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Land of the Thracians

Overview

This fun ride is the dream trail designed by our partner Bogdan Syarov who is also the organiser of our trails in the Rhodope Mountains. The Thracian Valley is an ideal location for riding with smooth, picturesque terrain of rose and lavender fields which allow for a faster pace. The trail combines…

Highlights

  • Long canters through the Thracian Valley
  • One of Europe's best wine regions
  • Spa hotels to unwind after a day in the saddle
  • Sightseeing in Plovdiv - centre over 8000 years old
  • Passionate guide who is a qualified vet

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 4 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg / 198lbs / 14st 2lbs

Description

This fun ride is the dream trail designed by our partner Bogdan Syarov who is also the organiser of our trails in the Rhodope Mountains. The Thracian Valley is an ideal location for riding with smooth, picturesque terrain of rose and lavender fields which allow for a faster pace. The trail combines plenty of canters and amazing scenery with ancient Thracian and Roman ruins along the way, delicious wines and spa opportunities thanks to the healing mineral springs. Accommodations are comfortable throughout and you will often have access to a swimming pool, sauna or spa at your hotels.

Your host and guide, Bogdan, is a qualified vet who has successfully been running popular trail rides in the Rhodopes for several years. He is excited to have the 'Land of the Thracians' in his programme, allowing a different perspective on Bulgaria and its charms.

Horses & Riding

Tack

English style tack, primarily Wintec saddles and snaffle bridles.

Horses

A range including Eastern Bulgarian breeds, Trakehner and Shagya Arabian.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Sredna Gora Trail is a trail ride

Ages

12+

Health

General good health recommended.

Weight

90kg / 198lbs / 14st 2lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

All meals are included during the trail programmes and you can expect hearty local fare and the chance to try several traditional dishes. Meat and cheese are prevalent and bread is served with every meal, but vegetarians and other dietary requirements can be catered for with prior notice.

Dinners are generally three courses and always start with the traditional salad of cucumber, tomatoes, onions, cheese and sometimes olives. Lunches are generally a picnic eaten from your saddlebag (including a sandwich, fruit, biscuit/cereal bar and water). A few times during the week you will eat at a bar in a small village or a restaurant.

Beer and wine are commonly available and delicious, but red wine is sometimes served chilled. Coffee, tea and juice are served with your breakfasts.

Accommodation

Accommodation during the trail is clean and comfortable, primarily in hotels where rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Most of the hotels have a spa or swimming pool. Single rooms are available.

A few of the accommodations have a WiFi connection.

Itineraries

Sredna Gora Trail Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

The programme is not really designed for non-riders but they could be accommodated and taken in the support vehicle to each accommodation. There are some good sight-seeing opportunities during the rides so please contact us if you have non-riders in your party.

Travel

Guests can fly into Sofia or Plovdiv. The tour starts in Plovdiv but most guests fly to Sofia as there are a lot of flights into and out of the capital city.

Transfers are included from the two airports at set times. You should ideally arrive into Sofia no later than 16:00, in order to allow time for sightseeing in Plovdiv. On departure day your flight should not leave Sofia before 12:00.

If you are coming into Plovdiv instead then please contact us for timings.

Testimonials

Halina U., Nov. 29, 2022

FUN fast riding with spas to soak in after a nice long ride. I loved my horse, Molly! Very responsive and I felt safe. She was very sweet. The tack was very good. Wintec saddles and saddle bags to hold a little extra clothing if needed. Bogdan was great. Fun to be with and his wife was very helpful with the transfers. He is a vet and very knowledgeable about the horses.


Anette W., May 19, 2022

Very good riding, nice nature, perfect accommodations, very good food, super nice company, very
engaged guide and good price.


Chavaunne T., May 17, 2022

Absolutely amazing, loved every minute! Forward going, safe horses, which were very well cared for. Beautiful and diverse scenery. Excellent guide, lovely accommodation, tasty food and delicious wine, plus a great group of people!


Chris W., Jan. 13, 2020

I absolutely loved it & fell in love with the country. Bogdan the owner is brilliant! He has planned the routes with great care & obviously loves his horses who are all very well looked after. He also has a great sense of humour & goes to great lengths to make sure all of his guests are happy. All of the horses are calm & easy to handle but have a turn of speed when required. We had some amazing long canters through the fields. I loved my horse Tiger who has a great personality!


Gerry, Nov. 6, 2019

First time to Bulgaria, we found the visit really interesting. Great group of riders to be with. Fun fast riding, contrating scenery; good guide.


Elena, Oct. 2, 2019

A fantastic adventure exploring vast meadows, grand woods, breathtaking views and enjoying tasty food in great company.


Cath M., April 30, 2019

Overall the ride and every component was VERY well organised, relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable. Favourite memory? Diverse landscapes and riding terrain; very relaxed guide and well cared for horses. Bogdan is a lovely person! He is fun, trustworthy, enjoyable, knowledgeable and his English is fantastic! His wife Lyubomira is also delightful and supports the ride.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

You will be met at Sofia airport at 16:00 and transferred to Plovdiv city which is considered the cultural capital of Bulgaria. This afternoon you will explore Plovdiv, finding traces of civilisation much older even than the Romans. The historic centre is more than 8000 years old and if there is time you can visit the Ethnographic Museum and the ancient theatre, one of the best-preserved still in existence. Dinner and overnight at a hotel attached to a riding centre on the outskirts of the city.

