Land of the Thracians

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

Introduction
Mountains Bulgaria
This trail ride goes through the Bulgarian Rose Valley and Sredna Gora Mountain - the land of the Thracians, the mineral sources, the roses and lavender. It offers the perfect combination of gallops through boundless meadows and riding among the breathtaking Sredna Gora Mountain.

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 sample famous Bulgarian wines. You will also discover part of the archaeological, historical and architectural landmarks of Bulgaria.

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 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 at most of the overnight accommodations.
Laundry is not available while on the trip.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Nights 1 & 7: SPA Hotel Hello in Hisarya
Night 2: SPA Hotel Aqua Termi in Krassnovo
Nights 3 & 4: Hotel ”Eagle Rock” in Koprivshtitsa
Night 5: SPA Resort in Strelcha
Night 6: Winery & Spa complex in Starosel


SPA Hotel Hello in Hisarya
This small hotel offers comfortable rooms with a modern décor. All rooms come equipped with air conditioning, a TV, free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom. The hotel also has a garden with an outdoor seasonal swimming pool.


SPA Hotel Aqua Termi in Krassnovo
This hotel is located on the outskirts of Krassnovo and features simple and comfortable rooms equipped with all the necessities: TV, Wi-Fi internet, air conditioning and private bathroom. The hotel has a large variety of mineral pools (both indoor and outdoor) and beautiful gardens filled with flowers.


Hotel ”Eagle Rock” in Koprivshtitsa
This property features an original building located a few miles away from Koprivshtitsa. This hotel offers simple and comfortable rooms with Wi-Fi access, a TV and a private bathroom. There is also a garden from which you can admire the beautiful scenery around you.


SPA Resort in Strelcha
This small hotel offers simple accommodations in the heart of Strelcha. All rooms are fitted with a Wi-Fi access, a TV and a private bathroom. There is also a small garden with a terrace and a small swimming pool.


Winery & Spa complex in Starosel
This beautiful complex features spacious and modern rooms with elements that reminds guest of the surrounding nature such as wood. Each room has a TV and a private bathroom with hairdryer. Wi-Fi is available in common areas. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool and a Spa equipped with a hot tub, sauna and Jacuzzi.

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 food featured on this trip is a mix of international and traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

The hotels and guesthouses provide the breakfasts and dinners and they offer traditional local dishes.
The midday meals are taken in the open-air during the trails and they consist of salads, fruits, cookies & warm food. 

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.

Riding Terrain
Sredna Gora is one of the smoothest mountains for riding in Bulgaria. It has no steep climbs or descents and a level ridge great for canters. It also offers an amazing 360-degrees view of all the highest mountains – Rila, Pirin, Rhodope and Balkan mountains. This trail goes on for 3 days into the mountain and 3 days into the valley, so you will get to explore the deep, century-old beech forests and to marvel at the breathtaking sights of the mountain. Lovely canters between rose gardens and free herds of cows in the valley complete the experience.

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 (Saturday): Arrival
Pick up from Sofia Airport and transfer to the famous SPA Resort –the town of Hissar, located 180 km South-east from the capital.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at SPA Hotel Hello in Hissar


*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 (Sunday): Hissar to Krasnovo
Breakfast in the hotel. After saddling the horses and preparing for the ride, we start our ride among beautiful nature around the village of Starosel. Picnic in a wooden shelter in the middle of the forest, close 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.
Riding: About 26 km (4.5 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at SPA Hotel Agua Termi


Day 3 (Monday): Krasnovo to Koprivshtitsa
Breakfast at the guest house. We start our ride from Krasnovo village through the rose garden, before going uphill into the heart of the mountain. We have lunch in the beautiful Hut Buntovna at 1180 m altitude, located in an old beech forests with amazing view.
In the afternoon, we will ride through the deep beech forest and the beautiful open tops of the mountain. In the evening, we reach the town of Koprivshtitsa.
Riding: About 28 km (5.5 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel ”Eagle Rock”

Day 4 (Tuesday): Koprivshtitsa
After breakfast, we go riding in the surroundings nature before coming back to the village for lunch. We will eat our lunch in a local restaurant and then enjoy a guided tour of the Old Town.
In the afternoon, free time for shopping and exploring.
Riding: About 12 km (2 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Hotel ”Eagle Rock”


*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 (Wednesday): 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 of the Tracian plane and the surrounding mountains. Picnic under the cosy wooden shelter, a 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 (5 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at SPA Resort

Day 6 (Thursday): Strelcha to Starosel
Breakfast in the hotel. You will ride trough the rose fields, nice vineyards, and along sandy lakes. Picnic in a garden, next to the village of Krustevich. You will be accommodated at the beautiful Vinery Spa complex in Starosel. A 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 can hear it. This is a part of the Thracian mysteries.
Before dinner, you can enjoy the spa or go on a wine tour.
Riding: About 28 km (5 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Winery & SPA complex

*Highlights: Wine tasting with 5 wines and special food for each of them - 20 EUR per person.

Day 7 (Friday): Starosel to Hisaraya
After breakfast ,you will visit the Thracian complex in Starosel. It was only discovered in 2000 by the archaeological expedition of Dr.George Kitov. It is the largest preserved Thracian complex with a temple-mausoleum in Southeast Europe. The temple dates back to the 5th century BC. You will learn about the mysterious Thracians and their amazing cultural heritage and historic significance.
Later on, you will enjoy beautiful long gallops among the meadows, and ride by one of the biggest lake of the area (Pyasachnik) with a panoramic view of the mountain.
Picnic lunch in the meadows near village Panicheri.
In the afternoon, we ride across the forest, meadows and along lakes, making our way back to Hisarya.
Accommodation in a SPA hotel with mineral swimming pool and sauna. In the evening enjoy a Farewell dinner.
Riding: About 25 km (4 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at SPA Hotel Hello in Hissar


*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 8 (Saturday): Departure
After breakfast transfer to Sofia.
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Land of the Thracians

Rates include:

Accommodations, All your meals and beverages, 6 riding days with English speaking guide, 2 massages, Support vehicle with mobile phone connection & Transfer from/to Sofia airport included at set time
Guides can speak English, German or French

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20208 day trip, AP 6 riding days€1420$1605
    • Single supplement€160$185
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.13

* 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 $470
2020 Private transfer from Sofia, pp 95 $110

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 10/17 - 10/24 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 riding days 4 /10 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Private transfers from/to Sofia, Hard alcoholic beverages, Wine tasting (20 euros), Personal travel insurance (mandatory) & Gratuities

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Land of the Thracians (IT-BGRT03):

In case you cannot attend your original booking dates due to restrictions imposed to combat the coronavirus pandemic, we offer you to postpone your trip to a later date.

In Bulgaria it is mandatory to wear masks only in closed spaces, like shops, pharmacies and hospitals. 
We ride in very wild and remote areas. The hotels and guesthouses are located in small villages and we can have dinner outdoors.
It is good for the guests to have their own mask and maybe a small disinfectant.


For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

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