Rhodope Mountains Ride

Mountains Bulgaria: (IT-BGRT10)
URL: https://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: Guesthouse in Dedevo or Boikovo
Night 4: Guesthouse in Orehovo
Night 5: Guesthouse in Lyaskovo
Night 6: Hotel in Varhovruh
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
The hotel is housed in a beautiful Renaissance building. Each of the 6 bedroom comes equipped with air conditioning, cable TV, a phone, provate bathroom and free Internet access.

Guesthouse in Dedevo
Tonight, you sleep in a rural guesthouse with simple but comfortable bedrooms.

Guesthouse in Orehovo
This Guest House offers 7 spacious bedrooms each with its own sanitary facilities and TV set. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.

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.

Hotel in Varhovruh
Surrounded by nature this hotel provides comfortable rooms featuring ensuite bathroom, Wi-Fi access and satellite TV.


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


Meals
All breakfasts are included. Your package also includes 6 lunch packs and 5 dinners from Day 2 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 (Saturday): Arrive Sofia
Transfer to our hotel in Sofia for overnight.
Meals included: None
Overnight at Hotel in Sofia


Day 2 (Sunday): Test Ride
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to our base in Brestovitsa, at the foot of the Rhodope mountain (10 km from Plovdiv). Here we will meet our horses and do a short test ride. During our ride, we will pass through meadows and forests. Depedning on the season, we will have the opportunity to enjoy the ripe fruits in the area and meet the local people, who work in the fields.
After the ride, transfer to Plovdiv for overnight. 
Riding: 3 hours
Meals included: B/L/D
Overnight at Hotel in Plovdiv

Day 3 (Monday): Brestovitsa to Dedevo/Boikovo
This morning, we are heading back to our base in Brestovitsa from where we will start today's ride. Passing through green pastures and picturesque villages, we will reach the vilage of Dedevo for overnight. Alternatively, we can take a sligtly different route and spend the night in another charming mountain village - Boikovo.
Riding: 6-7 hours
Meals included: B/L/D
Overnight in Dedevo or Boikovo 

Day 4 (Tuesday): Ride to Orehovo
Today we are heading to the village of Orehovo - one of the most picturesque mountain villages in this region. On the way, we will stop for a lunch near the scenic Bash Mandra area.
Riding: 6 hours
Meals included: B/L/D
Overnight in Orehovo

Day 5 (Wednesday): Orehovo to Lyaskovo
Our trail for the day will lead us through pine forests and vast meadows, on the way to the village of Lyaskovo. We will make a short stop at the unique rock formation Chudnite Mostove (Miraculous Bridges).
Riding: 6 hours
Meals included: B/L/D
Overnight at Guesthouse in Lyaskovo

Day 6 (Thursday): Lyaskovo to Vruhovruh
Today, we are heading South, making our way up in the mountains to the small resort of Varhovruh. Following the Varhovrah ridge, we will enjoy great panoramic views before reaching Persenk hut, where we will stop for lunch.
Riding: 3-4 hours
Meals included: B/L/D
Overnight in Varhovruh

Day 7 (Friday): Last Ride
For our last riding day, we ride back to our base in Brestovitsa. Then we transfer back to Sofia where we will spend the night.
Riding: 6 hours
Meals included: B/L/-
Overnight in Sofia

Day 8 (Saturday): Departure
Transfer to Sofia airport for departure (1.5 hours drive).
Meals included: B/-/-


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


Rates and Dates for Rhodope Mountains Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All breakfasts and lunches + 5 dinners (from Day 2 to Day 6), 6 riding days, Luggage transport, Airport group transfers & Taxes
Helmets and saddle bags are provided upon request.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20228 day trip, MAP 6 riding days€640$770
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/to Sofia airport is included 0 $0
2022 Bachkovo visit, per car
- to be paid locally
60 $75
2022 Wine tasting of 3 wines in Todoroff wine residence, pp
- to be paid locally
20 $25
2022 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
2022 Single supplement 100 $120
2022 Other local expenses paid in cash, pp
- to be paid locally
100 $120

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2022 04/30 - 05/07 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Expired
A 2022 05/21 - 05/28 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2022 06/11 - 06/18 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Sold Out
A 2022 07/02 - 07/09 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2022 07/16 - 07/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2022 07/30 - 08/06 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Sold Out
A 2022 08/13 - 08/20 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2022 08/27 - 09/03 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2022 09/17 - 09/24 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve
A 2022 10/08 - 10/15 8d / 7n 8 day trip, MAP 6 riding da... 2 /6 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

2 dinners, Alcoholic drinks, Gratuities, Private airport transfer

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