Orpheus Trail Ride, Bulgaria

Departure Date: 02-10-2021 Status: Guaranteed departure Price: 740 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 30-04-2022 Status: Open for booking Price: 740 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 21-05-2022 Status: Open for booking Price: 740 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 11-06-2022 Status: Open for booking Price: 740 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 02-07-2022 Status: Open for booking Price: 740 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 16-07-2022 Status: Open for booking Price: 740 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 30-07-2022 Status: Open for booking Price: 740 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 13-08-2022 Status: Open for booking Price: 740 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 27-08-2022 Status: Open for booking Price: 740 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 17-09-2022 Status: Open for booking Price: 740 Duration: 8 days
Departure Date: 08-10-2022 Status: Open for booking Price: 740 Duration: 8 days

The Rhodopes, occupying the southern part of Bulgaria and part of Greece, are the homeland of the mythological singer Orpheus. This ride spends 6 days of riding in this enchanting mountain – the land of high peaks and deep river gorges, unique rock formations, lush meadows and dense forests. The western part of the Rhodopes where our ride takes place, offers a variety of terrains in which one can experience of all types of riding and paces. We visit remote villages, stay with local people enjoying their hospitality, local food and excellent wines. We spend also some time in Plovdiv - Europe's oldest inhabited city and 2019 European Capital of Culture. 

 Highlights:

♦ Rhodope mountains - home to the mythological singer Orpheus.
♦ Trigrad Gorge - one of the most impressive nature landmarks in Bulgaria, a magnificent canyon with towering marble cliffs.
♦ Gela - a magical mountain village, home to the the annual National Bagpipe Festival.
♦ Shiroka Luka - architectural and ethnographical reserve, famous for its folklore music school.

Itinerary:

Day 1. Sofia
Arrive Sofia airport, transfer to your hotel for overnight. -/-/-

Day 2. Lyaskovo
We drive to Lyaskovo in the Rodopi mountains (2,5 hours) where we meet the horses. Afternoon ride in the vicinity of Lyaskovo. Stay overnight with a local family in their guest house enjoying local Rodopean specialties and bagpipe music.(hours in the saddle: 3); B/L/D

Day 3. Lyaskovo - Borino
Today we start our trail heading South-West and reaching the SPA town and municipality center Devin for lunch. The ride in the afternoon continues to the small village of Borino, where we spend the night in a family guest house. (hours in the saddle: 6-7); B/L/D

Day 4. Borino - Trigrad
The journey continues on into the heart of "Mursalitsa" National Park. . We ride towards the village of Trigrad. The trail offers stunning views over Trigrad Gorge - a canyon made of vertical marble rocks. In the afternoon we visit Devil's Throat Cave, a spectacular sight and a popular attraction. (hours in the saddle: 6); B/L/D

Day 5. Trigrad - Gela
In the morning we start early as the trek today is a bit longer. It will take us to the ancient Chairski Lakes, surrounded by meadows full with orchids in summer. Passing through the picturesque village of Mougla we end the ride above the village of Gela. (hours in the saddle: 6); B/L/D

Day 6. Gela
The village of Gela is located at approximately 1500 m above the sea level just at the foot of the most impressive peaks of the Rhodope Mountains - Grand Perelik (2191 m), Orpheus (2188 m) and Tourlata (1825 m). Scattered among 7 different hamlets, the village of Gela seems to have changed little over the last few hundred years. A legend associated with the history of the area says that it is the birthplace of Orpheus who came to search for Eurydice in the nearby Devil's Throat cave. Every summer the village hosts a National Bagpipe Festival.
Here we spend two nights in a family run guest house. The terrain is perfect for long trots and canters and we ride to the nearby villages Solishta and Stikul. Free afternoon to relax or take a short tour to the famous village Shiroka Luka, visiting the local museum and school for folk music. (hours in the saddle:3-4)B/L/D

Day 7. Gela - Lyaskovo - Plovdiv
Time to get back. Following the ridges of Mursalitsa we reach the quarters of Devin, then continue to Lyaskovo, where the trek ends. We say good bye to our horses and drive back to Plovdiv (1.5 hours) where we spend the night at a hotel in the old town. (hours in the saddle: 6); B/L/-

Day 8. Departure
After breakfast drive to Sofia airport (1.5 hours drive) for departure. B/-/-

Good to know:

♦ Recommended travel period of the year: April - October
♦ Riders need to be fit and capable of being comfortable with trots and canters in open countryside.
♦ There is a minimum age of 12 for children on this trail.
♦ Maximum weight limit is 90 kilos.
♦ We recommend bringing your own riding hat. There are some available ones to borrow, there are limited sizes. Hats are not mandatory in Bulgaria.
♦You are welcome to groom your horse if you like but saddling is not required as this will be done by your guide.