Across the Devetaki Plateau

An active riding holiday, for those riders looking for faster paces! You will be riding in Bulgaria across the Devetaki plateau, with beautiful panoramic views of the Balkan mountains and the Danube plain. You will be able to explore different villages, as well as some of the region’s best cultural and natural landmarks. This sporty riding holiday is ideal for experienced riders looking for an exciting riding adventure in Bulgaria, with plenty of opportunities for long canters and gallops.
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Fast Ride
8 days (6 days riding)
From £1,450

From the horse’s mouth

  • Across the Devetaki Plateau
    September 2023 Natasha aged 52
    A great riding trip with lovely unspoiled scenery, cute hotels, fresh, plentiful and varied food and seemingly unlimited good local wine. Guides and the rest of the team a real pleasure and fun to be with, always happy and keen to accommodate. But most of all the horses - calm, fit, surefooted, not lazy, always happy... Read all

Itinerary

Highlights

- Ride at an active pace, with regular canters and gallops, for confident and advanced riders only.
- Ride along the Devetaki plateau and enjoy panoramic views
- Visit numerous natural landmarks including the Devetaki cave and the Krushuna waterfalls
- This ride brings you closer the Bulgarian culture – people, food and landmarks!
  • Day 1 1: Home – Sofia airport - Sevlievo - No riding

    Fly to Sofia airport. Flights are not included but can be arranged upon request.
    You will be transferred from the airport to the hotel in Sevlievo. Upon arrival the local team will brief you and the other riders on the upcoming week.

    Dinner and overnight at the Incanto hotel.
  • Day 2 2: Gesha - Approx. 4,5h riding

    After breakfast, you will be introduced to the horses and the guides will run through some safety procedures before you set out on horseback. Today you will be riding through rolling hills and beautiful forests before stopping for a picnic lunch.
    In the afternoon, you will continue to ride through the beautiful landscapes, heading towards the village of Gesha.

    Dinner and overnight in Gesha Holiday or similar.
  • Day 3 3: Dryanovo Monastery - Approx. 5h riding

    Chiflika
    Today you will start the day by visiting the Dryanovo Monastery and the BachoKiro cave by car. After the visit, you will be reunited with your horse and begin today’s ride in Gesha. You will be riding along a small canyon and cantering across meadows and fields before stopping for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon you will make your way to Ladenik village where you will be spending the night.

    Dinner and overnight at Chiflika.
  • Day 4 Veliko Tarnovo - Approx. 4h riding

    Eco Hotel Imenieto
    After breakfast, you will be driven to Veliko Tarnovo. This city has significant historical relevance as it was chosen to be the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. It holds the remains of over 18 churches, 400 houses, as well as the Royal Palace.
    After exploring this city, you will be reunited with your horse and ride along the Yantra river. As you make your way through the different fields you will have plenty of opportunities to canter and enjoy the beautiful surrounding landscapes.
    You will stop to have a picnic lunch along the way before making your way to the overnight accommodation.
    Upon arrival to the hotel you can enjoy the swimming pool before heading to dinner.
  • Day 5 5: Devetaki Plateau - Approx. 6h riding

    Guest House Ongal
    Today you will head northwest, cantering through meadows towards the village of Karpachevo. You will have the opportunity to ride in the Devetaki plateau, where you will witness amazing panoramic views of the Bulgarian nature.
    You will stop to have a picnic lunch near a small village before getting back on your horse.
    In the afternoon you will make your way to your overnight location in Karpachevo.
  • Day 6 6: Devetaki Cave & Krushuna Waterfalls - Approx. 2h riding

    Guest House Ongal
    After breakfast, you will head out on a short ride through the wild paths in the Devetaki plateau. Return to the guest house to have lunch.
    Today is a rest day for both the horses and riders so in the afternoon you will be exploring different locations by car. First you will visit the remarkable Devetaki cave and then make your way to the Krushuna waterfalls. This region is rich in limestone caves and you can actually find the biggest cave in Bulgaria, the Boninska. This cave holds the longest underground lake(around 800m.)
    The whole area is very picturesque and rich in fauna and flora.

    Dinner and overnight in Karpachevo.
  • Day 7 7: Garvanitsa & Lake Kramolin - Approx. 6h riding

    On your last day, you will leave Karpachevo and ride towards the plateau where you will visit a famous vertical cave called “Garvanitsa”. From there you will ride towards lake Kramolin.
    In the afternoon, you will ride through the valley between the rivers Magara and Krapets. The ride ends in the village of Kurmiansko. From here, the horses will be transported back to the stables.
    Tonight you will be staying in hotel Incanto.
  • Day 8 8: Kormiansko – Sofia – Home - No riding

    After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in Sofia.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights or transportation to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person sharing a twin/double room.

- There is no single supplement if you are willing to share a room with another guest of the same sex. To guarantee your own room there is a single supplement of £175/€200/$220.

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 4 riders and a maximum of 10 international riders, plus guide. The ride may go ahead with 2/3 riders for an added cost of €400/£355/$445, per person

- Scheduled transfer from Sofia airport are included. Arrival should be between 12:00 and 16:00 pm and departures between 11:00 and 15:00 pm. If your flights do not match this schedule private transfers can be arranged at £190/€220 per person (return rate).

- Accompanied young riders are welcome from 12 yo, provided they match the riding requirements.

- Additional activities: bow-shooting; cultural tour around historic landmarks; visit to Devetaki plateau caves. Massages are available every night upon request for a small additional payment.

