Caves and Waterfalls

Mountains Bulgaria: (IT-BGRT02)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/bulgaria_waterfalls.aspx

Introduction
Mountains Bulgaria
"Some of the finest highland scenery in Europe is found in the Rila, Pirin, Rhodope and Balkan mountain ranges" (The Rough Guide - 1995)

The Balkans are the longest chain in the peninsula- over 600 km. Dividing Bulgaria into two distinct halves, the Balkans amaze us with their spectacular natural sights- the river canyons, the rocks, the forests and the high picks (the highest is 2376 m).

Our trail takes you to the North side of the Balkans in its central fore-mountains- the land of ancient historical, architectural and extraordinary natural landmarks. The main goal of this carefully designed holiday is to show you the best preserved castles, towers, monasteries and fortresses from the Middle Ages together with the old houses and traditional crafts and finally to leave you fascinated, while staying in front of the unique waterfalls and caves of the Devetaki plateau. All this experience will be supplemented by the fine Bulgarian wines and the delicious traditional dishes, fruits and vegetables, cultivated without any chemical treatment. The relief is various, but mainly smooth and pleasant for horseback riding and will give you the possibility to ride free of strain and to enjoy with all your senses the amazing sceneries of the nature.
 

Accomodation

Accommodations

This is a progressive ride so nights will be spent in different locations. You will be staying in 5 different accommodations total.

Description
All nights are spent in comfortable hotels and authentic rural houses with unique atmosphere, in double rooms with private toilet and shower. TVs, cleaning services, and WIFI is available at all locations. Swimming pools, massages, and sauna are available in all of the hotels. Laundry is not available while on the trip.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Hotel in Sevlievo
Night 2: Hunting Lodge in Skalsko
Night 3: Complex Chiflika in Ledenik
Night 4: Complex Imenieto in Emen
Night 5 & 6: Guesthouse in Karpachevo
Night 7: Hotel in Sevlievo

Hotel in Sevlievo
This small family hotel offers simple accommodation on the outskirts of Sevlievo. The air-conditioned rooms come with a phone, a TV, free Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom with hairdryer. The hotel has an indoor seasonal swimming pool where guests can relax. There is also a sauna that guests can access for an extra fee.

Hunting Lodge in Skalsko
This beautiful lodge is located on the shore of a lake, just outside of Skalsko. The rooms are modern and feature bright colors. Each room comes with a satellite TV and an ensuite bathroom. There is a big common room decorated with hunting trophies and warmed up by a fireplace. The lodge also features a terrace with wonderful views over the lake, and an outdoor swimming pool.

Complex Chiflika in Ledenik
This accommodation is located in a small Balkan village known for its mineral pools. The complex features comfortable rooms fitted with a TV, Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom. Guests can access to the covered mineral pool (winter seasonal), outdoor Olympic mineral pool (summer season) and the small outdoor mineral pool (always open) free of charge. There is also a Jacuzzi and sauna onsite.

Complex Imenieto in Emen
This accommodation features different buildings with a variety of rooms. Each room is equipped with satellite TV, Wi-Fi access, air conditioning, a fridge and a private bathroom. The complex has a beautiful garden with an outdoor sitting area and a swimming pool.

Guest House in Karpachevo
This lovely guesthouse offers spacious rooms with a tasteful décor. Each room has its own fireplace, a TV, Wi-Fi internet and a private bathroom. The guesthouse also has a beautiful garden with an outdoor swimming pool.

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. They offer ecologically clean food, international, and traditional Bulgarian cuisine.
The midday meals are in the open-air during the passages and they consist of warm food, beer, cold and warm up drinks. 

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 4-7 hours per day in the saddle. We cover about 145 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: bow-shooting, swimming in lake, canoeing, cultural tour around the historic landmarks and visit of Devetaki plateau caves. Massages are available every night upon request and against a small additional payment.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1: Arrival
Pick up from Sofia Airport and transfer to Sevlievo, located 190 km northeast from the capital, Sofia.
Accommodation in Helios hotel with a sauna and swimming pool.  In the evening, initial Instructions by the guides and dinner.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Helios hotel in Sevlievo

Day 2: Visit of Ethnographic complex Etara & Ride to Dryanovo Monastery
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit by car of the Ethnographic complex Etara near by the town of Gabrovo. The complex presents a village from the 19th century with the main crafts, developed at that time. The old machines are working with the power of the running water and the present craftsmen produce traditional pots, garments, food, music instruments, tools and souvenirs on them.
After the visit, we go to the stables. We tack up the horses and listen to the final instructions from our guides. Today's destination is Dryanovo Monastery, Southeast of Sevlievo. On the way, you will ride through hills and beautiful forests, with small creeks and lakes. Picnic on a beautiful meadow in the middle of the way. 
Riding: About 23 km (5 hours)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hunting Lodge near Skalsko


Day 3: Visit of Dryanovo Monastery & Ride to Ledenik
This morning, we visit the Monastery and the cave “Bacho Kiro” by car. Then, we ride northward to the village of Ledenik, through beautiful meadows and walking along the small canyon and nice oak forests. An interesting tower has been preserved, that was built during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396). Picnic will be taken next to the village of Kereka.
Riding: About 21 km (4 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Complex "Chiflika"


