The Heart of Šumadija riding holiday in Serbia - Far and Ride
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The Heart of Šumadija, Serbia




Programme


• Šumadija Trail

 

Horses



Type of horses:

A range of different breeds, mostly native types or crosses who are good with the terrain.

Nature of horses:

Safe and sure-footed.

Height of horses:

14 - 16hh on average.

Weight limit:

95kg / 15st

Tack type:

English GP saddles (a few western saddles are available on request). Horses are generally ridden with a halter but snaffle bridles are available for those who prefer, as are saddlebags.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

A rustic, authentic trail ride through the heart of Serbia's Šumadija region, sometimes called the 'Balkan Tuscany'. The area comprises grassy meadows, rolling hills, dense forests and ethnic villages whilst your hosts enjoy the simple pleasures of riding, admiring the landscapes and tucking into homemade food after a day in the saddle. The trail takes you on the eastern side of the Dinaric Alps into the prettiest parts of Serbia, away from the noise and routine of day to day life and into untouched nature.

Rides are overseen by Igor who has a Swiss riding guide certification and who speaks English and German. If he is not guiding the trail then it will be Stefan, also an English speaker. They have a range of horses available but they are all sure-footed and in good condition. They are used to being ridden in English style saddles and just halters but snaffle bridles are available (and regularly used) by those who prefer them. Two western saddles are available on request and saddlebags are available.

Šumadija was named after its forests ('šuma' means forest in Serbian) and is a fertile area, ideally suited to agriculture and wine production. It has played an important part in the country's history with leaders of the Serbian uprisings against the Ottoman Turks hailing from Šumadija. Monuments, monasteries and medieval castles can all be found between the open fields and woodlands.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation is at simple farms, guesthouses and hotels, staying in shared twin or triple rooms. In some cases the guest rooms share bathrooms. Single rooms are available at an added cost, provided there is availability (single guests who are willing to share and end up in a room alone don't need to pay anything extra), but please note that these do not always have private bathrooms - you may still need to share facilities and walk through other rooms to access them.

Some of the accommodations have swimming pools.

Throughout the trip you will have the chance to experience traditional Balkan dishes including roasted meats, breads, homegrown vegetables, home-produced cheeses, local cabbage recipes and more. The food is homemade, hearty and often prepared using local ingredients.

All meals are included in the trail price, from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day. A drink is included with each meal (soft drink, local wine or beer) and you can buy extra locally.

 

Activities

This tour is aimed purely at riders. There are spa opportunities during the week.

 

Further Details

Languages: Serbian, English and German.

Health requirements: General good health and fitness.

Age limit: We don't recommend the trail for young riders but please enquire if you have an older child who is a competent rider and able to ride a horse (rather than a small pony).

Tuition: No.

Included: Set-time transfers from and to Belgrade airport, 7 nights of shared accommodation, all meals, a drink with meals, 6 days of riding.

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, additional drinks or tips.

 

Travel Information

Transfers are included from and to Belgrade airport at set-times, travelling with the other riders in the group. You should land in Belgrade by 16:00 on arrival day and have a flight leaving 12:00 or later on departure day. Transfer time is approximately 2 hours.

If you are staying in a hotel in Belgrade before the ride then pick-up there can be arranged - please enquire.

Airport: Belgrade

 

Programme


Šumadija Trail



A scenic, cultural trail which takes you on a journey of around 170km through the heart of Serbia's Šumadija region. You will experience local culture and try homemade specialities along the way, riding between farms and simple guesthouses and hotels.

Day 1, Arrival:

You are transferred from Belgrade airport to a farm in Zdreban, a journey of approximately two hours. Here you will enjoy a welcome drink, dinner and overnight.

Day 2, Zdreban - Vujan - Spa Gornja Trepca:

Your first riding day takes you from Zdreban to the mountain Vujan (with a monastery) and on to the spa of Gornja Trepca. Here you can have a massage and enjoy the thermal baths if you wish (additional cost). Gornja Trepca has been a famous place of healing for centuries - there is a legend of a Serbian hero who killed his sick and exhausted horse here after the Battle of Kosovo but the horse was revived by the water source. The spa is said to be particularly good for rheumatic and neurological ailments!

Day 3, Gornja Trepca - Takovo - Klaticevo:

Today's ride leads you through quaint villages, forests and fields on the way to Klaticevo. You will visit a very nice wine cellar and taste some different kinds of red and white wine. The second Serbian uprising (1815 - 1817) began in this village, under the leadership of Miloš Obrenović.

Accommodation tonight is as Tri Hrasta, 'Three Oaks', which has a swimming pool and sauna (additional cost for the sauna).

Day 4, Klativeco - Rajac:

Today's ride features beautiful beech forests and plateaus which are ideal for cantering. You ride to a health resort with a beautiful view of the Šumadija region, slopes of the mountains are covered by beech, birch, ash, oak, conifer, fir and pine whilst the meadows grow a large number of medicinal plants. The forests are home to a range of wildlife including pheasant, roe deer, fox, wild boar, hare and even tortoise!

Day 5, Rajac - Rudnik:

Riding over plateaus you will reach a rustic farm, home to pigs, cows, goats and horses. The farm produces its own organic goats' cheese. 

Day 6, Rudnik - Gornja Crnuca - Belo Polje: 

Riding up the mountain Rudnik on horseback will give you amazing views from over 1000m altitude. The rest of today's ride is on peaceful routes which take you through small, authentic villages on your way to Belo Polje for the night. There is archaeological evidence to suggest that Rudnik has been populated since 5000 BC and even earlier, including the world's oldest evidence of copper smelting. The area also served as an early outpost in Europe, lying on the pass between the Danube and the Carpathians, and went on to become a thriving settlement which influenced the whole of Serbia.  

Day 7, Belo Polje - Zdreban: 

Zdreban (meaning 'the foal') is said to have healing air and it is told that headaches go away if you stay for a while! Today's ride is through forests and over picturesque plateaus. You'll say overnight in a private accommodation here, the end to your trail. 

Day 8, Departure: 

Departure after breakfast. Flights should leave Belgrade 12:00 or later. 



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Intermediate and above - riders should be confident riding at walk, trot and canter and fit and willing to walk and lead their horse on rough or steep ground if required.
Type of ride: Trail ride.
Total riding time: 4 - 6 hours per day for 6 days.
Departure dates: 2021: 15 - 22 May, 5 - 12 June, 3 - 10 July, 17 - 24 July, 14 - 21 August, 4 - 11 September, 18 - 25 September.
 
Pricing: 2021:

£917 per person

Price includes set-time Belgrade airport transfers, 7 nights of shared (twin/triple) accommodation, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, a drink with your meals (inc. local wine or a beer) and 6 riding days as detailed in the programme.

Single rooms are available on payment of a supplement but participants should bear in mind that accommodations are simple and you are likely to still need to share bathrooms.

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.