Land of the Thracians

Mountains Bulgaria: (IT-BGRT03)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/bulgaria_land_of_thracians.aspx

Introduction
Mountains Bulgaria
This trail ride goes through Bulgarian Rose Valley and Sredna Gora Mountain - the land of the Thracians, the mineral sources, the roses and lavender. The main goal of this carefully designed holiday is to give great pleasure to your body, senses and mind. This trail ride offers you an extraordinary combination of the physical loading of the riding with the strengthening SPA treatments and the refreshing massages. During the holiday you will enjoy the delicious food, prepared from wholesome local produce and samples of famous Bulgarian wines. Galloping through the boundless meadows, riding through oak, beech and pine forests you will become one with the virgin nature of Sredna Gora Mountains and you will discover part of the archaeological, historical and architectural landmarks, hidden in them.

Accomodation


Accommodations

This is a progressive ride so nights will be spent in different locations. You will be staying in 6 different accommodations total.

Description
All nights are spent in high quality hotels or in guesthouses in double rooms with private washroom and shower. TVs, cleaning services, and WIFI is available at all locations. Swimming pools and sauna are available most of the overnight accommodations. Laundry is not available while on the trip.

Night 1: Hisarya
Night 2: Krassnovo
Night 3: Belo Kamene
Night 4 & 5: Koprivshtitsa
Night 6: Strelcha
Night 7: Starosel

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is mandatory is we are unable to find another rider to share.


Meals
All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8. The hotels and houses provide the breakfasts and dinners and they offer traditional local dishes. The midday meals are in the open-air during the passages and they consist of salads, fruits, cookies, warm food, beer, cold and warm up drinks. They offer ecologically clean food, international, and traditional Bulgarian cuisine. Wine and beer are included with meals, but no hard liquor.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions given prior notice.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Pace

Varying from walk on the steeper slopes to a faster pace on the open spaces, which are great for long canters. Usually we do about 40% Walking, 30% Trotting and 30% Cantering. This proportion could be changed according to the requirements and the abilities of the riders. The program includes 6 riding days with 4-6 hours per day in the saddle. We cover about 140 km in total.

Horses
We have Shagya and purebred Arabs, East-Bulgarian breeds, and cross-bred horses with Akhal-Teke blood - all well trained and calm. The height of the horses is from 150 to 165 cm.

Guides
We always have 2 guides per group: one to lead and the other to support the group with a jeep and all of the luggage. The riding guides are experienced and professional and know all the horses and routes well. They have a sound knowledge and awareness of safety, of looking after horses and guests out on a ride. The guides speak English, German or French fluently.

Non-Riders
All the accompanying non-riders will have the possibility to participate in all the non-riding activities of this program: SPA treatments, swimming, wine tasting, visit to the ancient Roman town Dioclecianopolis, visit to the Thracian complex in Kazanluk and sightseeing.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary- subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
Pick up from Sofia Airport and transfer to the famous SPA Resort –the town of Hissar, placed 180 km South-east from the capital. Accommodation in a hotel with mineral swimming pool and sauna. Welcome dinner and night at the hotel.

*Highlights: Hissar health resort is situated almost in the centre of Bulgaria, on the southern slopes of Sredna Gora Mountain, 336 m above sea level.
The first settlers of the small valley, where the town is situated were Thracians from the Bessi tribe. Eventually, the area was reached by Macedonians, but it was not until Roman times when Hissar developed into a large town and resort, called Dioclecianopolis, after the Roman emperor Dioclecian /284 - 305 AD/. The town was built according to all requirements of Roman town planning - with wide, straight streets, decorated with statues of gods and goddesses, with marble baths, beautiful palaces and villas for Roman aristocracy. To protect the town from enemy invasions, it was surrounded with a wall raised by the skillful hands of Thracian master-builders.

Day 2:  Hissar to Krasnovo
Breakfast in the hotel. Panoramic tour of the town of Hissar. You will be escorted to visit the remains of fortress wall of ancient roman town Dioclecianopolis, the third largest town in the ancient province of Thrace, after Philipopolis /Plovdiv/ and Beroe /Stara Zagora/. The wall is one of the best preserved of its kind not only in Bulgaria, but also on the entire Balkan Peninsula! Saddling the horses and preparing for the ride. Ride among beautiful nature around the village of Starosel. Picnic next to Matenitsa village. In the afternoon you will ride to the village of Krasnovo, famous with its mineral baths, situated on the southern slopes of Sredna Gora Mountain next to a big dam.  Before dinner you will have aquatic relaxation procedures and massages and swim in the mineral water pool.
Accommodation and dinner in the new SPA Hotel Agua Termi.
Riding: About 28 km (4 hours)

Day 3: Krasnovo to Belo Kamene
Breakfast at the guest house. Start from Krasnovo village and ride through hills and oak forests to the village Starosel, which made a sensation in the year 2000 when the archaeological expedition lead by Dr. George Kitov found for the world "the largest preserved Thracian king complex with a temple mausoleum in Southeast Europe". Your guide will escort you to visit the recently found Thracian cult complex, still in excavations. Learn about the mysterious Thracians and their amazing cultural heritage and historic significance. Picnic on the beautiful meadow next to the temple. In the afternoon you will ride upwards to reach the cozy Belo Kamene hotel- situated into the heart of the mountain, surrounded by amazing pine & beach forests and crystal streams. Dinner with local meals and wine.
Riding: About 19 km (3 hours)

*Highlights: The Thracian cult complex in Starosel.
The suppositions are that the temple is from the time of the Thracian King Sitalk, even his own. The rich findings in the stone-built tomb date from the end of the fifth and the beginning of the fourth century BC. A main staircase with monumental corridor, ritual landing and two chambers, leads to the temple. The entrance is outlined with slabs with plastic and colour decoration. The inside area is a round, domed chamber with semi-columns and colour ornaments, where the initiated established connection with gods. It is surrounded by a 263 yard long wall made out of some 4000 stone blocks and was hidden under a 20 m high mound of earth.

