Imagine you and your family in a tipi camp with the horses grazing around you and dinner cooked over open fire. Do you enjoy outdoor life and activities? Are you ready for an adventure “back to nature”? Then may be our “Family Nature Adventure” is something for you.
In the very heart of Bulgaria – in the famous Valley of Roses where roses and lavenders are blooming and extracted to precious drops for perfumes and far away in the mountains you’ll find our summer base and a small forgotten village.
Svezhen is full of exiting history and a strange way of living surrounded by mountains and old woodlands; open meadows with cows and sheep grassing and with fields not bigger than a stamp still cultivated by man and horse. To ride out, to watch and to explore this area from a horseback is an outdoor culture- and nature adventure.
The area is full of exiting adventures: The unspoiled nature far off the beaten track is like a horn of plenty: First and foremost the superb terrain for horse and rider. The hilly terrains and the relatively flat mountain tops is a true paradise to explore in all paces. You can ride out for a short ride or a long ride with a picnic at lunch. You can overnight in the free at the campfire. And when your back is tender you can pick flowers and berries to the most aromatic mountain tee and you can hike in mountains. Feel the nature and take part in small and big challenges. You’re welcome to nurse the horses. If you have a hidden cowboy inside you, here you have the possibility to try to throw the lasso and to prepare the food over open fire. Ride out and explore the secrets of the valley and make a camp. Around the camp fire you will find a place for song and music till the early morning.
Day 1. Meeting in the airport and transfer to the riding base. Dinner and introduction to the activities during the week. Overnight.
Day 2. After breakfast we meet the horses together with the riding guides. We have plenty of time to get acquainted and our riding guides will tell you about the life of the horses in the mountains, how you ride in the mountains and how to ride in a western saddle. We ride out on the meadows behind the base and in the afternoon we ride down to the little see for a swim. We have dinner at the terrace, enjoy the sun going down behind the mountains and the day is ending with pancakes made on open fire.
Day 3. Today we ride out on a mini trail. We ride on the top of the mountains for a couple of hours and have lunch with panoramic view. After lunch we slowly descend the mountains to the place at a small see. At this perfect spot we can fish and relax until we build the camp for the night. We overnight in big tipis (tepees) – have a western like dinner and enjoy the camp fire.
Day 4. When we have taken down the camp and saddled up the horses we ride along the river, through valleys and a very old wood. There is a long distance between the horses and we are alone with the horses in the wild nature. We have lunch during the ride and in the afternoon after 4-5 hours in the saddle we are back in Svezhen hut.
Day 5. Today we are on an excursion to the town and if you like do some shopping. If the group is more for another kind of experience it is possible to try real mountain climbing on a 1200 m long adrenalin climbing path. A professional mountaineer will take you through the canyon over a river. The climbing gear is for rent on spot. We continue to a small monastery situated at the foothill of the Balkan Mountains where we will have lunch in the garden. After lunch we’ll walk on a very exiting eco-path in the Central Balkan national Park. On the path we will get information about the wild life. After an exiting day we drive back through the Valley of Roses to Svezhen hut.
Day 6. We ride out in the mountains. We ride to the village and explore the life as it is in a living museum. We see the grocery, the library, the old school, the small church and other interesting sights. And we’ll find time to a drink at the inn before lunch in the garden of an old farmer family.
Day 7. Today we follow the tracks of the wild life and we make a stop at a high seat. We continue to the “rocket square” from where the clouds are moved under special climatic conditions. After this special experience we ride back to the see for bathing. In the evening we have a farewell dinner.
Day 8. After breakfast we say good bye to the horses. Transfer to the airport.
Departure dates: Please contact us for details!
Price: Please contact us for details!
Single room supplement: 15 Euro per person per night (in hotels only)
The price includes: transfer from/to Sofia or Plovdiv airport, accommodation: 6 nights in the mountain chalet (2-3 bedded rooms with facilities on the floor) and 1 night in Tippi, full board during stay and mineral water at all meals. Fully equipped ”own horse” and riding guide (English-speaking) for 5 days and 1 day excursion as per program.
Horses: There are more than 25 horses in the riding base – all of them in good condition and trained to ride in the mountains; Most of the horses are of the East Bulgarian breed and crossings with Arabians and local horses; The East Bulgarian breed is well known as tough, thoughtful and wise, and in harmony with the famous strength and power of the Arabian it gives a combination that fully satisfies the riders and the challenges in the nature; The average size is 160-165 cm. The saddles are Western (Australian or American). There are small saddlebags.
Hiking or cycling: All riding days could easily be changed with hiking or cycling, if this is more interesting. The terrain is mountainous. Activities depending on the weather will be changed accordingly.
Who can participate? Our Nature Adventure family weeks are organized for the active outdoor family with children from the age of 9-10 years and with the horse related activities in the center. For all of you it is preferable that the youngest members of the family are riders and like it! Adults preferring to watch or walk rather than riding are welcome as well. It’s a holiday for the whole family or mom/dad & child or grandparents with grandchildren. Everybody is welcome. We have 8 horses at our disposal in the summer base. If non-riders participate as well we do have beds for more guests as the summer base is reserved to the family weeks.
