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13 days Tour

cappadocıa & ıstanbul

CAPPADOCIAN HORSE RIDERS
&
THE TREASURES OF ISTANBUL

 

On this camping tour, you’ll go back in time on horseback to meet a traditional rural life. This region will seduce you with a harmonious combination of stunning natural scenery and ancient monuments. The region’s tender rock was sculpted by erosion and by man who carved out homes, tunnels, churches and underground cities. From canyon to canyon, from valley to valley, you will ride on your sturdy Barb-Arab horses to discover this unique region.

Duration: 13 days

Rates: 3500 € per person

Departure dates possible upon request.

Minimum 4 people. 

KİRKİT HORSE  (8).jpg
PROGRAM OF ITINERARY 1
The  Silk Road

(suitable in spring, summer and autumn)

Day  1: Arrival

You’ll be expected for dinner in Avanos, in Cappadocia. Overnight in a comfortably restored traditional Anatolian house.

Day 2: Avanos - Devrent

First contact with the horses and trails to choose your horse. After lunch, we follow the river "Kizilirmak" up to the village Sarihidir. We cross the river and following a dried riverbed,  we arrive at the  13th century seldjoukide caravanserai  of Sarihan. We follow the old silk route to the fairy chimneys of Devrent with their spectacular shapes.  Campsite in the valley.

Approx. 3h riding.

Day 3: Devrent - Keslik
We leave in the direction of Pasabag (valley of monks), an amazing valley where the fairy chimneys have multiple hats.  We pass in front of the cliff of Old Cavusin  with troglodyte dwellings. Further on, we will have a beautiful panoramic view on the valley of the roses (Güllüdere) and the red valley (Kizilçukur). We arrive at the village of Ortahisar with its amazing rocky peak and will then, through the valley of Üzengi, arrive at the village of Mustafa Pasa with its beautiful sculptured, greek houses. Following the Damsa lake, we arrive at our bivouac in Keslik, near a spring.

Approx. 6h on horseback.

 

Day 4: Keslik - Basdevrent
We ride on to Taskinpasa (1150 m), where we admire the mosque and a "türbe" (tomb d) from the seldjoukide era as well as ruins of a "medersa" (an ancient koranic school), with its beautiful door and a sculptured "mihrab" (a prayer niche in a mosque indicating the direction of Mecca).
We continue to climb to the Dambirca plateau, with magnificent views on our way up. Campsite in Basdevrent.

5h in the saddle.

Day 5: Basdevrent - Soganli
We cross  the troglodyte village of Güzelöz and  Zopun (1300m). Our path leads us downhill to the gorges of Tahtali, then through the small valley of Ballik with its numerous rock pigeon homes. We finally reach Soganli, a small village built on the banks of a river which conceals a dozen rock churches: Dome church, Snake Church, Karabe Kilise with particularly well kept frescoes. The most ancient of them are dated from the 7th century.

3h horseback riding. 

Day 6: Soganli - Erdemli
The ride continues over the Meselik plateau, along lake Akköy to the village of Keslik. From the Küçükhodul plateau, the volcano Erciyes Dagi comes in view, the ancien Mount Argee, dominating Kayseri from its 3916m. The mud and ashes of this volcan and of its twin "Hasan Dagi" formed the soft soil of Cappadocia with their spectacular erosion. 

We arrive at the byzantine monastery of Erdemli. Dinner and night at the foot of Mount Hodul, at 1400m altitude. 

App. 5h on horseback.

Day 7: Erdemli - Karain
The trail leads us to  the semi-troglodyte village of Hodulkavak and Akçaören (1150m), a village with beautiful traditional houses.

Riding through cereal fields, we’ll head towards Mount Hodul with beautiful views over the Erciyes volcano, Camp site next to the village of Karain.

5h of riding.

Day 8: Karain - Red River

Through the village of Boyali we across the Topuz mountain (1750m). By passing through Aksalur (1450m), in the middle of the vineyards, we go down to the troglodyte village of Sofular. Bivouac on the river bank.  

5h of riding.

Day 9: Red River - Bayramahacili
A path along the banks of Kizilirmak river will lead us to the hot water springs of Bayramhacili, for a great treat ! : an unforgettable swim  in water at 40°C  ! Camp near the springs. Campsite nearby. 
5h in the saddle.

Day 10: Bayramahacili - Avanos
Following the river Göynük, we arrive at Ozkonak (1300m). After the picnic we visit the underground city. Our trail finishes with the ascent of Mount Idis (1700m) for a magnificent view on the spectacular scenery of Cappadocia. Return ride to Avanos. Dinner and night in a guesthouse.

App. 6h riding.

Day 11: Avanos - Istanbul
Free time in Avanos for a walk or some shopping.
Transfer to Kayseri airport and flight to Istanbul. Welcome at the airport and transfer to the hotel. Dinner not included, you may want to discover one of the many typical restaurants around the hotel.

