Europe > Bulgaria

Riding holidays in Bulgaria

Bulgaria offers varied possibilities for riding holidays from itineraries following horseback trails through the very heart of the Rhodopes Mountains to equestrian experiences combining riding, rich cultural discovery and relaxing thermal bath treatments. A member of the European Union since 2007, Bulgaria is full of traditional villages, Orthodox churches, monasteries, ornate mosques and intriguing archeological complexes dating back to the Thrace empire. Here, a mix of traditions and religions exist side by side. Along with the delightfully warm welcome of the Bulgarian hosts the delicious authentic cuisine is the final cherry on the (kürtőskalács) cake!
See all our trips
  • Horseriding on the beach in Bulgaria
    Bathing in the sea with the horses
  • Bulgaria on horseback
    Bulgarian village
  • Horses in Bulgaria
    Horseback riding trail in Bulgaria
  • Horseback trail in Bulgaria
    Riding in the Thrace Empire
  • Holiday on horseback in Bulgaria
    A relaxing picnic at the heart of the Bulgarian forest
  • Horses and lake in Bulgaria
    On horseback near a lake
  • Lake and horses in Bulgaria
    Riding by the shores of the beautiful Bulgarian lakes
  • Bulgarian on his horse
    Meeting the locals on our way

Visa & Health

Formalities

British citizens: other nationalities, please contact us.

Visas
The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed from 1 January 2021:
- you can travel to Bulgaria for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit for family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
- visits to other EU or Schengen countries do not count towards your 90-day limit in Bulgaria as it is not in the Schengen area. Visits to Bulgaria do not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit in the Schengen area

At border control for Bulgaria, you may need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay, and
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
- Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit.

Passport validity
From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

Please visit for the FCO website for up-to-date information - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/bulgaria/entry-requirements

Addresses of consulates

  • Amabassade de Bulgarie en France
    1, av. Rapp
    75007 Paris
    Tél. : 01 45 51 85 90
    Fax : 01 45 51 18 68
    bulgamb@wanadoo.fr
  • Ambassade de France en Bulgarie
    29 rue Oborichté
    1504 Sofia
    Tél. : [359] (2) 96 51 100 
    Fax :
  • Ambassade Bulagrie
    Avenue Hamoir 58Avenue Hamoir 58
    1180 Uccle , Bruxelles
    Tél. : 02/374-59-63, 02/374
    Fax : 02/375-84-94
    secretary@bulgaria.be
  • Ambassade Bulgarie
    Bernastrasse 2
    3005 Bern
    Tél. :
    Fax :
    bulembassy@bluewin.ch

Health

UK Citizens: A UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the European Union (EU).

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/

It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. It does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment.
Bulgaria has a universal healthcare system financed by taxes and contributions. The number of doctors is above the EU average with 181 physicians per 100,000 people but distribution by fields of practice is uneven, there is a severe shortage of nurses and other medical personnel, and the quality of most medical facilities is poor.
Bulgaria ranks 113th globally by average life expectancy, which stands at 73.6 years for both genders.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

Voltage in bulgaria: 220 V
Frequency in bulgaria: 50 Hz

Budget and money

The lev (Bulgarian: лев, plural: лева, левове / leva, levove) is the currency of Bulgaria. It is divided in 100 stotinki.
Exchange rate on the 19/01/2016 :
£1 = 2,54 BGN

Telephone and jetlag

Code pays = +359
+2 heures UTC/GMT

Country information

Country ID

Population: Population
7,8 millions inhabitant
Language: Language
Bulgarian
Some minorities are speaking Turkish and Tzigane
Religion: Religion
Bulgarian orthodox (85%), muslims (13%)
Politics: Politics
Bulgaria is a parliamentary democracy in which the most powerful executive position is that of prime minister. The political system has three branches—legislative, executive and judicial, with universal suffrage for citizens at least 18 years old.
Presidency: Presidency
Rossen Plevneliev
Prime Minister: Prime Minister
Boiko Borissov

Socio-economical data

Bulgaria has an emerging market economy in the upper middle income range.
From a largely agricultural country with a predominantly rural population in 1948, by the 1980s Bulgaria had transformed into an industrial economy with scientific and technological research at the top of its budgetary expenditure priorities.
The loss of COMECON markets in 1990 caused a steep decline in industrial and agricultural production, ultimately followed by an economic collapse in 1997. The economy largely recovered during a period of rapid growth several years later, but the average salary remains one of the lowest in the EU at 885 leva (€452) per month in September 2015.

