THE OLD BULGARIAN CAPITALS

Taking you through long forgotten paths and to lands full of history, this trail is perfect for adventurers. Living in a down-to-earth way, you will be able to find the lost link between mankind and nature – a connection long forgotten. This riding experience offers freedom to both mind and body! Long gallops through beautiful meadows and steady canters on forest dirt roads.
We understand that enjoying your horse and feeling safe are some of the most important things for a riding holiday. That is why we carefully select our horses and train them to be reliable, easily controllable and brave.
Your horse will be carefully chosen, according to your requirements and abilities.

The terrain is diverse, but mainly smooth and pleasant, giving you the opportunity to ride free from strain and to enjoy with all your senses the amazing nature scenery. You should be a strong, confident rider, capable of all paces and fit enough for long canters through rough areas. Wide-open spaces and gently undulating land provide the opportunity for long gallops. (Please note that during rainy weather the ground may be too slippery for long, fast riding).

  • The required level of experience for this ride is Intermediate or Intermediate +

You should be a strong and confident rider, capable of all paces and fit enough for long canters through rough terrain.

Key information

  • Rider weight limit: 209 pounds / 95 kilograms
  • Ability: intermediate and higher ability riders
  • Number of riders: 4-10
  • Average hours in the saddle: 4-7
  • 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.

The first two nights the riders sleep in hotels. After that, they will sleep in tents for 4 nights, last 2 nights are in a nice traditional guest house.
The camp is moved every day, so everyone is involved in preparing the tens, collecting wood for the fireplace and etc.
The food will be prepared by our professional team, some diners will be made on the barbeque – fish, chicken and pork, others will be traditional Bulgarian meals.
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.

Dates for 2020:
No planned dates!
In case of interest, the best time of the year is in June and July.

What’s included

  • 9 days, 8 nights, 7 days of riding
  • All meals and drinks (including beer & wine)
  • Entry fees as per the itinerary
  • Professional guides’ assistance
  • Luggage transfers
  • Jeep vehicle support
  • Airport transfers from and back to Sofia

Price: 1080 EUR per person in a double room. +100 EUR for a single accommodation.

  • Additional activities
  • 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:

Day 1:

  • Pick up from Sofia Airport and transfer to Sevlievo, located 190 km Northeast from the capital.
  • Arrival at Family Hotel Helios with sauna and a swimming pool.
  • Dinner and rest at the hotel.

Day 2:

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Arrival at the stable. Introducing the horses to the riders, final preparations and instructions by the guides.
  • The first day will test your skills as the ride is 45km. It will take you through beautiful forests, hills, and the exotic valley of Yantra river.
  • Midway stop for a picnic near a small waterfall.
  • Arrival at “Chiflika” hotel, built in a traditional Bulgarian style. The hotel offers a nice swimming pool.
  • About 45 km (6.5 hours) of riding.

Day 3:

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Visit by car of the Old Bulgarian capital Veliko Tarnovo.

Highlights:

In 1185, brothers Asen and Peter led the uprising against Byzantine rule, marking the creation of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. Asen was crowned Tsar (King), and ancient city Veliko Tarnovo, with more than 7000 years of history, was chosen as the capital. Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Momina Fortress were the three main fortified hills, surrounded by the water barrier of Yantra river. Tsarevets Hill and its natural inaccessibility made it the centre of supreme control of the state, which earned it the name “City of the Tsars”. As former seat of the Tsars, it hosts the remains of more than 400 houses, 18 churches, the royal palace, an execution rock and more. During the Middle Ages, the town was among the main European centres of culture.

  • Ride from the Tower of Ledenik through few small villages, till the village of Merdanya and its pretty monastery.
  • Picnic in the open fields.
  • The final target for the day is a lonely fountain in the plains, where the first open camp will be done.
  • Dinner and rest next to the fountain.
  • About 35 km (5,5 hours) of riding.

Day 4:

  • Breakfast in the open fields.
  • Ride from the fountain through beautiful fields, wild and exotic mountains and forests around the river “Stara reka”. The river is crossed several times.
  • Lunch in the open fields.
  • Night and dinner in tents near Bankovets village, in a nice meadow surrounded by oak trees.
  • About 30 km (5,5 hours) of riding

Day 5:

  • Breakfast in the open fields.
  • Ride eastward from Bankovets village to a stone road from Roman times and through the old forests, deep valleys and creeks.
  • Picnic in the open fields.
  • Dinner and rest in tents next to a small river near Velikdenche village.
  • About 37 km (6 hours) of riding.

Day 6: 

  • Breakfast in the open fields.
  • Start from the village of Velikdenche and ride along vineyards and open fields on the plateau of Omurtag.
  • Picnic in the open fields.
  • The ride continues on an ancient Roman road, and leads you to the remains of a 13th century Byzantine basilica and on a steep path from the foot of Preslav Mountain up to the top.
  • Arrival at a hunting lodge on the top of the mountain.
  • Dinner and night in the lodge.
  • About 40 km (7 hours) of riding.

Day 7:

  • Breakfast in the lodge.
  • Ride from the hunting lodge through the old forests of Preslav Mountain and to the remains of the First Bulgarian Kingdom’s capital – Veliki Preslav.

Highlights:

The town of Veliki (The Great) Preslav is situated at the foot of Preslav Mountain. Around the 9th century’s beginning, Bulgarians started to build a well-fortified settlement there. The remains of the khan’s (the king’s) castle show that there used to be running cold and hot water, and floor heating. In 893, the highly-educated son of Khan Boris – Simeon – became Bulgaria’s ruler. He chose Veliki Preslav as the new capital of the country. In the next 80 years, the town went through phenomenal changes and became a centre of politics, diplomacy, and crafts. It reached remarkable architectural achievements. It is curious that, in the writings of the Turks, which visited the Balkan peninsula at that time, Constantinople is called “Stambul”, but Preslav is called “The Great Stambul”.

  • Picnic in the open fields next to the ruins.
  • Continue riding northeast from Veliki Preslav.
  • Overnight at tents next to Marash village.
  • About 25 km(4-5 hours) of riding.

Day 8:

  • Breakfast and start towards the “The Horseman of Madara”.
  • Arrival at the feet of the famous monument – “The Horseman of Madara” – in the village of Kulevcha.
  • Lunch at the guest house in Kulevcha.
  • Visit by car of the “Horseman of Madara”.

Highlights:

The Madara Horseman is situated in northeastern Bulgaria, 20 km from the town of Shumen and near Madara village. The relief was cut during the 8th century in a vertical rock at 23 m height. It is 2.6 m tall and 3.1 m wide at the base. It comprises a life-size horseman, a lion, a dog, and Greek inscriptions. The image is believed to show the victorious Khan Tervel. One of the inscriptions presents the forceful abdication and exile of Byzantine emperor Justinian in 705. Having managed to escape, Justinian sought help from the Bulgarians. Khan Tervel and his army helped him take back the Byzantine throne. In return, Tervel received honours and gifts, and recognition of the title of Caesar- Tsar, as well as land south of Hemus and an annual tax from Byzantium. The Madara horseman is a part of the national history and archaeology reserve of Madara. It is the only rock relief in Europe that dates back to the early Middle Ages. The Madara Rider was included in the World Cultural and Natural Heritage List in 1979.

  • Dinner and farewell party in the hotel.
  • About 25 km (4 hours) of riding.

Day 9

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Visit of Pliska – the first Bulgarian capital – by car.
  • Leaving for Sofia.
  • Departure from Sofia Airport.

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