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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.
You will be accommodated in local guesthouses and mountain hotels in rooms with private facilities.
Arrive in Sofia and then be transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Sofia Airport (SOF) for departure.
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.
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.
Western and English saddles are available. Helmets and saddlebags are provided upon request.
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 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.
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.
You can go on an optional visit to Bachkovski Monastery.
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.