Day 12: Istanbul
Free visit of the town: St. Sophie, Blue Mosque, Big Bazar, Topkapi Palace, Bosphorus... (Group and private tours are available)
Meals not included, night at the hotel. 

Day 13: Istanbul - return flight
Transfer to the airport and return flight to your country.

Duration: 13 days

Rates: 3500 € per person

Departure dates possible upon request.

Minimum 4 people. 

It is possible to extend your stay in Istanbul upon request.

The given program is an indication of a possible itinerary. It may change according to technical, security or weather imperatives. Only Kirkit’s guide can make the necessary decisions.

(Note:  Maximum weight - 85 kg) 

The price includes:

  • A horse and saddle for riding

  • Saddlebags, half-chaps and helmets are provided

  • The services of an English or French speaking guide

  • A minibus to carry your luggage from campsite to campsite

  • Meals and accommodation during the riding tour from dinner day 1 to breakfast day 11 (picnics for lunch and hot meals prepared at the campsite in the evenings)

  • Tents, floor mats, plates, bowls and cutlery.  (You must bring your own sleeping bag.)

  • 2 transfers in Istanbul

  • 2 nights of hotel in Istanbul with breakfast

The price does not include:

  • International and domestic flights

  • Entrance fees 

  • Drinks and personal expenses

  • Lunches and dinners in Istanbul

  • Insurance

PROGRAM OF ITINERARY 2
Fairy Chimneys and Volcanoes

(suitable in summer)

Day  1: Arrival

You’ll be expected for dinner in Avanos, in Cappadocia. Overnight in a comfortably restored traditional Anatolian house.

Day 2: Avanos - Ozkonak

First contact with the horses and try outs to choose your horse. We’ll gently climb up Mount Idis (1700m) above the village where we’ll enjoy a wonderful view of the spectacular landscapes of Cappadocia. Our campsite will be close to the village of Özkonak.

3 hours of riding..

Day 3: Ozkonak - Bayramhaci

We’ll visit the underground city of Özkonak that served as a shelter in case of danger with its impressive galleries and tunnels. Round stones were used as sliding doors to shut out the enemy on which you could pour boiling oil.  Having ridden along the river Göynük and amongst semi-cave houses, we’ll reach the natural thermal springs of Bayramahaci. You’ll enjoy a wonderful swim in an outdoor pool. We’ll camp nearby. 6 hours of riding.

 

Day 4: Bayramhaci- Devrent

We descend down to the longest river of Turkey, the Red River, Kizilirmak. We’ll cross the river to the village of Sarihidir and, surrounded by vineyards and orchards, on to the lake Damsa and the dam of Bayramhacili. We’ll follow the ancient Silk Road and arrive at Sarihan, a 13th century Seljuk caravanserai. We’ll pass through the fairy chimney valley of Devrent with its spectacular formations and we’ll camp in the valley.

6 hours in the saddle.


Day 5: Devrent - Keslik

We’ll go through Pasabag, the Monks’ Valley, with its amazing fairy chimneys with several “hats” to the cliff of Cavusin riddled with cave dwellings. Further along, we’ll enjoy a stunning panoramic view over the valley of Roses (Güllüdere) and the Red Ravine (Kizilcukur). We’ll ride on to the village of Ortahisar with its impressive rocky peak, then to the village of Mustafa Pasa whose Greek houses have beautiful carvings. We continue through Üzengi valley and after crossing the village of Cemil, we ride through a canyon landscape to arrive at our camping site, next to a source, in Keslik, a cave monastery.

6 hours in the saddle.


Day 6: Keslik - Derbentbasi

In the village of Taskinpasa (1150m) we’ll admire a mosque and a türbe (tomb) of the Seljuk period and the ruins of a madrasa (former Koranic school) with a fine portal and a sculpted mihrab (prayer niche in a mosque). We’ll climb up to the plateau of Dambirca for stunning views of the region. Overnight in the valley of Derbentbasi.

5h of riding.

Day 7: Derbentbasi - Soganli

We’ll pass the sheep fold of Zopun and then climb gently to the Tahtali gorge. We’ll finally arrive at Soganli, a small village, which is an open air museum. After lunch, we’ll visit Soganli, home to a dozen rock churches: Church of the Dome, Church of the Serpent, Karabas Kilise with particularly well preserved frescos, the oldest dating back to the 7th century. Overnight in a village home.

3 hours on horseback.


Day 8: Soganli - Erdemli

The trail continues with Meselik plateau, the lake and the village of Akköy. On the Küçükhodul plateau, the view of the volcano Erciyes Dagi, with its 3917m of altitude, is breathtaking. Today, our goal is the Byzantine monastery of Erdemli that we’ll explore hundreds of caves. Dinner and overnight at the foot of Mount Hodul, at an altitude of 1400m.

5 hours of riding.

