Cappadocia

Turkey

1940 

Cappadocia is a land straight from legends and postcards. Our trail leads through a labyrinth of fairy-tale-like valleys: the Rose Valley, the Swords Valley, the Imagination Valley, the Love Valley and every single one of them looks different and beautiful. We will encounter ruins of ancient settlements, houses carved in rocks, see dozens of balloons taking off in the sky and visit ancient monuments. Along the way we will dine at beautifully set tables enjoying Turkish cusine. We ride out to experience this adventure on beautiful, agile Arabian and Karachay horses.

  • Days overall
    9 days
    Days in saddle
    6
  • Group size
    11
    Available
  • Standard
    Turkish caravan (hotels and tents, delights and campfires)
    Luggage
    no limit kg
    Food
    local cuisine, vegetarian option available
  • Skills
    walk, trot, canter

Cappadocia is a fascinating, historical land located in Anatolia, central Turkey. It is famous mainly for its amazing rock formations, villages and towns carved in stone, but also for… hot air balloon flights. The monumental extinct volcano dominates the fairy-tale valleys’ landscape.

Over the course of history, these areas have changed hands, creating its extremely rich historical, cultural and religious heritage. From the Bronze Age to the present day, Cappadocia was ruled by Hittites, Mushki, Lydians and Greeks. During the times of Rome and Byzantium, Christian influence flourished in the region, hence old churches, monasteries and castles are scattered along our trail. When the Seljuks took over these areas, the region came under the rule of the Turkic peoples and Islam. Cappadocia was subject to the Ottoman Empire until the end of World War I, and in 1922 it became part of independent Turkey.

The unique, rich heritage of Cappadocia is visible at every step, both in the form of architecture, culture and ethnic heritage, as well as in the flavors of local cuisine. Along our trail we will see some of the remains of the region’s extraordinary history, both from the saddle and while visiting the places and attractions we chose for sightseeing.

During our tour we spend nights in small family hotels, stay with local families and camp in unique, picturesque places. Each of them has its own charm, giving our trail an additional character.

We have also scheduled a one day  break – in the middle of the tour. While our horses rest, we will go sightseeing some of the amazing places that Cappadocia abounds in.

During this tour we ride Arabian mares and a mix of Arabian and Karachay horses. They are agile, eager to work, energetic, fast and well trained as trail horses. Riders’ weight should not exceed 90 kg.

What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 4 nights in hotels in Kayseri and on the trail
  • 4 nights tenting
  • All meals
  • Transfers to and from airports in Nevsehir or Kayseri (group transfers)
  • Horsemen and guides during the entire ride
  • English-speaking pilot/guide during the entire tour
  • Horse with full tack and equipment
  • Luggage car assisting the group
  • Tents and sleeping mats for tening/camping nights
  • Tourist insurance covering high-risk sports
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Flight tickets to and from Nevsehir or Kayseri
  • Minor personal expenses (souvenirs, additional snacks and alcohol, admission tickets, etc.)
  • Hot air balloon flight – upon earlier request (around 230 Euro per person)
  1. Day 1 Arrival

    All riders arrive to one of the two airports and are transferred in the vicinity of the ranch and check-in the hotel where we spend the first night.

  2. Day 2 Swords, Roses and Imagination

    After breakfast we head out straight to the ranch. Our guides will match horses with riders, we saddle up and ride out for our first day. We have around 25 km to cover. The first part of the day will take us the the Swords Valley, the Roses Valley and into the Red Valley. We will get to see the Haçlı Kilise church and stop for a short break and coffee. Next we will ride towards the Ak mountain and ride down the Devrent Valley, also known as the Pink Valley or the Imagination Valley, where we will stop for lunch. Then we will ride close to the Karayazi town and reach Sarihidir, a rock village. There we will set camp at the Red River and have our first dinner together on the trail. We spend our night tenting.

  3. Day 3 The Black Mountain and the Love Valley

    After breakfast in the camp we saddle up and ride out. The first part of our today’s trail takes us through small, local gardens and farms towards Killik. In the middle of the day we will reach the Black Mountain, where we stop for lunch. After some rest we ride out to reach the spectacular Love Valley. The leandscape there will defiitely make some riders giggle. There we will feed our horses, set camp and have dinner. After finishing our meal cars will take us to the ranch where everybody can get a proper wash. Once we’re all showered we will return to our horses and spend the night tenting.

