Family Nature Adventure
Arrivals 2008: 5/7-12/7-19/7-26/7
A real family holiday at our summer base!
Imagine you and your family in a tipi camp with the horses grazing around you and dinner cooked over open fire. Do you enjoy outdoor life and activities? Are you ready for an adventure “back to nature”? Then may be our “Family Nature Adventure” is something for you.
The Valley of Roses
In the very heart of Bulgaria – in the famous Valley of Roses where roses and lavenders are blooming and extracted to precious drops for perfumes and far away in the mountains you’ll find our summer base and a small forgotten village.
Svezhen is full of exiting history and a strange way of living surrounded by mountains and old woodlands; open meadows with cows and sheep grassing and with fields not bigger than a stamp still cultivated by man and horse. To ride out, to watch and to explore this area from a horseback is an outdoor culture- and nature adventure.
The village – and the chalet Hizha Svezhen are situated in “fore-mountains” to the Balkans. Sredna Gora as they officially are called reaches a high of 1200 m in this area.
We call the mountains for “soft” and they just invite to riding tours of all kinds. The open meadows are as created for good gallop – the long trails to trot and the hilly slopes to enjoyable rides in walk. More than 20.000 hectares just gives possibilities you never dreamt of. We ride in waste and un-spoilt nature with view to the Balkans on the one side and to the other: The Maritsa plain. Here is a smell of lavender, roses and blooming grasses. And when the day is over you can enjoy the sunset behind the beautiful mountains.
The area is full of exiting adventures: The unspoiled nature far off the beaten track is like a horn of plenty: First and foremost the superb terrain for horse and rider. The hilly terrains and the relatively flat mountain tops is a true paradise to explore in all paces. You can ride out for a short ride or a long ride with a picnic at lunch. You can overnight in the free at the campfire. And when your back is tender you can pick flowers and berries to the most aromatic mountain tee and you can hike in mountains. Feel the nature and take part in small and big challenges. You’re welcome to nurse the horses. If you have a hidden cowboy inside you, here you have the possibility to try to throw the lasso and to prepare the food over open fire. Ride out and explore the secrets of the valley and make a camp. Around the camp fire you will find a place for song and music till the early morning.
The old village exudes of history and atmosphere. It’s like a living museum and the daily life here is completely different from our stressed way of living. The village is more than 600 years old and today it has a status of historical – architectural reserve. Many of the houses are several hundred years old. Behind the walls the traditions are still uphold and almost all families are self-sufficient summer and winter. It’s not unusual to have a cow, a pig, a donkey and may be some goats or sheep, chickens, cats and dogs.
In the village you find the inn which opens on a special signal and as in every old village the church is in the centre. After many years without any activity again it has got its natural centre of the local holidays and special days. Also here you find a small garden with lime trees and the only big building apart from the now closed school still in function. Here the mayor has his office and there is a post office, library and even a cinema salon. The village once was a big town in the province with over 5000 inhabitants. Now only 192 old and elderly people are left. The youngest is in the 30ies and the oldest near hundred years old.
Our riding base is situated high above the village in 1000 m. Hizha Svezhen is in three floors and partly renovated. It reminds you of a better hostel and actually that was the function during communism. There are approximately 25 beds in 2-3-4-5 and 6 bedded rooms. The rooms are partly renovated. Toilets and bathrooms are on each floor. Further there is a dinning room with an open fire place. You can play table tennis and different kinds of board games, cards and dice. The standard is simple and nice. Right outside the chalet is the summer stable. In the high summer weeks we have a part of the horses on post here and of course they are the main attraction, but also they are on a kind of holiday – they know exactly what is in store for them. It is a time when the watch is on holiday too and of course this reflects on the horses.
Day by day programme
Meeting in the airport and transfer to the riding base. Dinner and introduction to the activities during the week. Overnight.
After breakfast we meet the horses together with the riding guides. We have plenty of time to get acquainted and our riding guides will tell you about the life of the horses in the mountains, how you ride in the mountains and how to ride in a western saddle. We ride out on the meadows behind the base and in the afternoon we ride down to the little see for a swim. We have dinner at the terrace, enjoy the sun going down behind the mountains and the day is ending with pancakes made on open fire.
