Karst Plateau riding holiday in Slovenia - Far and Ride
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Karst Plateau, Slovenia





Reviews



I am back from the horse trail in Slovenia and I would like to confirm to you that everything went perfectly fine and I had a fantastic time. Borut took care of every single aspect of the trail with great professionality and passion and all the people were kind and dedicated. Not only the ride was great and the horses beautiful and well treated but also the opportunity to enjoy the additional activities such as bear watching, visit of the coast in Istria and the caves and castles were just amazing. In few words it has been a great holiday organised by wonderful people.

Federico S.
The horses were fabulous, strong, fit, sure-footed, characterful and well-cared for. We covered all types of terrain, narrow paths through forests, open countryside with beautiful views, steep climbs and descents, tracks where we could give the horses their heads for exhilarating canters. Sight-seeing was interesting and enjoyable, particularly Lipica and Piran, and the friendliness and hospitality of everyone we met was heart-warming.

Averil S.
Excellent, I could not fault anything. It was the right mixture of riding and sightseeing. (Favourite memory?) I think seeing the 9 bears feeding in the cleaning when we went bear watching for the evening and also seeing the bear on the track in front of us on one of the rides. It is hard to pick out a single favourite memory as the whole holiday was amazing, from the accommodation, horses, scenery, weather, trips, food, and of course Borut and Ourus and their families were brilliant. (Improvements?) Nothing. Not sure that it would be possible to improve on an already excellent, well run holiday - nothing was too much trouble and the whole experience was of a very high standard.

Paula M.
Wonderful - right mix of riding and sight-seeing. If not on a point-to-point trail and staying for a week, it is nice to have a couple of half days riding and a day off and gives a chance to take in the local history and generally absorb the country. (Favourite memory?) Got lots - but think will always remember the abundance of fruit trees and the hilarity of stopping off to try and pick from horseback - apples, pears and plums - the plums were out of this world. Also the bear watching was amazing! Will certainly remember the hilarity throughout our time there between us, the other guest and the guides!

Caroline K.
We had the most awesome fun time on our trail ride in Slovenia with Borut! From start to finish it was amazing! Borut was the best guide ever, we had so many laughs and many schnapps too :) What an adventure, horses were fantastic, well looked after, tack excellent and temperaments perfectly suited to us. Thank you so much for all your help in organizing this lifetime memorable trip.

Lauren and Elinor
Superb - even better than I could have hoped for. Beautiful country, lovely people and wonderful horses. Favourite memory? The fantastic views from the top of the mountains on our third day ride (and all the "shots" before and after riding!!). Horses? The horses were very well cared for and obviously loved. The tack was in good condition. Guide? Borut was lovely. Friendly and informative with a really dry sense of humour and excellent English - the perfect host.

Bridget M.
The trip was fantastic - it's hard to find the word to describe the breathtaking views of such an untouched and unspoilt country. It is a place of natural beauty. Favourite memory? Too many to note, but riding up the mountain and seeing a 360 view of the magnificent scenery. Horses? The horses were very well looked after and the tack was very good. In comparison to other riding trips these were by far the best horses we have seen. Guide? Legend! Borut has a wicked sense of humour and made the trip very enjoyable. He is a fountain of knowledge about Slovenia and went above and beyond to ensure we had a 5* experience. His wife is super accommodating too - couldn't have asked for better hosts.

Laura M.
Accommodation was as advertised. The horses were fit and well cared for. The countryside was good for riding. It gave a taste of Slovenia with a lot of riding too. Our guide knew the terrain well and went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed our holiday.

Jane F (2018)
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Quarter Horse, Warmblood, Icelandic Horses.

Nature of horses:

Relaxed and calm but forward-going

Height of horses:

14 - 16hh.

Weight limit:

100kg / 15 stone 10 lbs

Tack type:

English style saddles for the Icelandic horses or Western saddles for the Quarter Horses and Warmbloods

 

Travel Advice



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

Ride Description

These scenic riding programmes are an absolute dream for those who love nature and beautiful landscapes - the Karst region is incredibly green with varied terrain, hidden treasures and spectacular wildlife including deer, boar, bears, wolves and a range of birds. Your host, Borut, comes from a hunting background and is an expert tracker, able to tell you all about the different animals and their habits. His horses are well-trained and relaxed, ideal for riding on a long rein through this magical countryside. In addition to its natural wonders, such as some of the world's most famous caves, the area is also full of fascinating history with old castles to be discovered. Slovenia is a safe, welcoming, scenic country and as you ride between tall pines and old turrets you feel as if you are in a fairytale.

