“What do you think, should we go to the horse farm tomorrow and ride horses?” I asked the kids as we tucked them into bed one Saturday night. “Yea!” was their collective response in excited, near-perfect unison. The next morning, we hopped out of bed, piled into our friends’ car, and headed off to Bursa Haflinger Çiftliği for a nice morning of food and fun.
Surrounded by fruit orchards in the middle of Bursa’s valley plain, Haflinger Çiftliği is a farm on the outskirts of the city center near the village of Çeltik Köyü. A family run business, Haflinger consists of an excellent outdoor restaurant, a playground and garden, and a horse stable and riding center. Complete with scratching chickens, begging cats, and a friendly old dog, the facilities make a lovely place for everything from casual family outings to special events such as parties and weddings.
Starting out with two working horses, owner Ahmet Sarı built a corral for his horses and began offering rides on his family farm. As the family’s passion for riding increased, as well as local demand for riding, Mr. Sarı increased his herd and expanded his facilities, slowly transforming his hobby into a successful and popular business that caters to schools, groups, parties, and city-escaping weekenders like us.
For us, visits to Haflinger usually feature three things: an excellent traditional Turkish village breakfast served family style in the farmyard, a chance for the kids to ride horses, and a good time with friends. After we’ve filled up on tomatoes and eggs and börek and bread smothered in honey, the kids each get a turn riding horses around the corral while the adults chat under a shade tree. The kids love it and so do we.
Visiting Haflinger has become an enjoyable and relaxing weekend activity for our whole family.
Notes on Haflinger Çiftliği
- Bursa Haflinger Çiftliği is located at Yeniyol Caddesi no. 29 outside Çeltik. The easiest way to get there is by car, but buses 15 and 15-H run from the city center to a stop very near the farm.
- A bit nervous about riding a horse? No problem–the horses are trained and carefully led around the corral by skilled farmhands. Riding lessons are also available.
- If you’re looking for a good traditional Turkish breakfast, Haflinger is a good place to go. Go hungry; the breakfasts are extensive and served family style. The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner fare.
- Visit haflingerciftligi.com.