This is a shorter version of our Cappadocia Adventure Trail and covers all the essential must-see parts of this extraordinary landscape of fairy chimneys and volcanic formations. Over centuries, the erosion of volcanic rocks has formed this surrealistic breathtaking landscape. Visit cave villages, underground cities, troglodytic monasteries and ancient frescoed churches to discover the historical and cultural wealth of this region - a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Horseback riding is on strong, sure footed and well-schooled Anatolian horses (Barb-Arab crosses) that used to the varied terrain, allowing the leisure to look around and take in the scenery. Ride 5-6 hours per day in small groups (first day being a shorter ride, 3 hours), covering covering 20-35km on horseback trails. The pace is mostly walk with opportunities for trots and canters every day.

Participants should be reasonably fit and will suit strong novices and intermediate horseback riders and above

For private groups and families, the hosts can accommodate complete beginners on a modified route, so why not try something new when visiting Turkey? An interest in horses and an adventurous nature would be beneficial!

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from VL of High wycombe on 17/04/2024

Ride Summary
Wonderful Cappadocia and amazing horses!
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Ibrahim was a great leader. He was always very calm and very sweet. He really really cares for his horses and his horsemanship was amazing.
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Absolutely fantastic horses! They were very happy, healthy and very well cared for. They were very forward horses and very easy to ride!
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
All the information given prior to departure was accurate and very useful
Was there anything you should have known and were not told? NO
Please give more details to explain your response:
What could we do to improve this ride?
I would have enjoyed a slightly faster pace, but this was very comfortable and enjoyable anyway!
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
6
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
Mostly walking with some trot and canter on forward and very well behaved horses. Cappadocia has got lots of hills so we went uphill and downhill a lot, sometimes on steep terrain.
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Booking was easy, ride was wonderful
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
YES
Any other comments:
During the ride we had the opportunity to meet lots of local people and to chat with them about their customs and country, which was nice. We also played backgammon with them, which is a very popular game in Turkey, they taught us the rules and played with us. It was so nice, everyone was so friendly!
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

International travelers are recommended to arrive in Turkey a day earlier. This trip would also make a great add on if already in Turkey. Short transfers every morning will take riders to where the horses were left on the evening before.

5-Night / 4-Day Itinerary

Day 1
Meet up with the horses at the equestrian centre and start the day riding along the banks of the Red River, passing through the village of Sarihidir and the Saruhan Caravanserai, built in the 13th century. Cross the 'fairy chimneys' of Devrent and on to Bozdag, offering panoramic views of the area. Finish the day riding through valleys and vineyards to the village of Mustafapasa, and ancient Greek village with charming architecture. Stay overnight in the village. (6 hrs riding. Lunch & dinner)

Day 2
Leave Mustafapasa toward Avlak, arriving at the shore of Damsa Lake. Explore the troglodyte 'pigeon houses' and 'fairy chimneys' at the Golgoi site. End the day, and overnight in the village of Ayvali. (5hrs riding. Breakfast, lunch & dinner)

Day 3
Today's ride continues through the Gomeda Valley and the Uzengidere Valley where various rock colours merge. After marvelling at the 'pigeon houses', pass through the village of Ibrahimpasa before reaching Uchisar, well-known for its rocky outcrop that dominates Cappadocia. Take a tour around, and overnight in the village. (5 hrs riding. Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 4
Depart from Uchisarto visit the most famous valley in Cappadocia with their magnificent colours and fairy chimneys. Traverese the Kihclar, the Red and the Rose valleys before reaching 'the Valley of Love', the Baglidere. Continure to Avanos where the ride finishes. (6 hrs riding. dinner not included)
Depart for airport. (Unless booking an additional night)

Day 5 (If booked):
Breakfast and transfer to airport.

