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Ride into the heart of Turkey and discover Cappadocia's breathtaking landscape and the Avlak Mountain on horseback! This updated horse riding program by Kapadokya Ranch offers you a new progressive ride, called the comfort trail, 5 days, on incredible horses. On this tour, you don't have to lead your horse on long walks uphill or downhill, except on rough terrains. If you chose the deluxe tour, you also won’t have to groom your horses as it will be all taken care of by Kapadokya Ranch. Be ready to enjoy the magnificent trails off the beaten tracks!
There are two kinds of accommodations available. You can choose between standard and deluxe accommodation. All accommodations are located very close to each other. If you choose the standard option, you will stay for six nights in a double / twin or triple room in hotels and guesthouses, while for the deluxe one, you will stay in a double / twin room in superior boutique hotels and stone or cave houses.
Your first and sixth nights will be spent in the town of Urgup at Surban Hotel (standard) or Selçuklu Evi Cave Hotel (deluxe). For the second and third nights, you will stay in Ayvali at Dilek Tepesi (standard) or Gamirasu Cave Hotel (deluxe). Then, on your fourth and fifth nights, you will stay at a panoramic Kilim Pension in Uchisar.
The rooms at Surban hotel are decorated with refinement and various handicrafts. They are equipped with central heating and double glazing, a telephone, a television satellite, a bathroom with marble washbasin, a shower, and a hairdryer.
Dilek Tepesi is located in the traditional village of Ayvali, on a scenic hill where you can receive the positive energy and listen to yourselves. It is a place to enjoy the beauty of Cappadocia, with a nice view of the village and of the valleys around. The hotel is facilitated with suite cave rooms, one archery room, one deluxe room, one standard cave room, three standard rooms, and one arch for family rooms.
The rooms, courtyard, terraces, and dining areas of Kilim Pension are decorated with old traditional kilims, wooden handicrafts, pottery, and special fabrics of the Ottoman period. Each room is named to commemorate villagers of important as a celebration of heritage such as Hasan Ali, Cici Ahbap, etc. Most of the rooms have the magnificent view of Pigeon Valley with its countless pigeon lofts. Breakfast is served in the terrace where you can enjoy views are Erciyes Volcano and serene passage of hot air balloons.
Selçuklu Evi Cave Hotel offers a blend of past and present in Cappadocia. The hotel is facilitated with a number of cave rooms and a luxury restaurant located in the area of food and cooking.
Gamirasu Cave Hotel is located near Urgup, the heart of Cappadocia, Ayvali village, with its 35 meticulously restored and designed cave rooms, it is the first rock hotel of the region, put into service in 1999. The hotel, which was used as a monastic retreat in the Byzantine Era, offers a strikingly beautiful nature, serenity, and contemporary comfort in a pristine village of unspoiled beauty.
The hotel has a pool designed with the antique Roman pool architecture which represents the era. The pool has a 74-square-meter space and floor heating. You can rest with pleasure while enjoying the view of Byzantine ruins and rest up from the day's activities.
Minimum riding level: Strong Intermediate. You must have a competent riding level to take part in our trails. Kapadokya Ranch one-week trails are not suitable for novices or low intermediate riders. Their horses are forward-going and you must be able to stay in control during long and technical group canters.
Riders must be in a good physical condition to take part in the progressive trail. The circuit includes a few difficult ways where riders will be asked to dismount and lead their horse.
You will ride for five days / five to six hours on the back of the horse each day (35 kilometres per day on average, on varied terrain). The pace is primarily walking but with canters every day (sometimes long canters for around 15 minutes). During the hot season, the riding day will start early in the morning (08:00 in the saddle), followed by a big break after lunch, and a one or two-hour riding session in the evening at sunset.
Kapadokya Ranch's stable is composed of forward-going Anatolian, Arab and cross-Arab mares who will surprise you with their robustness and their agility. They are small (one and a half metres on average - the ideal size for trailing on tortuous paths). They are responsive, well-balanced, and respectful of the rider, and also extremely sure-footed. Horses are assigned according to riding levels and riders' preferences, but the size and the weight of the rider are also important criteria.
Kapadokya Ranch has put a lot of time and investment into the quality of their horses. Since 2015, more than half of the cavalry has been renewed with pure Arabian endurance horses. Most of Kapadokya Ranch's horses have qualified in national endurance races. Kapadokya Ranch has invested in a horse walker and in an arena in order to continue to offer riders well-trained horses. All of the horses can lead and all can be ridden alone. In the future, Kapadokya Ranch will continue to select forward going, responsive, sure-footed horses which are fun to ride.
