The mountains rise high in the distance and the sun beats down from clear blue skies. The air is fresh and clean and the only sound is that made by your horses’ hooves as he carries you clear of a line of trees and you come across a vast, sparkling lake. If that sounds like paradise to you, why not think about a horse riding holiday in unspoilt Bulgaria?
Horse riding holidays offer a tremendous release from the stresses and strains of modern life and can also be a great way to meet new people from different backgrounds...and where better to leave modern life behind than the unspoilt mountain ranges of the Balkans and the winding rivers and gentle lakes of Bulgaria? This is a countryside that is virtually untouched by civilisation yet it is right here in Europe, just a three hour flight from the UK. The terrain, the climate, the Balkan cuisine and wine all await...together with a warm welcome for which Bulgarians are renowned.
Below we list some interesting horse riding tours that you might wish to consider, from long eight day tours, shorter tours, one day tours and even a one-hour ride for the absolute novice. Please, in choosing your tour ensure that you use an experienced provider and are adequately insured against the risk of accident...and please use the correct riding safety equipment.
The Orpheus Trail
This ride commences about 90 minutes from Sofia Airport and is a six day ride through the Rhodope Mountains and deep valleys, passing through magnificent rock formations, thick forests and beautiful meadows. Stop offs are in remote villages with local people offering hospitality, food and wines. The tour commences in the oldest city in Europe, Plovdiv.
The High Balkan Trail
This ride takes us high into the highest Balkan grasslands where horses run wild. You will feel like a cowboy out on the trail with full day rides that are intended for experienced riders. At various stages it is necessary to walk the horses up or down steep inclines, so riders must have an appropriate level of fitness.
Balkan Rides (Stationary Holiday)
This holiday allocates accommodation near to the horses and riders take different trails each day.
This holiday has a set, 8 day itinerary commencing with settling into the accommodation and taking a short, three hour ride to begin with and working up to longer rides. Highlights include a riding trip to a monastery for lunch, picnic lunches by the side of a river and a lunch at the Vidima Waterfalls. Tours like these allow the riders to really build up a relationship not only with the horses but also with their fellow riders. Aside from the riding, there are opportunities to visit local areas of interest, historical monuments and museums...really taking in the culture of this amazing region that seems to be from another age.
The Thracian Trail
For history lovers, this one-week tour takes in several Roman and Thracian ruins as well as several historic cities. Plovdiv has been designated one of the 2019 European Capitals of Culture, Hissar is an ancient, walled town which has many Roman ruins and Koprivshtitsa is full of brightly coloured houses and cobbled streets. Starting in the Sredna Gora Mountains the tour takes a route through forests in which small towns and villages are hidden. Then the tour comes across hot springs that were used for bathing in Roman times. This is a tour for more experienced riders.
Many visitors to Bulgaria spend the entirety of their stay enjoying the sea and sand of Sunny Beach. But would you care for a change of scenery for a day or two of your stay? Kosharitca Village is only 5 kilometres from Sunny Beach and here you can ride horses for 1 or 2 hours along a secluded beach. The horses used here are very sedate and can be ridden by very inexperienced riders. The prices charged are very reasonable and include collection and return to the resort.
Article provided by Penguin Car Hire, a trusted European car hire firm with many options and locations across Bulgaria.