BALKAN NATIONAL PARK

Escaping civilization, this trail will take you into the heart of the Balkan mountain. The most beautiful part of it – Central Balkan National Park – is one of the largest and most valuable protected areas in Europe an area of 72,021.07 ha, home of many wild animals and over 1,900 different plants, whereof over 130 species are listed in the Bulgarian Red Data Book and the World Red List of Threatened Species. Lush meadows lie below high cliffs, alternating with dense old forests. Enjoy the beauty of Bulgaria from another point of view – riding high above away from civilization. Feel the amazing atmosphere of the campfire, jump into the crystal waters of the Rositsa river, taste the delicious food. The horses are very well-trained, willing to work, and comfortable to ride. The guides are experienced professionals and will take care of the horses and your good mood.

Going into high mountains is always a challenge, but one of the best ways to overcome it is on horseback. On the first and last day you will ride in the foot of the mountain, which allows for nice canters. Next days are spent deep inside the Central Balkan National Park, where you can enjoy the shade of the century-old beech trees, the wildness, and the breath-taking sights of the mountain. Bulgaria’s hottest months – July and August – are the perfect time for this trail. You can escape the heat of the plains, as the weather in the high mountain is stable and very pleasant for riding. The trail is available to both novice and higher ability riders, as the terrain in the mountain is not suitable for very long canters. This makes it a great choice for spending the holiday with family and friends.

Key information

  • Rider weight limit: 209 pounds / 95 kilograms
  • Ability: novice to higher ability riders
  • Number of riders: 4-8
  • Average hours in the saddle: 3-6
  • Tack type -Western and Endurance high-quality saddles – Ortho-Flex and Podium. Some of the horses are ridden in bitless bridles.
  • Horses -Shagya and pure-bred Arabs, East-Bulgarian breed, and cross-bred with Arab horses – all very well-trained, spirited and easy to control. The height of the horses varies from 150 to 165 cm.
  • Guides-experienced and professional – they perfectly know all horses and routes.
  • It is obligatory to have a riding helmet-We also recommend: riding boots or chaps, raincoat and warm clothes, insect repellent, sunscreen.
  • Meeting point-Sofia Airport.
  • Pace-varying from walk on steeper slopes to a fast pace in open spaces. Riding consists of 45% walking, 30% trotting and 25% cantering. This proportion could be changed according to the requirements and the abilities of the riders or weather conditions.

This trail goes to a very wild area, so everyone sleeps in tents on the second day. On the fourth day you can choose to sleep in tents or in the Mazalat hut’s common bedrooms for 3, 5 or 8 people. During the rest of the trail the riders sleep in high quality hotels and guest houses. Swimming pools, massages and sauna are available in 2 of the hotels.
Meals are all-inclusive, except for hard drinks. The hotels and houses provide breakfast and dinner, offering delicious traditional dishes, fruits and vegetables from the local farms and our garden. Midday meals are in the open-air during the passages and they consist of warm homemade food, beer, cold and hot drinks. We offer ecologically clean food, international and traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

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Dates for 2021:
July – fm 31 to 07 Aug.
August – fm 14 to 21

What’s included

  • 6 days of riding
  • All meals and drinks (including beer & wine)
  • 7 nights’ accommodation
  • Entry fees as per the itinerary
  • Professional guides’ assistance
  • Luggage transfers
  • Jeep vehicle support
  • Airport transfers from and back to Sofia

Price: 1060 EUR per person in a double room. +140 EUR for a single accommodation.

  • Additional activities: bow-shooting, visit to the Ethnographic complex Etara near Gabrovo city, guided hiking tour to the Peeshti Skali Nature Reserve.
  • Additional information:two guides – professional riders – with one leading the group and the other following with a jeep and all luggage.
  • Accompanying children and young people:over 12 years. All accompanying non-riders will get the chance to participate in the above-mentioned additional activities.

Itinerary: From Riding Club ”Alfa”, located near the town of Sevlievo, to the village of Kastel, Valevtsi Village, Mazalat Mountain Hut, Uzana Ski Resort, Gabrovo city, to Vitata Stena Rocky Chain and back to the Riding Club.

