A Week of Horse Riding in the Rhodopes Near Bachkovo

About

This trail takes us through some of the most fascinating corners of the Rhodope mountains. Visit the history-rich and architecturally remarkable villages of Kosovo, Hvoyna, Orehovo, Zabyrdo and Lilkovo, the stunningly beautiful landscapes of the Sredni Livadi protected area and the Hvoynenska valley, natural landmarks such as the “Skakaloto” waterfall and the Marvelous bridges, all the way up to Golyam Persenk peak.

Highlights

• Get to know the rural lifestyle in the Rhodopes

• Discover the city of Plovdiv and the Bachkovo monastery

• Pass through the “Sredni Livadi” Protected area

• Visit the architectural reserve in the village of Kosovo

• Ride through the picturesque Hvoynenska valley

• Explore the “Skakaloto” waterfall and the “Kosten Kamyk”cave

• See the Marvelous Bridges

• Climb to Golyam Persenk peak

• Visit the Thracian fortress of “Shtutgrad”

Description

Day 1

After arrival, guests will be transferred 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 8000 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.

Day 2

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). Today’s destination is the emblematic village of Kosovo, where two of the most famous Bulgarian Revival-age movies were shot, namely “The Goat Horn” and parts of “Notes on Bulgarian Uprisings”.

The Rhodopean village of Kosovo is an architectural reserve, home to more than 60 monuments, 5 of which are of national importance, including the “Assumption of the Virgin Mary” Orthodox church built in 1851, and Hadzhiyskata House – an architectural monument built in 1853. Other interesting sights are also the old school (1889), the chapels “St. Nedelya” and “St. Peter”, the mill, the forge, as well as most of the old houses in the village.

Hours of riding: 5.5

Accommodation is in the famous Hadzhiyska House, an architectural reserve.

Picnic for lunch.

Day 3

After another traditional Rhodope breakfast, the journey continues down the footsteps of Captain Petko Voyvoda (a famous historical figure and revolutionary) towards Hvoyna Village (750 m above sea level). Today’s route takes us to a number of chapels through panoramic landscapes while crossing one of the most beautiful valleys of the Central Rhodopes – the “Hvoynenska” valley. Lunch is in the saddle bags - we will stop for our break near one of the chapels.

Our next stop is the second biggest and oldest Orthodox Monastery in Bulgaria – Bachkovo Monastery.

Hours of riding: 6

Accommodation is in a family-run hotel.

Day 4

Today’s trails take us to the village of Orehovo, which is around 500 hundred years old. From here starts the longest eco-trail in Bulgaria, ending near the Aegean sea(Greece), which makes Orehovo one of the best starting points for tours in the Rhodopes.

We head towards the stunning landscapes of the protected area "Sredni Livadi". The ride will also take us down an old Roman road and past a 18th century chapel called “Saint Atanas”, where we will stop for lunch. After that, we visit the “Skakaloto” waterfall and “Kosten kamyk “ cave.

Hours of riding: 6

Accommodation is in a family-run hotel.

Day 5

After yet another traditional Rhodope breakfast we head for the Village of Zabyrdo, the oldest village in the region – almost 800 years old. 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 “Marvelous Bridges”, which is one of the 100 Tourist Sites of Bulgaria and one of the top 5 tourist destinations in these mountains.

Hours of riding: 6

Accommodation is in a family-run guest house.

Picnic for lunch.

Day 6

Today’s destination is Lilkovo Village. We will climb the second highest peak in the Rhodopes – Big Persenk Peak (2100 m). From this vantage point you will be able to see the unique panoramic scenery stretching across half of the Rhodope mountain. Lunch is in the saddle bags.

Hours of riding: 6

Accommodation is in a 4** hotel.

Day 7

The last riding day will takes us back to the starting point of this experience of a lifetime, making the total area we cover on horseback around 150 km. We will be passing through one of the oldest Thracian fortresses ever discovered – “Shtutgrad”, which dates to the 5th centuries BC. The two hills of the fortress, known as the Sun Hill and the Moon Hill, were of great spiritual significance to the Thracian tribe of the Bessi, who were known throughout the Roman Empire as the most fearless of all Thracian tribes.

Hours of riding: 5

Picnic for lunch.

Day 8

After breakfast, it is time to say our farewells and depart for Sofia Airport (approx. 3 hours).

Inclusions / exclusions

Price includes

• Accommodation in double rooms in family-run hotels and guest houses on a full board basis

• Tour guide and saddled horse

• All the transfers in Bulgaria

Price does not include

• The flight to/ from Bulgaria

• Single room: +15 € per night

Notes

Transfers from/ to Sofia are at set times. You should preferably arrive at Sofia before 2:00 PM in order to have enough time for sightseeing in Plovdiv. Also, your departure flight should not be earlier than 12:00 PM.

This horseriding excursion is for groups of at least 6 people.

670 €

per person

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Horse Riding, Excursions

4877 Орехово, България

Starting point - Sofia, Bulgaria

8 Days

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Live tour guide availabel in English

Maxiumum participants - 10 people

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