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Reviews from our clients

Hi Alfa Riders,

Here is the feedback from our group after our trail Kroushuna's Waterfalls on 22-29.06.2013:

This is the second time I am riding with you Alfa Riders and the second time was as good as the first! You certainly keep up the quality for every ride.

We all enjoyed very much our trail now in end of June. Weather was very good, not too hot most of the time, and not many flies or insects. Bulgaria is the perfect riding country, I know of no other country where you can ride so freely everywhere without obstacles and fences or too many asphalt roads crisscrossing. It is like riding in a vast garden. Fields and meadows with wild flowers, all white, red, blue or yellow! Wooded landscapes. Creeks and rivers to wade and cross. Hills and mountains. With the fresh fruit to pick from the trees even! Varied landscapes and one day almost looking all the way to the Danube River whilst enjoying our longest canters! The freshness and the unspoilt nature, riding through pittoresque villages, meeting country people on the road and in the villages. And the gypsies with their wagons, horses and cattle.

As for the Kroushuna waterfall, it was really amazing, so pretty! And the famous cave we saw was awesome with history back to the beginning of mankind. Many of us had seen a lot of "caves and waterfalls" before in our travels, but these specimens were really worth the visit!

For riders on a trail, the most important thing is the horse.Our horses were perfectly fitted for us, and with the group of 6 riders, we all soon became very good friends, people and animals. Except for the horses, maybe the most important experience were how nicely Maria and Vasko who lead the trip, catered for us. Always the excellent picnics waiting, and Vasko able to find a shady tree all the time, as well as being most entertaining and good company for us! Maria is a very skilled horseguide in addition to being such a nice person to everybody, and as one of us said: "If Maria says I can go there, I will go". And that hill was steep! The riding was very pleasant with sometimes very long canters. Some challenges along the way also! Horses are easy to ride, friendly and well kept and tack is good.

Bulgaria has a proud history and a lot to show also for the occasional sight-seeing We enjoyed Rumis guiding for the sightseeing as well, and suggest that as a routine in the summer when it is hot, the horseriding shall be preferred as morning program, sightseeing in the evening, and at leisure.

The hotels were mostly very good, and many had very new and good swimming pools/jacuzzis for the aching muscles. Most of us did not like so much the hotel at the Kroushuna water fall mostly because there were problems with water supply for showers for both the nights we stayed there. The food on the ride as a whole was very good, and guests should be actively helped to try out different dishes, Bulgaria has a lot more to offer than Shopska salad and Kavarma, although the two are unmissable of course.

Wine in Bulgaria tended to arrive quite late in the meal, so guests/host should try to order quickly. So nice to sit with a glass after the ride and whilst the menu for the evening is decided. It is really worthwhile to order from wine-list and not just a jug of house wine, as Bulgarian wine is cheap for most Europeans, a bottle of good wine for about 10 Euros. The beer is also very good and recommendable.

This is our feed-back and it has been reviewed and agreed to by the group.

So thank you Alfa Riders, for the very good experience you gave us!


From Julie, Carrie, Katja, Carol, Nick and Kari!



Hello,

Safe and sound after a very interesting last day in Sofia! (I was particularly impressed with the Rotonda, Archeological Museum and Russian Church!) I enjoyed the trail immseley, there was a good mix of nature and culture even though the heat was too much for me. The highlight for me was the sunset over the Danube plain during the evening ride on day 5. And swimming in the Krushuna waterfalls was sheer pleasure! I could have stayed there all day...

I take this opportunity to thank all of the team again, you took extremely good care of us as a group and as individuals. I hope to come back for another trail, maybe next year.

Below are a couple of suggestions for this particular trail (I have given this feedback to Alex verbally already):

  • - visit less caves (we saw 4 in total which is quite a lot), and perhaps replace one of the caves with an orthodox church?
  • - the visit of the monastery is a little superficial because we do not get to meet the monks, see how they live etc... It would be nice to visit a monastery where it is possible to have some kind of contact with the community (obviously if it is not against their rule).
  • - include a "free time" moment in Veliko Tarnovo (1h or 1h 30m) that we could use to do some shopping, visit something else or just wander through the old city.

Best regards


Alexandra Marizy, France



Hello everybody,

It was a pleasure to meet all of the team ; you are so generous and nice. You allow people like me to discover Bulgaria. I love this country and its culture ; thanks to you! This experience was amazing.