Geography

Bulgaria occupies a portion of the eastern Balkan peninsula, bordering five countries—Greece and Turkey to the south, Macedonia and Serbia to the west, and Romania to the north.
The coastline has a length of 354 kilometres (220 mi).

People, culture and traditions

Traditional Bulgarian culture contains mainly Thracian, Slavic and Bulgar heritage, along with Greek, Roman, Ottoman, Persian and Celtic influences. Nine historical and natural objects have been inscribed in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- the Madara Rider
-the Thracian tombs in Sveshtari and Kazanlak
- the Boyana Church
- the Rila Monastery
- the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo
- Pirin National Park
- Sreburna Nature Reserve
- the ancient city of Nesebar.
Nestinarstvo, a ritual fire-dance of Thracian origin is included in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. Fire is an essential element of Bulgarian folklore, used to banish evil spirits and diseases. Bulgarian folklore personifies illnesses as witches and has a wide range of creatures, including lamya, samodiva (veela) and karakondzhul. Some of the customs and rituals against these spirits have survived and are still practised, most notably the kukeri and survakari. Martenitsa is also widely celebrated.

CUISINE
Bulgarian cuisine is similar to those of other Balkan countries and demonstrates a strong Turkish and Greek influence. Rakia is a traditional fruit brandy which was consumed in Bulgaria as early as the 14th century. Bulgarian wine is known for its Traminer, Muskat and Mavrud types.

DANCE
Bulgaria is a relatively small country but within its modern boundaries a wide diversity of folk dance styles can be found
Bulgarian folk dances are normally line dances, with hands joined either in low "V" hold, belt hold (na pojas), crossed in front or "W" hold. Footwork can vary from fast intricate steps (as in the Šop Region) to slow sustained cat-like movements (as in some of the dances from the Pirin region).

Dances from the north have some of the characteristics of dances from southern Romania, just across the Danube, i.e. fast crossing steps, dances from the Pirin Region in the West have much in common with dances from Yugoslav Macedonia, and dances from the Šop region round Sofia have similar characteristics to those from eastern Serbia. This illustrates how boundaries of dance styles do not necessarily conform with politically imposed nationally boundaries.
Regional dance styles

Useful words

Please note that toconsent/agree the Bulgars turn the head as for us to say no.
Some words:
Good morning/afternoon (polite) : zdraveyte
Good morning / afternoon (casual) : zdrasti
Good bye (polite) : dovizhdane
Good bye (casual) : chao
Please : molia Merci : blagodaria
Thank you (casual) : mersi
I am sorry : sazhalyavam (prostete)
Sorry : izvinete me
Yes : da
No : ne
I don t understand : az ne razbiram
Where can I find... ? : kâde e ?
How much is that? : kolko stuva ?

Choosing the right riding holiday

Choosing the right riding holiday

Nearly one third of Bulgaria is covered in forests. In the heart of the Balkans you will be able to find a diverse selection of remarkable natural wonders such as mountains, ancient forests, glacial lakes, caves, immense rocks, and well-preserved flora and fauna eco-systems. Riders who ride through these lands will be impressed by its rich natural beauty found in its nature reserves and national parks. Our trail rides in Bulgaria are suitable for experienced riders who can handle sensitive horses and who are happy with a faster pace.

The Three Mountains trail rideis for riders who enjoy mountainous environments. You ride in three mountain ranges – Plana, Verila and Rila, located south of Sofia.

Riding in the Thrace Empire offers fast riding across the rose and lavender fields of the Thracian Valley