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8 Day Amazing Horse Riding Holiday in Central Balkan National Park

Helios hotel, Sevlievo, Gabrovo, Bulgaria

Remarkable Horse Riding Holiday in Bulgaira

This trip will take you to the high Balkan mountain into the National Park “Central Balkan” where you will enjoy stunning views while enjoying the ride. The horses are the best you can get and the track is adventurous, while the guides are experienced and professional to help you along the way. This will be one of the most remarkable holidays of your life!

Key Information

  • Riders Weight Limit: 210 pounds / 95 kilograms
  • Horse Height Range: 15 to 17 hands
  • Tack Type: Western and English high-quality saddles-Ortho-Flex and Podium
  • Horse Breed: Shagya and pure-bred Arabs, East-Bulgarian breed, and cross-bred horses with Akha-Teke blood, all well-trained and calm

Highlights

  • 6 days of horse riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 3 - 5 hours
  • Adventurous ride in the beautiful area at the feet of the Balkan mountain
  • Riding downhill towards the big artificial lake “Hristo Smirnenski”
  • Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and drinks
  • 7 nights of accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 days with instruction
Group size: 4-8 participants
Airport transfer included: Sofia Airport
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Accommodation

During this holiday, if you choose 2019 arrival dates, you will be staying at various accommodations. As this trails bring you to a very wild area, at the second day, you will be sleeping in tents and at the fourth day you can choose to sleep in tents or in the hut “Mazalat” where common bedrooms for three, five or eight people are available. For the rest of the time, you will sleep in high-quality hotels and guesthouses. Swimming pools, massages, and sauna are available in those two hotels.

Note

  • If a single rider wants to share a room with somebody else, but there is no other suitable person to share, then he / she will have a single accommodation and has to pay its additional tax.
  • For 2020 arrival dates, you will also be staying at a mountain hostel for one night and tent or bungalow for one night as well.

Program

Overview

From the Riding Club”Alfa”, located nearby the town of Sevlievo, to the village of Kastel, Village of Valevtsi, Mountain Hut under the Pick of Mazalat, Ski Resort ”Uzana”, “Smirnenski” Lake, the town of Gabrovo back to the Riding Club.

Pace

The pace will vary from walking on the steeper slopes to a fast pace on the open spaces, which are great for long canters. Usually, you will ride 40% walking, 30% trotting, and 30% cantering. This proportion could be changed according to the requirements and the abilities of the riders.

The riding guides

The riding guides are experienced and professional and know all the horses and routes well. They have a sound knowledge and awareness of safety, of looking after horses and guests out on a ride. The leading guide is able to take sole charge of riders and to encourage them to enjoy riding, to plan together with them the riding time and the breaks. There will be two guides, a professional rider who leads the group and the other following the group with a jeep and all the luggage.

Itinerary

Day 1

You will be picked up from Sofia Airport (SOF) and transferred to Sevlievo, placed 190 kilometers Northeast from the capital. Then, you will arrive at Helios Hotel with swimming pool and sauna in the town of Sevlievo. You will get initial instructions from the guides, and the dinner and overnight will be at the hotel.

Day 2

You will have breakfast in the hotel. Then, you will arrive at the stable to choose horses and prepare to start the ride.This first day will give you the opportunity to canter in the beautiful area at the feet of the Balkan mountain from where you can see the whole central Balkan and its majestic peaks. Next, you will have a picnic at the middle of the ride in the open fields at the shady place with an amazing view. Arrival in the pretty small village of Kastel where you organize your camp with a fireplace and cook the dinner at the nice meadow with a great view. The riders who do not like camping could spend the night in a bungalow (Alfa Riders LTD & Alfa Centaur LTD should know this in advance).

  • Riding about 25 kilometers (four and half hours)

Day 3

You will have breakfast at the camp and start the ride through the Fore-mountains in the real wilderness.The ride will take you to a small mountain paradise, where you will have the opportunity to swim in the crystal clear waters of Rositsa River. Next, you will have a picnic next to the Rositsa River. Then, you will have a few resting hours around the river after the picnic. Next, you are going to ride or walk into the National Reservation “Luggut”, where you can see the wild animals in their natural habitat. At the end of the day, you will arrive at a beautiful guest house in the village of Valevtsi. The dinner will be at the guest house. After dinner, you can go to the Summer Bar “Bedouin”, which is next to the river and have a party and a night swim in the river.

  • Riding about 15 kilometers (three and half hours)

Day 4

You will have breakfast at the guest house. Then, you will ride uphill toward the heart of the National Park “Central Balkan”. The road is taking you to a deep forest with more than 100 years old beech trees next to Rositsa River. In the hot weather, you can swim in the natural pools of the river. Next, you will have a picnic in the forest. Then, you will arrive at “Mazalat” hut (1520 meters), situated exactly under the famous natural reserve ”Peeshti Skali” (Singing rocks). From Mazalat Peak you can watch the natural beauties around in a distance of 60 kilometers at 360 degrees. You can choose to sleep in the Hut in a big common bedrooms for three, five, or eight people or sleep outside in tents. The dinner will be at the hut.

