Cappadocia, Turkey is a spot I would recommend for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a chilled-out trip full of discovery and natural wonders. Taken from the Persian word, “Katpatuka,” it literally translates into “The land of beautiful horses.” The vast landscape can only be described as a natural wonderland, home to the most exquisite natural rock formations, underground cities, and the fairy chimneys at the Göreme Open Air Museum. Located in the central Anatolian region, the town of Göreme with its scenic surrounding landscape has a laid-back atmosphere is so laid back, and the stillness allows one to take in the beauty of the surroundings.
Horse Riding Trails Through The Cappadocian Landscape
Horse riding trails are, of course, a favorite among visitors and tours cater not only to experienced riders, but also beginners. You will be taken on amazing trails on horseback where you can view the beautiful natural geological formation. The Dalton Brothers Horse Farm is run by guides who have grown up in Cappadocia and have a great love for horses. The horses are so well-trained and well-accustomed to their habitat making the journeys a pleasant experience for riders.
Short one-hour trails are available, as are multi- day trips in Cappadocia and up to the Taurus Mountains. A 6-day ride along the trail between Cappadocia and the Taurus Mountains will allow you to see the natural diversity of plant and wildlife species along the way, camping in cozy tents overnight. Don’t miss out on the Full Moon Rides between May and October each year and experience an evening on horseback under the moonlight.
Hiking, jeep safaris, and quad biking are another way to see the region. The diversified landscapes are unique to the area where the rock surfaces in the valleys take on their own natural color formations. Travelers can choose from a wide selection of walking tours, including the Red Tour, Green Tour, and Blue Tour to view the natural beauty. Take a quiet trail through Pasabaglari, the valley of the fairy chimneys and see glimpses of the rich cultural heritage instilled over time as you gaze upon quaint, charming houses carved into the rock faces.
Hiking Trail Options
The hiking trails in Cappadocia are rated among the best in the world and there are trails to suit all travelers. New Göreme Tour Travel Agency has many different tours to choose from. A short 4km trek starting in Güvercinlik Valley takes hikers on a relaxed walk among natural scenery up to Esentepe Hill, for those just wanting to experience nature and glimpses of the landscape at a leisurely pace. The Bağlıdere Valley route is also an option to view the natural geology over a 5km stretch. The Canyon Hiking Tour through Ihlara Valley is the most popular taking tourists into the valleys to discover the hidden churches on a 14km trail alongside crystal clear streams. Moonlight treks are also available.
Experience the fresh mountain air on a Cappadocian mountain hike. A 12 km trek up to up to Hodul Mountain and Hirka Mountain is a suitable day trip. Hikers wishing for a night under the stars can join the ascent to Erciyes Mountain and camp down in the valley overnight.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
The exquisite scenery in Cappadocia is best seen from above, and many travelers come to Cappadocia to see the Göreme Open Air Museum by taking a hot air balloon ride. The balloon rides depart early in the morning when the weather conditions are favorable and you can see the sun rise over the fairy chimneys in Pasabaglari, cave houses and acres of orchards and vineyards.
Eco Cave Hotels
Numerous responsible tourism activities are available, but whichever options you select, be sure to choose one of the eco-friendly cave hotels for an authentic Cappadocian experience. Ariana Sustainable Luxury Lodge is located at the top of Uçhisar Valley where you can immerse yourself in nature by walking down their green gardens which cascade down the hill close to historical, natural wonders.
The Museum Hotel has an antique touch and contains remnants of the local history and culture. The hotel has its own ecological garden where guests can pick and taste the fresh produce. There is also the option of picking you own fruit and vegetables to join one of the cooking classes hosted on site. “Cross golf” is a unique activity offered by the hotel. The goal is to complete the course with the least number of strokes. Players putt into nets while enjoying the natural valleys in Cappadocia while still protecting the environment.
Traveling to “The land of beautiful horses” is an unforgettable trip of a lifetime to one of the most unique destinations worldwide.