3-Day / 2-Night Itinerary:

Day 1
Meet up with the horses at the equestrian centre and start the day riding along the banks of the Red River, passing through the village of Sarihidir and the Saruhan Caravanserai, built in the 13th century. Cross the 'fairy chimneys' of Devrent and on to Bozdag, offering panoramic views of the area. Finish the day riding through valleys and vineyards to the village of Mustafapasa, and ancient Greek village with charming architecture. Stay overnight in the village. (Lunch & dinner. 6hrs riding)

Day 2
Leave Mustafapasa toward Avlak, arriving at the shore of Damsa Lake. Explore the troglodyte 'pigeon houses' and 'fairy chimneys' at the Golgoi site. Follow the Uzengidere and Gumuslu valleys with their different forms of the volcanic stone. Pass through Ibrahimpasha village until finally reaching Uchisar village with its view of central Cappadocia. (Lunch & dinner. 6hrs riding)

Day 3
Depart from Uchisarto to visit the most famous valley in Cappadocia with its magnificent colours and fairy chimneys. Traverese the Kihclar, the Red and the Rose valleys before reaching 'the Valley of Love', the Baglidere. Continure to Avanos where the ride finishes. (6 hrs riding. dinner not included)
Depart for airport. (Unless booking an additional night).

There is no riding on Saturdays. The riding part of the trip can be started on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.

This ride is not available during the peak period of 29th July - 19th August as it interferes with the longer option.

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

There are 15 horses for the guests to choose from. They are all Anatolien horses, a Barb-Arabian cross. These are strong horses, with great stamina. They have a friendly nature, are well trained and have different temperaments, there will be a horse to fit all expectations and skills. They are sure-footed and used to the challenging terrain.

Saddles used on this trail are English trail saddles, larger and comfortable for long hours in the saddle. Each fitted with saddle bags to carry everything you need during the day.


Rider requirements

Must be able to walk, trot and canter on a good horse and be comfortable spending 4-6 hours in the saddle (covering 30-50km daily). The pace is mostly walk, with opportunities for trots and canters each day (when possible). An adventurous nature and confidence riding over varied terrain would be beneficial.

Riders may help with grooming and saddling their horse if they wish, there will always be someone on site to help though.

Weight limit: 188lb (85 kg). Minimum age is 12.
Riders should bring their own helmets and chaps. There might be some helmets available to borrow on site.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 187 lb/85 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Hotel accommodation: standard double/twin rooms with private bathrooms. Comfortable beds, towels, shampoos, soap, WiFi etc. available. Hotels used on this trail are traditional architecture, old stone houses restored as hotels.

Luxury hotel accommodation can be arranged for private groups on request.



Sample breakfast: Green olives, black olives, 2 kinds of cheeses, boiled eggs or omelette, jams, honey, butter, bread, fruits, tomatoes, cucumber, tea, coffee, fruit juices, milk.

Sample dinner: traditional dinner, different every evening (soup, main dish, rice or pasta, dessert or fruits).


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures

When visiting Turkey, your passport should be valid for at least 150 days from the date you arrive and there should be 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.

Passport and Visa requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.

Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Turkey.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/turkiye

Climate Summary

The climate is a continental climate with large temperature variations. In summer, hot during the day (25/35º), cool in the evening and at night (10/15º). The altitude (between 900 and 1800m) and the season determine the temperature. The weather is generally nice and dry but one can have occasional heat storms. Spring can be cooler and wetter – take this into account when preparing your equipment.

Climate Chart

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

British-issued prescriptions are not accepted in pharmacies in Turkey, although some medicines may be available over the counter. You should always bring any regular prescription drugs you may need with you.

As a precaution against Avian Influenza it is recommended that you avoid being in close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds, and ensure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked


Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Turkey and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Electricity

In Turkey the supply voltage is 230V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 230V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.

Mobile, WiFi and charging

WiFi is available in every hotel accommodation. Phone signal is good on most parts of the trail except for when riding in deep valleys.

Packing List

- 1 large travel bag or duffel bag which will be transported by the assistance vehicle, suitcases can be used if preferred.
- 1 small backpack (20 l) will be very useful for air travel or in town, but not for on horseback where we have saddle bags
- Leather gloves
- Sand Shoes (avoid shoes that are too wide because of the stirrups)
- Cotton tracksuit or comfortable large pants with large elastic bands under the feet so as to avoid the pants from riding up your legs
- T-shirts
- Sweat shirt
- Long sleeve shirt (against sunburns)
- Warm jumper
- Wind jacket
- Rain cape
- Light pair of long pants
- Scarf for dust
- Shoes for rest periods
- Hat
- Shorts
- Swimming costume
- Sunglasses
- Sunscreen
- Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent
- Camera, spare Batteries/Chargers - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding
- First aid kit and medicines.

