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High Balkan Trail Ride


High Balkan Trail Ride
Mountains Bulgaria


Many and varied are the mountains in Bulgaria, but Teteven Balkan combines the best of them all - picturesque valleys with sparkling rivers and ancient forests with hidden meadows, high ridges and tops, crowned with rocky peaks revealing spectacular views, and villages scattered at the foothills, where life is lived with an old rhythm. This part of Stara Planina is loved by tourists both for the preserved nature and for the pleasure of touching the authentic life of the local people: tasting home-made rakiya with home-made appetisers is an integral part of the experience.

The tour is diverse and combines horseback riding with seeing cultural sights and immersing in the atmosphere of this beautiful Bulgarian area. The trek runs in the relatively low part of Stara Planina - between 400 and 1100 m asl. You will ride along dirt roads and trails. The terrain is rugged and rocky in places, with an option to trot and canter.
 We spend  between 4 and 6 hours in the saddle every day, and the duration of each ride  in most of the days can be changed according to the abilities and will of the riders. Luggage is transported by car and the saddling is western or English.

Apart from the overnight at a hotel in Teteven, all other nights we will stay at guest houses where the food is cooked by the hosts or in small rural restaurants. Thus, the contact with local culture is closer and the impressions - more vivid and immediate.

Tour Highlights:
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. 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 XVIII and XIX centuries.
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 St. George was founded in XIII century. It is situated on 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.
Etropole Monastery was founded in the XII century. It declined after the conquer by the Turks but at the end of XVI century it was restored and became one of the most important spiritual centers in the Bulgarian lands. The surrounding area of the monastery offers pleasant pastoral scenery and in immediate proximity to the monastery the Varovitets waterfall is located. (optional)
Saeva Dupka cave is one of the most beautiful Bulgarian caves. It is 205 meters long and over 1 million year old. Its five halls and numerous galleries are full of bizarre cave formations. It is illuminated and urbanized.
Troyan Monastery is the third largest monastery in Bulgaria. It was founded around the year 1600. The relic of the monastery is the miraculous icon of the Three-Handed Virgin Mary. The villages around Troyan are famous for their numerous pottery workshops. (optional)
Mineral springs in Chiflik and Shipkovo. The water in the pools is with different temperatures and an hour or two in them are a wonderful and refreshing relaxation, especially after physical strain, such as horseback riding. (optional)


Progressive Ride (no camping)

Meeting: Sofia
Airport: Sofia
Transfer: Sofia airport
Riders: Min 2 riders
Max 6 riders

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    High Balkan Trail Ride
    Tour Code: IT-BGRT11
    8 days / 7 nights ~$745.00
    Dates : Aug-Sept

    Difficulty : Riding Level
    Riding Level Explained
    ABeginner
    Beginner A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
    BNovice
    Novice A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
    CIntermediate
    Intermediate A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
    D Strong Intermediate
    Strong Intermediate An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
    EAdvanced
    All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handlinga spirited horse in open country.
    Lodging: Standard
    Lodging Level Explained
       
    = Facilities in lodges, estancias, haciendas, resorts, etc.
       
    Basic lodging - some with shared bathroom facilities, usually no AC or room service.
    Regular standard room - usually with private bath.
     Accommodations with superior comforts.
       
     = Trips with nights in tent camps. Sometimes the first and last night are in hotels.
       
    Basic tent camping - everyone helps out with camp chores.
    Regular standard with some camp amenities and camp cook.
    Camping facilities with superior comforts like camp shower, bathroom facility..
       
     = Trips that combine nights in hotels and camping.
       
    Basic accommodation and basic camping facilities can be expected.
    Regular standard with some nicer amenities.
    Only assigned to hotel and camping facilities with superior comforts.

    Online Reservation

    Introduction
    Day to Day Itinerary
    Rates | Dates
    Accommodation
    Tack: Western and English
    Horses: East Bulgarian and Karakachan local br...
    Pace: 4 to 6 riding hours per day. Ranges fr...

    Airport: Sofia
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