The Cappadocia Endurance Race

Cappadocia Turkey: (IT-TKIR04)

Cappadocia Turkey

Once a year the major horse riding centers in Cappadocia are combining forces to offer this exciting and challenging horse event! This unique itinerary combines a spectacular trail ride, an orienteering game, and an endurance race. It will take place annually at the best season of the year and will showcase the most beautiful landscapes of our region. Starting at the 'Bird Paradise' lake in the Sultan Sazli National Park, crossing all Cappadocia from south to north, and passing by the fantastic Red Valley, this itinerary lets you enjoy a great variety of landscapes! It will be an incredible adventure for the riders, and their horses.

This will be a challenge involving horsemanship, orienteering, and team spirit : the winner won’t be the fastest but the most clever team.

You will ride in a small group of 6 riders, through a wild and spectacular landscape. Nights will be spent in comfortable camps, around the fire in a traditional, warm atmosphere, surrounded by horses.  Your goal is to be able to follow the smartest itinerary (using google earth), to find all the highlighted points along your chosen way, to respect riding times and speed, to win the challenges, and to prepare your horse for the final trial: the 40km Endurance Race. Bursting with adventure, this is sure to be an unforgettable ride! Are you ready for the challenge?


This is a progressive ride, so nights will be spent in different locations

The first and last nights are spent in a hotel and the remaining 6 nights are spent in bivouac.

Double/twin room with ensuite toilets and shower.

The camp includes a large communal tent, like the ones used by the last nomadic families of the country. Tents are based on twin share. All tents will have comfortable mattresses to sleep on. Riders will need to bring their own sleeping bags. Washrooms and warm showers are available on site - one washroom for each team.

Tent Occupancy
We have larger tents for groups who want to share.
Single rooms/ tents are available for an added fee, but are not mandatory for those willing to share.

All meals are included in the trip from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 9. Dinner is served in a large traditional tent on kilim carpet and low tables.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions given prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.


Physical Condition and Riding Ability
You must have a competent riding level to take part in our trails. This trip is designed for strong intermediate and experienced outdoor riders, looking for a fun and fast ride in Cappadocia on a more challenging itinerary than a standard trail. Here no horses nose to tail!
Our horses are forward-going and you must be able to stay in control during group canters. Before coming to Turkey, go for a few rides outdoor and exercise yourself in order to avoid muscular pain or irritations during the trail.
Riders must be in good physical condition. The circuit includes a few difficult ways where riders will be asked to dismount and lead their horse.

This trail includes 6.5 riding days with 6 hours one horseback per day. We cover approximately 35km per day on varied terrain. The day basically start with pace at walk in order to warm up the horses, then you will trot, canter, walk, trot.

The riding equipment includes standard bits and pelhams as well as McClellan light trailing saddles and saddles made by ourselves. These are fitted with two saddlebags for you to carry the picnic and personal belongings for the day.

Our stable is composed of forward-going Arab, and cross-Arab horses who will surprise you with their robustness and their agility. They are 1,50 m tall on average - the ideal size for trailing on tortuous paths! All our horses are responsive, well balanced and respectful of the rider and they are extremely sure-footed.
We have put a lot of time and investment into the quality of our horses. Since 2015, more than half of our cavalry has been renewed with pure Arabian endurance horses. Most of our horses have qualified in national endurance races.
We have invested in a horse walker and in an arena in order to continue to offer riders well trained horses.
Our horses live together as a herd and all spend their days outside grazing in our fields when not on the trail.
Horses are assigned according to riding levels and riders' preferences, but the size and the weight of the rider are also important criteria.
Our team will groom and prepare the horses, so no participation is required by the rider.
Weight Restriction
Riders cannot be over 90kg. We will weigh riders on arrival and those over will not be able to participate in the riding program.

We will provide 1 guide for every 4 riders.

Travel Insurance
You must have appropriate travel insurance to take part in our trails. Make sure your policy covers horse-riding activities abroad. Your insurance details will be requested on arrival.


Sample Itinerary- subject to changes

Day 1- Saturday
Arrival at Kayseri airport. Riders are driven to Sultan Sazli National Park. Night in a guest house with direct view on the wetland of the «Bird Paradise».

Day 2- Sunday
After breakfast, the teams are put together and the rules of the trail are explained. You meet your horse and start for a one hour ride on the southern part of the lake in a flat landscape ideal to get confident with you horse, team and guide. Each team is to choose its own way. Other team’s riders may be seen in a distance. After the lunch gathering all the riders, your team has three hours to cross an agricultural area, to climb up to the crest of Yesilisar, then to take a long ride across Akkoy lake and Keslik village or straight away to Erdemli Valley to reach the camp. Once arrived, enjoy dinner and check rankings of the day. Night in the Erdemli Valley. Before sleeping you will have to build your strategy for the next day.

