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"The Magic Caves, Waterfalls and Castles of Bulgaria" - Special Edition


9-Days riding adventure in Bulgaria of the Middle Ages and among the splendid caves and waterfalls of the
Central Balkan fore-mountains.

"Some of the finest highland scenery in Europe is found in the Rila, Pirin, Rhodope and Balkan mountain ranges"
( The Rough Guide - 1995 )

The Balkans are the longest chain in the peninsula- over 600 km. Dividing Bulgaria into two distinct halves, the Balkans amaze us with their spectacular natural sights- the river canyons, the rocks, the forests and the high picks (the highest is 2376 m).
Our trail takes you to the North side of the Balkans in its central fore-mountains- the land of ancient historical, architectural and extraordinary natural landmarks. The main goal of this carefully designed holiday is to show you the best preserved castles, towers, monasteries and fortresses from the Middle Ages together with the old houses and traditional crafts of Etara village and finally to leave you fascinated, while staying in front of the unique waterfalls and caves of the Devetaki plateau. All this fantastic experience will be supplemented by the delicious traditional dishes, fruits and vegetables, cultivated without any chemical treatment and the fine Bulgarian wines. The relief is various, but mainly smooth and pleasant for horseback riding and will give you the possibility to ride free of strain and to enjoy with all your senses the amazing sceneries of the nature.

  • Itinerary:
    From the Equestrian Centre located near to the town of Sevlievo, to the village of Skalsko, Gesha View Eco-village, Dryanovo monastery, village of Ledenik, village of Emen, Krushuna's Waterfalls, Rositsa Lake and back to the Equestrian Centre.

  • Dates for 2019:
    May - fm 11 to 19;

  • Meeting point:
    Sofia Airport.

  • Ability:
    Intermediate and higher ability riders.

  • Number of riders:

  • Average hours on the saddle:

  • Pace:
    Varing from walk on the steeper slopes to a fast pace on the open spaces wich are grate for long canters.
    Usually we are riding 40 % walking, 30 % trotting and 30 % cantering.
    This proportion could be changed according to the requirements and the abilities of the riders.

  • Equipment:
    - saddles and tacks: we have both Western and English high quality saddles: Ortho-Flex and Podium.
    - we recommend you to have: riding helmet(obligatory), riding boots or chaps, raincoat and warm clothes, spray against insects, sun protection cream.

  • Horses:
    We have Shagya and pure Arabs, East-Bulgarian breed and crossbred horses with Akhal-Teke blood - all well broken and calm.
    The height of the horses is from 150 to 165 cm.

  • The riding guides:
    The riding guides are experienced and professional and know all the horses and routes well. They have a sound knowledge and awareness of safety, of looking after horses and guests out on a ride. The leading guide is able to take sole charge of riders and to encourage them to enjoy riding, to plan together with them riding time and breaks.

  • Maximum weight limit of the riders:
    95 kg.

  • Accommodation:
    In high quality hotels or in guest houses, in double rooms with WC and shower. Swimming pools and sauna are available in 4 of the nights.

  • Meals:
    All-inclusive, except hard drinks; the hotels and houses provide the breakfasts and dinners and they offer traditional local dishes. The midday meals are in the open-air during the passages and they consist of warm food, beer, cold and warm up drinks. We offer ecologically clean food, international and traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

  • The program includes:
    8 days, 7 nights, 6 days of riding.

  • Additional activities:
    bow-shooting, swimming in a lake with the horses, rowing with canoe, cultural tour around the historic landmarks, visit to Devetaki plateau caves and special party night. Massages are available every night upon request and against a small additional payment.

  • Accompanying children and young people:
    Over 12 years. All the accompanying non-riders will have the possibility to participate in all the abovementioned additional activities.

  • Additional information:
    Two guides - riders - one leads the group and the other is following the group with a jeep.

Description of the trail

  • Day 1:
    - Pick up from Sofia Airport and transfer to Sevlievo, placed 190 km Northeast from the capital.
    - Arrival at a nice hotel with sauna and swimming pool in the town of Sevlievo.
    - Dinner and night at the hotel.

  • Day 2:
    - Breakfast at the hotel.
    - Visit by car of the Ethnographic complex Etara near by the town of Gabrovo. The complex presents a village from the 19th century with the main crafts developed at that time. The old machines are working with running water and the present craftsmen produce souvenirs on them.
    - Arrival at the stable. Saddling the horses and preparing for start, initial instructions by the guides.
    - The target is Gesha Village near by Dryanovo Monastery, where we leave the horses for the night.
    On the way you will ride through hills and beautiful forests with small creeks and lakes.
    - Picnic in a meadow.
    - Night in the first class hunting lodge Skalsko, near by the town of Dryanovo, 5 km away from the beautiful Dryanovo Monastery area.
    - About 22 km (5 hours) riding.

