Photo Story: Exploring The Most Gorgeous Landscape In Turkey

Jul 4, 2020
by Paula Zibasa  


If you ever find yourself thinking about which destination you would like to visit whenever the leaves turn brown and the days get colder and shorter, it’s usually Italy, Spain, Portugal or New Zealand. Those countries always come to mind in the first place, maybe because they are well known for mountain biking or maybe because you’ve already visited them two, three or ten times. You might even find yourself booking the same hotel, eating the same food, seeing the same views, and riding the same trails you’ve already ridden for years in a row. But why wouldn’t you once in a while step out of your comfort zone and take a risk, travel to a country that has never been explored with bikes before. Wouldn’t you enjoy traveling to a destination where the trails aren’t crowded, neither shaped nor you can find them easy on Strava, simply exploring and being adventurous once in a while. Learning more about new cultures is always something truly special and to have a look into other views of life, expectations, and habits those people have.

The crew is off. photo by Anjuna Hartmann
These 3 guys are famous for their ridge line riding on skis snowboard. photo by Anjuna Hartmann
Konstantin never goes biking without his party laps shirt. photo by Anjuna Hartmann


A few years ago a bunch of professional big mountain skiers fell in love with the adventure, quit the contests, built their own home on four wheels and never ever looked back. Since that day they’ve been approaching the most outstanding countries all over the globe, skied some mountains that never been skied before and produced some storytelling movies.The Snowmads are always up for new challenges and decided to add some bikes to their four wheeled home, named simply „The Truck“.

Last autumn the Snowmads started their journey from Austria to Iran. On their way, once in a while they took out the bikes for a ride in several countries. I made a last minute decision, hoped on a plane and joined the boys in Turkey. Our meeting point was in Antalya, with eight people, seven bikes and tons of gear we were ready to hit the road through Turkey. In the following weeks we had it all, from laying on the beach, tanning to hiking in the mountains and sleeping in tents at -15 degrees. All four seasons combined in two weeks and 600 kilometers later we arrived at our biking destination.

Some impressions of the Truck's inside in the link below.

 photo by Anjuna Hartmann


Arrived in Cappadocia, the first thing we did was booking a traditional turkish bath massage called "Hammam" after weeks without showers in the mountains, all sweaty and dirty, some spa time was really needed. We took our time to check out some restaurants, coffee places and spent a lot of time searching for trails all over the internet. We went a lot to restaurants, because it's really cheap in Göreme city compared to bigger cities in Turkey. Our three favorites were the 'Keyif Restaurant', 'Sultan Place' and the 'Pide Place', vegetarian, vegan or meat lover, there's something to order for everyone and everything's unbelievably delicious. I fell in love with the 'Sütlac', it's an Turkish rice pudding and I always ordered it for dessert.

We got lucky by finding some trails and some locals who helped us further. Red Valley is the place to be, about an 15 minute car drive from Göreme town. Once arrived we started to get ready for a bike ride, we usually needed at least an hour to finally leave the truck. Half an hour we spent only looking for our stuff, what a madness it always was, but definitely worth it ! In the Red Valley, there aren't marked trails as we know them, it's a lot of exploring and we usually started off from the 'Sunset View Point' of the Red Valley and rode all the trails that lead down to the Rose Valley, and pedaled back up on the main road. Never before we've ridden such a ground like the one in Cappadocia, at first we needed some days to get used to it and of course we didn't leave the place without a souvenir scar. If you ever plan a trip to Cappadocia, make sure you love Enduro rides, the trails come with a lot of pedaling or as skiers say 'earn your turns'.

 photo by Anjuna Hartmann
We got on some bumpy roads on our way to the Red Valley and got stuck with the big boy.

 photo by Anjuna Hartmann
Here and there we had to stop and take a minute to enjoy the unbelievable view.