I wish you a lot of happyness and good luck. Just continue to be such as you are!

Warm hugs,


Morgane Colas, France



Dear Alex and Rumy,

We would like to thank you for the unique, beautiful and amazing week we spent with you. It was the perfect vacation and in a way we felt like coming to a new home. All of you in his,her own special way, made it even more different and beautiful. We really miss you and hope we will get to meet soon somewhere in world:) our offers to change houses, visit etc... Are still valid, And we hope you will come soon. We wanted to ask if there is a possibility to order the plastic shoes that your horses has? We would like to buy them for our horses.

Many thanks and lots of love,


Miki and Yael, Israel



Dear Rumi!

Yes, we had a nice trip home and no muscle fever at all! For us it was a wonderful week with nice people, wonderful nature and excellent horses. Thank you for all! If our health stays good, we will come back.

With best regards also to Maria and Tsvetina
and warm hugs


Martin Mayr, Wien



Dear Rumi, Alex and Maria

Thank you all for an unforgettable week. I know how hard it is for you to cope with the tragedy in the family and keep working as usual. Although you were in such pain you kept giving us all the feeling that we are welcome and you did best to make our stay a lovely experience. As usual we loved the trail, the great horses you breed, and your family. Maria was a real hero and Svetina was just great. My friends were so impressed by you so there is no doubt you will see them again. They asked me to remained Maria that they are waiting for her visit. As for me , i am back at work, doing what i was doing and now you know what is my work look like. Family is OK , and my sister is sending her regards as well. I hope that next time we will come, it will be with the whole of us. So take care and we will meet again for sure.

Yours,


Dror Soffer MD.
Director - The Yitzhak Rabin Trauma Division
Division of Surgery
Tel - Aviv Sourasky Medical Center
6 Wizmann St.
Tel - Aviv 64239
ISRAEL



Hello Alex,

Thanks again for the excellent riding trip. Also thanks to Vasko and Maria who worked very hard for us. Just give Vasko a faster car next time he has to drive me to the airport, we just made it by about 30 seconds! My little injuries are all gone and I have already been back at the ranch. If you make it over here, let me know. I think you would like it at the ranch.

All the Best


Magnus Pfahl, USA



Hi Rumi and Alex!

I hope you both and the rest of your family are well. Please forgive me for the delay of me sending you the pictures I promised you. I have no good excuse but it has been a very tough year for me. But I often think back on our trip and have often dreamed of the horses in the night. It was really one of my best travels ever. Both Johanna and I are so grateful that you took such good care of us. We have recommended you to all interested horse-people we have met. I hope the winter was not too tough and you did not have to use your snowshoes to get food. I also hope that you will have a good season over the summer and that the tourists are kind to you. Johanna wishes you all the best and so do I!

With love,


Evelina from Sweden



Trip Report from Hidden Trails Customer

Date: 08/08/2011 12:59:19 AM
Client Name: Rony Atoun
Trip Name: Caves and Waterfalls of the Balkan
Trip Area: Bulgaria
Tour date: 7/31/2011 12:00:00 AM to 8/7/2011 12:00:00 AM


Client Comments:

  • Horses: Excellent
  • Saddle/Tack: Excellent
  • Accomodations: Good
  • Meals: Excellent
  • Guide: Excellent
  • Other riders: Satisfactory
  • What I enjoyed: I think the crew from Alfa Centaur was truly exceptional. I'd add that the mix of riding and sightseeing was a great idea.
  • What bothered me: Nothing bothered me...
  • Expectations fulfilled: Yes. Beyond expectations!
  • Final Comments: Fantastic trip. The horses are first class as well as the tack. The itenarary and the mix of riding with sightseeing made it all the more pleasurable. The guide and the support were excellent beyond words. The food both on trail and in the hotels was great. A truly memorable vacation.



Trip Report from In The Saddle Customers

  • Your Name:
    Donna & Phil Darbyshire

  • Holiday Name:
    Bulgaria Kroushuna Waterfalls

  • How would you rate your holiday?:
    Excellent

  • Please enter a title summarising your holiday experience:
    Great Variety

  • Were you matched with the right level of horse for your ability?:
    Very Satisfied

  • Were you satisfied with the variety of riding, pace or terrain?:
    Very Satisfied

  • Please rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables:
    Very Satisfied

  • Please add any further comments on the riding e.g. did it meet your expections:
    The horses were great, well acred for and all tack and saddle bags were of a high standard

  • Please rate your room(s) for comfort and facilities:
    Very Satisfied

  • How did you find the standard of food?:
    Satisfied

  • Please add any further comments on the accommodation or food which you believe would be helpful:
    All accommodation was very good (particularly when compared to our experience of other trail rides). All was clean and comfortable, with a couple of hotels/ guest houses being of a very high standard. Food was generally of a good standard and was plentiful.

