Rhodope Mountains Ride

Mountains Bulgaria: (IT-BGRT10)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/bulgaria_rhodope_mountains_ride.aspx

Introduction
Mountains Bulgaria
The Rhodopes,  occupying the southern part of Bulgaria and part of Greece,  are the homeland of the mythological singer Orpheus. This ride spends 6 days of riding in this enchanting mountain – the land of high peaks and deep river gorges, unique rock formations, lush meadows and dense forests. The western part of the Rhodopes where our ride takes place, offers a variety of terrains in which one can experience of all types of riding and paces. We visit remote villages, stay with local people enjoying their hospitality, local food and excellent wines. We spend also some time in Plovdiv - Europe's oldest inhabited city and 2019 European Capital of Culture.

Accomodation

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

Description
You will stay overnight at local guesthouses and small family-run hotels in rooms with private facilities (except for maybe one night in Varhovrah – depends on accommodation).
WIFI will be available at all locations.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1: Hotel in Sofia 
Night 2: Hotel in Plovdiv
Night 3: Hotel or Hut in Varhovrah
Night 4: Guesthouse in Lyaskovo
Night 5: Hotel in Zaburdo
Night 6: Guesthouse in Orehovo
Night 7: Hotel in Sofia 

Hotel in Sofia
You will be warmly welcomed in this small family hotel. There is a beautiful garden with many flowers, where guests can relax. The hotel has 15 rooms, all equipped with TV, telephone and bathroom with toilet, shower or bath. Internet is also available at this property.

Hotel in Plovdiv
This hotel in Plovdiv’s old quarters is housed in a historical building that was declared a national monument of culture. The building has been renovated while keeping all of its original charm. Each room has its own color and unique décor displaying a charming Renaissance style. The rooms are equipped with air conditioning, cable TV, a phone, free Internet access and a private bathroom.

Hotel in Varhovrah
This hotel is remotely located in the Bulgarian mountains. It offers comfortable accommodations with a TV and private bathrooms. Wi-Fi access is available in common areas. You can relax in the outdoor terrace and garden while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Hut in Varhovrah
This mountain refuge is surrounded by beautiful nature. It features dormitory style rooms (3 or 4 beds per room) and can accommodate up to 100 people. There are shared facilities on each floor. The refuge is equipped with central heating and also has electricity and running water.

Guesthouse in Lyaskovo
This lovely guesthouse provides simple accommodations in private bedrooms that are fitted with a private bathroom and Wi-Fi access. It is possible to do laundry here for a small fee.

Guesthouse in Zaburdo
This brick house building has 12 bedrooms, all with private facilities.

Guesthouse in Orehovo
This charming guesthouse is made out of wood and features many blooming flowers on its facade. The spacious bedrooms all come with private facilities and a TV. There is Wi-Fi access and the view of the surrounding mountains is simply stunning.

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


Meals
All breakfasts are included from Day 2 to Day 8. Also included are 6 lunch packs from Day 2 to Day 7 and 4 dinners from Day 3 to Day 6.
The food is locally grown and home-style.

Alcoholic beverages are not included in the rates.

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

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Level
The ride is suitable for confident intermediate riders. There will also be occasions where you need to dismount and lead your horse for short periods of time (20 – 30 min) – this can be both uphill as well as downhill so you will need to be reasonably fit.

Pace
This trip includes 6 days of riding in enchanting mountains, deep river gorges, lush meadows and dense forests. The trail offers a variety of terrains in which one can experience of all types of paces. We ride between 4 and 6 hours every day.

Horses 
Most of the horses are crossbreeds between the local East-Bulgarian and Karakachan with a mid-height of 150 cm. They are well known as thoughtful and tough, and are thus extremely well-adapted to the mountainous region of the Stara planina (Balkan).
They we are well behaved and are used to each other so you will not experience any trouble with them walking, trotting or cantering in a group together.
Though our horses are suitable for riding, saddling etc. they are still working horses and they are taken care of just like the typical free grazing horses in the region. This might be quite different from what a rider with an experience abroad must have seen, but please, keep in mind that this is how the local people have raised their horses for centuries. As a company that has always tried to help the small local communities in Bulgaria by bringing tourists to them, we would like to ask you to respect and understand these traditions and practices.

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary- subject to changes


Day 1. Arrive Sofia
Transfer to our hotel in Sofia for overnight.
Meals included: None

Day 2. Sofia - Purvenets - Plovdiv
Transfer to our riding base in Purvenets at the foot of the Rodopi mountains (2 hours drive from Sofia), where we meet the horses. Today we make a loop-like ride, passing along the Red Church - a late Roman basilica dating from 5-6 AD. After the ride we drive back to Plovdiv, where we can enjoy the old quarters of the town, where we stay at hotel for overnight. Optional wine tasting in the Todoroff wine residence, Brestovitsa village.
Meals included: B/L/-
Riding: 4-5 hours


Day 3. Plovdiv - Purvenets - Varhovrah
We start in Purvenets again, this time heading south and up in the mountains, to reach Bryanovshtitsa Hut and then continue to the small resort of Varhovruh where we stay overnight in a small mountain hotel.
Meals included: B/L/D
Riding: 5 hours