Casual morning routine, getting the bikes ready.

 photo by Anjuna Hartmann
Fabian Lentsch and Konstantin Ottner scouting some trails or balloons?

 photo by Anjuna Hartmann
One of those traditional carved caves where the people still to this day live.

 photo by Anjuna Hartmann
'Konsti the Explorer' in his party shirt.

 photo by Anjuna Hartmann


The peaks of three volcanoes – Erciyes, Hasan and Melendiz Dağları – dominate Cappadocia. It was their eruptions, which covered the former plateau of Ürgüp in ash and mud some thirty million years ago, that provided the region’s raw material: tuff, formed by compressed volcanic ash. In the millions of years that followed, wind and water eroded the tuff into odd shapes, including spires, cones, even a camel. In more recent times, a different force went to work on the rocks of this region. People in Cappadocia have been living in caves for literally centuries, right up until the present day. The tuff was soft and easily worked, and people made this place home, hollowing out the rocks, and carving windows, doors, and curving stairways. Locals even carved churches into the rock. In Cappadocia we felt so welcomed by everyone and the locals were usually up for some Turkish tea, no one of us could really speak Turkish so we communicated somehow over google translate. I was really thankful for being a part of this trip in such a beautiful country with the most amazing crew you could imagine, the Snowmads, 'teşekkür ederim' means simply 'thank you'.

Marco and Paula in front of a home cave where people even today live. photo by Anjuna Hartmann
 photo by Anjuna Hartmann
 photo by Anjuna Hartmann


The Cappadocia region of Turkey is the most popular location in the world for hot air ballooning. Last year, over half of the world’s balloon trips took place in the region, with almost half a million people taking to the skies. It’s also one of the few places in the world you can balloon almost all year round. Trips run in boiling hot summers and snowy winters – and the landscape looks incredible in both.While on a flight, you won’t just see a few balloons, the sky will be filled with around 100 balloons of differing colours and designs. Every day is like a fiesta.

 photo by Anjuna Hartmann
Sunrises are out of this world in Cappadocia.

 photo by Anjuna Hartmann


Every beautiful journey, dream, trip call it however you want it comes to an end once. We ended the journey with a last mini explore through rose valley, a great Turkish meal in the restaurant called 'Sultan Place' and some really good wine. A week of riding, exploring, learning all the way through Turkey/Cappadocia was one of the greatest adventures I've ever witnessed and made some friends and memories for a lifetime. The Snowmads drove me to the nearest airport and saying good bye is always the hardest part and I usually drop a tear or two, this time I left with the biggest grin on my face I've ever had. Fabian continued his journey to Teheran/Iran, with everyone else along. He has been talking about staying in Iran for a year ever since and is documenting his life there until this years November, skiing some crazy lines, riding some nice trails and exploring this extraordinary country.

Paula scrubbing in front of the beautiful scenery. photo by Anjuna Hartmann
One happy biker. photo by Anjuna Hartmann
Paula and Manni. Manni is the friendliest stray dog we met on our journey a local true protector and always up for an adventure. photo by Anjuna Hartmann


Snowmads crew // Fabian Lentsch / Markus Ascher / Anjuna Hartmann / Marco Freudenreich /
Konstantin Ottner / Gabriel Indrist / Nick Phalini

Mons Royale / Oakley / Canyon / Sram / Rock Shox / DT Swiss / Maxxis / HT Components / Ergon