Rider weight limit is 95kg/14.9 st/209 lbs. If you are over this limit, please contact us.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide

Logistics

1 support vehicle

Inland transport

Airport transfers - within the normal transfer schedule (see above)

Accommodation

Accommodation in shared twin/double room in hotel or guesthouse

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8
All the drinks including beer and wine

Extras

Access to the pools and saunas in hotels (when available)

Price doesn't include

Meals

Personal extras

Transport

International flights

Extras

Tips to the local team
Small group supplement - see above for the details
Spa treatments

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement

Transport

Airport transfers - outside of the schedule
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    04/05/2024 11/05/2024 £1,450 €1,668 $1,798
    Full
    15/06/2024 22/06/2024 £1,450 €1,668 $1,798
    Open
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    29/06/2024 06/07/2024 £1,450 €1,668 $1,798
    Guaranteed departure
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  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    24/08/2024 31/08/2024 £1,450 €1,668 $1,798
    Full
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    07/09/2024 14/09/2024 £1,450 €1,668 $1,798
    Last seats
    Book now
    19/10/2024 26/10/2024 £1,450 €1,668 $1,798
    Guaranteed departure
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Equestrian info

Horses

On this riding holiday you will be riding Shagya and pure-bred Arabs, East-Bulgarian breed, and cross-bred with Arab horses. All the horses are very well-trained and spirited, and range between 14.7hh and 16.2hh

Guide & local team

The local guides are experienced and professional. They are very familiar with all the trails and take great care of the horses and guests.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You must be a confident rider, capable of riding over varied terrain at all paces. This ride is only open to strong intermediate and advanced riders due to the active nature of this holiday.

Rider weight limit is 95kg/14.9 st/209 lbs

Pace

There will be walking and trotting however this is a fast ride so there will also be long canters and even a few gallops along the way. Please remember that all gallops are weather-dependent and in case of slippery terrain, the ride may be slower than normal.

Riding normally consists of 40% walking, 30% trotting and 30% cantering.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be responsible for grooming, tacking and untacking your horse. You may also be asked to help with feeding and watering the horses.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be riding fit with good stamina. Hours in the saddle can be long and you must be able to sustain longer canters, sometimes over rough terrain.
The terrain is diverse, but mainly smooth and pleasant, giving you the opportunity to ride free from strain and enjoy the natural scenery.

Equestrian equipment

Leather saddles. The saddles are large and comfortable (endurance type), perfect for long hours in the saddle. Some of the horses are ridden in bitless bridles. Saddlebags are provided.

Important: Helmets are not provided but are mandatory.

Travel info

Comfort

On this riding holiday, you will be staying in hotels and guesthouses. The rooms are mostly twin with an en-suite bathroom. There are swimming pools and opportunities for spa treatments (not included) at most of the guest houses/hotels.
Please note that during the autumn months of September and October outdoor pools are likely to be closed.

Meals

Picnic lunches carried by each rider in their saddlebags or organised by the local team (vegetables, warm soup, BBQ, fruit or sandwiches).
Dinners at local restaurants and at the hotels.
Soft drinks, beer and wine are included in reasonable quantity

Traditional Bulgarian food is tasty and diverse. The geographical location of the country and its mild climate allow perfect conditions for growing different vegetables and herbs which are fundamental ingredients in all Bulgarian dishes. Bulgaria is also famous for the diversity and quality of its dairy products which are widely used in the preparation of typical Bulgarian food.
Some special dietary requirements can be catered for, please let us know at the time of booking.

Climate

The climate is influenced both by the colder air coming from the north and by the warmer breeze from the Mediterranean. The average annual temperature in the Eastern Rhodopes is 13 °C (55 °F), the maximum precipitation is in December, the minimum in August. In the Western Rhodopes, the temperature varies from 5 to 9 °C (41 to 48 °F) and in the summer rainfalls prevail.

Tips

Tipping is not compulsory but will be very much appreciated if you enjoy the services provided by the team.

Packing list

Head
- Helmets are mandatory and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit. There are many lightweight options available nowadays.
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and are an extra layer
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm fleece or jumper (and a spare in case one gets wet)
- Warm and waterproof jacket - it can rain at any time of year and the evenings can be particularly cold
- Swimming costume - for swimming/swimming pools

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Thermals
- Casual trousers for the evenings, such as jeans or tracksuit bottoms
- Waterproof over trousers

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps as an extra layer against inclement weather. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged
- Waterproof shoes/boots can be useful for abundant dew in the mornings or when it rains
- Trainers or equivalent light shoes for moving around the camp in the evenings
- Several pairs of warm, thick socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, cold or rain whilst riding. Waterproof gloves can be particularly useful

Nightwear
- Pyjamas , tracksuits or thermals for sleeping in

Other useful items
- A soothing cream to alleviate any areas irritated by long days spent in the saddle
- Small backpack for accessing items required during the day (carried by support crew)
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Swiss army knife (or equivalent)
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

In your hold luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic Ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.

Medical kit
- Any medication you regularly take
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent, preferably containing deet
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Water purification tablets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Our Recommendations
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (passport, camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals

Sustainable tourism

  1. Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.

Customer reviews

Customer reviews

All of our reviews are real, honest opinions from riders who have recently travelled with us. Upon their return, our riders will receive an email inviting them to share their experiences from their trip. Good or bad, each review will be published on our website, provided that they respect our editorial guidelines.
  • Natasha aged 52 Dubai 6 trips
    September 2023
    A great riding trip with lovely unspoiled scenery, cute hotels, fresh, plentiful and varied food and seemingly unlimited good local wine. Guides and the rest of the team a real pleasure and fun to be with, always happy and keen to accommodate. But most of all the horses - calm, fit, surefooted, not lazy, always happy... Read all
    • Horses
    • Programme
    • Accommodation
    • Local guide