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Mursalitsa National Park Trail

Venturing on horseback over 6 days and 120 km into the wilderness of the Muralitsa National Park set in the Rhodope mountains. On this trail we ride across unspoilt countryside and visit two iconic Bulgarian destinations - the villages of Shiroka Laka and Gela. These two renaissance villages are part of the top 100 Bulgarian national tourist sites and are among the most visited places in the Rhodope Mountains. Shiroka Laka is both an architectural and a folklore reserve with unique Renaissance houses, almost all of which gave birth to a musician. Gela, also called “The valley of the bells and songs”, is at 1500meters altitude in the foot of the majestic peaks of the mountains – Golyam Persenk peak (2191m) and Orpheus peak (2188m). This small village has more than 3300 years of history and is considered to be one of the cradles of the European civilization. Our riding centre is run by a horse loving family who have well cared for and trained horses to suit all abilities. All our rides are accompanied by a qualified instructor and guide who is proud to show off the hospitality, culture and history of this unspoilt area of Bulgaria.

What's Included:

  • 8 days
  • 6 days riding with guide
  • 7 nights accommodation in Hotels and traditional Guest Houses
  • Airport Transfer
  • All meals - breakfast picnic lunches and dinner
  • Sightseeing afternoon in Plovdiv - European Capital Of Culture 2019.

Price: from £885


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Itinerary and prices – scroll down for more details

ITINERARY:

Day 1

Arrival and transfer from Sofia airport at 14.00 hours (approx 2 hours) to the village of Belashtitsa, only 6 km from Plovdiv, considered to be the cultural capital of Bulgaria. Plus Plovdiv is Europes cultural capital for 2019. A city more than 8000 years old. We will visit the old town of Plovdiv, including the Ethnographic Museum and the Antique theatre which is one of the best preserved in the World.
Accommodation at a 3 star Family Hotel with a swimming pool


Day 2 (hours riding: 4)

After your first traditional Rhodope breakfast, you will be transfered to the starting point of the trail - Sredni Livadi Protected Area (aprox. 40 min). There you'll be introduced to one of our trusty horses, your companion for the next 6 days. Today’s trails will take us along ancient trails and stunning views to the village of Lilkovo.  The ride will also take us to an old Roman road and ancient chapel from the 18th century, called Saint Atanas, where we will have our picnic lunch.

Accommodation at a 3 star Family Hotel

 
Day 3 (hours riding: 6)

After breakfast we will ride to the Village of Zabyrdo. This is a small mountain village standing 1400 m above sea level. It is famous for making traditional Rhodope cheese. We will also visit the rock phenomenon “Wonderful Bridges”, which is one of the top 100 tourist destinations in Bulgaria.

The overnight is in a family-operated guest house.


Day 4 (hours riding: 6)

Today we are heading for the Architectural and Folklore reserve, arriving there by horse back is like a cultural adventure from the 19th century. . The village of Shiroka Laka is symbolic Bulgarian place where the cobblestoned streets and unique bazars make the visit unforgettable. 

We will visit the Ethnographic Museum which is arranged as a house of a wealthy Rhodope family from the end of the 19th century and the Church of the Assumption which was built in 1834 in just 38 days by all the people of Shiroka Laka.
Accommodation for the night is in Family guest house.


Day 5 (hours riding: 7)

The journey continues into the heart of Mursalitsa National Park, an experience you will never forget! Riding along 'the valley of bells and songs' to the village of Trigrad. We will cross the vast Ilinden Meadows, which has the largest bagpipe festival in August in Bulgaria with over 15,000 visitors! We also ride by one of the most beautiful natural lakes in the Rhodopes. The Chairi Lakes were formed by the sliding of an glaciers during the ice age. And finally visit the Drunken Forest, where the trees instead of growing vertically, grow in all directions and angles.


Accommodation for the night is in authentic revival age family operated hotel.

 

Day 6 (hours riding: 7)

After breakfast we ride to one of the biggest and most beautiful caves in Bulgaria called the Devil Throat, on our way to the cave we will also see Trigrad's Gorge.

