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. 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.

They all provide 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 vegetarians given prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.


More about the Race
Each team puts together a maximum of 5 riders and a guide. The team itself is in charge of the strategy and itinerary, the guide is there to help and show the way through the difficult passages.
The goal of this orienteering and endurance equestrian game is to be able to follow the smartest itinerary in the labyrinth of Cappadocia, to discover all the highlight points on your way, while respecting riding times and speed.

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 85kg. 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 2021 - subject to changes

Day 1- Saturday May 20th
Arrival at Kayseri airport. Riders are driven to Sultan Sazli National Park. Night in a guesthouse with direct view on the wetland of the «Bird Paradise».
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at a Hotel

Day 2- Sunday May 30th
After breakfast, the teams are put together and the rules of the trail are explained. You meet your horse and go for a 1-hour ride on the southern part of the lake in a flat landscape ideal to get confident with you horse, team and guide. Other team’s riders may be seen in the distance. After the lunch, all the riders get together. Your team has 3 hours to cross an agricultural area, climb up to the crest of Yesilisar, and take a long ride across Akkoy lake and Keslik village or straight away to Erdemli Valley, in order to reach the camp. Once arrived at the camp, we enjoy dinner and check rankings of the day. Before sleeping, you will have to build your strategy for the next day.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Camp in Erdemli Valley

Day 3- Monday May 31st
The team that arrived last the day before are the first to start. Today, you will be riding for about 6 hours. You start the day through fields and meadows of the high Anatolian plateau (1600 m high), overlooked by the Erciyes volcano with its snowy peak. You decide on the itinerary: go around Hodul Daha or ride downhill by the Damsa Valley; the most challenging one gives you the maximum points! Dinner around a big campfire, rankings of the day and strategy for the next days.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Camp in Karlik Valley

Day 4- Tuesday June 1st
Now that your team has gotten used to 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. En Route, there are remote canyons, underground villages, and churches that you should not miss... Keeping your eyes open will make you win many points! Later on, the terrain becomes wide open. We cross 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 ».
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Camp in Subasi

Day 5- Wednesday June 2nd
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.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Camp in Red Valley

Day 6- Thursday June 3rd
We wake up early to admire the sunrise and the ballet of balloons taking off close by. The day starts 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, close to the Ranch.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Camp in Uzengui Valley

Day 7- Friday June 4th
Today is a half day's ride. You will 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 before the 40-km endurance race, and you get all the information about the rules and organization of the race that will happen tomorrow.
In the afternoon, you have an opportunity to shop in Gorëme, visit the open-air museum, or simply laze around. An equestrian show takes place in the afternoon and ends up with a big camp party.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Camp in Gorëme

Day 8- Saturday June 5th
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. Overnight in a hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at a Hotel

Day 9- Sunday June 6th
After breakfast, departure for Kayseri airport.
Meals included: Breakfast

Rates and Dates for The Cappadocia Endurance Race

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, 6.5 riding days with English/ French speaking guide & transfers from/to Kayseri Airport and Nevsehi Airport

Packages and Options

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:

2020 Transfers included from Kayseri/ Nevsehir airport between 8:00am and 10:00pm. 0 $0
2020 Single supplement 245 $280

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Insurance (mandatory) & Gratuities

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

                                        Mustafapaşa area














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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.

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 bring along a copy as well

Every rider should bring along:
• hard water bottles (preferably 2 x 1 litre). We want to avoid plastic waste so we provide mineral water in big tanks, not in individual bottles !
• warm and waterproof clothing in spring and autumn. Many people overlook the fact that Cappadocia is in altitude and may have some cold wind and rain.

In summer, dress as if you were going for the desert; in spring and autumn, bring some warm clothing and a waterproof (low risk of rain).
Every evening, the logistic vehicle will forward your luggage to the guesthouse.

The guides do carry first aid packs with them, but you may also want to bring your own water purifying tablets, aspirin, large spectrum antibiotics and sunscreen.

This list is only a guideline for you


Travel documents and Voucher

Flight tickets


Visa (check with your consulate)

Travel Insurance



Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)

Long sleeved shirts

Good walking shoes, rather than boots! However, make sure your shoes are not too big, or they may get stuck in the stirrups.

Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips) Riding without a hard hat is at your own risk.

Riding gloves

chaps or mini chaps

Hat with chin Strap



Sweatshirt for evenings

Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts


Underwear and socks


Bag for dirty clothes

Walking shoes


For Camping trips:

Sleeping bag rated down to -10 F (-20 C) at least





Personal Toiletries

Insect protection

Personal medications

Sore cream (for an emergency)

Sewing kit


Camera and enough extra films

Address book and pen (for pictures postcards!)

Sun glasses with strap

Sun tan lotion and lip balm