Kupres Farm riding holiday in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Far and Ride
Home  >  Riding Holidays  >  Bosnia and Herzegovina  >  Kupres Farm

Kupres Farm, Bosnia and Herzegovina





Reviews





The nature there was so great with green pastures and hills wherever you look. You can ride for days and never cross the same route. Kupres is heaven for people who live in the cities covered with concrete. It is a place where you can rest your soul and enjoy the freedom.

Goga Galic, Far and Ride, Read review
Brilliant. The memories of galloping carefree across the Kupres Plain, followed by eating tasty, freshly cooked meals, will stay with us for a long time. We were sad to leave. I have never met such friendly people in such a stunning location. The perfect riding holiday.

Rachael and Rob B., Read review
Mate and Marko were delightful, the food was lovely and fresh and plentiful and the accommodation was just right. I loved my little bed! I enjoyed riding Vidra who was forward going but sensible (unless too close to others!) and the scenery was outstanding. Fast canters/gallops were exhilarating, jumping over small streams a treat. I very much loved my Bosnian week and yes, I would go again!

Dawn D.
This is the ultimate budget holiday and although they don’t have the facilities and equipment of many of our destinations, Mate, Marko and their team certainly weren’t lacking in hospitality or fantastic riding countryside...

Holly and Sarah, Far and Ride, Read review
I loved the vast open terrain to ride over. The people were genuinely lovely and friendly, couldn't do enough for us. The holiday was very good value. Very glad we went and saw how beautiful Bosnia is!

Caroline W.
It was fantastic, absolutely loved it! Loved everything! The riding was ace. Mate, Marko and Marko were lovely. I was just amazed at the actual land! Miles and miles with not a fence, wall or gate in sight... and the flowers! It felt like I was riding through the set of The Sound of Music! Would love to go back sometime.

Karen H.
It was a magical holiday! We spent hours riding through flower-filled meadows and along mountain tracks peppered with wild strawberries. The horses were gentle, forward but responsive, and the people made us feel so very welcome. We came back feeling as though manufacturer's settings had been restored. During the entire week I did not once hear a voice raised in anger and car horns were only used for greeting. It is difficult to encapsulate in words how restorative the week has been. It is true Sound of Music country, and on the last morning I sneaked off and ran up a hill to sing the title song. Riding through the fields you can understand where Lewis Carroll got his idea about singing flowers - intellectually I knew the sound effects were skylarks and field crickets, but it would be easy to believe that the flowers were singing to the sun.

Susannah K.
Back to basics with lots of fun and long gallops. Favourite memories are the races across the fields, full gallop, the breakfast beers (!) and the Bosnian pyramids. The horse Nur was great fun and the guides tried very hard to please, very helpful and friendly.

Adrian C.
My Bosnia & Herzegovina trip with Mate and Marko and the team was fabulous. It was a great opportunity to get out of the rat race and back to good old fashioned values with people trusting each other and helping each other, like my mother describes England when she was a child. I think I enjoyed their culture and the host's hospitality as much as the riding which was great. I have never referred to my soul before but that holiday was good for the soul, I would not hesitate to recommend it.

Tracy V.
EXCELLENT!! The complete holiday was better than expected and so many good memories - riding an Arab horse called Max, never been as fast in my life. If anything the accommodation is better than you describe it. The food was second to none.

Tom J.
It was super. We climbed a ski slope one day and looked at the view from the top on the horses. The pictures are incredible. I loved my cabin and it was great to have my own room. The horses were lovely. Loved my horse Sheila... she must be missing me! Mate is super sweet and his son is just lovely. Mate has a very kind heart and so warm and welcoming. They are a great bunch and I hope their business is a huge success.

Edel G.
I had a most enjoyable time. The scenery was lovely and the hospitality brilliant. Would recommend to anyone seeking a based holiday ride.

Duncan P.
One of my best riding holidays ever (and I do around four of these kinds of holidays a year and have done so for the last seven years!). In terms of riding it was fab, super great - I enjoyed a lovely Arab horse, Hanna, who is amazing Accommodation and food etc. was also splendid. The hosts were SO kind, helpful, fun to be with and all. It was like visiting good relatives.

Karina L.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

A mix of Bosnian/Arab crosses, some pure Bosnian horses, some pure Arabs and some other crossbreeds. None are really bigger than 15.2hh (they average around 14.2 - 15hh or so).

Nature of horses:

The horses here are mostly forward-going though there are a few more steady options. They are rarely shod (as it's generally not necessary for the terrain).