The Karst Plateau is a limestone plateau extending across the border of south-western Slovenia and north-eastern Italy. The plateau descends steeply towards the Adriatic sea and so doesn't get affected by the Mediterranean climate along the coast. The area is most famous for its caves including Vilenica, the oldest cave in Europe open to visitors, and Skocjanske Cave which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your stay, it is possible to visit the Lipizzaner stud farm at Lipica - one of the oldest stud farms in the world, dating back to 1580. Here you learn about the history of this world-famous breed in their museum or watch the masters at work training their stallions.

Your riding trail will be on either Iceland Horses, Quarter Horses or Warmbloods (some are ridden in western saddles, some English style). Your hosts have been organising riding holidays for many years and pride themselves on matching you with the right horse to suit your size and character. Your guide has experience of trail riding, agility riding and Western competition riding as well as being very knowledgeable about the local wildlife. His wife used to compete Icelandic horses and your hosts at the B&B, Lise and Zvone are both horse trainers, with Zvone also being an international judge for Icelandic Horse competitions. They have their own horses around the B&B and your horses will stay here too some nights - it is their second home!

Holly from Far and Ride visited this destination in 2017 and can highly recommend these lovely rides. We can also tailor-make short packages or winter programmes to suit your needs.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

You stay in a B&B in Trnje and return there each night. The B&B has two twin rooms and a triple room. The rooms are clean and comfortable but not glamorous, although guests will enjoy the beautiful horse photos, art and memorabilia spread around - your hosts are true horse lovers! Guests have their own room entrances, so there is plenty of privacy.

Each of the rooms has a private bathroom but this is not necessarily en-suite. They also have views across the fields to the horses or over the gardens.

Breakfast is taken at the B&B and is buffet style with an assortment of bread, home-made jams, cheese, honey, yoghurt and cereals, with tea and coffee.

Lunches and dinners are taken in different locations and usually in pubs offering delicious homemade food. Most of the meals will include meat but it is possible to arrange vegetarian meals with advance notice. Lunches include delicious local wine.

 

Activities

A number of visits are included in the itinerary, but there are also many options within a short drive of Trnje, such as Postojnska and Skocjanske caves, Krizna cave, Predjama Castle, Postojna, Castle Sneznik and Lipica. These destinations are approximately 40 minutes drive away.

Further afield and recommended for a full day trip would be Piran, Portoroz, Bled Lake, Bohinjsko Lake, Ljubljana and River Soca.

Your guides can also arrange rafting, hiking, cycling, mountaineering and photography as well as bear watching trips.

 

Further Details

Languages: English, Slovenian, Croatian, Italian.

Health requirements: General good fitness recommended.

Age limit: Riders need to be 16 years or older to join the trail programmes.

Tuition: No

Included: Accommodation, meals (except for lunch on free day in Piran), soft drinks with meals, horse riding, non-riding trips as described in itinerary (except entrance fees).

Not included: Flights, insurance, transfers, entrance fees to non-riding sites, lunch on free day in Piran, extra drinks, extra activities.

 

Travel Information

The usual route is to arrive into Ljubljana airport where transfers can be arranged to Trnje, or you can hire a car if you prefer. The journey is 82km and takes approximately 1.5 hours.

Transfer prices are as follows:
2 passengers: 50 euro per person return
3+ passengers: 30 euro per person return

Transfers can also be arranged from Trieste or Venice airports in Italy, or Krk airport in Croatia. Please enquire for prices.

Airport: Ljubljana

Alternative Airport: Trieste (Ronchi)

 

Programmes


Green Karst Trail



Ride on the scenic Karst Plateau of Slovenia, discovering ancient caves and castles as well as having the chance to visit the home of the Lipizzaner horse - Lipica. If you're lucky you may even spot a bear on an evening's trip to a woodland hide.

Day One:

On arrival at your accommodation in Trnje you will be shown your room. It's a short drive to Sembije (c. 15mins) where the horses are located. Today you will sort out equipment for the ride and talk about horse allocation, meeting your steed for the week. If there is time then you may set off on a gentle ride up a nearby hill to appreciate the view and see the route you are going to travel over the next few days - this is not at all guaranteed as is only possible with early arrivals, it's just a possible extra. Tonight you will have dinner in a local pub before heading back to Trnje to overnight.