  • Day 3:
    - Breakfast at the hotel.
    - Visit of the Monastery and the cave "Bacho Kiro" above it.
    - Start from Gesha northward to the village of Ledenik, through beautiful meadows and walking along the small canyon and nice oak forests. An interesting tower has been preserved, that was built during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396).
    - Picnic next to Kereka villige.
    - Complex "Chiflika" in traditional style is offering dinner and a shelter for the night, as well as a nice swimming pool.
    - About 25 km (5 hours) riding.

  • Day 4:
    - Breakfast in hotel "Chiflika".
    - Visit by car of Veliko Turnovo- the capital of Bulgaria from the time of the second Bulgarian Kingdom ( 1185-1396).

    The ancient Bulgarian capital Veliko Tarnovo. A well-fortified hill has been the house of the Bulgarian tsar (king) and the aristocracy for 2 centuries. The castle and Orthodox churches that have survived from the Middle Ages are telling stories of one impressive history: the year 1185 began with omens. The winter happened to be so mild that the fruit trees all over Europe blossomed even in January. The Bulgarians connected this "God's omen" with the hope of restoring their state, which had been subdued by Byzantium 167 years ago. The brothers, Assen and Peter, which owned a miraculous icon, fascinated the people in the church on the day of St.Dimitar and leaded them to an armed uprising. Both brothers were kings for totally 12 years and they succeeded to restore Bulgaria almost to the size of its First Kingdom (681-1018). Both brothers were killed by traitors. On the 9 of April 1205 the army of the Fourth Crusade took the capital of Byzantium- Constantinople and founded their own Latin Empire, led by the count of Flanders, Boduen. Tsar Kaloyan (the younger brother of Assen and Peter) attempted to conclude peace with the knights, but they refused haughtily the offered hand. The eventful clash occurred on 14 April 1205 near to Adrianopolis (present Edirne). The army of count Louis was defeated and the Emperor Boduen was captured and taken to the capital Veliko Tarnovo, where later died.

    - The next target is the village of Emen. You will ride along Yantra River and the fields and forests.
    - Picnic next to Balvan village.
    - Arrival at the beautiful country style complex "Imenieto" with a swimming pool.
    - Dinner and night at the complex.
    - About 22 km (4 hours) riding.

  • Day 5:
    - Breakfast at the hotel.
    - Start in Northwest direction to the village of Karpachevo, close to the Kroushuna Waterfalls.
    Riding through beautiful forests with meadows and fields towards the plateau of Devetaki with its extraordinary caves, waterfalls and lakes.
    - Picnic at the meadow nearby village of Dimcha.
    - Night in guesthouse "Ongul" in Karpachevo village.
    - About 43 km (7-8 hours) riding.

  • Day 6: (Rest day for the horses & riders)
    - Breakfast at the guesthouse.
    - In the morning we ride for 1,5 hour to the village of Kurpachevo on beautiful paths on the Devetaky plateau.
    - Visit by car of the remarkable Devetaki cave, placed 15 km from Krushuna. A part of the movie "The Expendables 2" with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Jason Statham and Bruce Willis was filmed in the cave in Nov. 2011.
    - Lunch at the guesthouse.
    - Walking up to the amazing Kroushuna's Waterfalls coming from the caves with the springs.
    - Dinner and night at the guest house.

    Krushuna's waterfalls- an unique natural water cascade, whose sparkling waterfalls consist of many shoots and small basins. The region is green and wild with a large variety of plant and animal species. This picturesque area is rich of limestone caves with springing streams and rivers. The biggest cave, called Boninska, contains the longest underground lake (800 m) in Bulgaria. The territory of Krushuna waterfalls is a National park.

  • Day 7:
    - Breakfast at the guesthouse.
    - Riding from Karpachevo village to the vertical cave "Garvanitsa" on the plateau, then ride to the lake of Kramolin, where we can swim in - with and without the horses.
    - Picnic at the lake.
    - Riding forward to the bigger lake formed from Rositsa river, where the ride is finishing and horses and riders are transported to the stable.
    - Dinner with Wine degustation in Rest restaurant in Gabrovo.
    - About 35 km (6 hours) riding.

  • Day 8:
    • Breakfast in the hotel.
    • Visit by car of the ancient fortress Hotalich.
    • Lunch in a restaurant or picknic in the fortress.
    • Participation in the Humour and Satire Festival in the city of Gabrovo.
    • Dinner and night in a hotel in Sevlievo.

  • Day 9:
    • Breakfast at the guesthouse. Leaving for Sofia.
    • Departure from the Airport of Sofia.

  • PRICE: 1400 EUR (hard drinks are not included).
    Single supplement: + 160 EUR