  4. Day 4 Balloons, pigeons and a Greek village

    It is worth getting up early in the morning to amaze at a multitude of balloons floating above our camp in the Love Valley. After breakfast we will saddle our horses and set off. At the beginning we will ride through the Buyuk Harap area and halfway through the day we will stop for a snack and lunch at the extraordinary fortress in Uçhisar. Then we will leave the village and delve into the Pigeon Valley, where holes and man-made caves are inhabited by thousands of birds (not only pigeons). The rest of the route leads us towards Mount Gemil and further to the Kavak Valley. In the afternoon we will reach the ancient Greek village of Babayan, where we will have dinner at a local, traditional restaurant and stay overnight in a charming family hotel.

  5. Day 5 The heritage of Cappadocia

    On this day our horses can rest and we set out to discover the most interesting attractions of the region! We will visit the ancient city of Sobesos, see the Soğanlı Valley, where several churches carved in stones are located, and then delve into the underground city of Derinkuyu. We will also see an open-air museum and visit the Turkish ceramics factory in Avanos. There will be, of course, time for some shopping! In the late afternoon we will return to the village of Babayan for dinner and overnight stay in a family hotel.

  6. Day 6 Churches in the rocks

    After breakfast we saddle our horses and leave the Greek countryside. Our first destination is the Pancarlık Church, a very old one! It’s been there for 1400 years! The second part of the trail will take us to the charming, somewhat ”lunar” Uzenga valley, and further to the Gomeda valley, known primarily for its extraordinary church carved in rock. Then we will enter the picturesque Greek town of Mustafapaşa, from which we will descend to the Golgol Valley. We will end our ride at Lake Damsa, where we will set up camp, have dinner and stay overnight in tents.

  7. Day 7 Healing waters

    We will start the day with breakfast at the camp by the lake and then ride out. Our first destination is the village of Cemil, where an interesting church with an old chapel carved into the rock was built in 1882. Next we will pass the rock monastery in Keşlik, the most expansive monastery in Cappadocia. A cave complex with two churches, a large refectory hall, a sacred spring, and endless cave rooms are located there. The next part of the trail leads to the town of Yeşilöz and the picturesque Karain. There we will set up our last camp on the trail, eat a delicious dinner and stay overnight.

  8. Day 8 The Red River

    After breakfast we set off towards the Karain and Avla hills. From there we will head to the town of Ürgüp, whose old town is decorated with charming stone houses. Then we will enter the Ortahisar Valley to admire more amazing fairy chimneys, sometimes called ”The Three Beauties”, ”The Three Graces”, ”The Family” or the ”The Three Sisters” and reach the Hallaç Monastery. From there we will head towards the ranch, cantering the last remaining kilometers. Once there, we will say goodbye to our horses, freshen up at the hotel and go to the last farewell dinner at the ranch.

  9. Day 9 Farewell to Cappadocia

    Depending on the departure time, in the night or after breakfast, we depart to the airport and fly back home

The guide might modify the route according to weather conditions and group's riding skill.
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We spend half of the nights in hotels and half tenting. On three of the nights camping and tenting we do not have access to a shower, and during one of the camp nights we will drive to the ranch by car to use the sanitary facilities. While at local hotels and hosted by local families we have access to regular sanitary facilities.

Cappadocian cuisine is very diverse and tasty. We will have the opportunity to taste authentic Turkish flavors – not only kebaps and Tuskish dishes popular in Europe, but above all savoury, healthy dishes prepared in a traditional, home-made way. Delishes, colorful meals along the route and during the camps are prepared for us by the wives and families of our guides. While staying overnight in hotels along the trail we eat meals in local restaurants, and the last dinner at the ranch will be prepared for us by our team. All meals and non-alcoholic drinks are provided during the entire trip. Additionally, tasting amounts of alcohol are served during refreshments and dinners.

 

Equipment

We use classical/English or Western saddles, depending on the particular horse and the riders’ preferences. The bridle is constructed traditionally, we use a bits. The equipment is no different from typical, European tack.

Additionally, each horse is equipped with smal saddlebags. We carry water supplies, lunch and other handy items in them. We recommend storing valuable items, such as your phone or documents, in waist/hip bags or small backpacks.

What you should take with you?

The tour in Turkey is relatively comfortable. A luggage car will assist us all the time, meeting us during most breaks and delivering our belonging to daily destinations. Every morning we pack camping our equipment and/or luggage into it, the car crew can also visit shops and do additional shopping if need be. For our daily rides we take only what we need for a couple of hours in the saddle.

  • passport
  • cash, USD or EUR
  • electronic devices, e.g. cameras, powerbanks
  • flashlight; head flashlights are quite handy
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • head cover against the sun and general (helmet, hat, cap)
  • raincoat / waterproof jacket
  • canteen or other water containers (it might be an empty plastic bottle)
  • sleeping bag
  • bathsuit
  • flip-flops for showering
Date Trip Status Price Spots  
3 June 2024 - 11 June 2024
Available
1940 
3
30 August 2024 - 7 September 2024
Available
1940 
6