  • Any other comments?:
    This was a family run business. Our sibling guides for the week Maria and Vasco were just lovely and couldn't do enough for you. We had a great laugh throughout the week and some excellent riding, even when the weather was poor, any group decisions made whether to ride or not were fully accommodated and on two afternoons when we all decided not to ride due to torrential rain, massages and saunas were arranged instead. The mixture of sight seeing and riding made a dal change and gave you a real insight into the country- our cultural guide Remi also made sure we were equipped with as much information as possible regrading the history of the Country. This is probably the best organised trail ride we have been on with some excellent riding on brilliant horses.

  • Would you recommend this holiday to your friends?:
    Definitely yes


  • Your Name:
    FIONA COWIE

  • Holiday Name:
    BULGARIA - KROUSHUNA'S WATERFALLS

  • How would you rate your holiday?:
    Excellent

  • Please enter a title summarising your holiday experience:
    Amazing country, beautiful horses, full-on riding!

  • Were you matched with the right level of horse for your ability?:
    Very Satisfied

  • Were you satisfied with the variety of riding, pace or terrain?:
    Very Satisfied

  • Please rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables:
    Satisfied

  • Please add any further comments on the riding e.g. did it meet your expections:
    I was impressed with the amount of consideration given to the allocation of horses to riders. A meeting was held where we were asked more about what kind of horses we wanted to ride and what our experience was. All seemed well matched. As a non-regular rider who can be nervous at first on riding holidays, I was allocated a very sweet young Arab who was, as described, very gentle and safe but who definately got going once we were riding. Horses seemed well matched to riders. All those who asked for calm horses definately appeared satisfied. Calm also didn't mean lazy which was good! All were in good condition and definately well loved and cared for. It was nice that most horses were ridden in bitless bridles. The equipment seemed to be in good order. Two reins broke on first day (one was on guide's horse) but other than that, no mishaps in relation to equipment. As a non-regular rider, I was cranky at myself for not getting into better condition before this trip. I have never ached so bad on a riding holiday - I think the mix of hilly terrain then fast riding on the flat was a combination that had my old muscles aching! I took advantage of the opportunity to have massages in the evening a few times! For those that don't ride regularly, I definately recommend a lot of practice beforehand.

  • Please rate your room(s) for comfort and facilities:
    Neutral

  • How did you find the standard of food?:
    Satisfied

  • Please add any further comments on the accommodation or food which you believe would be helpful.
    Most of the accomodation was clean but fairly basic in comparison to other riding holidays undertaken. However, one of the hotels was exceptional (and we stayed there two nights). The hotels were probably quite good for local standards, but don't expect five star. The beds are small singles, the bathrooms basic. However, all the hotels had pools and nice staff. All were clean. Just don't have expectations of luxury! I really enjoyed the food. There was a lot of salads, served with grilled meat - or the occasional stew. Great cheese! Lots of fresh fruit on the picnics too. The picnic lunches had great variety in fact - and lots of food. However, breakfast of tomato, cucumber, cheese and ham got a little repetitive even for me! There was plentiful beer and gorgeous wine served with meals and there was also plentiful food! I loved the food - especially the grilled trout - however, I do eat most foods. Vegetarians are also well catered for.

  • Any other comments?
    The family running this ride are some of the most beautiful and lovely people you could meet. It is rare to meet people who care so much about the horses AND the people on the ride. They will do everything they can to make your holiday special. They also love their country (with good reason) and have a wealth of information to share. All the staff are exceptional. One of the best teams ever for riding holidays.
    I will say this ride is exhausting though! the itinerary is busy but fun. I came home and just slept!
    Bulgaria is also an awesome country to visit - I've already recommended it as a destination to friends, and this ride to those who ride. It isn't the luxury, relaxing ride, nor is it the rough and ready adventure ride - it is somewhere in the middle of those two.

  • Would you recommend this holiday to your friends?:
    Definitely yes