the ghost village of Karain. You leave the horses near Karain whilst the shuttle takes you back to Urgup for a second night (25 min transfer).
  • Day 3 3 : KARAIN - LAKE DAMSA - AYVALI - 5-6 hours riding

    Today starts with a short transfer to meet the horses. Quickly, you fall into 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. Arriving at Keslik Monasteri, 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, see dates and prices)

    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 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 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

- This departure is escorted by an Equus team member: Louise Carelsen, our US-based agent.

- Flights or transportation to your destination (international/domestic) 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 (triple rooms are possible) 

- 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).

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room with another guest of the same sex (twin or triple rooms). To guarantee your own room/tent there is a single supplement of €245/£210/$290. Please contact us in advance.

- Upgrade to luxury accommodation: + €400/£360/$470 per person. The single supplement then becomes €370/£330/$430.

- 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. Price on request.

- 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.
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
  • Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    11/09/2022 18/09/2022 £1,495 €1,760 $1,824 Full

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 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.

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

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 guesthouses 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.

Upgrade to luxury accommodation can be arranged at an extra cost - please see dates and prices.

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
- Walking boots with half-chaps are preferable as you will have to walk over some stony slopes. Riding boots are not a good idea.
- 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)
- 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

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.