The progressive trail in bivouac is for those who enjoy outdoor living and sleeping in a tent or under the stars. You will reach a different location on horseback at the end of each day with the camp set up in the middle of nature surrounded by beautiful views. Dinners will be taken the Turkish way such as on the floor sitting on a carpet around a large round tray set in the communal tent or outside by the campfire. The exclusive camp spots will be all situated in the heart of Lake Beysehir National Park or Köprülü Canyon National Park. Ride into the heart of Turkey and discover the Mountains of Antalya on horseback!
Airport transfer included: Konya Airport
The exclusive camp spots will be all situated in the heart of Lake Beysehir National Park or Köprülü Canyon National Park. The camp will include a large communal tent like those used by the last nomadic families in the country. The camp will also include a shower tent with a bucket and a gas stove for heating the water. During the week, you will spend four nights in double tipi-tents with floor mats and single camp mattresses. Your arrival and departure nights, as well as Wednesday night, will be spent in comfortable guesthouses or hotels in double rooms with en-suite bathrooms. You will set up and take down your own tent and replace the equipment in the trailer each morning. You must bring a suitable sleeping bag, a torch, towels and toiletries.
Crossing the Taurus mountains from north to south, the trail will start in Anatolia with incredible canters along Lake Beysehir and end on the Mediterranean side by crossing a river. This trail is notable because of the diverse landscapes and scenery like a sandy beach and an umbrella pine forest, chestnut and arbutus trees and pomegranate orchards, rocky valleys and high pasture, as well as the majestic canyon of Köprülü for which the Köprülü Canyon National Park is named.
You will also discover Selge. Set on the historic Saint Paul trail, this ancient site has astonishing rock formations and Roman ruins - a little diamond between two mountains. Although referencing miles does not always make sense in the mountainous areas, please be aware that the trail will be fast and rhythmic.
There will be frequent canters - some unforgettable - along with trots, walks, and some passages where you will lead your horse: solid rubber sole shoes are compulsory. In the anarchic limestone formations that characterize this region, you will ride along tracks including roads, cute narrow paths, and a paved Roman-era road. There will also be some improvisation alongside the river. This is the perfect trail for a good rider who likes adventure and extraordinary landscapes.
You must have a competent riding level to take part in this trails. The one-week trail is not suitable for novices or low intermediate riders. The horses are forward-going and you must be able to stay in control during group canters. Before coming to Turkey, please go for a few rides outdoor and exercise yourself in order to avoid muscular pain or irritations during the trail.
On the progressive trail, a good physical condition is essential as you will be asked to get off your horse several times a day to walk and sometimes up steep paths. There will be less walking / leading the horses on the Bivouac trail. If you suffer from the heat, please avoid the hottest weeks of the year from mid-July to end of August. Kapadokya Ranch values the horses and is extremely attentive to riders' weight. All riders are systematically weighed on arrival. Riders over 90 kilograms will not be accepted on horseback.
Kapadokya Ranch is owned and managed by French-born Nicolas Guillo. Nicolas decided to make Cappadocia his home over nine years ago and has been organizing horseriding trails since then. He speaks English and Turkish.
The 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 (1,50 meters on average - the ideal size for trailing on tortuous paths). Responsive, well-balanced, and respectful of the rider, they are 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. Please don't look for boxes or a manège: when they are not on the trail, the horses are grazing in the fields around the farm. 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.
You need to arrive at Konya Airport (KYA) at 18:55 via the flight TK2038. Then, you will be driven to your hotel on the shore of Lake Beysehir at the gate of the national park. Dinner will be with the group and team at 21:00.
Today will be the very equestrian morning: nice and fast with frequent sandy canters along the lake on earth track lined with small oak trees. There will be a colorful lunch amid boats, the blue skies, and yellow reeds and in the afternoon, you will ride up the south Delta of the lake where herds of cow graze on these fat grassy spaces. Then, you will reach the road and cross a typical village - a mix of modernity and tradition. You will walk in the stony riverbed until the canyon diverts us to an oak forest. The camp will await you in the middle of a clearing.