Day 4: Belo Kamene to Koprivshtitsa
Breakfast in the hotel. Ride trough the forest via the foot of Bogdan peak (1603m.) to the wilderness of Sredna Gora mountain with an unique view from the top to 5 main mountains in Bulgaria. Picnic at the beautiful meadow next to peak Bogdan. In the afternoon riding continues to Koprivshtitsa town- one of the centres of the Bulgarian Revival, which is an unique architectural reservation. You will be accommodated in the new hotel ”Eagle Rock”.  Dinner in the cosy restaurant of the hotel.
Riding: About 28 km (5 hours)

*Highlights: The town of Koprivshtitsa is situated near to the Topolnitsa River at 1060 meters above the sea level.
It is a town - museum and unique settlement in Bulgaria, which has preserved in compactness over 250 patterns of the Bulgarian Revival Period architecture. The greatest wealth of Koprivshtitsa are its Revival Period houses with colourful courtyards, surrounded with high stone walls and gates, the disorderly built curved and narrow cobblestone little streets and plots, the numerous stone fountain contributes to the attractiveness of the little town. Part of these houses was turned into museums.

Day 5: Ride around Koprivshtitsa
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, you will have 2 hours ride in the neighbouring wilderness of Koprivshtitsa. Lunch at a restaurant in the town and then you will have a guided tour of the old town of Koprivshtitsa. You will visit some of the most interesting Museums in the town. Enjoy some free time for shopping and exploring the charming galleries, craftsman shops and coffee retreats. Dinner and night in the hotel.
Riding: About 12 km (2 hour)

Day 6: Koprivshtitsa to Strelcha
Breakfast at the hotel. You will ride trough the untouched forest to the SPA resort Strelcha and go on the very top of the beautiful peak “Wolf”-1240m, with an amazing panoramic view to the Tracian plane and the surrounding mountains. Picnic under the cosy wooden shelter few kilometres down the peak “Wolf”. Overnight in a SPA hotel with hot mineral pool and massage centre. Before and after dinner you will have a time to relax with massage and swim in the mineral water pool. Dinner in the local pub in national style.
Riding: About 25 km (6 hours)

Day 7: Strelcha to Starosel
Breakfast in the hotel. You will ride trough the rose fields and nice vineyards, oak forests and fields. Picnic next to the village of Krustevich. You will be accommodated in a beautiful Vinery complex in Starosel, Copy of the Starosel Thracian Temple is made in the cellar of the complex. When you stand in its centre your voice sounds like coming from the Cosmos, but only you hear it. This is a part of the Thracian mysteries. In the evening enjoy a Farewell dinner.
Riding: About 28 km (5 hours)

Day 8: Departure
After breakfast you will have a visit of the ancient town of Plovdiv and start to Sofia. Departure to Sofia Airport.


Rates and Dates for Land of the Thracians

Rates include:

7 nights accommodations in rural guesthouses and cozy family operated hotels, all your meals and beverages, 6 riding days with English speaking guide, 2 massages, support vehicle with mobile phone connection, transfer from Sofia airport included at set time

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20198 day trip, AP 6 riding days€1260$1515
    • Single supplement€130$155
  • B
    20199 day trip, AP 6 riding days€1400$1680
    • Single supplement€160$195
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.2

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2019 Transfer from Sofia airport included at set time 0 $0
2019 Small group supplement (2-3 pax only), pp 355 $425
2019 Private transfer from Sofia, pp 95 $115

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2019 07/20 - 07/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 riding days 4 /10 Expired
A 2019 08/24 - 08/31 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 riding days 4 /10 Expired
A 2019 10/19 - 10/26 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 riding days 4 /10 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Hard alcoholic beverages, personal travel insurance (mandatory) and gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Sofia airport
Airport: Sofia airport
Transfer: Included from Sofia airport

Climate:
                                                Plovdiv area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

41

47

56

65

75

83

87

87

79

67

53

44

Average Low Temperature (°F)

27

30

36

43

52

59

63

62

55

46

37

29

Average High Temperature (°C)

5

8

13

19

24

28

31

30

26

19

12

7

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-3

-1

2

6

11

15

17

17

13

8

3

-1

Source: NOAA


Seasons
Marked by 4 distinct seasons, Bulgaria enjoys a generally favorable climate. Although located at the same latitude as southern New England, Bulgaria's climate is noticeably more temperate.

Summer
Summers are typically hot and dry, but rarely oppressive, with moderate relative humidity. Always lit by the sun Bulgaria has between 2200 and 2500 hours of sunlight per year. Along the Black Sea Coast the climate is maritime, the Mediterranean Sea cooling summer temperatures compared to the interior of the country.

Winter
Winters are cold but not bitterly so. In the south and Black Sea coastal regions, Mediterranean influences temper the harsher continental climate of the interior. The country's half-dozen mountain groups also play a significant part in determining regional variances. 

What To Bring:
This list is only a guideline for you

 

Hidden Trails Travel Documents and Trip Voucher (contains important local tour contact info.)
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Riding pants or Jodhpurs
Riding boots (short) + Minichaps
Riding helmet  (mandatory)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Lightweight Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Pyjamas
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Swimsuit
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Torch/ Flashlight
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra film or batteries
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun protection lotion and lip balm