Adventure vacations in Turkey

Cappadocia Highlights


Horseback riding in Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey, allows you to experience the history and beauty of the area.  It has been a meeting ground for European and Asian civilizations since long before the time of Alexander the Great.

More than two thousand years ago the ancient Greeks wrote about the fine horses raised in Cappadocia.  Those horses are the ancestors of the animals used now for the ride through this fascinating region.

Not only is the region rich in history, the natural wonders are unlike anything else in the world.  The heartland of Turkey is Anatolia, an ochre-hued high plateau rising progressively towards the east. It is broken by river valleys and ravines, dominated by volcanic peaks, and features dramatic rock formations in colors ranging from warm red and gold, to green and grey.  The most striking of these are what the Turkish call “fairy chimneys.”

The plateau was one of the cradles of human civilization, with settlements dating back as far as the eighth millennium B.C.  In this historic battleground of East and West, numerous civilizations have fought for sovereignty and established their rule.  During its turbulent history, Central Anatolia has endured invasions by great conquerors such as Alexander the Great and Tamerlane, and has hosted an amazing number of civilizations including the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans.

Much of this horseback riding tour proceeds along narrow trails in steep, rocky terrain, and riders should be prepared to dismount and lead horses occasionally.  Previous experience trail riding is important for riding in Cappadocia.  Experiencing this fascinating landscape, meeting the local people, and visiting some of the ancient and unusual structures will surely be a grand adventure.

The accommodations in Cappadocia are in a lovely historic hotel. Meals will be provided in cafes and restaurants in the villages along the route.

The food is typical of Central Turkey, featuring grilled meats, homemade soups, meyze and locally produced fruits and vegetables. Vegetarian meals can easily be provided with prior notice. (Most special dietary considerations may be accommodated, but it is best to check first with the specifics.)

  • Overview:
    The horses are Arab cross. These small horses (14-15 hh) are strong, forward, sure-footed and well adapted to the region.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Arabian cross
  • Trip Pace:
    Mostly slow with some fast canters depending on terrain
  • Tack:
    English and McClellan
  • Weight limit:
    190 lbs

Kayseri airport in the Cappadocia region

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Transfer is managed after your arrival to an authentic hotel “Saddle Cave Hotel” which is located in the historic town of Mustafapasa, where you will stay for the whole week. You can take a stroll around town and meet your host to talk about the riding program and the schedule of the week. Dinner will be served at Avanos in a Restaurant.

Day 2

Transfer to the horses after breakfast. Today ride to Özkonak where you will visit one of Cappadocia’s famous underground cities. When excavated, the city revealed ten floor that could have housed 60,000 people for three months at a time, the first four floors are open for visitors. Lunch will be served at Özkonak after lunch return over Ziyaretdagi Mountain to the ranch. From here you will be transferred to hotel and dinner will be served at the hotel. If you wish, there is time to visit the ceramic and carpet stores in Avanos and the surrounding area.

Day 3

Today ride from the riding center to Çavuşin over Sarihidir, a tiny fishing village on the Red River. After a short break enjoy a long canter along the river, before passing  a beautifully restored 13th century caravanserai where you will also see the whirling dervish performance. After lunch (which will be served as picnic style) we will ride through the fairy chimneys of Zelve before returning to the Çavuşin. Dinner will be served at Avanos.

Day 4

Breakfast will be served with the absolutely amazing view of balloons at the Çavuşin where the horses will be picked up to ride to the magnificent Pasabagi Valley and on to Devrent Valley where you will see wonderful examples of fairy chimneys and interesting geological rock formations. Ride to Ortahisar where you will have lunch. After, you will ride to Mustafapaşa where the horses will stay overnight near the hotel and dinner will be served at the hotel.

Day 5

Start from the hotel at Mustafapasa, which is a Greek village, famous for the elaborate carvings on the houses. Stop for tea and then ride on through the valleys to a trout farm where you ll have lunch after to the Keslık Monastery. After a leisurely lunch return to the hotel through the beautiful Balkan Valley on horseback. Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Day 6

Riding will start from the hotel after a nice breakfast. On the way back to the riding center, pass through Ortahisar’s panoramic points, the stunning fairy chimneys near Göreme, through the green valley before enjoying a long canter in the plains. Later goback to hotel, refresh and visit to the Göreme Open Air museum. Dinner will be served at a restaurant at Göreme town.

Day 7

Have breakfast and transfer to Kayseri airport for departing flight.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and may be adjusted at the guide's discretion due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

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Preferred Trip Dates

Cappadocia Highlights
June 22, 2024
January 1, 1970
January 1, 1970

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There are lots of opportunities to meet people and they are incredibly kind and hospitable. It was one of the biggest highlights of the ride for me.

Susan Wirth