Day 9: Erdemli - Sarigol
We’ll ride at an altitude of 1000m across the dried out lake of Sultansazligi, allowing us an opportunity for long gallops with the volcano as a backdrop ... Along the slopes of the volcano, we’ll reach the semi-nomadic village of Eski Şeyhşaban at an 1700m altitude with some ancient ruins and a large stone Roman pool.

Our next stop is the yellow lake, Sarigöl at an altitude of 2450m where with a bit of little luck, we might see some wild horses that come to drink at the lake. All along our route, we have breathtaking landscapes on the flanks of the volcano of Mt Erciyes (3916 m) where snow  remains on its peak until the summer. Overnight near the lake.

About 6 hours in the saddle.

Day 10: Sarigol - Kiziloren

We’ll cross the semi-nomadic camps with their herds of goats and sheep to the pasture of the tribe of Asiret and Töre, then  to Armutluk at an altitude 1650 m. We’ll descend to an altitude of 1450 m to the village of Kizilören. Lunch in a village home.

3 hours of riding. End of our riding tour.


1:30 Transfer by vehicle to return to Avanos. Free afternoon to visit the potters of the village or the museum of antique carpets of Cappadocia. Dinner and overnight in a guesthouse.


Day 11: Avanos - Istanbul
Following your flight schedule, transfer to the airport and regular flight to Istanbul.  Transfer to your hotel.

Overnight with breakfast.

Day 12: Istanbul
Visit of the city on your own: St. Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, the Bosphorus. (Group and private tours are available). Overnight with breakfast.

Day 13: Istanbul - return flight
Transfer to the airport and return flight to your country.

Duration: 13 days

Rates: 3600 € per person

Departure dates possible upon request.

Minimum 5 people. 

It is possible to extend your stay in Istanbul upon request.

The given program is an indication of a possible itinerary. It may change according to technical, security or weather imperatives. Only Kirkit’s guide can make the necessary decisions.

(Note:  Maximum weight - 85 kg) 

The price includes:

  • A horse and saddle for riding

  • Saddlebags, half-chaps and helmets are provided

  • The services of an English or French speaking guide

  • A minibus to carry your luggage from campsite to campsite

  • Meals and accommodation during the riding tour from dinner day 1 to breakfast day 11 (picnics for lunch and hot meals prepared at the campsite in the evenings)

  • Tents, floor mats, plates, bowls and cutlery.  (You must bring your own sleeping bag.)

  • 2 transfers in Istanbul

  • 2 nights of hotel in Istanbul with breakfast

The price does not include:

  • International and domestic flights

  • Entrance fees 

  • Drinks and personal expenses

  • Lunches and dinners in Istanbul

  • Insurance

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
 
Horses & Organisation For Multi Day Trails 

The 1 week and longer trails are NOT recommended for beginners, unless you book a private trail. 
 

We use Barb-Arab horses, sturdy and well adapted to the terrain we cover.  Each rider has the responsibility of caring for his/her horse and looking after his/her material. You'll be accompanied by an English/French speaking guide who knows the region and the horses perfectly, accompanied by a driver/ cook.
 

These riding tours covers about 30 - 50 km a day between the altitude 1000 and 1800 m. and about 5 to 7 hours in the saddle.  The terrain may oblige the rider to sometimes get off his horse and walk.  These trips are for people that already have a good knowledge of horse riding in the great outdoors.  One needs to know how to saddle, gallop in a group and take care of one’s own horse.  To make the best of your holiday, it is recommended to arrive in good physical condition. The rythym is calm with quite bit of pacing and some galloping. 

 

During the standart camping tour in summer , the accommodation is camping with 2 person igloo tents.  There are picnics for lunch and hot meals in the evenings. Your personal luggage is transported by a vehicle that meets up with the group every evening.  The riders are provided with saddlebags to carry their needs for the day (water, camera, picnic for lunch…). You MUST bring your own sleeping bag.  In spring and autumn, the accommodation is at family pensions, private bathrooms and towels provided. 

 

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.
 

Here’s an idea of what you might like to include in your bag: 3 T-shirts, a sweat shirt or a long sleeve shirt (against sunburns), a warm jumper, a wind jacket, a rain cape, a light pair of long pants, a pair of shorts, a swimming costume, hat, a scarf for the dust, shoes for rest periods, sunglasses, a toilette bag, a small personal first aid kit and medicines, a light torch with spare batteries, a pocket knife.  For tours in spring or autumn, bring warmer clothes and a coat.
 

For horse riding: a cotton tracksuit or comfortable large pants with large elastic bands under the feet so as to avoid the pants from riding up your legs.  Sand shoes along with mini-chaps to protect your calves.  Leather gloves for fragile hands.  Because of the heat, avoid wearing synthetic clothes and underwear, tight jeans or pants with thick seams and boots (even leather boots).


Maximum weight : 85kg.

Children allowed depending on their riding experience and their size. 

Helmets are lent directly at the stables.

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