Day 4: Visit of Veliko Turnovo & Ride to Emen
In the morning, visit by car to Veliko Turnovo the capital of Bulgaria in the time of the second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396). 
Today's riding destination is the village of Emen. You will ride along Yantra River and the fields and forests until you reach the village. Picnic next to the village of Balvan.
Riding: About 22 km (4 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Complex "Imenieto” in Emen

*Highlights: The ancient Bulgarian capital Veliko Tarnovo.
A well-fortified hill has been the house of the Bulgarian tsar (king) and the aristocracy for 2 centuries. The castle and Orthodox churches that have survived from the Middle Ages are telling stories of one impressive history: the year 1185 began with omens. The winter happened to be so mild that the fruit trees all over Europe blossomed even in January. The Bulgarians connected this "God's omen" with the hope of restoring their state, which had been subdued by Byzantium 167 years ago. The brothers, Assen and Peter, which owned a miraculous icon, fascinated the people in the church on the day of St.Dimitar and leaded them to an armed uprising. Both brothers were kings for totally 12 years and they succeeded to restore Bulgaria almost to the size of its First Kingdom (681-1018). Both brothers were killed by traitors. On the 9 of April 1205 the army of the Fourth Crusade took the capital of Byzantium- Constantinople and founded their own Latin Empire, led by the count of Flanders, Boduen. Tsar Kaloyan (the younger brother of Assen and Peter) attempted to conclude peace with the knights, but they refused haughtily the offered hand. The eventful clash occurred on 14 April 1205 near to Adrianopolis (present Edirne). The army of count Louis was defeated and the Emperor Boduen was captured and taken to the capital Veliko Tarnovo, where later died.

Day 5: Emen to Karpachevo
We start riding in northwest direction to the village of Krushuna. Our route goes through beautiful forests with meadows and fields, towards the Devetaki plateau with its extraordinary caves, waterfalls and lakes. Picnic in the shade near the village of Dimcha.
Riding: About 45 km (7-8 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at G
uesthouse “Ongul” in Karpachevo

Day 6: Visit of Devetaki Cave & Ride to Stalbitsata Cave
In the morning, visit by car to the remarkable Devetaki cave. A part of the movie “The Expendables 2” with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis was captured in the cave in November 2011. Lunch is taken at the guesthouse. In the afternoon, we walk up to the amazing Kroushuna’s Waterfalls coming from the caves with the springs.
Then, visit on horseback of the Stalbitsata cave: ride for 1.5 hours on the beautiful paths of Devetaki plateau above the waterfalls.
Dinner and night at the guest house.
Riding: About 1.5 hours

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at G
uesthouse “Ongul” in Karpachevo

*Highlights: Krushuna's Waterfalls
A unique natural water cascade, whose sparkling waterfalls consist of many shoots and small basins. The region is green and wild with a large variety of plant and animal species. This picturesque area is rich of limestone caves with springing streams and rivers. The biggest cave, called Boninska, contains the longest underground lake (800 m) in Bulgaria. The territory of Krushuna’s Waterfalls is a National park.

Day 7: Karpachevo to Kramolin Lake
W start riding from Karpachevo village to the vertical cave ”Garvanitsa” on the plateau, then ride to the lake of Kramolin where we can swim in - with and without the horses. Picnic by the lake. In the afternoon, riding forward to the bigger lake, formed from Rositsa river, where the ride is finishing and horses & riders are transported back to the stable.
Riding: About 33 km (6 hours)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at
Helios hotel in Sevlievo

Day 8: Departure
Breakfast at the guesthouse, then transfer to Sofia.  
Meals included: Breakfast

Additional activities: bow-shooting, swimming in a lake with the horses, rowing with canoe, cultural tour around the historic landmarks, visit to Devetaki plateau caves and special party night. Massages are available every night upon request and against a small additional payment.


Rates and Dates for Caves and Waterfalls

Rates include:

7 nights accommodations in rural guesthouses and family operated hotels, all your meals, beverages including wine, 6 riding days, English speaking guide.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20208 day trip, AP 6 riding days€1300$1495
    • Single supplement€150$175
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.15

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionEUR~US$
2020 Transfer from Sofia airport included at set time 0 $0
2020 Small group supplement (2-3 pax only), pp 415 $480
2020 Private transfer from Sofia, pp 95 $110

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 05/09 - 05/16 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 riding day... 4 /10 Reserve
A 2020 06/20 - 06/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 riding day... 4 /10 Reserve
A 2020 09/05 - 09/12 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 riding day... 4 /10 Reserve
A 2020 09/19 - 09/26 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 riding day... 4 /10 Reserve
A 2020 10/03 - 10/10 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 riding day... 4 /10 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Hard alcoholic beverages, wine tasting (20 euros), personal travel insurance (manditory). Massage is available for a small cost (paid locally)

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

Climate:
                                        Veliko Tarnovo area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

41

45

54

63

73

80

84

85

76

65

53

44

Average Low Temperature (°F)

25

27

34

43

51

58

61

60

53

44

35

27

Average High Temperature (°C)

5

7

12

17

23

27

29

29

24

18

11

6

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-4

-3

1

6

10

14

16

16

12

7

2

-3

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