Height of horses:

14 - 15.2hh

Weight limit:

90kg (approx 14 stone 2lb or 198lbs)

Tack type:

English - some of the tack here is very basic as it is not easy to source in the area.

 

Weather




Current Conditions:
Fog, 3 C

Forecast:
Fri - Partly Cloudy. High: 11 Low: 4
Sat - Partly Cloudy. High: 11 Low: 5
Sun - Light Rain. High: 7 Low: 6
Mon - Showers. High: 7 Low: 3
Tue - PM Showers. High: 4 Low: 3

Full Forecast at Yahoo! Weather

(provided by The Weather Channel)
 

Ride Description

This destination is set in the natural beauty of the Kupres Plateau and is a lovely way to see some untouched landscapes and a little known part of the world. There are vast expanses of open space including fields, magnificent forests, mountain lakes and rivers to be explored and you will receive a friendly welcome from the hosts. This riding destination is extremely good value and an insight into the rural life of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a hidden gem for horse riders. Most of the horses are forward-going, though there are some steadier options available, and your hosts can alter the riding to suit your requirements. Riding here is generally of a relatively fast pace so riders here should be willing and confident to canter, or at least to have a go!

There is a selection of horses available at the stables and usually some homebred foals, all of which are well loved by the owners. The horses are mostly domestic mares and Arab crossbreeds but there are a few other breeds as well, all of which are sure-footed and excellent for the environment. Although life here is quite different to that which most of us know, the horses are well fed and kept on pasture in the day and in stables at night (during winter they are often stabled full-time because of the snow). They are mostly small ranging between 14hh - 15.2hh. Mate and Marko grow their own hay and oats with which to feed the horses in the winter time.

This destination is a great option for those on a limited budget who want to explore somewhere new and who like adventurous riding. It is not a luxury option but although simple, it will show you the true region and the warmth of the people. The accommodation is comfortable, clean and cosy and you are really able to feel at home there. The countryside is stunningly green when there has been plenty of rain and there are many beautiful sights to see. Riding is arranged according to the wishes of guests and your hosts sincerely hope that you will want to visit them again and again. This is also a superb destination to learn to ski in January and February - the slopes nearby are ideal for this and Mate is a great teacher. You can also ride in the snow! Other things to do in warmer months are swimming, hiking, cycling and rafting, to name just a few. It's also possible to camp during the summer!

Imagine cantering across carpets of wild flowers in different shades of pinks, purples, blues and yellows or foraging for sweet wild berries or mushrooms, heading out on horseback or by tractor to catch some crayfish for dinner, swimming in the beautiful natural lake, trying your hand at a spot of 'Kupres golf', taking a trip into Croatia to raft on the crystal clear rivers, hiking or cycling through unspoilt nature, hiring a jeep to go off-road to find the herd of wild horses living peacefully in the hills. As one guest said, this holiday is truly "good for the soul".

Holly from Far and Ride has visited this destination three times (2011, 2012 and 2014) as it's her favourite place in the world. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about this special place!

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation is in one of two cabins (small houses on the farm) which have one double bedroom, one bedroom with two beds, a gallery area with single sofa bed and a double sofa bed in living area. There is also a mini kitchen area (fridge, sink and hob), toilet and shower. In addition, 2km further away there are three double bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms available.

Please note that other guests may also stay in the cabin at the same time as you, unless you specify that you wish to be alone (something which may incur an extra cost). The two bedrooms are separated but in the case that there are other guests at the same time, you would be required to share use of the shower room and communal areas.

Next door to these cosy cabins, which have a log burner and TV, is another cabin which is the social area. This has a big coal cooking area, a bar and lots of seating. Here you eat your meals and socialise in the evenings - Mate and Marko will often go home before you go to bed and you can shut up the bar whenever you are done. PLEASE NOTE: you will find that the locals and other guests smoke heavily inside the bar area. There is a big extractor fan over the coal cooking area so it's not too bad, but you must be comfortable with this to enjoy the trip!

Outside there is a covered seating area with fireplace/cooking area and some chairs and a hammock.

Cabins now have free internet for the guests!

Food here is in the traditional style and homemade. Breakfast consists of items like bread, cheese, ham, jams and honey with juice and tea/coffee. You eat this in the accommodation cabin before you head to the stables or out to ski. Tea, milk and sugar are generally provided and they will buy you anything that you need. Lunch is a variety of pies, stews, goulashes and similar, always served with bread and sometimes with salad or vegetables. There are also local dishes like meat wrapped in cabbage leaves. Dinner is usually something grilled like fresh fish, chicken or sausages. The hosts are happy to find out what the guests like to eat and prepare something suitable but please bear in mind that this destination is heavy on bread, meat and potatoes!