Today we ride out on a mini trail. We ride on the top of the mountains for a couple of hours and have lunch with panoramic view. After lunch we slowly descend the mountains to the place at a small see. At this perfect spot we can fish and relax until we build the camp for the night. We overnight in big tipis (tepees) - have a western like dinner and enjoy the camp fire. This is outdoor
When we have taken down the camp and saddled up the horses we ride along the river, through valleys and a very old wood. There is a long distance between the horses and we are alone with the horses in the wild nature. We have lunch during the ride and in the afternoon after 4-5 hours in the saddle we are back in Hizha Svezhen.
||Today we are on an excursion to the town and if you like do some shopping. If the group is more for another kind of experience it is possible to try real mountain climbing on a 1200 m long adrenalin climbing path. A professional mountaineer will take you through the canyon over a river. The climbing gear is for rent on spot. We continue to a small monastery situated at the foothill of the Balkan Mountains where we will have lunch in the garden. After lunch we’ll walk on a very exiting eco-path in the Central Balkan national Park. On the path we will get information about the wild life. After an exiting day we drive back through the Valley of Roses to Hizha Svezhen.
||We ride out in the mountains. We ride to the village and explore the life as it is in a living museum. We see the grocery, the library, the old school, the small church and other interesting sights. And we’ll find time to a drink at the inn before lunch in the garden of an old farmer family.
||Today we follow the tracks of the wild life and we make a stop at a high seat. We continue to the “rocket square” from where the clouds are moved under special climatic conditions. After this special experience we ride back to the see for bathing. In the evening we have a farewell dinner.
||After breakfast we say good bye to the horses. Transfer to the airport.
Hiking or cycling:
All riding days could easily be changed with hiking or cycling, if this is more interesting. The terrain is mountainous. Activities depending on the weather will be changed accordingly.
Who can participate?
Our Nature Adventure family weeks are organized for the active outdoor family with children from the age of 9-10 years and with the horse related activities in the centre. For all of you it is preferable that the youngest members of the family are riders and like it! Adults preferring to watch or walk rather than riding are welcome as well. It’s a holiday for the whole family or mom/dad & child or grandparents with grandchildren. Everybody is welcome.
How big is the group and where do we stay:
We have 8 horses at our disposal in the summer base. If non-riders participate as well we do have beds for more guests as the summer base is reserved totally to the family weeks
We are far away from the nearest McDonald. We eat exiting meals from the Bulgaria kitchen with lot of vegetables and we haven’t had guests who are hungry after a stay with us.
Some practical information:
One transfer is organised from/to Sofia Airport. We recommend arrival in Sofia not later than 18:00 and departure not earlier then 12:00. Transport is arranged according the flight schedule for the latest arriving and earliest leaving family.
Equipment: You bring your own riding helmet and everything else you wear. We don’t ride on school horses, so you most have a certain experience. We ride off the beaten paths, on open meadows, through wood and mountain creeks, up the mountains and downhill as well. We ride in all paces. It is recommended to bring comfortable outdoor shoes and even if it summer the evening might be cool so don’t forget a fleece.
Adventure equipment: For the overnight in the tipi a sleeping back is needed and a sleeping mat. Also bring a knife, torch and lot of scout spirit.
A small confession: We don’t have computer games or internet connection. On the other hand we do have a lot of wild nature just out side. It’s waiting for you.
Other possibilities: Beside all the activities the nature is offering, you also have a chance to go to Plovdiv for a half day or a whole day trip (not included). In Plovdiv you can see the old roman theatre. Of course there are plenty of less known sights in the area. About all this we will tell you a lot more when you are on spot.
Family Nature Adventure 2008 is taking place during July: 5/7-12/7-19/7-26/7
Price: EUR 695 – all inclusive for 1 week
Transfer from/to the airport, accommodation 6 nights in the mountain chalet and 1 night in tipi, 2-3-4 bedded rooms with facilities on the floor, full board during stay and mineral water at all meals. ”Own horse” fully equipped and riding guide 5 days and 1 day excursion as per programme.
Pocket money for soft drinks/ beer & wine, some shopping or a coffee in a village coffee shop, during the excursion for entrance fees and climbing guide etc.