Via a wide path used in ancient times for transhumance (moving livestock from one grazing ground to another), you will ride up until you reach a forest of beech trees. There will be a quick change of scenery after a canter in the undergrowth and you will arrive at the bottom of the first pastures of the Taurus. On an earth and gravel track, you may meet feral horses and please avoid them by accelerating the speed. You need to have twenty minutes' walk in a narrow stony canyon and then you will get back in the saddle to canter in an exceptional landscape.
On both sides of a wide, dry riverbed, enormous pine trees, there grows on a carpet of greenery dotted between imposing rock blocks. Shepherds on donkeys gather their sheep and goats during our lunch. You will start the afternoon on a mineral pass before getting down a long track offering a panoramic view of the valley. From pine trees to an undergrowth, you will find the camp on a green pasture locked between a cliff and a stream.
In a beautiful ravine created by a stream running through a large round rocky block, you will walk on the pine needles. As the trail becomes rocky, you will lead the horses for a bit. After crossing a village and terraced fields, you will reach brush and then a forest. After a long canter, you will have lunch on the banks of a river with a view of Roman tombs carved in the cliff. This short afternoon will be fantastic for anyone who likes fun canters: nine kilometers along river, sand, gravel, and dust track and the border of a field. Alternating cadence, slalom is between the bushes. With a big smile, you will arrive at the only guesthouse in the area: Erdinc's place operated by a nice family who welcome us with a traditional meal.
The village and the fog of the river are behind you when you will take a narrow mule track overlooking the Köprülü Canyon. After passing the only bridge, you will climb via a hard surfaced road (very few to no vehicles). Lunch will be at a curious village built between rocks and chestnut trees. In this fairy-tale-like landscape, you could almost imagine trolls making an appearance. Selge's rocks, a crater produced by a falling meteor, and the canyon will be viewed at a walk and canter from a high-altitude dirt road.
You will leave Selge and the antique theatre via a track in the forest inviting a canter. Then, you will reach one of the most extraordinary passages on this trail: a large path carved into the edge of a vertical mountain - you will be a few hundred meters above the valley. After 40 minutes of joy and a few passages, you must lead the horses; you will eat under huge plane trees shading a fountain. You will then start the most challenging afternoon for both horses and riders.
Climbing first by fields (terraced) and then through the forest, you will reach one of the most remote parts of the trail - a beautiful pasture reachable only by horse or foot. After some short canter, you will dismount and lead the horses on a mule path. There is no danger of falling, but you need to be focused to get through three rocky 400-meter passes - this will take about an hour. You will then finish by entering a forest where you will find the camp in the middle of a wide clearing.
You will descend the mountain via a large track sneaking its way along rock formations, pine forest, and arbutus trees before reaching a cultivated plain. The rhythm of the afternoon will be active: cantering from field to field; crossing a river, and finally reaching the camp on a sandy beach along the river. There will be a transfer to your hotel by logistic vehicle.
After breakfast, you will be driven to Antalya Airport (AYT).
This horse riding trail will take place in Turkey. Turkey has been a secular republic ever since Ataturk came to power in the late 20's. Islam, as it is observed by the very large majority of Turkish people, is moderate and tolerant towards foreign visitors. You cannot eat pork in Turkey. However, the Turks love their raki and you won't have any difficulty finding other alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine. Turkey remains quite traditional and in the most rural areas such as Cappadocia, few women have jobs outside the home or participate in public life. Family in Turkey is sacred and so is hospitality. Wherever you'll go, you can be sure that you will be welcomed with friendliness and dedication even though average living conditions remain modest.
Full board will include continental breakfast and delicious picnic lunch featuring a local specialty each day. At the camp, dinner will be a traditional dish cooked on the wood fire along with salad and fruits. Vegetarian options are available upon request. Tea, coffee, and mineral water will be included while wine, beer, and soft drinks are available as an option.
Please book your flight to arrive at Konya Airport (KYA). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Kapadokya Ranch will pick you up from the airport.
Your arrival will be at Konya Airport (KYA) with nine flights per day via Istanbul. While earlier flights from Istanbul are available, the pick-up takes place following fight TK 2038 (departing Istanbul at 5.30 p.m. and arriving at 6.55 p.m.). After which, you will be driven 100 kilometers to Lake Beysehir (approximately 90 minutes). Should you arrive on an earlier fight, you may wait the rest of the group or take a taxi (about 120 EUR for one to three people).
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