8 days, 7 nights, 6 days riding
Kingdom of Orpheus
The Rhodope is a mountain which delights all senses, the cristal clean air, the untouched nukes of beauty, the incredible natural phenomenons formed thousands of years ago and of course the echoing sound of the wonderful Rhodope song
Have you heard the legend of Orpheus? The mythical singer who enchanted everyone with his music, people beasts and birds. He was born here In the Rhodope mountain and his whole life passed in these lands
» Passing through a number of protected areas
» Visiting the Rocky Phenomenon Chudnite Mostove (The Wonderful Bridges)
» Accommodation in authentic revival age houses
» Visiting the Old town and the Ethnographic Museum of Plovdiv
» Riding in the Protected area of Sredni Livadi
Day 1: Arrival and transfer from Sofia airport (approximately 2 hours) to a city, considered as the cultural capital of Bulgaria , namely Plovdiv. This place has a history of a civilisation much older than that of the Romans - a city more than 8000 years old and a contemporary of ancient Troy. We will visit the old town of Plovdiv, including the Ethnographic Museum and the Antique theatre, which is one of the best preserved in the world.Plovdiv is Europe cultural capital 2019.
Accommodation at a 3* family hotel with a swimming pool
Day 2: You will be transferred to the starting point of the trail named "Sredni Livadi" which is a protected area (approximately 40 minutes). Today your destination is an Emblematic Village where two of the most famous Revival age movies were shot, namely "The Goat Horn" and parts of the Bulgarian Uprisings". The Rhodopean Village Kosowo is an architectural reserve with more than sixty monuments, five of which are of national importance. These are the church "Uspenie Bogorodichno" (Assumption of Virgin Mary) from 1851, Hadzhiyskata - house architectural monument from 1853. Very interesting also are the old school (1889), the chapels "St Nedelya" and "St. Peter", the mill, the forge as well as most of the old houses in the village.
You will cross the "Sredni livadi" the protected area and will enjoy a picnic lunch.
Tonight you will sleep in the famous Hadzhiyska house which is a listed building of architectural interest.
Approximate riding time five hrs
Day 3: After another traditional Rhodopean breakfast, the journey continues in the footsteps of Captain Petko Voyvoda (a famous historical figure) towards Hvovyna Village (altitude of 750m). The riding today will take you by a number of chapels with panoramic scenes while crossing one of the most beautiful valleys of the Central Rhodopes, namely "Hvoynenska". You will have carried your picnic lunch in your saddlebag and you will enjoy the picnic near one of the chapels.
You will also be take to the second largest and oldest Ortodoxal Monastery in Bulgaria called "Bachkovo Monastery".
You will spend the night in a family owned and operated hotel.
Approximate riding time 5
Day 4: Todays trails will take you to the Village of Orehovo, which is around 500 years old. From here starts the longest eco-trail in Bulgaria ending near the Aegean Sea (Greece). This makes Orehovo, one of the best starting points for tours in the Rhodopes.
You will come across some stunning views of the area "Sredni Livadi" which is protected. The ride will take you past an old Roman road and ancient 18th century chapel called Saint Atanas where you will have lunch. You will also visit the "Skakaloto" waterfall and the "Kosten kamyk" cave.
You will stay tonight in a family run hotel.
Approximate riding time 4
Day 5: After yet another traditional breakfast, you will head for the village of Zabyrdo. This is a small mountain village standing 1400m above sea level. It is famous for making the traditional Rhodope cheese. It is also one of the oldest villages in the area, around 800 years old. You will also visit the rock phenomena "Wonderful Bridges" by horse back. This is one of the five most visited destinations in the Rhodopes. Today you have a picnic lunch.
Tonight you will sleep in a family run guesthouse
Approximate riding time 5
Day 6: After our hearty breakfast we head back to the village of Orehovo by a new route. The ascent of Mount Grand Persek 2100m, the second highest summit of Rhodopes, leaves us a panoramic view of almost the entire chain of Rhodopes throughout our ride. The frame of our picnic pulled saddlebags this afternoon is an old shelter on the best preserved Roman road in Bulgaria. We spend about 5-6 hours on our horses.
Approximate riding time six hours
Day 7: This is the last riding day and will take you back to the starting point of this trail of a lifetime. You will have ridden over 150km by horseback, passing by one of the oldest Thracian fortress called "Shtut grad" which dates back to 5th century BC. The two hills of the forests, the Sun Hill and the Moon Hill held great power for the Thracian tribe called "Best". They were known through the Roman empire as the most fearless Thracians. Lunch is a picnic.
Approximate riding time five hours
Day 8: After breakfast it is time to say a sad farewell and be transferred back to Sofia airport for your departure.
Minimum group size:2
Maximum group size:8
Riders should be confident intermediate and above, happy to ride at walk, trot and canter in open country and for long distances. Some of the terrain is rough (and they sometimes trot over difficult ground) with trots and canters sometimes being fairly long. With this in mind, we only recommend the trail for riders who are quite fit.
Type of ride:TrailTotal riding time:Between 4 and 7 hours a day
Food & Accommodation
Accommodation during the trail is simple but clean and comfortable, primarily in small hotels or guesthouses. Single rooms are available.
Most nights the rooms are en-suite but please note that it's common in Bulgaria for the washing facilities to be 'wet room' in style, meaning that the room includes a toilet, sink and shower but the shower does not have a separate cubicle or curtain (there is a drain in the middle of the floor).
A few of the accommodations have a WiFi connection.All meals are included during the trail programmes and you can expect hearty local fare and the chance to try several traditional dishes. Meat and cheese are prevalent and bread is served with every meal, but vegetarians and other dietary requirements can be catered for with prior notice.
Dinners are three courses and always start with the traditional salad of cucumber, tomatoes, onions, cheese and sometimes olives. Lunches are generally a picnic eaten from your saddlebag, including a sandwich, fruit, biscuit/cereal bar and water. A few times during the week you will eat at a bar in a small village.
Beer and wine are commonly available and delicious, but red wine is sometimes served chilled. Coffee, tea and juice are served with your breakfasts.
Guests can fly into Sofia or Plovdiv. The tour starts in Plovdiv but most guests fly to Sofia as there are a lot of flights into and out of the capital city.
Transfers are included from the two airports at set times. You should ideally arrive into Sofia no later than 14:00, in order to allow time for sightseeing in Plovdiv. On departure day your flight should not leave Sofia before 12:00.
If you are coming into Plovdiv instead then please contact us for timings.
Alternative Airport: Sofia