Food: We are far away from the nearest McDonald. We eat exiting meals from the Bulgaria kitchen with lot of vegetables and we haven’t had guests who are hungry after a stay with us.
Saturday: Saturday is arrival/departure day. Accommodation before/after the ride is available upon request.
Transfer from/to Sofia: The riding base is situated about 180 km from Sofia or about 3 hours by car. We arrange one transfer for arrival and one transfer for departure. In the airport all guests are met by our transfer guide with a sign. We recommend arrival to Sofia Airport not later than 18:00 and a flight for departure after 12:00. The time of departure to the mountains from the airport and from the mountains to Sofia airport is arranged according the timetable for latest arriving guest – earliest departing guest. If a guest is having a stay in Sofia before/after the riding holiday the meeting/farewell point is still in the airport. Meeting time will be announced 8-10 days prior to arrival.
Individual transfer: Individual transfer or transfers at times not corresponding with the above are available at an additional fee of 150 EUR per car (up to 3 persons) one way. Individual transfer has to be confirmed in advance and the additional fee is to be paid in advance. In case of flight delays we need information as soon as possible during the Saturday. If the delayed arrival is later than 18:00 the extra charge is the same as for
the individual transfer.
Full board: First meal is dinner on day of arrival and last meal is breakfast on day of departure. Mineral water at all meals included. For vegetarians we kindly ask you to let us know if you are eating milk and eggs products and also fish. All kinds of diets (including vegan, diabetic, gluten, lactose etc.) to be confirmed separately.
Currency: We recommend that you exchange to leva (BGN) before arriving to Bulgaria. In Sofia airport you do have a last chance from an ATM. You do not need a lot of money as the stay is all inclusive (besides from soft drinks, beer, wine etc.) and of course if you visit one of the small cafes or shops in one of the villages. 100-150 BGN per person is a fair guess of how much you need for a week.
The weather in the mountains: We use these sites: www.yr.no (search: Apriltsi, Lovech (Bulgaria)) and www.wunderground.com – find Bulgaria and check Botev Vrah (this station is perfect for the trails as you pass very near to the top). Other stations you can use is: Lovech and Plovdiv – most probably the weather will be a mix of the information you find here. You must always bring warm clothes and rain gear to the mountains even if you have seen a weather forecast promising sun and 25C.
Riding gear: The horses are saddled and ready for the riders – you only bring your personal equipment: Riding helmet – recommended!!! Riding boots/jodhpurs/western boots (please make your own choice as long as you feel comfortable and they have a heel), riding pants and chaps (ordinary jeans are not recommended, preferable is cowboy riding jeans for the purpose), and gloves. (Spurs are not needed). Remember natural insect repellent for the horse and yourself.
Gear for the day: You’ll find saddlebags at the riding base. During the day you bring only what is needed for the day. A fleece, rain gear, sun block, wet wipes, camera and water bottle. Remember to have your passport and insurance with you all the time.
Towel: For the overnights in the mountains you’ll need to bring your own towel.
You can choose to pack like this:
We recommend that you do not bring more than 15 Kg and that you use a duffel bag / sports bag. The reason is that on a trail your luggage will be loaded in and out of the cars many times and it is important that you don’t bring more than you need. Put your clothes in plastic bags – it is practical when you stay overnight a new place every day. Also remember a torch, towel, wetwipes.
> Comfortable riding trousers or cowboy jeans + chaps (ordinary jeans will rub all the wrong places).
> T- Shirts / shirts.
> 1 fleece / thermal top.
> Socks + underwear.
> 1 wind-& water proof (riding)-jacket.
> Rain gear – jacket and pants/poncho.
> Riding boots – Riding helmet – Riding gloves.
> Spare shoes / sandals, 1 pair of trousers, t-shirt /shirt/sweater. Night clothing / Socks / Underwear.
> Indoor shoes.
> Water bottle. Cap & sunglasses (for riding!).
> Pocket knife / Torch / Binoculars/ Book / Pen & paper,
> Camera with accessories
> Toiletries inclusive tissues / Wet wipes & bathing shoes.
> Towel (for the trail!).
> Personal first aid kit: Please remember your own doctor is the right person to give you an advice!
> Plasters, Band-aids, Insect repellent, After bite cream, Sun cream, Lip balm, > Painkillers (headache or other mild aches and pains), Antiseptic cream / pads, Calamine lotion. Medication for an upset stomach, Re hydration salts (to recover from upset stomach), throat lozenges a.o.
> Passport, money, insurance, travel documents.
From May to mid June & mid August to October:
> A scarf and warm clothes (also for the night).
> From mid June to mid August:
> Swim wear, shorts, sun shirts.
Mobile phones & electricity: You’ll have mobile coverage in Apriltsi and on the trails almost all the time. You’ll find free wi-fi only at the first and last night in Apriltsi – limited access. If you need data access please secure it for your devices before arrival. Electricity is 220 Volts. An adapter or a transformer may be required. It is normal that you find only one power outlet in each room.