This ranch is located in beautiful Gorkundere Valley just minutes outside of Goreme. We have a small stable of horses (both Anatolian and Arabic) and offer horseback riding tours in and around the valleys of Cappadocia. Tours are customized for each group or rider and can last anywhere from 1-2 hours up to half-day, full-day or even multi-day tours. The most popular tours are sunset rides to Red and Rose Valleys or during the days before and after the full moon, moonlight tours!
The business is run by Irfan and his family who were born and raised and still live among the fairy chimneys of the old town area of Goreme. Volunteers will be able to get a taste of life on the ranch, in the village and will be able to explore the region of Cappadocia as well. In your free time you can take part in activities like hiking among the fairy chimneys in the Love Valley, visiting an underground city or Goreme Open Air Museum (a UNESCO world heritage site), tasting local Cappadocian wines, watching the sunset from atop a castle carved into the rock formations, or watching the sunrise over the Cappadocian landscape from a hot air balloon! It's truly a magical place and you will love it here.
*️️️️️Please note that we are only looking for SERIOUS inquiries only, as we have had many cancellations. It is also very important that you love horses and other animals. So if you have experience with horses and horse riding, please let us know in your message!*️️️️️
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Animal and nature lovers will be in heaven here in Goreme. You will get to spend time with the animals and learn about their care and ways that they fit into live in Cappadocia - everything is interconnected. Besides being the best mode of transportation for exploring the valleys, horses even help with plowing the gardens here. Pidgeons here are raised as pets, but also provide excellent fertilizer for the crops as well. It's really interesting to see how agriculture, animals and people coexist in such a beautiful place.
Irfan can tell you what it's like growing up in Goreme and living in Turkey today. The town is very small (population 2500) so everyone knows everyone else and you will no doubt make friends visiting around town with Irfan, so you will have plenty of opportunity to practice your Turkish, although it's common to hear many other languages because of the tourist infrastructure. Eat and learn about traditional Anatolian foods as well. In the winter you might learn crafts like knitting from the family too.
Volunteers will help with daily care, grooming and feeding of our 12 horses as well as cleaning and prep of the ranch and riding equipment before / clean up after tours, so previous experience with horses would be very helpful. English and/or Turkish is helpful for interacting with guests before or after their tours. Animal lovers will enjoy getting to know our 30 egg-laying chickens, 20 pigeons, 7 dogs and 2 little cats.
During the winter, because we don't have many tours, your main task will be the morning feeding and grooming of the horses. In the past our volunteers have worked up to doing this task on their own and helping around the farm or to set up the mid-day feeding. This doesn't take more than a couple of hours, so the time in-between and afternoons/evenings are mostly free time that you can use to explore Cappadocia and get to see what it's like to live in Goreme town. We do get snow in the winter, so you'll also get to play around in the winter landscape - it is beautiful at the ranch, but you're not required to spend all your time there, of course.
In the warmer months, like many families in Cappadocia, this family maintains a beautiful garden to supplement their meals so you may be able to help there with gardening tasks too.
Irfan is often working on building projects so handymen are welcome. But the priority would be someone who loves horses and being in the outdoors. If you're afraid of animals, this is probably not a good fit. Also, day to day tasks change frequently, so our most successful volunteers have been adaptable and not rigid with scheduling. Ideally, we would love volunteers for up to a month, but we set a 2 week trial period at the beginning of your stay to be sure it's a good fit both ways.
Accommodation arrangements can be discussed via email before you arrive. Volunteers will be staying in our small house (with all accomodation: electricity, bathroom) at the ranch just a few minutes walk from town .You are right in the middle of nature and with the animals).
Meals are often enjoyed with Irfan or with his family or friends in town or you can make use of the kitchen in the ranch if you prefer. In warm weather, we like to bbq at the ranch as well.
We have wifi at the farm, so you can easily connect . We can also help you get an inexpensive data package for your mobile phone though, if needed.
Goreme is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world, with many UNESCO world heritage sites, ancient churches and dwellings carved into the rocks, and beautiful valleys to explore. We can sometimes offer you rides to nearby towns like Avanos, Urgup, Uchisar, Ortihisar and Nevsehir, or you can opt to use public transportation to explore in your time off. Cappadocia is known as the land of the beautiful horses so of course, you will be able to explore the region on horseback too!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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