17 DAYS GREAT ANATOLIAN HORSEBACK RIDING TOUR

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Welcome to our Horseback Riding Vacations, Holidays and Tours in Anatolia!
Welcome to Turkey, arrival into Istanbul. Transfer from airport & check in to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
A full day of sight-seeing and shopping in this city that was once the capital of the civilized world. Visit the Blue Mosque, St. Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the famed covered bazaar. Return to hotel for overnight.
Transfer by minibus to the campsite near the village of Soguksu where we acquaint ourselves with our horses and enjoy the first night under the stars.
In the morning we ride from Soguksu to the medieval hill fort of Cobankale. From here we take our horses through the clear, shallow waters of the Yalak River (the Dracon of antiquity), where we startle flocks of egrets and the occasional heron, and meet young shepherds herding their cattle along the riverbank. We stop for lunch at the Baghdad Restaurant, known for its delicious fresh trout, and after lunch ride via Validekopru, with its 17th-century bridge, to camp outside the formerly silk-producing village of Kizderbent. (5 hours riding)
We set out from Kizderbent and ride to Mahmudiye, passing through magnificent orchards where pomegranate, walnut, quince, apple and plum trees abound. After a tea stop in a local cafe, and a picnic lunch, we will ride from Mahmudiye via Orhaniye to the ancient, walled city of Iznik, passing by the Roman obelisk at Dikilitas along the way. We will leave the horses for the night and transfer to a small hotel. Iznik is a very atmospheric town offering stunning views of the lake of Iznik. (5. 5 hours riding)
After exploring Iznik, we will meet up with the horses again and ride for an hour south from Iznik, towards the mountains and up to the village of Dirazali, where we will have tea. Then we will climb to the summit where we catch our last panorama of Iznik Lake. Picnicking along the way, we ride down from the summit, via Mecidiye, through fields of sunflowers to Kizilhisar, a charming hill village. (4 hours riding)
We descend from Kizilhisar through fields and woods, coming upon the deserted village of Celebi, with its solitary minaret and marble fountain. From there we climb down to a fertile plain of fields sporting over twenty different kinds of peppers and other crops. We ride into Yenisehir, where we drink tea and have lunch in the old bazaar, finding it at the center of a labyrinth of streets. Leaving Yenisehir, we ride across the plain into the rich cereal-growing area beyond Yoloren. We camp in a field near a green dell with a fresh flowing stream, near the village of Karasil Celtikci. (5 to 5.5 hours riding)
We ride across the richly agricultural Yenisehir plain, and then through rolling uplands via Sungurpasa and Cavuskoy, where we stop for lunch. We pass other settlements nestling in the hills, and continue to reach our campsite in the village of Sukraniye. (6 hours riding)
A day of sight-seeing in Bursa, once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and for centuries the center of the silk trade. We will visit the mausoleums of the Sultans, stroll through the historic bazaars, see a private ethnographic museum with its interesting collection of saddles, and lunch at the famous Iskender Restaurant. If our timing is right, we may have a chance to drop in at the rahvan/pacing races .Overnight hotel near Bursa.
From Sukraniye we ride along the lower slopes of Mount Uludag, ancient Mount Olympus, where the country tracks are lined with walnut and fruit trees. We stop in Babasultan to visit the tomb and shrine of a 13th-century saint, and continue through Yenicekoy and Edebey, lunching along the way. Our camp-site will be on a wooded riverbank near the small town of Cerrah. (4 hours riding)
We leave Cerrah and ride through orchards and along farm roads, via several villages on the slopes of Mount Uludag. In Ortakoy we see the restored 15th-century caravansary of Karaca Ahmet. Soon we start to follow a river to reach our picnic lunch stop on its banks. The remainder of the day we ride through oak forest and up into the hills to reach the village of Bahcekaya . overnight in hotel near Inegol (6. 5 hours riding)
Leaving Bahcekaya early, we ride ever upwards through mixed forest in the hills of the Domanic range, to reach summer pastures at the summit of the mountain. As we go we enjoy dramatic, extensive views in every direction, and descend to a pass where we will have a kebab lunch at a small restaurant. From here we follow a well-preserved, stone-paved Ottoman road—one of the few that still survive—to emerge where the landscape flattens out in smallholdings, before riding across grasslands scattered with juniper and pines, to reach our campsite above the village of Domur. (6. 5 hours riding)
Today we first drop down to the town of Cukurca, with its nearby tomb of the saint Selim Baba and after crossing grassy uplands as far as Muratli, ride crosscountry and then along forest roads to Seydikuzu. From here we go to Findicak, after which the route opens out, offering panoramic views on all sides. We will have a picnic lunch, and make our camp in the picturesque hamlet of Elmali, with its wooden houses that are characteristic of the traditional architecture of this area. (6. 5 hours riding)
Above Elmali we come to a cliff down which we must lead our horses to the valley below. Having safely negotiated the goat-track that indicates our path, we follow a river at first, then climb up and up on forest roads before descending to open country at Senlik where we have lunch. We continue across arable land and chalky uplands to camp near the village of Isakoy. (7 hours riding)
Today we cross the plain to end our journey in the historic city of Kutahya, ancestral home of Evliya Celebi. From Isakoy we ride along tracks between orchards to Dedik, thence to Kopruoren, and on to Yoncali, famous for its thermal baths, where we will have lunch. To avoid riding into Kutahya along the main road, we will transfer by minibus to the newly-built hippodrome in the suburbs, to which our horses will be vanned. Here we will gain an insight into one of the most popular equestrian sports in Turkey when we meet some of the local rahvancis/pacing race enthusiasts who stable their horses here. We will overnight in the recently refurbished Ispartililar Konagi hotel in the city, and may visit, among Kutahya's many monuments, the nearby Balikli hamam, built by an Ottoman Grand Vezir in the 16th century. It is the Turkish bath where Evliya himself was scrubbed clean after his travels—this would be a fitting conclusion to our own adventure! (3 hours riding)
Depart by minibus to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
After breakfast check out from the hotel. We hope your tour was a memorable one and we look forward to seeing you in the future on another Tour. Have a safe trip back home and thanks for choosing us.

Tour Includes

Arrival transfer from Istanbul Ataturk airport 16 nights Horseback Riding Tour 16 Breakfasts, 13 lunches and 13 dinners English speaking professional guide All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking coach Return transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Tour Does Not Include

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Available On Dates
1 February, 2017

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