  • Riding about 25 kilometers (five hours)

Day 5

On the day 5, you will stay at "Hlebna" hut, but because summer is very busy for the mountain, sometimes you will be accommodated in other huts when "Hlebna" is busy. You will have breakfast at the hut. Then, you will by feet to the Natural Reservation ”Peeshti Skali” (Singing rocks). Next, you will have lunch in the hut. The riding will be at the crest of the Balkan and you can enjoy the amazing views on both sides of the mountain. Later, you will arrive in a cozy hotel in the famous “Uzana” region, the geographic center of Bulgaria. The dinner will be at the hotel.

  • Riding about 16 km (four hours)

Day 6

Breakfast at the hotel. The riding will be downhill towards the big artificial lake “Hristo Smirnenski”, which is the main water source of Gabrovo city, the Bulgarian “Capital of humor and satire”. Its citizens have the image of the most stingy ones in the country and the riders will really laugh, listening to the funny stories of their life. Then, you will have a picnic next to the village of Mechkovtsi. Later, you will stay in Nezabravka hotel near Popvtsi village and Gabrovo city.

  • Riding about 30 kilometers (six hours)

Day 7

You will have breakfast at the guest house. Then, you will visit the open-air ethnographic museum “Etara” by car. The complex represents a village from the 19th century with the main crafts developed at that time. The old machines are working with the power of the running water and the present craftsmen produce traditional pots, garments, food, music, instruments, tools, and souvenirs on them. Here you can buy presents for your friends.You will stay in Helios hotel in Sevlievo.

At this last day of the riding, you are closing the circle and riding back to the stable beside the rocky chain “Vitata Stena " (702 meters). Then, you will have a picnic next to the village of Armenite, situated at the foot of “Vitata Stena” rocky chain. Next, you will arrive at the stable. The overnight will be at Helios hotel in the town of Sevlievo. Dinner will be at the hotel.

  • Riding about 26 kilometers (four and half hours)

Day 8

You will have breakfast at the hotel. Then, you will leave Sofia and depart from Sofia Airport (SOF) to home.

Notes

  • The routes and the dates could be changed upon request. If a group of a minimum of four riders wants to change the date, this could be done if there are no other bookings in this period.
  • Arrival time is between 12:00 and 16:00 or anytime very close to these hours. Those arriving outside the mentioned time should have a special transfer.
  • Departure time is between 11:00 and 15:00 or anytime very close to these hours. Those departing earlier than mentioned time should have a special transfer.
  • Those departing later than the mentioned time will not have to pay for a special transfer, but they will be left at the airport together with the earlier departing riders.

Included excursions

Visit by car of the open-air Ethnographic museum “Etara”.

Location

The Central Balkan National Park lies in the heart of Bulgaria, nestled in the central and higher portions of the Balkan Range. The Park contains rare and endangered wildlife species and communities, self-regulating ecosystems of biological diversity, as well as historical sites of global cultural and scientific significance. Central Balkan is a favorite place for recreation among tourists from Bulgaria and from around the world. The local people develop traditional livelihoods and crafts here. The national park includes nine nature reserves covering 28 percents of its territory such as Boatin, Tsarichina, Kozya Stena, Steneto, Severen Dzhendem, Peeshti Skali, Sokolna, Dzhendema, and Stara Reka.

The Central Balkan National Park is one of the largest and most valuable of the protected areas in Europe. The park and eight of the nine nature reserves are on the UN list of Representative Protected Areas, and four of the nature reserves are included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme. It is a full member of the WWF-led PAN Parks. Over 130 higher plants and animals encountered in the Central Balkan National Park are listed in the Bulgarian and the World Red Book of Endangered Species. The relief is various and gives you the opportunity to have nice canters. The trip is suitable for the hottest months in July and August when the weather in the high mountain is stable and very pleasant for riding.

Food

During this horse riding holidays, meals are all-inclusive, except for hard drinks. The hotels and houses provide the breakfasts and dinners and they offer traditional local dishes. The midday meals are in the open-air during the passages and they consist of warm food, beer, and cold and warm drinks. Alfa Riders LTD & Alfa Centaur LTD offer ecologically clean food, international, and traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Bow-shooting
  • Cultural tour around the historic landmarks
  • Massages are available almost every night upon request and against a small additional payment
  • Nightclub party

What's included

  • 6 days of horse riding
  • Initial instructions by the guides in Day 1
  • The service of a professional guide
  • Meals
  • Drinks
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • Airport transfer from and to Sofia Airport (SOF)

What's not included

  • Hard drinks

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Sofia Airport (SOF). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Alfa Riders LTD & Alfa Centaur LTD will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Sofia Airport Airport transfer included: Sofia Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Pricing information
  • Private transfer from / to Sofia: 80 EUR net price
  • Small group supplement (2 or 3 in the group): 350 EUR net price
  • Sleeping bag hire: 20 EUR net price
  • Wine tasting with 5 wines and special food for each of them: 20 EUR per person net price
  • Prices can be changed due to the extreme change in the fuel price
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

Saturday August 7, 2021
(8 days / 7 nights)

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