Sometimes picnics are taken for lunch (meat and bread of course!). You will find that the meals are freshly prepared with locally sourced ingredients - you certainly won't go hungry here! They also make their own cheese and guests can sometimes get involved in crayfishing and mushroom picking during their rides (in warmer months). These goodies are then cooked up for your next meal.

Drinks are not included in the cost and the host is happy for you to pay for these in Euros. As a rough guide, a beer (0.33l) or juice is usually about 1€, a bottle of wine can vary from 2€ - 20€ depending on the quality. If there is something in particular that you prefer to drink then just let us know and Mate or Marko can get some in for you. You help yourself to drinks in the bar area and keep a tally and pay at the end of your trip, it's very casual and easygoing. You can try some local schnapps and other home-brews!

 

Activities

Your hosts can also organise cycling, hiking, skiing, paragliding, rafting, motorcycling, swimming, fishing and off-roading. There is also the chance to try shooting some arrows in a "Robin Hood" style competition. These activities are undertaken at your own responsibility!

We highly recommend rafting on the Cetina River which is available in June, July or August at a cost of €50 per person.

 

Further Details

Languages: English (Mate and Marko speak English to a conversational level), Croatian, some French and German.

Health requirements: None specific.

Age limit: 12+ for riders out in the countryside.

Tuition: No

Included: Accommodation, meals, soft drinks with meals, horse riding (approx 4 hours per day depending on preferences and riding ability) and some other activities.

Not included: Flights, insurance, transfers, extra drinks, extra activities (such as rafting) and souvenirs.

 

Travel Information

Transfers can be arranged from either Split airport (150km, approx 2.5 hrs), the airport in Sarajevo (140km, approx 2.5 hrs), Zadar or Dubrovnik. Split and Sarajevo are the closest whereas Zadar and Dubrovnik are each over 4 hours drive away.

Return transfer prices for Split and Sarajevo (includes both directions):

1 person: €80 per person
2 people: €40 per person
3 people or more: free

Zadar and Dubrovnik transfer prices can be discussed, please just ask.

easyJet often has great deals for flying into Split from the UK, as does Croatia Airlines, WizzAir and Norwegian Air.

Ryanair now offers exceptionally good value flights from London Stansted to Zadar. Zadar is a little further from the destination and transfers cost more, but it can still save you money because the flights are so cheap!

If you need any advice on flights then please don't hesitate to ask.

Airport: Split

Alternative Airport: Sarajevo

 

Programmes


Winter Programme



This package offers a combination of skiing and horse riding. Kupres is a beautiful destination for riding but is also a well-known ski destination. The ski resort you will visit is about 10km by car from your accommodation and the riding stables and your hosts will drive you everyday. There are two slopes and neither are too demanding, but there is plenty to do for all levels. 

All ski equipment is provided and ski tuition can be organised for those who require it. The horse riding takes place within the area surrounding the farm (longer rides are not possible in the snow generally speaking). For experienced skiers there is the chance to try skijoring, being pulled by a horse whilst you ski. They also have a set of 'three person skis' which are wonderful fun! 

Day 1: Arrival

Days 2 - 7: Horse riding in the mornings, skiing in the afternoons.

Day 8: Departure. 

Riding in winter is limited in accordance with the snow levels but it is usually possible to ride around 1 or 2 hours each day. Skiing is generally for approximately 3 hours each day. There are no specific hours to this programme - if you just want to ride one day and then only ski the next day, that is no problem.

If you are a complete newcomer to skiing then that is not a problem - your hosts can teach you (additional cost)! Mate and his friends are excellent ski instructors and, in fact, they taught Holly from Far and Ride to ski from scratch. 

If there is an extreme amount of snow then you can ski more and if there is less snow than usual then you can ride more!



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Strong Novice to Experienced - riders must be capable of walk, trot and canter in open countryside. You can be of any level for skiing, including a complete beginner.
Type of ride: Based stay with trail rides.
Total riding time: Dependent on your wishes, usually 6 mornings with 1 or 2 hours per day.
Departure dates: This programme is available in January and February.
 
Pricing: 2014:

£582 per person.