Day 4. Varhovrah - Persenk hut - Lyaskovo
We continue our ride, passing through several tiny villages, following Varhovrah ridge with great panorama views, to reach Persenk hut, where we stop for lunch. Continue to the village of Lyaskovo where we stay for overnight with a local family.
Meals included: B/L/D
Riding: 6 hours


Day 5. Lyaskovo - Chudnite Mostove - Orehovo
From Lyaskovo we head up to Chudnite Mostove (Miraculous Bridges) - a unique rock formation. In the afternoon the trek continues through pine forests and vast meadows to Orehovo village, where we stay at a family run hotel.
Meals included: B/L/D
Riding: 6 hours


Day 6. Orehovo - Dedevo
After breakfast we head to Bash Mandra where we can stop for lunch. We continue to the village of Dedevo where we stay at a bungalow, two rooms sharing WC/shower.
Meals included: B/L/D
Riding: 5 hours

Day 7. Dedevo - Purvenets - Sofia
The ride today takes us to the village of Purvenets where we say goodbye to our horses and drive back to Sofia for the last night. An optional visit to Bachkovski Monastery in the afternoon. Bachkovo Monastery is established in the beginning of XI century and is the second largest Bulgarian Monastery nowadays. We suggest an early start of the day if Bachkovo Monastery will be visited.
Meals included: B/L/-
Riding: 6 hours


Day 8. Departure
Transfer to Sofia airport for departure.
Meals included: B/-/-

*B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner


Rates and Dates for Rhodope Mountains Ride

Rates include:

6 overnights in local guesthouses and mountain hotels in rooms with private facilities and 1 night in bungalow in Dedevo (up to 4pax group), all breakfasts & 6 lunch packs & 4 dinners - English-speaking guide and saddled horse - luggage transport - airport transfers on arrival/departure days - VAT and all local taxes

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20208 day trip, MAP 6 riding days€690$795
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/to Sofia airport is included 0 $0
2020 Bachkovo visit, per car
- to be paid locally
60 $70
2020 Wine tasting of 3 wines in Todoroff wine residence, pp
- to be paid locally
20 $25
2020 Private transfers to/from Sofia Airport to city centre or Plovdiv Airport to city centre, one-way, per vehicle
This is a "Group Rate"
15 $20
2020 Single supplement 100 $115

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 04/25 - 05/02 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 05/16 - 05/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 06/06 - 06/13 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 06/27 - 07/04 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 07/18 - 07/25 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 08/01 - 08/08 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 08/15 - 08/22 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 08/29 - 09/05 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 09/12 - 09/19 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2020 10/03 - 10/10 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

international flight tickets - 3 dinners and alcoholic drinks - tips and additional airport transfers (in connection with pre- and post tour accomodation in Sofia - 15 EUR pr. vehicle) or Plovdiv-Sofia or vv. 60 EUR (per vehicle)

Other Info
Meeting: Sofia
Airport: Sofia International Airport (SOF)
Transfer: Sofia International Airport (SOF)

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
Temperatures expected during the time we operate our trips are mild to warm. Rainfalls can happen, but they are usually short. However, heavy showers are possible and can be more prolonged during spring and late autumn.

Spring (March to May)
During this season, it is warm but can be rainy.

Summer (June to August)
These months  are usually pleasant and can get quite hot. August can also be a month of high rainfall.

Autumn (September to November)
This time of the year is mostly dry with mild temperatures.

Winter (December to February)
Winter is chilly with temperatures around the freezing point, and snow is common.

The most pleasant months to visit are May, June and September. At that time, it is usually warm enough to enjoy the outdoors and most tourists are gone.

What To Bring:
Here is the rough list with things we think you should take with you when coming for an equestrian holiday in Bulgaria.

Recommended items
  • Hard-toed boots with a heel
  • Long jeans
  • Gloves for hand protection
  • Riding helmet (available to borrow, but please ask ahead of time)
  • Spurs (only when necessary!)
  • Fleece headband
  • Lightweight windproof riding jacket
  • Light casual shoes for walking and/or for travelling
  • Loose, casual trousers
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Raincoat (must have)
  • A set of T-shirts, sweatshirts and long sleeved shirts, preferably not cotton
  • Warm shirt, possibly fleece and/or pullover
  • Fleece windstopper jacket
  • Windproof, waterproof outer shell garment (breathable if possible!)
  • Hat or cap for sun protection
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Sunscreen lotion and lip balm
  • Repellent (for mosquitoes, flies and ticks)
Optional items
  • Personal basic first aid kit to include essential items
  • Torch (head mounted preferable)
  • Large handkerchief/bandana for neck
  • Binocular
  • AltimeterCompass
  • Photo camera
We provide helmets for the riders.  We do not provide chaps. The cell phone coverage in most of the territory of Bulgaria is covered well with a mobile connection. However these tours are done in mountainous areas where the signal can be weak or occasionally completely lacking from time to time. In such a situation normally you just need to change your location a bit in order to find available network. Electricity:  220 V