Regions in Article

Posted In:
Stories Travel


  • 20 5
 Turkey is killing the Kurds! Genocide... please dont go to Turkey. Sorry for the turks, I have great friends among them is the goverment.
  • 1 0
 Sad :/
  • 3 0
 *Turkish government.
  • 4 2
 Don’t forget the Armenian Genocide which the Turkish government still denies.
  • 2 6
flag konrad1972 (Jul 6, 2020 at 10:05) (Below Threshold)
 United states is killing cows. Don't go to United States!
  • 5 0
 No, get your facts straight, the military is struggling with the terrorist group PKK, not all the kurds are targeted by the government. There is no systematic racism against kurds, would you consider never visiting USA bacause there is a systematic racism against black people?
  • 1 1
 @baraydatunca: don't bring the us into this argument please
  • 1 0
 @Dogl0rd: why not? Every country has it's share of racist problems, but i don't see anyone having problems about visiting Utah.
  • 1 0
 @baraydatunca: because comparing our race issues to the pkk is not a good analogy
  • 1 0
 @Dogl0rd: why cause the US does more harm in its coun try to its citizens than people like to think yet they love to dabble in other regions in the world and meddle in their affairs. Don't comment on issue you have no idea about.
  • 1 0
 @Aydin: I do have an idea about it. That's precisely why I commented. I have deep experience with it
  • 1 0
 @Aydin: but, youre right at the end of the day all our countries do some pretty f'd up stuff
  • 11 1
 I loved Turkey when I was there. I learned the numbers 1 to 6 from playing backgammon with the locals drinking Alma chai. The best number in any language is 81 in Turkish. Seksen bir, which when pronounced with an English accent sounds like sex and beer. In Cappadocia I stayed in the Ufuk pension. When I was there I never felt threatened nothing got stolen I would definitely take my kids there. To ride bikes would be next level. Great story and I would love to be on the road again.
  • 1 0
 I never tought I would look 81 as a sex and beer ahahahahaha you got me laughing bro come visit Turkey one day again
  • 11 2
 I'll be boycotting Turkey until it's no longer a dictatorship and no longer exterminating Kurds.
  • 3 0
 Turkey has also yet to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Please add that to your list of reasons.
  • 2 0
 @EricHarger: I started a list and then just decided to go short and to the point. Could go with the execution of Kurdish politicians (Hevrin Khalaf). The use of extreme Jihadi mercenaries including and also collusion with ISIS. The expulsion of Kurds from their land. The imprisoning of journalists and politicians they don't agree with.
  • 2 0
 @EricHarger: when did you start defending human rigths when you started slavery back at the time and still your people look black people as a slave but at the other and we dont have any diffrences between a kurd and a turk but terrorism doesnt have a union, you dont care if the terrorists are killing innocent people,doing vandalism,or etc.
  • 2 0
 No worries they can send them to the UK and you can deal with it. Your lucky Turkey is the buffer between you and them
  • 1 0
 @bahadiryildirim: You can't go back 187 years of British history to justify what Turkey are doing in the present day. If you wanna play that game I could bring up the fact that Turkey was allied with Nazi Germany in WW2 and only changed sides when they realised the Nazis were gonna lose.

YPG/YPJ were defending the Yazidis from IS extermination while Turkey were sat on their asses taking EU bribes. Then when Turkey wanted to invade the only peaceful areas in Syria they used their re-badged Al Nusra and IS proxies to do their very dirty work. Now they are now jihadi hell holes.

As for Britain starting slavery, you could probably go back to the dawn of humanity for that. Britain and other European countries profited massively from it and not many people here are proud of that. Statues of slave traders are being torn down here.
  • 1 0
 @mudmonster666: well if we cant go back in time you cant say anything what comes to your mind such as turks harm kurds come with your facts and also when did we allied with nazis Big Grin d back in that day we were really poor and nobody wanted to fight with another country, we were just wishing for nobody to attack us as you can see in here our peope build these just to defend from nazis
  • 1 0
 @bahadiryildirim: Yes, my mistake, was thinking about the First World War and Hitler quote about the Armenian genocide.
  • 6 1
 These photos are amazing. My only enduring impression of Turkey is probably a bit stilted. It’s based on a novel I read when I was around 12 called The Midnight Express. It’s about this poor young American kid who gets busted in Turkey with some fine Turkish hashish that he wants to bring home. He gets stuck in this horrid Turkish prison and is subjected to unbelievable sadistic cruelty simply for having a small brick of hash. Ever since reading that I viewed Turkey as one of those places never to visit. This article has made me reconsider.
  • 5 0
 Before I went to the middle East my dad made me watch that movie. I did a better job than Billy did
  • 1 0
 Oliver Stone is great at taking artisitic license in his movies always making it a little more dramatic for viewers. " Stone admitted "over-dramatising" the screenplay, which he wrote. It was one of his early forays into cinematography"
  • 4 0
 Nice! Nice trip, love the pictures. Such a flash back. We also travelled to Turkey for a few weeks and stayed around Cappadocia a couple of days. Wouldn't say that it is a "Unknown Enduro Paradise", some episodes from Kranked 3 have been filmed there, too. (if anybody at all still knows about this film series, [New World Disorder?] ).
Our footage:

