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Rhodope Mountain PanoramaTrail

If you dream of riding in the wilderness and love nature this is the ride for you - a fascinating 150km trail across the Rhodope mountain range, travelling through protected countryside and visiting some historic cultural and amazing natural sites. The unspoiled Rhodope mountains are one of Europe’s last wildernesses. Deciduous forests still climb the steep mountainsides, which gives rise to the local name ‘the green mountains’ - pure air, untouched landscapes, incredible natural phenomenons formed thousands of years ago. The forests contain wolves and bears and more than 300 different bird species. Our riding centre is based in the Rhodope Mountain ranges and Bodgan, a qualified vet, has well 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
  • Visit to Plovdiv - European Capital Of Culture 2019.

Price: from £1200


Sample Itinerary and prices – scroll down for more details

 
Day 1

Arrive at Sofia airport by 16.00 hours and transfer (approximately 2 hours) to the city of Plovdiv, considered to be the cultural capital of Bulgaria and the European Capital of Culture for 2019. This place has a history of a civilisation much older than that of the Romans - a city more than 8000 years old. We will visit the old town of Plovdiv, including the Ethnographic Museum and the amphitheatre, which is one of the best preserved in the world. Tonight you will have dinner and stay at a in the biggest show jumping stable in South Bulgaria.

Day 2 (hours riding: 5)  

This morning you will have a 50 min transfer to the starting point of the mountain trail which is a protected area located 1700m above sea level. You will be matched with one of our trusted horses who know these routes well. We will stop on the trail for a picnic lunch and your riding destination is the Rhodopean village of Lilkovo. The ride is full of panoramic scenery as we cross the Sredni Livadi. 
Dinner and overnight in a family run hotel.

Day 3 (hours riding: 5)

After a traditional Rhodopean breakfast, the journey continues to the famous panoramic valley Ropkata. The valley connects Greece with the Thracian Plains. We stay in a small village right in the heart of the valley called Hvoyna. Dinner and overnight in a family run hotel.

Day 4 (hours riding: 4)

We start the day with a guided tour of the ancient Bachkavo monastery. Then we head for the village of Orehovo, during this ride we have stunning views of the area as we head towards the Agean sea and Greece. You will stay the night in a family run hotel.

Day 5 (hours riding: 5)

After yet another traditional breakfast, you will head for the village of Zabyrdo. This is a small mountain village standing 1400m above sea level.  It is famous for making the traditional Rhodope cheese. It is also one of the oldest villages in the area. On route expect to see wild horses!  The highlight is the rock phenomena "Wonderful Bridges" , this is one of the five most visited destinations in the Rhodopes. Tonight you will sleep in a family run hotel.

Day 6 (hours riding: 6)

After our hearty breakfast we head back to the village of Orehovo. The ascent of Mount Grand  Persek 2100m, the second highest summit of Rhodopes, leaves us panoramic mountain views throughout our ride. Another picnic lunch from our saddlebags at an old shelter on the best preserved Roman road in Bulgaria. 


Day 7 (hours riding: 5)

This is the last riding day and will take you back to the starting point of this trail of a lifetime. You will have ridden over 150km by horseback, passing one of the oldest Thracian fortressess, dating back to 5th century BC. Here we stop at a restaurant for our lunch.
At the end of the day it is time to say farewell to your horse and companion for the last week. Dinner and overnight at the show jumping centre hotel.

Day 8

After breakfast it is time to be transferred back to Sofia airport for your departure, flights should be booked to leave no earlier than midday.

Prices

6 days riding and 7 night accommodation plus all meals £1200 per rider

Single room supplement £15 per night

Dates  2023

June 17 - 24, 2023

July 1- 8, 2023

July 29 - Aug 5, 2023

August 12- 19, 2023

If none of the dates suit you, have a look at our other Bulgarian trail rides: 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 or corralled in 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. 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 £105 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 16:00. 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.

 

 

For tips regarding your holiday such as what to wear and riding ability, please visit the Travel Tips page.

We work hard to ensure that each customer has a great time on their holiday. Please see some riding holiday reviews here.

We have a large range of holidays to suit a range of riding abilities. Please see here for more information.

 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

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