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A Thrilling Horseback Adventure in Bulgaria

This listing has one of the 10 most popular offers available in in Bulgaria

This adventurous trail ride follows part of the famous E-3 hiking Kom-Emine route. The trail features wild mountain landscapes and steep hillsides reaching Balkan highest grasslands, home to wild horses in the summer. The ride, offering long days in the saddle, is suitable for confident and experienced riders. There will also be occasions where you need to dismount and lead your horse for short periods (20 - 30 minutes). This can be both uphill as well as downhill so you will need to be reasonably fit. Part of the enjoyment of this ride is spending time with the local people the last two days on the trail.

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 220 pounds / 100 kilograms
  • Horse Height Range: mid-height of 150 cm
  • Tack Type: Western and English saddles
  • Horse Breed: crossbreeds between the local East-Bulgarian and Karakachan

Highlights

  • 6 days of horse riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 4 - 7 hours
  • Explore wild mountain landscapes and steep hillsides
  • Spend some time with the local people
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals as per itinerary

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 days with instruction
Group size: 2-5 participants
Airport transfer included: Sofia Airport
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Accommodation

You will spend 2 nights in guest houses (2 rooms sharing WC / bathroom), 3 nights at hotels (day 1 + day 6 + day 7) in double rooms with en-suite facilities, and 2 nights in mountain huts (shared facilities).

Program

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sofia

Arrival and transfer from Sofia airport to the hotel for overnight.

Day 2: Golyam Izvor - Glozene Monastery - Golyam Izvor

Transfer from Sofia to Golyam Izvor village in the Teteven Balkan (one-hour drive). Here you get acquainted with your horses. You start riding heading North through meadows and mixed beech and oak forest. You will ascend Mt Lissets above the village where you will see the first beautiful view of the central ridge of Stara Planina and the town of Teteven surrounded by rocky peaks.

Then, you go through an ancient beech forest at the end of which Glozhene Monastery is located. Perched on a high rock, it reveals an even more spacious view of the Danube plain. After visiting the church and the little museum, you start riding back to Golyam Izvor following another trail. Overnight in a guest house.

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Day 3: Golyam Izvor - Chertigrad - Yamna

The ride today goes South-West following in the beginning shortly an asphalt road. Then continues along a dirt road with possibilities for some trot and canter. You pass the small deserted village of Slatina before you start climbing among ferns and pasture land.

After 3.5 hours in the saddle you reach Chertigrad where you stop for lunch. Chertigrad is an ancient fortress built by the Thracians in 4 - 3rd century BC. There is not much left from the fortress but the place offers stunning views over the Balkan range.

Youe arrive in the village of Yamna after another 1.5 hours ride South-West. You leave the horses in Yamna village and have a short transfer to Lopian village. Dinner and overnight in a guest house.

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Day 4: Yamna - Paskal Hut

Today you are heading to the crest of Central Balkan to join for the next two days one of the longest European mountain trails Kom-Emine. Stay at Paskal hut for overnight.

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Riding: 6 - 7 hours

Day 5: Paskal Hut - Momina Polyana Hut

The next two days you will spend riding through the Central Balkan National Park thus providing superb view towards the Thracian Plain to the South and the Balkan Mountains to the North. Good possibilities for canter crossing the grass highland. You follow the way marking E-3 at an altitude of 1500 - 1900m. Overnight in Momina Polyana Hut (1640m).

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Day 6: Momina Polyana - Cherni Vit - Teteven

You leave the high mountain trail E-3 descending through thick beech and oak forests and pasture land along the Cherni Vit river. On some steeper descents you have to dismount and lead the horses. Your ride will end in the village of Cherni Vit (800m) early in the afternoon where your vehicle is waiting and after a short drive you reach the cozy town of Teteven where you stay overnight. You can enjoy the rest of the day by the hotel pool or exploring the town.

  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Riding: 6 hours

Day 7: Teteven - Cherni Vit - Golyam Izvor. Back to Sofia

In the morning transfer back to Cherni Vit, where you have left the horses the previous day. On this last day of ride you will climb once more one of the many ridges from where you will have a last look of the scenery you have admired in the past week. You say good-bye to the horses and guides in the village of Golyam Izvor. Transfer back to Sofia (1 hour) for overnight.

  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Riding: 5 hours

Day 8: Departure

Transfer to Sofia airport and departure.

  • Breakfast

Good to know:

Horses: Most of the horses are crossbreeds between the local East-Bulgarian and Karakachan with a mid-height of 150 cm, they are well known as thoughtful and tough, and are thus extremely well-adapted to the mountainous region of the Stara planina (Balkan). The maximum weight limit of the riders is 100 kg.

Saddles: Western and English. Riding helmet is not mandatory. Luggage is carried by a pack horse from day 4 to 6, the other days by car. Weight limit is 10 kg in a soft bag.

Location

Tour highlights

Stara Planina

Stara Planina is the longest Bulgarian mountain, stretching from Bulgaria's western border all the way to the Black Sea, dividing the country into two. Its old name is "the Balkans" from where the name of the Balkan Peninsula originates. The great part of Bulgaria's history is related to it. Fighters against the Ottoman rule hid in its forests. The Bulgarian spirit revived in its towns in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Central Balkan National Park

Central Balkan National Park covers the high central part of Stara Planina. On an area of 70,000 hectares, ancient forests and many animals including representatives of endangered species, find tranquility from the aggressive human impact. The best-preserved beech forest on the Balkan Peninsula is in the Boatin Reserve. The average age of the trees is 130 years. The reserve is protected under the UNESCO "Man and Biosphere" program.

The Glozhene Monastery

The Glozhene Monastery "Saint George" was founded in the 13th century. It is situated in an extremely scenic place, perched on high cliffs from where a spectacular view is revealed. Vasil Levski - the apostle of freedom - found refuge in it in Turkish times.

Food

The tour includes meals as outlined in the itinerary (7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 4 dinners).

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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

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

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All meals as per itinerary
  • English speaking guide and local guide
  • Saddled horses
  • Packhorse
  • Airport transfers on day 1 + day 8

What's not included

  • Fight tickets
  • Drinks and meals not mentioned in the program
  • Tips
  • Insurance
  • Entrance fees
  • Additional transfers
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

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 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

Saturday August 31, 2024
(8 days / 7 nights)

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