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8 Day Medieval Tour and Horse Riding Holiday in Gabrovo Province, Bulgaria

Helios, Zone East 1, Sevlievo, Gabrovo Province, Bulgaria

Breathtaking Horse Riding Holiday in Bulgaria

Join Alfa Riders LTD & Alfa Centaur LTD for this breathtaking horse riding holiday in Bulgaria! You will not only ride on your horseback but also witness the amazing heritage of the medieval Bulgarian setting. The riding will go through the Gabrovo Province, from Gabrovo to Dryanovo. This riding holiday will enhance your knowledge and give you an unforgettable experience and a lifetime memory!

Key information

  • Rider weight limit: 209 pounds / 95 kilograms
  • Horse height range: 15 to 16 hands
  • Tack type: Western and English tack
  • Horse breed: Shagya, pure Arab, east Bulgarian, and crossbred horses with Akhal-Teke blood

Highlights

  • 6 days of horse riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 4 to 4.5 hours
  • Visits to ethnographic museum and Bacho Kiro cave
  • Crossing Yantra River on the horseback
  • Tour around Bozhentsi village by car
  • Transfer from and to the airport
  • Ecologically clean meals
  • 7 nights' lodging

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

Styles


6 days with instruction
Group size: 4-10 participants
Airport transfer included: Sofia Airport
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Accommodation

You will be accommodated in double rooms with WC and shower in high-quality hotels or guest houses, including the Helios hotel for the first, second, and last night, in a guest house in Zhivko village for the third night, in Sabotkovtsi for the fourth night, in a hotel in Skalsko for the fifth night, and in a hotel in Gostilitsa Village for the sixth night. There will be high-quality hotels and guest rooms. Swimming pools, massages, and sauna are available in all the 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.

Program

Itinerary

Day 1

You will be picked up from Sofia Airport (SOF) and have a tour in the center of the capital while seeing the most interesting places followed by transfer to Sevlievo, 190 kilometers northeast from the capital. Afterward, you will arrive at a nice Helios hotel in the town of Sevlievo for initial instructions by the guides, dinner, and your overnight stay.

Day 2

You will enjoy breakfast at the hotel and move to the Alfa Riding Club for saddling the horses and starting riding through the fields, old oak forests, and hills with an excellent view around. You will have lunch at the riding club. Your dinner and overnight stay will also be at Helios hotel.

  • Approximate riding time: four hours (about 21 kilometers)

Day 3

You will have breakfast at the hotel then pack up the luggage and go to the riding club. You will start from the small and well-hidden village of Zhivko and ride alongside the foot of the famous rocky chain (10 kilometers long and more than 120 meters high) Vitata Stena which is a natural reservation. Along the ride, you will have an amazing view towards the Balkan Mountain front hills and picnic next to the village of Armenite, situated just at the middle of Vitata Stena. You will enjoy dinner and overnight stay in a beautiful traditional-style guest house in Zhivko village.

  • Approximate riding time: four and a half hours (about 25 kilometers)

Day 4

You will have breakfast at the guest house followed by visiting the ethnographic complex Etara in the town of Gabrovo by car. The complex presents a village from the 19th century with the main crafts developed at that time. The old machines are working with running water and the present craftsmen produce traditional pots, garments, food, music instruments, tools, and souvenirs.

At noon, it is time to pack up and start riding towards the village of Sabotkovtsi and Bozhentsi. You will be crossing Yantra River and riding in the wilderness of its canyon. After arriving at Sabotkovtsi, you will spend the night there.

  • Approximate riding time: four hours (about 21 kilometers)

Day 5

You will enjoy your breakfast in the guest house followed by going by car and making a tour around Bozhentsi Village with possibilities of shopping traditional souvenirs. You will then start riding towards the village of Skalsko. On the way, you will ride through hills and beautiful forests with small creeks and lakes with an amazing view around. You will picnic on a beautiful meadow next to the village of Tsareva Livada, the summer residence of the warhorses of Bulgarian kings during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396). You will have dinner and spend the night in a hotel on the shore of the lake in the village of Skalsko.

The village of Bozhentsi is nestling in the picturesque valleys of the Balkan mountain, 13 kilometers away from the town of Gabrovo. It is almost the only settlement in Bulgaria that has kept entirely its ancient look from the Renaissance. The well-preserved valuable architectural monuments, the authentic stone roads, and the rich ethnographic collections were a serious reason to announce the village in 1964 with its about 100 houses and seven to eight public works buildings, and for an architectural-historical reservation.

