Rila High Mountain Ride

Rila High Mountain Ride

This four day adventure ride begins at Rila Ranch, 1.5 hours drive from Sofia. It involves a 130 km journey on horseback through the Balkans highest mountain - Rila. The route takes us over open pastures with a stunning backdrop of snow capped mountains. There are no fences along the whole trip and the terrain the first and last day riding invites for endless canters. On days 2 and 3 there will be some occasions where we need to dismount and lead the horse – this can be both uphill as well as downhill so you need to be reasonably fit.

The centre uses local East Bulgarian horses or these crossed with Arabians, ridden in English tack. This ride is only suitable for experienced riders who are confident and in control at a fast pace.

Day 1: Sofia - Rila Ranch – Mechit Hut
Pick-up at 8.00 am from your hotel in Sofia . In a couple of ours we reach Rila Ranch (900 m) and after short acquaintance with our horses and an hour leisurely ride along the river Iskar with good possibilities for trot and canter we head to the mountain.
We ride through the villages Madzare and Govedartsi and after approximately five hours in the saddle and covering about 25km, arrive in Mechit Hut (1900 m) where we stay overnight. 

Day 2: Mechit Hut – Kobilino Branishte Refuge – Rila Monastery
The ride continues to the south climbing Mount Mechit (2568 m a.s.l.) thus providing superb view towards the Rila National Park. After six - seven hours ride (35 km) the day ends in a small family hotel close to Rila Monastery. After a short rest we visit the monastery – the biggest and most important symbol of Bulgarian Orthodox church. The Rila Monastery has been founded in the 10-th century and rebuilt in 13-th and 14-th centuries. It is one of Europe’s oldest and included in UNESCO’S list. Behind the 20 meters walls lie impressive monastery buildings, a church and a chapel with valuable murals.

Day 3: Rila Monastery – Mount Damga – Urdini Lakes Refuge
We spend another long day in the saddle riding at an altitude of 2200-2500 m a.s.l. along paths far away from the popular tourist routes in Rila. There will be some trotting and cantering but also need to lead the horse while descending to Urdini Lakes. The luggage today will be carried by a pack horse. 6 hours riding.

Day 4: Urdini Lakes - Zeleni Rid – Govedartsi – Rila Ranch
From Urdini Lakes we head to the North the trail descending steeply the first couple of hours before reaching Zeleni Rid. From here the terrain is changing allowing plenty of trots and canters. After six hours riding we finally see the stables marking the end of our journey.
We say good bye to our horses and guide and drive back to Sofia.

Price Includes:
1 night in hut dbl. rooms sharing WC/bathroom; 1 night at hotel; room with en-suite facilities; 1 night in a dorm in a high mountain refuge/shelter
3 breakfasts; 3 lunch packs and 3 dinners
English speaking riding guide
saddled horses
pack horse
transfer from/to Sofia

Not Included:
drinks and meals not mentioned in the program
entrance fees
personal expenses

Additional Services:
Single room supplement (1 night) at hotel: EUR 15


Rila High Mountain Ride (Rated 4.75 / 5 Based on 270 Reviews.)
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