Day Two:

After breakfast, you again transfer to the horses and set out on the trail, following a path which goes under a natural wall and through a tunnel carved in the rock. Upon reaching Silentabor you'll have spectacular views of the wildness around you. Your next stop is the village of Narin where you have time to rest and enjoy lunch in a pub. There is also a pool here for a cooling dip if the weather is hot, so remember to bring swimming gear!

After lunch, continue riding on the hillsides of Primoz where you will be able to look at the remains of the tunnels from World War I. The path leads through woods and onto floodplains of the river Pivka, before reaching Trnje again. You can settle your horses here and have dinner before returning to your B&B to overnight.

Riding time: 7 hours

Day Three:

Straight after breakfast, you will head out on a half day ride to the lake Petelinjsko Jezero. The path takes you through unspoilt nature and a small village where the people may openly offer you some of their authentic homemade sheep's milk cheese to try. Head back to Trnje for lunch and to change for the afternoon sightseeing activity. Today you can choose to visit either Postonjska Jama (the cave park) or Predjamski Grad (a beautiful Medieval castle built into the mouth of a cave). NB: Entrance fees to either activity are not included.

After sightseeing, you can head out for dinner and then return to Trnje to overnight.

Riding time: 4 hours

Day Four:

This morning you have another half day ride, this time to the lake Palsko Jezero, following a route through green forests and stopping to view sights along the way. After returning to Trnje for lunch, you will have a chance to change before heading to the Lipica Stud in the afternoon - the home of the Lipizzaner horse. Once there, you can choose to take a ride in the horse-drawn carriage, visit the Lipizzaner Museum, take a tour of the stables or simply relax in the beautifully maintained grounds. NB: Entrance fees and costs for additional activities are payable locally. 

Later you will return to Trnje for dinner and to overnight.

Riding time: 4 hours

Day Five:

Today will be a full day of riding as you head out through Trnje to the floodplains of the river Pvka. After passing an old mill and the ruins of castle Kalec, there will be a chance to stop for a rest in the shade of some huge lime trees, before continuing on woodland paths to the village of Bac, where you will have lunch. In the afternoon, you will ride to Sembije, following the forest route uphill to Mala Milonja which offers heavenly views of the landscape around you. 

Tonight you will leave the horses here and have dinner nearby before returning to Trnje to overnight.

Riding time: 7 hours

Day Six:

Non-riding day as you head to Piran - an old port town that has remnants of a medieval wall, protected as a cultural historical monument. Narrow streets and closely constructed houses descend from the hill to the church and central square in true Mediterranean character. This town, which grew up under the influence of Venice, is considered to be one of the most authentic and photogenic towns on the Adriatic coast. Lunch is to your own account today so you can choose from the many cafes and restaurants on offer.

No riding

Day Seven:

Today will begin with a short drive to Sembije to meet and saddle the horses. You will then you ride to Milojna, which is bear territory and if you are very lucky you may see one, or evidence of one, along the trail. This wild area offers breathtaking views from the hilltops and a special lunch of wild boar goulash will be served at an idyllic cottage in a clearing near some WWI tunnels. In the afternoon, you will continue your ride back to Sembije for an early dinner. This evening you will have the chance to head out with an experienced guide to a hunting observatory where, if you sit quietly enough and long enough, you may get to view wild bears. 

Late at night you return to Trnje to rest.

Riding time: 5 hours

Day Eight:

After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight home or onwards travel.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: Confident Intermediate to Experienced riders. You should be capable at all paces on a forward going horse.
Type of ride: Trail riding, returning to the same place each night.
Total riding time: 5 main riding days, some shorter days and some much longer. There may be time for a ride on arrival day.
Departure dates: 2019: 16 - 23 March, 13 - 20 April, 4 - 11 May, 8 - 15 June, 29 June - 6 July, 20 - 27 July, 10 - 17 August, 31 August - 7 September, 14 - 21 September, 12 - 19 October.
 
Pricing: 2019:

£1187 per person, based on sharing a twin or double room
£13 single supplement per person, per night

For low season departures (March-June; Oct-December) there is a 10% discount for groups of more than two riders.



Historical Castles



Discover the history of Slovenia whilst visiting a number of beautiful castles in the area. Ride along scenic paths and through forests, and sample the fantastic local wines.  This short break is ideal for those who wish to explore the area but don't have time for the full week-long trail.

