Nature & Culture

Mountains Bulgaria: (IT-BGRT06)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/bulgaria_central_wild.aspx

Introduction
Mountains Bulgaria
Explore the unique nature of Bulgaria on horseback, learn about local traditions and culture, discover the ancient history, and taste the delicious food and wine.

This trail takes you to the North side of the Balkan mountains, where there are plenty of free and open land without any fences, a true rider's paradise. On this riding holiday you will have the chance to explore the greatest historical, cultural and natural landmarks of the area.
Your riding companions are well trained, reliable and will happily carry you through this adventure, along valleys, lakes, beautiful forests and open fields.

Accomodation


Accommodations

This is a progressive ride so nights will be spent in different locations.

Description
You will be accommodated in small hotels and nice traditional guesthouses (mostly twin rooms with en-suite bathroom).
Laundry is not available while on the trip.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1 & 2: Hotel in Sevlievo
Night 3: Guesthouse in Zhivko
Night 4: Guesthouse in Gesha
Night 5: Complex "Imenieto” in Emen
Night 6: Hunting Lodge in Skalsko
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.



Guesthouse near Zhivko
This charming guesthouse offers simple but comfortable rooms each equipped with private facilities. There is a terrace with a pool where guests can relax. Free internet access is available at this property. 



Guesthouse in Gesha
Each of the 7 guestrooms feature a TV, a balcony, free Wi-Fi internet and a private bathroom. There is a well kept outdoor pool and small garden where guests can relax after a long day in the saddle.



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.



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.

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 guesthouses provide the breakfasts and dinners and they offer traditional homemade local dishes. They serve ecologically clean food, made with local ingredients (mostly from their own garden).
The midday meals are in the open-air and 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 4-5 hours per day in the saddle.

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
The terrain is diverse, but mainly smooth and pleasant, giving you the opportunity to ride free from strain and to enjoy the amazing nature scenery. You should be a strong, confident rider, capable of all paces and fit enough for long canters through rough areas. Wide-open spaces and gently undulating land provide the opportunity for long gallops. (Please note that during rainy weather the ground may be too slippery for long, fast riding).

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.

Itinerary


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1 (Saturday): 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 (Sunday): Introductory Ride
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the stables. We tack up the horses and listen to the final instructions from our guides. Then, we get in the saddle and ride through hills and beautiful forests, with small creeks and lakes. We come back to the stables for our lunch break. 
In the afternoon, we get back in the saddle for another ride in the surrounding area. 
Riding: About 18 km (4 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Helios Hotel in Sevlievo


Day 3 (Monday): Ride to Zhivko
This morning, we pack our luggage and head to the riding center for the start of our adventure. Our goal for the day is the small village of Zhivko. On the way, we ride along the famous rocky chain ”Vitata Stena” (10 km long and more than 120 m high!), which is a nature reserve. We will enjoy amazing views towards the Balkan mountains.
Our picnic stop will be next to the village of Armenite, located just in the middle of “Vitata Stena”.
Riding: About 25 km (4.5 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse in Zhivko


Day 4 (Tuesday): Visit of Ethnographic complex Etara & Ride to Gesha
In the morning, 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 start riding in the wilderness towards the village of Gesha. On the way, we stop for our lunch break by the Yantra River.
Riding: About 21 km (4 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse in Gesha


Day 5 (Wednesday): Morning Visits & Afternoon Ride 
After breakfast, we go for some sightseeing by car. We start with a visit of Dryanovo Monastery and then “Bacho Kiro” cave, located above it. The Monastery survived after being set on fire by the Ottoman army in one epic battle with the rebels of the biggest Bulgarian uprising against the Turkish occupation in 1876.
After our visit, we start riding north through the valley of the Yantra River, enjoying nice canters along the open meadows. We stop along the way for our picnic near Vetrintsi village.
At the end of the day, we arrive at the peaceful country-style hotel "Imenieto”, with a swimming pool.
Riding: About 25 km (4.5 hours)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Country-style Hotel "Imenieto”


Day 6 (Thursday): Emen Canyon Hike & Ride to Skalsko Lodge
We start the day with a small hike to the Emen Canyon (near Negovanka River). Then we get in the saddle and ride through open fields, with many canter opportunities and beautiful landscapes. We will enjoy our lunch break at a lake near Burya village. This evening, we arrive at the beautiful Skalsko Hunting Lodge.
Riding: About 25 km (4.5 hours)

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


Day 7 (Friday): Ride Back to Stables
Today, we make our way back to the stables. We will go through beautiful forests, ride along creeks and enjoy beautiful views.  
Riding: About 20 km (4 hours)

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

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

Additional activities: bow-shooting, cultural tour around the historic landmarks, visit of the Ethnographic complex Etara. Massages are available every night upon request for a small additional payment.


Rates and Dates for Nature & Culture

Rates include:

Accommodations, All your meals and beverages, 6 riding days with English speaking guide, 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
    20228 day trip, AP 6 riding days€1220$1465
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$
2022 Transfer from Sofia airport included at set time 0 $0
2022 Private transfer from Sofia, pp 95 $115
2022 Single supplement 120 $145

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2022 07/16 - 07/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 6 riding day... 2 /10 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Private transfers from/to Sofia, Hard alcoholic beverages, 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 Nature & Culture of Central Bulgaria (IT-BGRT06):

We are trying to be as flexible as possible, so we offer clients the opportunity to rebook for another date not later than 15 days before the trail start date.

Only thing we can ask guests for the moment is to have masks and disinfectants for their own use (of course the disinfectants are provided everywhere).
We will make sure before every trail that our team is healthy. Riding holidays are still very safe, because we ride in a very wild areas, we don't meet many people and we have a social distance of 1 horse.


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:
                                        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