Day 1:

  • Pick up from Sofia Airport and transfer to Sevlievo, located 190 km Northeast from the capital.
  • Arrival in the town of Sevlievo and accommodation in Helios or Incanto hotel with Jacuzzi and sauna.
  • Initial Instructions by the guides.
  • Dinner and night at the hotel.

Day 2:

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Arrival at the stable. Introduction of the horses to the riders, final preparations and instructions by the guides.
  • On the first day of riding we will canter in the beautiful area at the feet of the Balkan mountain. The whole Central Balkan and its majestic peaks can be seen from there.
  • Midway stop for a picnic in the open fields, at a shady place with an amazing view
  • Arrival in the pretty, small village of Kastel, where we organize our camp with a fireplace next to Rositsa river.
  • Guides will prepare dinner on the fire for you.
  • Riding about 28 km (5 hours).

Day 3:

  • Breakfast at the camp.
  • Ride through the fore-mountains in the real wilderness.
  • The ride takes us to a small mountain paradise, where you can swim in the crystal waters of Rositsa river.
  • Lunch next to Rositsa river.
  • After lunch during the hottest hours of the day, we will rest around the river.
  • Short ride into the wild forests in the area, before dinner.
  • By the end of the day, we will arrive in a beautiful guest house in the village of Valevtsi.
  • Dinner at the guest house.
  • After dinner, we can go to Bedouin Summer Bar – which is next to the river – and have a party and a night swim in the river.
  • Riding about 15 km (3.5 hours).

Day 4:

  • Breakfast at the guest house.
  • Ride uphill toward the heart of Central Balkan National Park. The road takes us to a deep forest with 100-year-old beech trees next to Rositsa River. In the hot weather, we can swim in the river’s natural pools.
  • Picnic at a wooden shelter in the forest.
  • Arrival at Mazalat Hut (1520 m), situated right under the famous natural reserve ”Peeshti Skali” (“Singing rocks”). From the hut, a 360-degree view of the natural beauties around can be seen in a 60 km distance.
  • You can choose to sleep in the hut in big common bedrooms for 3, 5 or 8 people, or outside in tents. A common shower is available in the hut.
  • Dinner at the hut with delicious homemade food.
  • After dinner, you can enjoy the night sky’s endless stars.
  • Riding about 25 km (5 hours).

Day 5:

  • Breakfast at the hut.
  • Guided hiking tour to the ”Peeshti Skali” Nature Reserve.
  • Lunch at the hut.
  • Ride on the Balkan’s crest, while enjoying the amazing views on both sides of the mountain.
  • Arrival in a cosy hotel in the famous “Uzana” region- the geographic centre of Bulgaria.
  • Dinner at the hotel.
  • Riding about 15 km (3 hours).

Day 6: 

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • A smooth downhill ride through the forest, then cantering through beautiful meadows, and crossing near Gabrovo city – the Bulgarian “Capital of humour and satire”. Its citizens are known to be the stingiest in the country!
  • Picnic next to Mechkovtsi village.
  • Arrival in a beautiful guest house near Gabrovo.
  • Dinner at the guest house.
  • Riding about 30 km (6 hours).

Day 7:

  • Breakfast at the guest house.
  • Visit by car of the open-air Ethnographic museum “Etara”. The complex represents a 19th century village with the main crafts developed at that time. The old machines work with the power of running water. The current craftsmen produce traditional pots, garments, food, musical instruments, tools and souvenirs on them. There you could buy handmade presents for your friends!
  • Picnic in the meadows near Panicheri village.
  • On the last day of riding, we complete a full circle and ride back to the stable where we started, beside the rocky chain “Vitata Stena ” (702 m).
  • Picnic next to Armenite village, situated at the foot of “Vitata Stena” rocky chain.
  • Arrival at the stable.
  • Night and dinner at Helios or Incanto hotel in the town of Sevlievo.
  • Riding about 26 km (4,5 hours).

Day 8:

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Leaving for Sofia.
  • Departure from Sofia Airport.

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