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Great Anatolian Ride 15 days,14 nights 5 nights hotel, 9 nights camping
17 - 29 June 2018


The Great Anatolian Ride is a horseback itinerary through northwest Turkey that follows, as closely as possible, the early stages of the final journey of the adventurous seventeenth-century Ottoman Turkish traveller Evliya Çelebi. After a lifetime spent wandering the world - from Vienna to Sudan, from the steppes of Muscovy to the deserts of north Africa - Evliya set out from Istanbul in 1671 to make the pilgrimage to Mecca that is required of all Muslims. He never returned to the city of his birth, but spent his last years in Egypt, composing and recomposing the 10-volume travelogue - the Book of Travels - that is the account of his farflung travels.

Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul and take taxi to hotel. Overnight in Istanbul
Day 2: After breakfast ransfer to the historic city of Kütahya, ancestral home of Evliya Çelebi.We visit the historical town of Kütahya and have time for shopping.
After a short lunch, we drive to Cavdarhisar, where we visit the ruins of the roman city of Aizanoi, with it’s impressive Zeus temple.
Day 3: Senlikköy to Elmalı, After breakfast we transfer by minibus to the campsite near the village of Senlik where we acquaint ourselves with our horses. On this day we will be riding across the plain heading towards the mountains to Elmalı. We will ride along forest roads, staying low along the valley bottom following a river. Facing a cliff we will a zig-zag up a goat track that will lead us to the picturesque hamlet of Elmalı, with its wooden houses that are characteristic of the traditional architecture of this area. Here we will spend the first night under the stars. ( 3 hrs riding)
Day 4: Elmalı to Domur. From Elmalı we go to the neighboring village of Fındıcak, along a route that offers panoramic views on all sides. We continue to Seydiküzü on forest roads, and then to Muratlı, having a picnic en route. From here we cross grassy uplands to the town of Çukurca, with its nearby tomb of the saint and musician Selim Baba. Here in the Domaniç mountains, home of brigands according to Evliya, we encounter spectacular views and climb up through yaylas, upland summer pastures, to reach our campsite high above the village of Domur. (6.5 hours riding)
Day 5: Domur to Bahçekaya. We leave our campsite above Domur to ride across grasslands scattered with juniper and pines, before entering areas of cultivation where the landscape flattens out in smallholdings. From here we follow a well-preserved, stone-paved Ottoman road—one of the few that still survive. As we go we enjoy dramatic, extensive views in every direction, and descend to a pass where we will have a lunch. We then ascend once more ever upwards through oak and pine forest, still within the hills of the Domaniç range, to reach the village of Bahçekaya. (6.5 hours riding)
Day 6: Bahçekaya to Cerrah. Leaving Bahçekaya, we descend through mixed forest, passing mountain villages. We come eventually to a river and our pic- nic lunch stop on its banks.. After lunch we ride along and in the river, over- hung by willows, and admire the birdlife. We emerge into a country of orch- ards and farm tracks on the slopes of Mount Uludag, ancient Mount Olympus. In Ortaköy we see the restored 15thcentury caravansary of Karaca Ah- met. We will continue to a wooded riverbank near the small town of Cerrah, where we will camp. (6.5 hours riding)

Day 7: Cerrah to Babasultan. From Cerrah we ascend the lower slopes of Mount Uludag, and continue through Edebey and Yeniceköy to more remote villages higher up the mountain. Here we will have lunch. We pass the tomb and shrine of a 13th-century saint, and proceed along tracks lined with wal- nut and fruit trees. We will camp near the village of Babasultan. Here we may enjoy a traditional Turkish meal prepared by the villagers as well as some traditional Turkish music. (4 hours riding)

Day 8: Bursa. A day of sight-seeing in Bursa, once the capital of the Otto- man Empire, and for centuries the center of the silk trade. We will visit the mausoleums of the Sultans, stroll through the historic bazaars, visit the Ulu- jami (mosque), possibly visit the Bursa City Museum and lunch at the fam- ous Iskender Restaurant. Overnight in hotel.

Day 9: Babasultan to Boazköy. After breakfast we transfer back to the camp- site in our riding gear. We ride through rolling uplands via Çavuşköy and Sungurpaşa, where we stop for lunch and then we camp for the night near the village of Boazköy. (6 hours riding)

Day 10: Boazköy to Mecidiyeköy. Today we ride across the richly agricultural Yenisir plain. After passing through the town of Yenesir we have lunch in a shady overlooking the cultivated fields. Heading out of the valley we make our way past fields of sunflowers and head up an old paved track and into the hills towards the lovely village of Mecidiyeköy where we will camp. (6 hours riding)

Day 11: Mecidiyeköy to Iznik. From Mecidiyeköy we ride to the summit and will enjoy a lovely panorama of Iznik Lake. We descend down the mountain and leave our horses near the ancient walled walled town of Iznik, famous in Ottoman times for its ceramics. We will have time to stroll in the town and wander the many shops that continue the ceramics tradition. Among the sites we may visit In Iznik are the 7th century Byzantine basilica of Hagia Sophia, now a mosque, and the famous 14th century Green Mosque. We will leave our horses for the night, and stay in a family-run hotel on the shore of the lake. (4 hours riding)

Day 12: Iznik to Mahmudiye. After lunch time we meet up with the horses again and ride to Mahmudiye via Orhaniye, passing the Roman obelisk at Dikilitaş along the way. Now we are in a landscape of olive groves. We will make a tea stop in a local café and picnic for lunch, before we continue on towards Mahmudiye, passing through magnificent pomegranate, walnut, quince, apple and plum trees . Our camp is above the village of Mahmudiye, close to a ridge with extensive views towards the lake. (5.5 hrs riding)

Day 13: Mahmudiye to Valideköprü. We leave Mahmudiye and and soon af- terwards take an undulating track though woodland and between
orchards .We ride to the formerly silk-producing village of Kizderbent in its steep-sided valley where we have lunch. Crossing the picturesque bridge built by an Ottoman queen-mother we ride to Valideköprü. Farewell dinner. Overnight on the Bagdhad guest lodge. (5 hours ridinng)

Day 14: Transfer to Istanbul airport.,9171,2104216,00.html?xid=fblike

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Aydin Alti Mahallesi Gesteric sokak No:21 50500/AVANOS - CAPPADOCIA - TURKEY

Phone: Restorant +90 538 523 90 18+90 384 511 5171   Horse Back Riding +90 546 515 0050
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