DAY 1 Saturday
We will meet and transfer from Sofia airport at 14:00 by minibus to Belashtitsa (approx 1.5 hours), a small village located only a few kilometers from Plovdiv. In the afternoon there is time for a visit to Plovdiv, considered the cultural capital of Bulgaria and the European Capital of Culture for 2019. Its historic centre is more than 8000 years old and there are traces of ancient civilization much older than the Romans. We will also take you to the Ethnographic Museum and one of the best preserved ancient theatres. Dinner and overnight stay is in a very comfortable hotel with pool and spa.
DAY 2 Sunday: TSARATSOVO to HISARYA (hours riding: 5.5)
After breakfast , transfer to Tsaratsovo village (aprox 30 min), where we start our journey at one of the most famous horse riding centres in Bulgaria. The horses will have been transported here from their home in the Rhodopes and you will be matched with your trusty companion for the next 6 days. Today's destination is Hisarya. The most famous spa center in Bulgaria, unique because of its 22 healing mineral springs. As well as being a health resort, Hisarya is also full of archaeological finds from the Thracian times and the Roman Empire, so you can explore the Roman baths, aqueducts, bastions and fortified walls. Todays ride will be along fields and meadows allowing a faster pace with a picnic BBQ lunch beside the river. Tonight you stay at a spa hotel with a mineral water swimming pool and sauna, massage and jacuzzi.
DAY 3 Monday: HISAR to STAROSEL (hours riding: 4)
Today's terrain is a mixture of hills and plains, the trail passes by fields and vineyards, meadows and oak forests. As we make our way to our overnight stop at a local winery, expect great wine tasting and superb cuisine plus you can indulge yourself with some spa treatments as well. On our way we will visit one of the largest preserved Thracian temple-mausoleum complex in Europe. You can find out more about the mysterious Thracians and their amazing cultural heritage and historic significance at this recently discovered excavation site. Lunch will be a picnic from the saddlebags beside beautiful meadows. Dinner and overnight stay is in Starosel at the winery and spa hotel.
DAY 4 Tuesday: STAROSEL to KOPRIVSHTITSA (hours riding: 5)
Todays five hour ride takes us to the historic city of Koprivshtitsa. Dating back to the Renaissance, it is located in a picturesque valley along the Topolnitsa River, in the heart of Sashtinska Sredna Gora. The authentic atmosphere of its cobblestone streets will take you back in time as we take you on a tour of the city. Tonight you will stay in a hotel about 3 km outside Koprivshtitsa.
DAY 5 Wednesday: KOPRIVSHTITSA to STRELCHA (hours riding: 5.5)
After breakfast, you'll guide your horse along the ridge of the mountain, with magnificent views of the "Valley of the Rose". Our destination for the night is the seaside resort of Strelcha at the foot of the mountain. Tonight you stay in a spa-hotel which offers massages and mineral water treatments.
DAY 6 Thursday: STRELCHA to BELOVITSA VILLAGE (hours: 5)
After breakfast we venture into Belovista on foot to visit the Thracian ritual temples dating from the 4th - 6th century BC. Followed by lunch on the shores of Lake Belovitsa, mounting up for an afternoon in the saddle. Your overnight hotel has large spa and swimming pool for a well deserved rest.
Day 7 Friday: BELOVITSA to TSARATSOVO (hours: 4.5)
Today's ride is along the vineyards and rose fields returning to our start point at the riding centre. After the river crossing we will ride alongside a rose oil factory and take in the last scent of the Bulgarian Rose. Our overnight stay is in a four star hotel with a luxurious spa and swimming pool.
DAY 8 Saturday
After breakfast a transfer to Sofia airport, around 90 min or 120km by a minibus. Flights home should be no earlier than midday.
6 days riding and 7 nights accommodation plus all meals £1500
Single room supplement £20 per night
20 APRIL *Large discount available if booked before end of March 2019!*
18 MAY (full)
If these dates don't suit you try our other Bulgarian trail rides: Rhodope Mountain Trail and The Mursalitsa National Trail
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.
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.
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 hotels where rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Single rooms are available.
Single rooms are available at a supplement of £150 for the trail.
A few of the accommodations have a WiFi connection.
Accommodation and itinerary is subject to change depending on weather conditions and availability.
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.
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.