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8 Days Orpheus Trail Horse Riding Tour in Bulgaria

Progressive Horse Riding Holiday in Bulgaria

The Rhodopes, occupying the southern part of Bulgaria and part of Greece, is the homeland of the mythological singer Orpheus. On this ride, you will ride in this mountain - the land of high peaks and deep river gorges, unique rock formations, lush meadows, and dense forests. The western part of the Rhodopes where your ride takes place, offers a variety of terrains in which one can experience all types of riding and paces. You will visit remote villages and stay with local people enjoying their hospitality, local food, and excellent wines.

Key information

  • Tack Type: Western / English
  • Horse Breed: Karakachan horses, East Bulgarian, and Arab crosses

Highlights

  • 6 days of riding
  • Approximate daily riding time: 3-6 hours
  • Possibilities for trot and canter in the village of Zabardo
  • Riding up to Chudnite Mostove and through pine forests and vast meadows
  • Services of an English-speaking guide and use of saddled horses
  • Breakfasts, 6 lunch packs, and 4 dinners
  • Luggage transport and airport transfers
  • 7 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 6
Airport transfer included: Sofia Airport
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Accommodation

You will be accommodated in local guesthouses and mountain hotels in rooms with private facilities.

Program

Day 1

Arrive in Sofia and then be transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 2: Plovdiv - Galabovo

You will be transferred to your riding base in Galabovo at the foot of the Rhodope Mountains (a two-hour drive from Sofia), where you meet the horses. Today, you make a loop-like ride, passing along the small Kuklen Monastery. Overall, you will spend three hours of riding. A transfer takes you back to Plovdiv. After some rest, you make a short stroll in the old quarters of the town where you stay overnight at a hotel.

Day 3: Plovdiv - Galabovo - Vruhovruh

You start in Galabovo again, this time heading south and up in the mountains to reach Tsar Kaloyan village, Hrabrino, and then continue to the small resort of Vruhovruh where you stay overnight in a small mountain hotel. The total hour of riding is five hours.

Day 4 Vruhovruh - Persenk hut - Lyaskovo

You continue your ride, passing through several tiny villages, following Vruhovruh ridge with great panorama views to reach Persenk hut where you stop for lunch. Continue to the village of Lyaskovo where you stay overnight with a local family. The total riding hour is six.

Day 5: Lyaskovo - Zabardo

The ride today takes you to the village of Zabardo. There will be good possibilities for trot and canter. Overall, there will be six hours of riding.

Day 6: Zabardo - Chudnite Mostove - Orehovo

From Zabardo, you head up to Chudnite Mostove (Marvelous Bridges) - a unique rock formation. In the afternoon, the trek continues through pine forests and vast meadows to Orehovo, where you stay at a family-run hotel. You will spend five to six hours of riding.

Day 7: Orehovo - Galabovo - Plovdiv - Sofia

After breakfast, you head to Zdravets hut where you stop for lunch. You continue your ride and reach the meadows of Galabovo where you say goodbye to your horses and drive back to Sofia for the last night. The total hour of riding is six. You can enjoy an optional visit to Bachkovski Monastery in the afternoon. Bachkovo Monastery is established at the beginning of the 11th century and is the second largest Bulgarian monastery nowadays. Horse Riding Bulgaria suggests an early start of the day if Bachkovo Monastery will be visited.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Sofia Airport (SOF) for departure.

Tour difficulty

This ride is suitable for intermediate and experienced riders. You should be capable to ride at all paces and confident at a fast canter over rough terrain.

Horses

The horses are locally bred Karakachan along with East Bulgarian and Arab crosses. Their withers are between 1.4 meters and 1.6 meters, so all weights can find an adequate tour companion. The horses are strong, agile, and used to hard work. Their stamina and agility are outstanding. They are tough and extremely sure-footed over rocky, even snow-covered mountains.

Saddles

Western and English saddles are available. Helmets and saddlebags are provided upon request.

Location

During this riding holiday, you will go to Sofia, Plovdiv, Vruhovruh, Lyaskovo, Zabardo, and Orehovo. Before the ride starts, you spend a couple of days in Plovdiv - Europe's oldest inhabited city and Bulgaria’s nomination for 2019 European Capital of Culture.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a horse country. Nowadays, there are hundreds of wild horses in Central Balkan who live outdoors all year at 30 degrees Celsius in summer down to minus 20 degrees Celsius in winter and search for food on their own. Bulgaria is the perfect horse riding destination. Like Mongolia, this is a country where fences and gates are a rare sight especially in the mountain regions where your rides take place. Here, most of the land, though private, is not cultivated, which leaves vast open areas - forests, pastures, etc.

Riding center

Gulubovo, Horse Riding Bulgaria's riding base, has about 20 horses. The riding center is located in Rodopi (just a 20-minute drive from Plovdiv) and Teteven Balkan (one hour drive from Sofia). The place is carefully selected, surrounded by plenty of pasture land. Horses welfare is of primary importance and for them, the synonym for a happy horse is a free grazing horse.

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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)

You can go on an optional visit to Bachkovski Monastery.

What's included

  • 6 days of riding (3-6 hours per day)
  • Services of an English-speaking guide
  • Use of saddled horses
  • Breakfasts, 6 lunch packs, and 4 dinners
  • Luggage transport
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • Airport transfers on arrival / departure days (Sofia Airport (SOF))
  • VAT and local taxes

What's not included

  • Bachkovo visit (50 EUR per vehicle)
  • International flight tickets
  • 3 dinners and alcoholic drinks
  • Tips
  • Additional airport transfers in connection with pre- and post-tour accommodation in Sofia (15 EUR per vehicle)
  • Additional airport transfers for Plovdiv-Sofia / Sofia-Plovdiv (60 EUR per vehicle)

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. Horse Riding Bulgaria 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 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 35 days before arrival.
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