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6 Day Alpine Adventure with Horses in Majestic Rila Mountain, Bulgaria

Samokov, Village Dospey, Bulgaria

Mountain Horse Trekking in Bulgaria

Rila Ranch offers you the opportunity to experience an exciting ride through the highest parts of Northwestern Rila. Ancient Roman road, crystal lakes, inland cliffs, lush waterfalls, centuries-old forests, aroma of herbs, and dazzling views - all of this can be seen from the saddle of a horse. And this is just a part of what awaits you in this horse adventure, organized and offered only by Rancho Rila. The route passes through the central ridge of Нorthwestern Rila, descends into the valley of the Rilska River, climbs the steep slopes of the Pazar Dere, reaches the Damga peak (2,669 meters above sea level) and the Urdini Lakes Circus and ends in the valley of the Iskar River.

Key information

  • Rider weight limit: 90 kilograms
  • Horse height range: 1.49 meters - 1.65 meters
  • Tack type: English high-quality saddles
  • Horse breed: Arabian, Shagya Arab, Anglo-Arab and Crossbreed horses

Highlights

  • Riding in the high mountain
  • 4-days riding on beautiful trails
  • Approximate daily riding time: 4 to 7 hours
  • Breathtaking views all the time, a lifelong memory
  • 5 nights' accommodation in cozy hotels, guest houses, and huts
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • Airport transfers

Skill level

  • Advanced

Styles


4 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Bulgarian
Group size: 2-6 participants
Airport transfer included: Sofia Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:00
Check-out Time:
12:00

You will be accommodated in cozy guest houses, hotels and huts. You will stay at a guest house in Rila Ranch in Dospey village, on the first and the last night, at Mechit Hut on the second night, in a hotel Pchelina on the third night and at Ivan Vazov Hut on the fourth night. Rooms and bathrooms at Mechit Hut and Ivan Vazov Hut are shared. All accommodations are situated out of towns or villages, so you will be able to rest well in the peace and quiet of nature.

Program

Day 1: Arrival

You will welcome you at Sofia International Airport (SOF) and transfer you to Rancho Rila, where you will be accommodated in a cozy guest house for the first and last night. You will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with all inhabitants of the ranch. A delicious dinner and fine wine await you and together with your guide, you will discuss the details of the trekking.

Day 2: Rila Ranch - Mechit Hut

In the morning, you will head to Mechit Hut, which will be your first overnight stay. The riding that day is 25 kilometers as you will ride along the valley of the Iskar River, alongside three mountain villages, then enter the depths of a centuries-old coniferous forest and reach the cozy hut on the dirt road.

Day 3: Mechit Hut - Pchelina Motel

On that day, the ascent of the central ridge begins. By the ancient Roman road, you will reach the Golyam Mechit peak (2,568 meters above sea level), from where a panoramic view opens to the whole of Rila and other mountains. In Kobilino Branishte locality, where wild horses graze on the surrounding slopes, you will take a short break. Leading the horses on the difficult pathway, you will pass along the beautiful Suho Lake.

You will pass across the avalanche chutes of the Dvuglav peak (2,605 meters above sea level) and entering the Rila Monastery Forest Reserve, you will reach Kirilova Polyana locality. From this place, there is an imposing view of the highest alpine walls in Bulgaria. It is there that you will dine in a forest house. Then you have an 8-kilometer fast riding through a centuries-old mixed forest. You will reach the largest monastery in Bulgaria - the magnificent Rila Monastery. After another 4 kilometers, you will arrive at the Pchelina Motel, where you will spend the night.

Day 4: Pchelina Motel - Ivan Vazov Hut

Well rested, you begin the day with a long ascent to Ivan Vazov Hut (2,300 meters above sea level), where you will spend the night. You will pass through the centuries-old beech trees of the Rila Monastery Reserve, and continuing up the Baucher Ridge. You will soon reach a saddle at the foot of Varla Peak (2,593 meters above sea level) where you will stop for a short break.

From this place, you can see indescribable views of the Rila and Pirin Mountains. In the summer, local shepherds bring their flocks of sheep and horses to grazing. You will continue on the slopes of Vrla Peak, pass through the magical locality Pazar dere, wherein the ancient times the cattle trade was carried out. Soon, you will arrive at the hut, nestled at the foot of Otovishki Peak, and from the terrace of the hut, the majestic Kalin Peak stands before you, where the highest dam (2394 meters above sea level) on the Balkan Peninsula is located.

Day 5: Ivan Vazov Hut - Rila Ranch

After an unforgettable night at 2,300 meters above sea level, you will head to Damga Peak (2669 meters above sea level). Your breath stops there… Before you is the magnificent panorama of the mysterious Urdini lakes, the slopes of Malyovitsa peak (2,729 meters above sea level.) and the highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula - Musala peak (2,925 meters above sea level).

You will deviate slightly from the route to see the iconic Seven Rila Lakes. From the Раздела saddle (2410 meters above sea level), the route continues along Zeleni rid Ridge. You will descend into the forest and reach the Divite Petli Hotel where you will have lunch. From there to the ranch the riding is mostly in trot and gallop along the valley of the Iskar River. After having a rest, you will have dinner in a traditional Bulgarian setting, you will have the opportunity to taste local specialties and drinks.

Day 6: Departure

Breakfast and transfer to Sofia Airport.

Horses

Rila Ranch has 12 horses of the breeds Shagya Arabs, pure-bred Arabs, Anglo-Arabs, and cross-bred horses, all well trained and calm.

Riding guides

The riding guides are experienced and professional and know all the horses and routes well. There will be two guides of professional riders, one leads the group and the other is following the group with a Jeep and all the luggage.

Location

Rila Ranch is located 60 kilometers from Sofia and three kilometers from Samokov. It is in a beautiful region with a gorgeous view of three mountains - Vitosha, Verily and Rila.

The town of Samokov is a gate to the highest mountain in the Balkan Peninsula - the Rila Mountains which peaks reach 2,925 meters (Musala). From this place goes pathways passing through the most picturesque parts of Rila Mountains - the Rila Seven Lakes, Musala peak, Malyovitsa peak, the Rila Monastery.

The town of Samokov is located in the northern foothills of the Rila Mountains, at 950 meters above sea level. The longest Bulgarian river - Iskar - flows through the city. Near the city is located Borovets International Resort.

In ancient times, Samokov was an important center for the production and processing of iron for the Ottoman Empire. During the Bulgarian National Revival, the town was a significant cultural and commercial center - the first icon school, the first printing house, and others were established there.

Distances

  • Samokov, 3 kilometers
  • Sofia, 60 kilometers

Food

This holiday includes breakfast, lunch and dinners, prepared from wholesome local produce, except for hard drinks. The hotels, houses and huts provide breakfasts and dinners and they offer traditional local dishes. The midday meals are in the open-air during the passages and they consist of dry package, beer and water.Rila Ranch offers ecologically clean food, international and traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

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)

  • Visit the Rila Monastery

What's included

  • 4 days of horse riding
  • Assistance of 1/2 professional guide/s
  • Sadlle bags
  • 5 nights' accommodation
  • Daily meals and drinks

What's not included

  • Hard drinks

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Sofia International Airport (SOF). Transfer from and to this airport is included. Rila Ranch will pick you up at 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 10 days before arrival.
6 days / 5 nights
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Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

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