One legend, handed down from one to another generation, brings you back in the tragic for the Bulgarian nation in 1393 when the Capital Veliko Turnovo was taken by the Turks and the Second Bulgarian Kingdom was destroyed for 500 years. The noblewoman Bozhana lost her husband and left the capital with her kids to look for a shelter. The only possible place to save their life was the Balkan mountain. In the heart of the mountain, between the sparkling creaks, in the deep forests and hidden from the eyes of the enslaver, she put the first stone of the village, which took her name. Today, the beautiful houses of Bozhentsi are sheltered between two opposite hills among luxuriant vegetation, meets the sunrises and the sunsets in peace and silence as though the time has really stopped.

  • Approximate riding time: four and a half hours (about 21 kilometers)

Day 6

You will have breakfast at the guest house then visit the Monastery and the Bacho Kiro cave above it. The monastery had survived after the fire of the Ottoman army in one epic battle with the rebels of the biggest Bulgarian uprisals against the Turkish occupation in 1876. The ride will start from Skalsko towards the village of Gostilitsa then you will have a picnic in the middle of the ride. Yor dinner and overnight will be at a beautiful traditional-style hotel in Gostilitsa.

  • Approximate riding time: four hours (about 19 kilometers)

Day 7

You will enjoy your breakfast at the guest house then take a visit to Veliko Turnovo, the old capital of The Second Bulgarian Kingdom. You will then go back to Gostilitsa village and start an amazing ride back to the Alfa Riding Club through the wilderness along the beautiful forests, creeks, and fields on the Southwest. You will enjoy the breathtaking view all around. The lunch will be a picnic in the wilderness. You will arrive at the stable and say goodbye to the horses and have a farewell dinner and overnight stay at the Helios hotel in Sevlievo.

  • Approximate riding time: four and a half hours (about 25 kilometers)

Day 8

You will enjoy breakfast in the hotel and be transferred to Sofia Airport (SOF).

Pace

The paces are varying from walk on the steeper slopes to a fast pace on the open spaces, which are great for long canters. Usually, you will be 40% walking, 30% trotting, and 30% cantering. This proportion could be changed according to the requirements and the abilities of the riders. A Jeep will follow the group to bring the luggage and supplies food.

The horses

The horses are Shagya and pure Arabs, East-Bulgarian breed, and crossbreed horses with Akhal-Teke blood, all are well and calm. The height of the horses is from 150 to 165 centimeters.

Riding guides

The riding guides are experienced, professional, and know all the horses and the routes well. They have a sound knowledge and awareness of safety and looking after horses and guests out on a ride. The leading guide is able to take sole charge of riders, encourage them to enjoy riding, and plan the riding time and the breaks.

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.

Location

The horse riding will start from the Alfa Riding Club, located near to the town of Sevlievo, to The Rocky Chain Vitata Stena, the village of Zhivko, Sabotkovtsi, Bozhentsi, Etara Ethnographic Complex, Dryanovo Monastery, the village of Gostilitsa, and the old capital Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria.

Bulgaria is one of the best-kept secrets of Europe, a beautiful mountainous country that offers travelers untouched villages, rich spiritual traditions, spectacular granite peaks, deep rivers, green valleys, blue sea, and an old world culture with an impressive history.

Bulgarians were deeply connected to their horses. History tells curious facts. The great Hungarian scholar Professor Geza Feher (1890-1955) said in his writing, in "Strategicon" by Psudomavrikius (seventh century), it is written: "the horses, which the Bulgarians use in battle, graze freely on the meadows and nobody can ride them except in wartime. If they catch someone riding them at other times, they would kill him".

If you wish to enjoy exciting moments, riding in this splendid different world, and going wherever you like with no forbidden roads, come to this lovely country! The relief is smooth and pleasant, and you will see the spectacular sceneries of the land in the best possible way from the horseback.

Food

The meals are all-inclusive, except for the hard drinks. The hotels and houses provide breakfast and dinner and they offer traditional local dishes. The lunch will be in the open-air during the passages and they consist of warm food, beer, and cold and warm up drinks. You will be served ecologically clean food, international and traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages

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

What's included

  • 6 days of riding
  • Tour around Bozhentsi village
  • Crossing Yantra River on your horse
  • Visiting Etara Ethnographic Complex
  • Stopping by Bacho Kiro cave in Dryanovo
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • Airport transfers from and to Sofia Airport (SOF)
  • 7 nights' accommodation

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 to and from this airport is included on certain times. A private transfer from / to Sofia costs 80 EUR net price.

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 16% 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 --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

Availability

Arrival: Saturday July 17, 2021
Departure: Saturday July 24, 2021

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

 

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