Mursalitsa National Park Horse Riding Trail
We will embark on a journey to two of the Rhodopes’s most iconic destinations, namely the villages of Shiroka Laka and Gela.
Shiroka Laka village is an architectural reserve with typical Revival Period houses. Immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the famous Rhodope cuisine and the folklore.
Gela is a small village sitting at the top of one of the beautiful slopes of the Rhodopes, surrounded by breathtaking views on all sides. Every summer in the village there is a National Bagpipe Festival held on the first weekend of August.
• Ride through the villages of Gela, Shiroka Laka and Trigrad, three of the most popular destinations in the Rhodope mountains
• Pass through a number of protected areas
• Accommodation in authentic Revival age houses
• Ride through natural landmark Chairskite Ezera ( The Chairi Lakes )
• See the Chudnite Mostove (The Wondrous Bridges) rock formation
• Visit the Tower of Snezhanka
• Explore the Old Town and the Ethnographic Museum of Plovdiv
Arrival and transfer from Sofia airport to the village of Belashtitsa (approx. 2 hours), only 6 km from Plovdiv – a city considered to be the cultural capital of Bulgaria. More than 6000 years old, a contemporary of ancient Troy, Plovdiv is built upon and has preserved the remains of civilizations much older than the Roman. We will visit the old town of Plovdiv, including the Ethnographic Museum and the Ancient Theatre, which is one of the best preserved Roman structures in the World.
Accommodation at a 3 ***Family Hotel with a swimming pool.
After your first traditional Rhodope breakfast, you will be transferred to the starting point of the trail, namely the “Sredni Livadi” Protected Area (approx. 40 min).
There you'll meet one of our great horses. You can mount your trusty companion yourself, or you can leave it to us to help you up. Today’s trails will take us to the village of Lilkovo. We'll come across the stunning views of the "Sredni Livadi" protected area. The ride will also take us through an ancient Roman road and an 18th century chapel called “Saint Atanas”, where we will have our lunch.
Hours of riding: 4
Accommodation at a 3******* Family Hotel
After yet another traditional Rhodope breakfast we head for the Village of Zabyrdo. This is a small mountain village located at 1400 m above sea level. It is famous for its production of the traditional Rhodope area cheese. We will also visit the famous rock formation “Wondrous Bridges”, which is one of the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria.
Hours of riding: 6
The overnight is in a family-run guest house.
Today we head for the village of Shiroka Laka, considered to be one of the so called "Rhodope pearls" – an architectural and folklore reserve of great cultural significance. Getting there on horseback is akin to a 19th century adventure.
Some of the most emblematic landmarks of the village are the Ethnographic Museum, which was a house first built for a wealthy Rhodope family at the end of the 19th century and was later converted into the museum it is today, and the Church of the Assumption which was built in 1834 in just 38 days by all the people of Shiroka Laka.
Hours of riding: 6
Overnight accommodation at a family guest house.
The journey continues in the heart of “Mursalitsa “National Park, truly an experience you will never forget! We will also ride along the Valley of Bells and Songs which will takes us to the famous village of Trigrad. The vast "Ilinden" Meadows there host the biggest Bagpipe Festival in Bulgaria. We will also pass through one of the most beautiful natural lakes in the Rhodopes – the Chairi Lakes, formed by the basal sliding of glaciers during the ice age. We will also cross the “Drunken Forest”, where the trees do not grow vertically, but rather in all directions and angles, causing their trunks to curve unusually.
Hours of riding: 7
Overnight accommodation in authentic revival age family-run hotel.
After breakfast we head back through “the valley of the bells and songs” towards the village of Gela, retracing our steps through the most beautiful areas of the trail.
Hours of riding: 7
Overnight accommodation in a family guest house.
The last riding day on this remarkable trail will lead you through more unforgettable landscapes in the Rhodope mountains. We will ride down the famous “Panoramic Road to Mount Snezhanka” – 21 km, or 3 hours and a half. The scenic road to Mount Snezhanka will take us almost 2000 m above sea level at the foot of the Tower of Snezhanka.
The view from the top of the tower spans 360 degrees, revealing the full beauty of the Rhodope mountains and parts of the Aegean sea.
Hours of riding: 4
Accommodation at a 3 *** family hotel
After breakfast, it is time to say our farewells and depart for Sofia Airport (approx. 3 hours).On our way back will have time to visit the Bachkovo Monastery, the second biggest monastery in Bulgaria.
Inclusions / exclusions
The price Includes
• Accommodation on full board
Number of riding days: 6 days
Hours of riding per day: 5-7 hours
Group size: 2-10 persons
Minimum age: 12
Weight limit: 95 kilograms
Required experience: Must be fit to ride and able to walk, trot and canter for this trail
Transfer: Included from meeting point at set times
Optional individual accommodation upon request: 70 €
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