Hackamores are not used anymore. Kapadokya Ranch uses standard bits and pelhams. The riding equipment includes hackamores and McClellan light trailing saddles. These are fitted with two saddle-bags for you to carry the picnic and personal belongings for the day.
Please arrive at Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR). You are met by your driver and transferred in 50 minutes to your guesthouse in Urgup, where you have dinner with your guide.
You are driven to the ranch in the morning to meet your horse and to get acquainted with the riding equipment. The trail begins with one hour of riding through the lush vegetation and along the stream of the Uzengi Canyon. Villagers cook lunch for you on the woodfire, at the foot of troglodytic citadels of dovecotes carved out the abrupt rock walls.
Your first long canter is the ascension of the Avlak Mountain (in case of rain, the Avlak Mountain is unrideable and will be avoided), with a magnificent encompassing view of Cappadocia. The rocky hills could provide the perfect background for a Western movie. You will then spend the afternoon riding through expanses of bare hills surrounding Lake Damsa. In the case of hot weather, you can swim in the lake with your horse.
After lunch, you ride through a maze of paths lined with orchards and vineyards, then enter into the village of Ayvali through a hidden canyon, and stop for the night in your hotel nestled in the rock.
In the morning, you have a quick start with a canter through the fields of the high Anatolian plateau (1,600 meters high) with barley, wheat, oat, and bean fields which bring you to visit the underground village of Golgoli. Your sure-footed horses take you off the beaten tracks along a scenic path through the rock formations, vineyard, and orchards, surrounded by table-mountains.
Tying horses in front of the restaurant, you will have lunch in the centre of the old Greek village of Mustafapasa. After lunch, you may stroll among Mustafapasa’s old stone houses, its Ottoman madrasa, and its painted church or take a nap on the sofa.
In the afternoon, you can enjoy the varied scenery of narrow tracks, small canyons, farmed land, and the wide-open spaces of Bahceli, where shepherds lead their flocks. You sneak your way along the lush, narrow canyon of Sorkumlu, before galloping on large sandy tracks. You arrive at your guesthouse in Ayvali for your last night in the village.
Leaving the guesthouse on horseback, you can enjoy a varied scenery of narrow tracks and farmed land. You sneak your way along the lush, narrow canyon of a "Gomeda" before a beautiful canter through the fairy chimneys of Gümüslü Valley. You ride uphill to reach the lunch at one of the best restaurants, Babayan Evi, which offers very good and healthy local food.
From this picturesque village, you start ascending 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.
Optional hot-air balloon flight will be offered in the early morning, where you can travel with the wind over Cappadocia's magical landscape at sunrise (paid directly to the balloon company). After that, you sneak your way through the rock tunnels, arches, and small woods of the spectacular four kilometres long canyon called Zemi. You make a detour through 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 ochre 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 Shepherd’s Valley take you back to your guesthouse in Uchisar, in time to admire north Cappadocia in the sunset light.
You enter another beautiful canyon called the White Valley which is named after the colour of its rock. You ride through stone labyrinths and lush vegetation and pass the impressive fairy chimneys of yet another Love Valley. You canter on a dust path overlooking Red Valley. You enjoy more long canters through the maze of sandy paths of the valley of Ortahisar before reaching the village for lunch on a terrace with a nice view of a dovecote.
You return to the ranch in the afternoon by the valley of Pancarlik and its multicoloured rock formations, gardens, and orchards. After tea on the Kapadokya Ranch's terrace, you have an option to be driven to the hammam in Ürgüp for a relaxing steam bath and massage.
After breakfast, you will depart to Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) or Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV) for your flight to Istanbul.
Kapadokya Ranch is owned and managed by French-born Nicolas Guillo. Nicolas decided to make Cappadocia his home over nineteen years ago and has been organizing horseriding trails since then. He speaks English, Turkish and French.
This horse riding vacation will take you to explore Cappadocia in Turkey. Your journey will start and end in Urgüp.
You will be served daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the whole duration of the tour. Dinners will be taken all together with the group, while breakfasts (Turkish or continental) will be served in the hotels where the riders sleep. Vegetarian meals are available on request.
During the vacation, you can opt to have a balloon flight on Thursday or Friday morning (depending on the weather forecast) for 130 / 160 EUR. Also, in summer, or as soon as the temperature will be over 30 degrees Celsius, the riders will have access to the swimming pool of Gamirasu Cave Hotel (on the first and second riding days). You can also have a visit to open-air museums or a hammam (Turkish bath).
Erkilet International Airport
NevÅŸehir Kapadokya Airport
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