This price includes 7 nights of shared accommodation, all meals, drinks with meals, rental of ski equipment, ski passes, transfers to and from ski resort, a go on the '3 person skis', skijoring for those with prior skiing experience (getting pulled by a horse whilst on your skis) and horse riding in the area around the farm (within 5km distance, longer rides are not possible in the snow).

Ski tuition is available at a small additional cost.




Kupres Plateau Week Stay



A seven night, six day holiday with riding on the 1200m Kupres Plateau, a beautiful area of Bosnian countryside. This is for intermediate riders and above who are looking for an extremely good value holiday with good horses in a little known part of the world. There is some lovely countryside to be seen and a warm welcome at the farm where you spend nights in a small cabin.

If suitable for the riders, you may sometimes ride up to 40km in a day, passing through small picturesque villages and visiting some landmarks. The countryside is diverse and includes magnificent forests and mountain lakes. Landmarks include Kukavicko jezero (lake), medieval tombstones (stecci) and remnants of an ancient Roman basilica. Nights spent out camping in the wild can also be arranged and we highly recommend trying some of the additional activities, such as a visit to the wild horses, skiing (in the winter!), paragliding, cycling, rafting, swimming, fishing and more!

From October to May (inclusive) the riding will generally follow the schedule as outlined below, though the order of the rides may be changed to account for weather and other unforeseen circumstances. From November to April (inclusive) there is slightly less riding each day, around a maximum of 4 hours per day, and you do not travel so far away from the stables due to the possibility of bad weather. Having said that the winter months are an excellent time to visit as you may well be able to ski! 

Sample Itinerary (applicable from October to May inclusive):

Day 1: Arrival at the airport with transfer to the cabin accommodation in Kupres, dinner and overnight. 

Day 2: Breakfast followed by a trail ride to Mt Sto˛er, standing at 1758m. This ride is approximately 3 - 4 hours in duration and you will return to the cabins for lunch. In the afternoon there is the option of a shorter ride of around 1.5 hours. 

Day 3: Breakfast following by their 'Jaram' trail route, 3 - 4 hours in duration. Lunch back at the cabins and the option of a shorter ride of around 1.5 hours. 

Day 4: Same programme as yesterday but you will follow a trail they called 'Jezero' in the morning. 

Day 5: Same programme as yesterday but you will follow a trail they called 'Crni Vrh' in the morning. 

Day 6: Same programme as yesterday but you will follow a trail they called 'Javorac' in the morning. 

Day 7: Same programme as yesterday but you will follow a trail they called 'Mongolia' in the morning. 

Day 8: Breakfast followed by transfer back to the airport. 



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate - Experienced. Generally the rides out include all paces on a forward-going horse. Less experienced riders can ride one of the steadier horses but we generally recommend that you are comfortable at walk, trot and canter in open countryside and up for an adventure!
Type of ride: Based with trail rides out.
Total riding time: 4 - 5.5 hours per day (approximately) for 6 days.
Departure dates: Flexible dates all year round. There is snow in the winter so riding is limited (but you can ski instead, please see separate itinerary).
 
Pricing: 2014:

£582 per person.

The price includes 7 nights of shared accommodation, all meals and 6 days of riding (approx 4 - 5 hours per day).

2015:

May 2015 to October 2015 (inclusive): £662 per person.
November 2014 to April 2015 (inclusive): £582 per person.

The price includes 7 nights of shared accommodation, all meals and 6 days of riding (approx 4 - 5.5 hours per day in total).

During November to April there is a maximum of around 4 hours riding per day and you usually do not travel so far from the stables, due to the possibility of bad weather.

NB. All guests are required to pay €1 tourist tax per day.




Non-Rider Programme



A non-rider programme which is ideal for families, groups or just anyone who prefers not to give riding a go. Riders and non-riders can easily be accommodated at the same time and it can also be possible to meet up during your activities. This is a lovely chance to relax and spend some time in the countryside.

Activities available include guided hiking, cycling, swimming, camping in the woods, picking fruits and mushrooms, fishing and looking for the wild horses. Except for the fishing (which is €10 per day), the other activities are all included in the price.

Mate and his family would love to welcome you to Kupres to spend some time out in the fresh air!



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: None - this is a non-rider programme!
Type of ride: Non-rider programme.
Total riding time: None.
Departure dates: Available from May to September.
 
Pricing: 2014:

£357 per person.

Price includes 7 nights shared accommodation, full board, use of bicycles and a guide for cycling, hiking, swimming, camping in the woods, picking forest fruits and other nature activities.

Fishing costs an additional €10 per day.