Again, loved your pictures. Same here: One day I hope to be back again to ride this dusty paradise! Thanks a lot for this article.
  • 1 0
 What a story you guys can tell now after your trip. Did read it all, enjoyed it alot!!
  • 4 0
 Half-Turk Half Canadian here. Lived in Turkey, lived in Canada. Every government has its issues (including Canada's). I'll be the first to admin that the current government is not helping it's own people and is corrupt, but as far as the people in the country, the everyday citizen, the culture, the history, the adventure - Turkey is a top notch place to be and it's a shame its reputation is being dragged through the mud.
All you keyboard warriors throwing shade - visit there first, before you type from afar with stuff you know nothing about.
  • 4 0
 To the all people saying the Turkish government is killing the Kurd's, there are nearly 30 million Kurd's that is living peacefully in Turkey. The ones who are getting killed is the terrorists that try to kill the innocent people across the Turkey. By suicide bombing or other ways.
  • 2 0
 Thank you so much friends Wink
  • 1 0
 Is flattening Kurdish cities arresting elected Kurdish officials and politicians living peacefully?

Why does Turkey rebadge ex IS and many other terrorists to fight against the SDF? Places like Afrin were peaceful until Turkey sent in their jihadi mercenaries.

By terrorists you mean the PKK, so don't confuse them with YPG/YPJ please.
  • 1 0
 The UN’s key findings in Turkish-occupied areas include:

“Civilians ‘primarily of Kurdish origin’ beaten, tortured, denied food or water, and interrogated about their fath and ethnicity”
“Prevalent and recurrent” hostage-taking and torture for extortion and to punish dissenters
Kurds systematically and violently displaced from their homes, told: “if it were up to me, I would kill every Kurd from 1 to 80 years old”
Women tortured in presence of Turkish officers
Mass rape, abduction, forced marriage, ‘climate of fear’ for women now unable to leave home
Gang-rape of a minor as method of torture
30 women raped in Turkish-occupied Tel Abyad in one month
Mass detention of Kurdish and Yezidi women in unknown black sites
Yezidi women pressured to convert to Islam
“‘Systematic’ and ‘coordinated’ looting and property appropriation
“Coercing primarily-Kurdish residents to flee through threats, extortion, murder, abduction, torture, detention”
Desecration and destruction of graveyards, historic & religious sites, threatening “precarious” Yezidi minority
  • 6 0
 Remember Tippie Schley and Simmons at Cappadocia in Kranked 3 in the 90's, going waaay back there.
  • 3 0
 It's nice to see that my country is getting attention on mountain biking but it sucks to see these happen without anyone contacting any Turkish mountain bikers. There is a growing community of mountain bikers in Turkey who are struggling because of the social and economical environment here. So it seems pretty selfish to come to our homelands heart wothout contacting any local bikers.
  • 2 0
 This is a bike page. Keep politics out of our sacred riding we love soo much. You people have nothing better to do than start a fight and say things about countries you don't. really know. Here we see people enjoying landscape riding. which is why we are here. Change your attitude. Pinkbike you need to remove people that put political comments on these pages it serves no purpose in biking.
  • 1 0
 Some of the best singletrack I've ever ridden was in Cappadocia. Hard work to get to in the summer (40 celcius or so), but awesome fun! And yes, Turkish people are incredibly friendly.

I lived in Turkey for two summers and have ridden (and guided) in a few places there, Cappadocia was my favourite, I've since lived in Whistler, Revelstoke (BC) and Nelson (NZ).
  • 1 0
 Rode this zone with a few years ago. Did a several day point to point supported MTB trip. Stayed in amazing places each day and had the best food each meal. Georme town was like a dream. Spend a few extra days there. Felt 100% safe to entire time
  • 1 0
 There are way better places for biking in Turkey. Unfortunately this place gets all the rep because it's already a touristic location. Black Sea region is way better. Check this out:
  • 1 0
 his is a bike page. Keep politics out of our sacred riding we love soo much. You people have nothing better to do than start a fight and say things about countries you don't. really know. Here we see people enjoying landscape riding. which is why we are here. Change your attitude. Pinkbike you need to remove people that put political comments on these pages it serves no purpose in biking.
  • 3 0
 Cappadocia is amazing, and the Turks are an extremely hospitable and welcoming bunch. Highly recommended!
  • 3 0
 That rv is way sick.
  • 2 0
 Amazing photos of a wild landscape!
  • 1 0
 Is that Ms. Courdurier in the photo?
  • 1 0
 I totally read that as Gappadocia
  • 1 0
 Cappadocious bra
  • 1 0
 Red Bull Tantana?

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