For tours in spring or autumn, bring warmer clothes and a coat.
Because of the heat, avoid wearing synthetic clothes and underwear, tight jeans or pants with thick seams and boots.

Programmes

This is a 5 day / 4 night programme with 4 days riding available on request between April and October.

Departure Dates

2024: Available on request between 1 April and 31 Oct but not during weeks with the full week trail.
2024 Confirmed dates: 8 April; 24 Sept
2025 TBC

Pricing
No single supplement payable if willing to share with someone of same sex. Should you wish to book a single room, please see supplement price below.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4double pp859
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4single supplement195
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4Extra night dbl B&B 97
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4double pp1,255
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4small group supplement 3 riders pp109
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4small group supplement 2 riders pp159
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4single supplement185
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4double pp999
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4single supplement225
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4Extra night dbl B&B 115
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4double pp1,465
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4small group supplement 3 riders pp125
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4small group supplement 2 riders pp189
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4single supplement215
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4double pp1,159
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4single supplement265
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4Extra night dbl B&B 129
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4double pp1,699
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4small group supplement 3 riders pp145
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4small group supplement 2 riders pp219
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4single supplement249
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4double pp12,045
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4single supplement2,709
2024 3-D /2-N3d/2n4Extra night dbl B&B 1,355
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4double pp17,615
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4small group supplement 3 riders pp1,505
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4small group supplement 2 riders pp2,259
2024 5-D /4-N5d/4n4single supplement2,559
Other Activities

The Cappadocia region of Turkey is the most popular location in the world for hot air ballooning. As this a popular 'bucket list' item, it recommended to book in advance. Your hosts recommend a sunrise flight! In the evening you could attend a Whirling Dervishes Ceremony, a sacred spiritual ritual that has been performed for a close to 800 years. It has become a cultural symbol of this incredibly diverse land of Turkey and is truly a special performance to witness.

Wildlife

The most interesting wildlife you might be able to see in this area are buzzards and other kinds of birds, tortoises and foxes.

Other Country Information

This south eastern European country is in south western Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria. It has a total area of 780,580 sq km. It has borders with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq and Syria. And has a 8,333 km coastline. The temperature is hot and dry in the summer with mild, wet winters. The terrain is mostly mountainous with narrow coastal plains and high central plateaus. The elevation varies from sea level to the highest point at Mount Ararat 5,166m. Norther Turkey can be prone to earthquakes.

Cappadocia occupies the centre of Turkey, the region between the Black Sea in the north and the Taurus Mountains, between the capital Ankara and the city of Malatya to the east. Famous for its spectacular natural rock formations and valleys, Goreme National Park, as it is known today, is strewn with underground cities, stone chapels, monasteries and dwellings that were hewn out of the weirdly eroded volcanic rock from as long ago as 400 BC.

Thousands of years of wind and rain erosion on a landscape of soft volcanic stone topped with hardened larva caps has created a fascinating landscape of rock cones and pinnacles that are known as ‘fairy chimneys’. The greatest concentration of fairy chimneys can be found within the triangle formed by the three main towns of the region, Avanos, Urgup and the main transport hub of Nevsehir.

Outside the triangle to the south are the remarkable underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli, where layers of tunnels and an intricate system of caves hid generations of settlers and sheltered early Christians fleeing persecution. The Ilhara Canyon is another religious hideaway with more than 100 painted churches and about 4,000 dwellings carved into the rock walls or concealed within the cliffs; its river bed and lush vegetation stand in stark contrast to the dusty, seemingly barren land above.

Cave dwellings, ancient monasteries and painted chapels are well camouflaged, with entranceways that are barely noticeable among a landscape of perforated cliff walls and rock fissures. Houses of volcanic stone blend unobtrusively into the natural surroundings, pigmented in natural shades of ochre and yellow, to pinks, greys and greens, and many people still inhabit the cones and chimney formations. In tourist towns such as Goreme, delightful little hotels and pensions are built partially into the rock or are housed within a rock cone and offer cave-style rooms.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Avanos, Turkey
Transfer:
2024: Private transfer available form Kayseri or Nevsehir Airport. Prices on request. Optional transfer via the Airport shuttle from €20.00 p/p one way. (subject to change)
Flight Guide:
London - Kayseri return from £180 pp return
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