Balkan Rides - Bulgaria

The Devetaki Plateau

5 star rating   5 August 2023

Giselle who has been on 17 In The Saddle rides. BULGARIA Balkan Rides - Devetaki Plateau (Prvate Ride) | Met and exceeded expectations. Bulgaria is a marvellously open country- no gates or fences. No permission needed to cross farmland. This and the generally level terrain allowed for lots of long fast canters. The horses were excellent and our hosts take great care in looking after them and their welfare as they did for our comfort and well being

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
5 star rating
How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
5 star rating
How would you rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables?
5 star rating

The Accommodation

How would you rate your room(s) for comfort and facilities?
4 star rating
How would you rate the standard of the food?
5 star rating

Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

Apart from last and first day, all accomm had swimming pool which was MUCH appreciated as it really was very hot,
The standard of the rooms in the hotel in Sevlievo (apparently the best available) was variable. My first room (first day) had ants! Three of the group (2 rooms) suffered bedbugs in this hotel on the last night. That said, all the rooms had fridges (great for storing and cooling water) and balconies. The other rural accommodations were delightful.

The food was excellent - Mediterranean and vegetarians very well catered for.

Before Your Holiday

Did you have all of the information you needed to:

Plan and prepare for your holiday?
5 star rating
Feel comfortable about your transfers and what to expect?
4 star rating

How could we improve the quality of pre-holiday information that we send?

Nothing comes to mind - other than warnings about heat - see below

How could we improve the way we handled your booking and payment?

Nothing comes to mind

Do you have any other feedback for us?

I would definitely take another ride in Bulgaria but at a different time of year when it is less hot and in a different area - the South or the mountains.
Can't speak more highly of our hosts - especially Vasco and Maria, Their dedication, professionalism and interpersonal skills are very impressive- and they are great company, A family friend - ALex, was also helping out on the ground. He was great company too.
Pater familias, Alex, has certainly set up a very impressive and enjoyable riding operation. Pity we did not see more of ALex (father) as he seemed quite a character! but he is a very busy man. His family do him proud
The one thing that was outside everybody's control was the heat - it was VERY hot- on the last riding day it was 38C. Given than this is likely to become the norm in the summer months, I think it would be worth underlining/stressing that it is incumbent on all individuals to take protective measures re clothing, sun protection, liquid and salt intake. Our hosts were very vigilant and good at reminding us and our riding breaks were always in the shade but as individuals we have to take responsbility for ourselves. I am saying this because I did actually have a touch of heat stroke right at the end- entirely my own fault. I was extremely well looked after and administered unto by our hosts and recovered fully and quickly
Although I didn't partake, I know that the wine tasting was a great success and enjoyed by all. Maybe it could be offered as an extra for non private groups? Also Maria kindly arranged for the services of a professional masseuse for those that wanted it (Most of us did). This was much appreciated - she was excellent. And very reasonable cost - 20 E for 45 mins. Maybe this could be a fixture on other rides too?
[In The Saddle - thank you for your helpful feedback and suggestions. It is normally hot in July but summer 2023 was particularly hot. The ride operator is hoping to include the wine tasting as a regular feature in 2024]