Day One:

Depending on the time of your arrival, you can stop to see the pearl of the area - Predjama Castle - during your transfer from the airport. This castle has been built into the mouth of a cave. If time allows then you can also take a short ride along the forest paths before reaching your accommodation at Bac where you'll have a delicious dinner. 

Riding c. 2-3 hours depending on arrival time

Day Two:

After breakfast you are transferred back to the horses and follow a path through beautiful natural landscapes to reach the castle of Kalec, where you stop for a break in the shade of some trees. Continue riding to the village of Knezak where you tie your horses and take lunch in a pub. After lunch, ride uphill for views of the area before returning to Sembije where you leave the horses. Drinks and dinner in Bac.

Riding c. 7-8 hours

Day Three:

Follow a path alongside a magnificent natural rock wall, through Kilovce village and onto the village of Prem, which is famous for its well preserved medieval castle. There is time to stop and take photos before continuing your ride through the old village of Smrje and onto the tourist farm Bubec. Stop for lunch and rest in the shade before riding across the Reka river and past an enchanting mill en-route back to Sembije.

Riding c. 7-8 hours

Day Four:

Ride along pleasant macadam paths to a bar situated on the Crne Njive plateau and stop for a drink. Continue along forest paths with breathtaking views of the valley. Lunch is taken in a hut in the middle of the forest and unspoilt nature. Here it is possible to visit the remains of Italian caverns before riding your descent towards Sembije over the peaks of the Milonja hills - in clear weather it is possible to see the Adriatic Sea.

Riding c. 6-7 hours

Day Five:

After breakfast you are transferred back to the airport for your flight home. 



Accommodation: All nights are at a tourist farm in Bac which has six twin rooms with private bathrooms. The rooms are clean and comfortable but not glamorous. Each room has a private entrance for privacy.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: Confident Intermediate to Experienced riders. You should be capable in all paces on a forward going horse.
Type of ride: Centre based trail
Total riding time: Three full days of riding (6-8 hours per day)
Departure dates: 2018: Flexible arrivals all year.

2019: 27 - 31 March, 24 -28 April, 22 - 26 May (confirmed), 19 - 23 June, 10 - 14 July, 31 July - 4 August, 25 - 29 September, 2 - 6 October, 23 - 27 October.
 
Pricing: 2018/19:

£540 per person sharing



Wildlife Experience



This short-break is perfect for adventurous wildlife lovers. Spend the night in a cottage deep within the forest, in bear country. Your guide can teach you how to track wildlife, how to navigate using a map and compass, and how to survive in the forest. You can also learn how to shoot a bow or rifle if you wish. With luck, you may even get to see a bear!

Day One:

Upon arrival at Sembije you will be allocated a suitable horse and will head straight out into the peaks of Milonja to discover the unspoilt nature which is home to bears. Along the route your guide with point out any wildlife that you see. Upon arriving at a cottage in the middle of the forest you will have dinner around the camp fire. You can enjoy the night sounds of the forest! Sleeping is possible in the cottage, or the adventurous can pitch a tent.

Riding c. 3 hours

Day Two:

After breakfast, set off to ride through the forest, looking for wildlife. There are possibilities for long canters along the beautiful forest paths. Stop for lunch at Gostisce Masun which is the middle of bear country. After lunch, return to the forest cottage for a short rest, before descending into the valley to leave the horses back at their home. You are transferred a short distance to Bac and your accommodation, where there are showers!

Riding c. 7-8 hours

Day Three:

After breakfast, re-join the horses and ride into the forests to search for wild pigs. Some parts of the trail will require you to dismount and lead your horse for short periods. A picnic lunch is carried with you, so you can follow the best route according to your guide. After hopefully spotting lots of wildlife, you return the horses to Sembije and transfer to Bac for a final dinner.

Riding c. 7-8 hours

Day Four:

After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight home. 



Accommodation: Two nights at a tourist farm in Pozar in comfortable twin rooms, and one night in a cottage in the forest.

The forest cabin only has shared rooms and no running water or phone signal. It is heated and comfortable, but basic. You'll need your sleeping bag!
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 6
Ability description: Confident Intermediate to Experienced riders. You should be capable in all paces on a forward going horse.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 3 days of riding - 2 full days (5-7 hours) and one half day (2-3 hours)
Departure dates: 2018/19:
Flexible arrivals from 1st May - 1st October
 
Pricing: 2018/19:

£432 per person sharing