Day 3- Monday
On the second day, the team that arrived last the day before is the first to start. You'll spend 6 hours in the saddle with many riding options. You start the day on a stony high plateau, through fields and meadows of the high Anatolian plateau (1600 m high), overlooked by the Erciyes volcano with its snowy peak. It’s up to you to decide on the itinerary: go around Hodul Daha or ride downhill by the Damsa Valley; the most challenging one gives you the maximum points! Camp in the green and peaceful Karlik Valley. Dinner around a big camp fire, rankings of the day and strategy for the next days.

Day 4- Tuesday
Now that your team has gotten used with the rules and is able to evaluate the other competitor's level, this is a day for an exciting competition when missing the entrance of a valley can make you lose your position of leader. Many remote canyons to visit, underground villages, and churches that you shouldn’t miss... Keeping your eyes open will make you win lots of points! Later on, the land turns into wide open, bare spaces where shepherds lead their flock, helped by the impressive Kangal dogs. After a last canter on the steppes, you arrive at the camp « Subasi ».

Day 5- Wednesday
Vineyards, orchards, valleys, and remote villages. The labyrinth of Cappadocia could make your arrival on time at the evening camp difficult. Will you take one of the easiest way or a challenging one? Arriving in the northern part of the National park, during this long riding day you can see the more scenic and sculptural valleys of Cappadocia: Zemi, Pigeon, Love and White valleys. Night on the top of the red valley.

Day 6- Thursday
After an early wake up to admire the sunrise, the ballet of balloons taking off close by, the day start with a long canter on an open plateau, overlooking the maze of colorful valleys. Red valley, Boz daga, Devrent valley, all beautiful, all challenging. Arrival in Uzengui valley for the night, nearby the Ranch.

Day 7- Friday
Today is a half day's ride. You'll go through a training course where your horse has to pass some obstacles (mud, door, U-turn, slalom) to bring your team more points. Your horse is to undergo the vet-check for a 40-km endurance race, and you get all the information about the rules and organization of the race. You'' have an opportunity to shop in Gorëme, to visit the open air museum ,or to laze around. An equestrian show takes place in the afternoon and ends up with a big camp party.

Day 8- Saturday
A 40-km race is organized for all the riders. The minimum speed limit is 10 km/h ; the maximum 15, and the cardio at arrival makes the difference. Night in hotel.

Day 9- Sunday
After breakfast, departure from Kayseri airport.

Rates and Dates for The Cappadocia Endurance Race

Rates include:

Accommodations for 8 nights, all meals, 6.5 riding days, English/ French speaking guide, transfers from/to Kayseri Airport and Nevsehi Airport

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    20199-day trip, AP€2100$2520
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:

2019 Transfers included from Kayseri/ Nevsehir airport between 8:00am and 10:00pm. 0 $0
2019 Single supplement 160 $195

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 05/25 - 06/02 9d / 8n 9-day trip, AP 6 /12 Expired

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Insurance (mandatory); flights; gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Sultan Sazli National Park
Airport: Kayseri Erkilet Airport
Transfer: Kayseri Erkilet Airport or Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport


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Source: NOAA


Cappadocia has a semi-arid, continental climate, with 29 days of rain per year on average.
If you suffer in the heat, avoid the hottest weeks of the year which are from mid-July to end of August.

March: Cold weather, last frost after winter.

April: The sun is back, nature has woken up. Nights remain cold.

May: Sunny weather but may turn stormy at short notice.

June: Vegetation is lush, fields are covered with flowers, the horses are at the top of their form, the kids are still at school ...

July: Beautiful weather. Highly recommended.

August: Very sunny weather, and hot (35°). Siesta is a must after lunch. Bring your hat and sunglasses.

September: Very nice, Indian-summery weather. The trees bear fruits.

October: Beautiful light, great colors. Days are cooler and nights are cold again.

November: Rain is back. May be frosty at night. For the most adventurous riders only.


This trip is not running in January, February and December as temperatures are too cold and snow can make the trails dangerous.

What To Bring:

*Send us a copy your travel insurance policy - with your reservation (or shortly after). All non-insured riders will not be allowed on the trail*
-- to make sure -- and bring along a copy as well

Personal equipment

  • Riding boots
  • Your chaps or half-chaps
  • Your hard hat. Riding without a hard hat is at your own risk
  • A one litre water flask 
  • A good sleeping bag
  • Sun protection: a hat, sunglasses and sun lotion
  • Your own basic pharmacy
  • Some warm clothing and a waterproof (low risk of rain)
  • Pocket money 
  • A torch
  • Towels and toiletry

For your comfort, pack several, lighter bags rather than one large, heavy suitcase
The riding equipment includes light trailing saddles. These are fitted with two saddle-bags for you to carry the picnic and personal belongings for the day.