Later we head back to 'the valley of the bells and songs' towards the village of Gela, repeating the most beautiful riding day of this trail.

Accommodation for the night is in Family guest house.

Day 7 (hours riding: 4)

The last riding day of this remarkable trail will take in some more spectacular scenary from the ancient Rhodopes. Riding the famous “Panoramic Road to Mount Snezhanka” for 21 km we will enjoy the beauty of this road. The Panoramic Road to Mount Snezhanka, takes us almost 2000 m. above sea level at the foot of Snezhanka Tower. The 360 degree view from the top of the tower reveals the beauty of all the Rhodopee mountains and parts of Aegean sea. 

Accommodation at a 3 star Family Hotel

Day 8

 After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye and depart for Sofia airport (aprox.3 hours ). On our way back we will have some time to visit the Bachkovo Monastery, which is actually the second biggest monastery in Bulgaria. Reaching the airport in time for midday flights onwards.

Prices

6 days riding and 7 night accommodation plus all meals 

Single room supplement £15 per night

Dates & Prices 2020

20 - 27 June £1,100

18 - 25 July £1,100

15 - 22 August £1,100

12 - 19 September £1,100

Dates & Prices 2019

07 SEPTEMBER *final places discount £70* £885

 

If these dates don't suit you try our other Bulgarian trail rides: Rhodope Mountain Trail  and Spa & Ride the Thracian Valley

Horses

We use an excellent selection of horse breeds: Trakehner, Shagya Arabian, english Thoroughbred and East Bulgarian horses. Horses are 15hh to 17hh and have been selected for all abilities of rider. Our horses are friendly, good tempered, not afraid of vehicles and are comfortable in populated areas. We use professional English type of tack and can provide full riding equipment - protectors, helmets and boots. We always recommend that if you have your own fitted hat you should bring it.

For most nights of the trail the horses are tethered on fields nearby to your accommodation - they are used to this and it allows them to graze and to have some freedom of movement. 

Riding  Ability 

Riders should be confident intermediate and above, happy to ride at walk, trot and canter in open country and for long distances. Some of the terrain is rough (and they sometimes trot over difficult ground) with trots and canters sometimes being fairly long. With this in mind, we only recommend the trail for riders who are quite fit.

Weight Limit

95kg / 210lbs / 15st

Minimum group size: 2

Maximum group size: 8


Food & Accommodation

Accommodation during the trail is simple but clean and comfortable, primarily in small hotels or guesthouses. Single rooms are available at a supplement of £100 for the trail. 
Most nights the rooms are en-suite but please note that it's common in Bulgaria for the washing facilities to be 'wet room' in style, meaning that the room includes a toilet, sink and shower but the shower does not have a separate cubicle or curtain (there is a drain in the middle of the floor). 
A few of the accommodations have a WiFi connection.

All meals are included during the trail and you can expect hearty local fare and the chance to try several traditional dishes. Meat and cheese are prevalent and bread is served with every meal, but vegetarians and other dietary requirements can be catered for with prior notice. 

Dinners are three courses and always start with the traditional salad of cucumber, tomatoes, onions, cheese and sometimes olives. Lunches are generally a picnic eaten from your saddlebag, including a sandwich, fruit, biscuit/cereal bar and water. A few times during the week you will eat at a bar in a small village. 


Travel Information

Guests can fly into Sofia or Plovdiv. The tour starts in Plovdiv but most guests fly to Sofia as there are a lot of flights into and out of the capital city. 

Transfers are included from the two airports at set times. You should ideally arrive into Sofia no later than 14:00, in order to allow time for sightseeing in Plovdiv. On departure day your flight should not leave Sofia before 12:00. If you are coming into Plovdiv instead then please contact us for timings.

If you fancy a trail ride closer to home we have UK trail rides in the Brecon Beacons and a Castle Trail Ride in Scotland.

For special offers and up to date news please go to our home page.

How To Book

  • 30% deposit to book
  • Final balance 8 weeks prior to holiday
  • Book On-line by filling in the booking form below and pay deposit via WorldPay
  • or Book by phone on 01829 781123.

Optional Extras

  • Single Room Occupancy £15 per night