Day 2 - Hisarya

Riding: 5 hours

After breakfast you will be transferred to the start point of the ride. The horses will have been transported here already from their home in the Rhodopes.

Once you are matched with a suitable horse you will begin your ride in the direction of Hisarya, the most famous spa centre in the country with 22 healing mineral springs. Aside from being a famous health resort, Hisarya is also notable for its history as it is full of archaeological findings dating back to Thracian times and even the Roman Empire. After the ride you will have some free time - if you like then you can walk or take a taxi from your hotel back to Hisarya to explore the Roman baths, aqueducts, bastions and fortified walls. 

Today's ride is around five hours with smooth fields allowing for good canters.

Overnight tonight is at a 4* spa hotel.

Day 3 - Hisarya to Starosel

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Today's terrain is a combination of flat and hilly and the trail passes by fields and vineyards, meadows and oak forests. Earlier in the day will ride under Hisarya's gate known as 'The Camels' which dates back 2000 years and stands 20m high, making up part of a Roman city wall. Today's landscape has changed from the previous day and includes some climbing of the Sredna Gora Mountains.

Today's ride time is around three and a half hours and lunch is a picnic from the saddlebags, eaten beside beautiful meadows. After the ride there is time to enjoy the spa facilities and then at around 6pm there will be a wine-tasting. Dinner and overnight at this winery and spa hotel in Starosel.

Day 4 - Eagles Rock Spa Complex

Riding: 5 hours

Before mounting your horse today, there is time to visit the largest Thracian temple complex in the Balkans, where excavations are still taking place. This was built in the 5th and 4th centuries BC.

Today you are headed for the highest point of the ride at around 1800m in the heart of the Sredna Gora Mountains - along the way you will encounter panoramic scenery before stopping for lunch in the restaurant of an old lodge.

Tonight you'll sleep in another spa hotel with pool, sauna and jacuzzi.

Day 5 - Valley of the Roses

Riding: 4 hours

Today's destination is the famous 'Valley of Roses' and another mineral spa centre called Aqua Termi. During today's ride you will travel through a protected beech forest with amazing old trees and will climb the "peak of the Wolves", on top of which you can enjoy beautiful views over the valley. In the right time of year you may be able to smell the roses as you canter.

Overnight at a spa hotel.

Day 6 - Lake Pyasachnik

Riding: 4 hours

Today you will ride for around four hours and it is your guide Bogdan's favourite day. You will ride along the edge of the biggest lake in the Thracian region, Lake Pyasachnik, and in hot weather and suitable conditions and it sometimes possible to swim there. The day includes plenty of lovely canters along beautiful meadows.

Today you are headed for Boutique Complex Trakiets which is both a spa centre and Bulgaria's most renowned jumping stable. You will spend the night here.

Day 7 - Tsaratsovo

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

On this last day of riding you will cover the smooth terrain of vineyards and fields on your way back to the riding centre where you started. Your route includes crossing a beautiful river and plenty of faster riding. Early in the afternoon you will return back to where you started and will say goodbye to your horse.

In the afternoon you will have some leisure time and can take a walk or watch the training sessions at the stables.

Tonight you will sleep again at the same hotel as the first night, attached to the wonderful riding centre.

Day 8 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast there will be a transfer to Sofia for your trip home. The journey takes around 90 minutes (120km) by minibus. 

NB. The itinerary may be modified for reasons of safety, weather or unforeseen circumstances.

Accommodation

All nights spent in clean and comfortable hotels, in shared rooms with private bathrooms. Many hotels also have a spa.

Experience Experienced

Riders must be fit and willing to ride long, fast canters of several minutes at a time and to have many canters throughout the day. The riding is not overly technical but you should be confident in the saddle at all paces, able to prepare your own horse and fit to cover the distance required at a good pace.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

March 25, 2023 - April 1, 2023

April 8, 2023 - April 15, 2023

April 22, 2023 - April 29, 2023

May 6, 2023 - May 13, 2023

May 20, 2023 - May 27, 2023

June 3, 2023 - June 10, 2023

Aug. 26, 2023 - Sept. 2, 2023

Sept. 9, 2023 - Sept. 16, 2023

Sept. 23, 2023 - Sept. 30, 2023

Oct. 7, 2023 - Oct. 14, 2023

Oct. 21, 2023 - Oct. 28, 2023

Nov. 4, 2023 - Nov. 11, 2023

Pricing

2023
Sharing
£1370 $1685 €1600
Included 7 nights of accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, 6 days of riding with an experienced guide and set-time group transfers from and to Sofia or Plovdiv airports.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, drinks, tips or personal expenses.

Extras

2023 - Single Supplement £129 $158 €150
Paid to Far and Ride
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.