“It’s not all about horses at Konna Baza Sakar, Srem village is the perfect starting point for your own Bulgarian adventure. Around us, we have everything from endangered wildlife, Thracian tombs and vineyard tours to paint-balling, swimming, massage, river-kayaking, forest-bathing and fresh-water fishing.”
Nature Around Srem
Srem is located on the edge of the Dervent Hills nature reserve, and the area is home to over 300 endangered species, including the highest number of rare predatory birds in the region.
The reserve makes up part of the larger EU designated Sakar Mountain nature reserve, which holds the biggest populations in Bulgaria of Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca, Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina, Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus, Black Kite Milvus migrans and Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus.
The reserve’s rolling hills and hectares of deciduous forest offer miles of maintained off-road tracks ideal for horse-riding, forest bathing, mountain biking and hiking.
The village of Levka (38Km away from Srem), boasts a unique conservation project which has overseen the re-introduction of the Lesser Kestrel back into Bulgarian skies. The project welcomes visitors and tours include a detailed talk (in English and Bulgarian) on the bird’s migratory path, habitat and feeding habits, baby nest-box viewing (depending on the season) and a small display area.
A few kilometres from the site is another project by the same group- an area dedicated to the re-introduction of the semi-wild Karakachan horse. For a small additional fee, visitors can join the conservationists as they check the animals, and with a herd now numbering over 100 horses- witnessing the vast herd on the move- is more than spectacular.
Surrounded on three-sides by the Tundja, Bulgaria’s second largest river, Srem village offers numerous spots for picnicking, hiking and really good fresh water fishing.
Swimming & Massage
The Galina Palace Hotel is only 3Km from Srem village and offers an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant and a pool-bar serving drinks and snacks. Day access is highly affordable (a few Leva per person).
We’re also very lucky to have a locally-based masseuse, who is trained both in physiotherapy and traditional massage. Sessions are usually around 40 minutes and include a mix of therapies and use traditional and home-made bee product lotions.
Kayaking and River Excursions
Extreme Adventure is based in Elhovo and offers; paint-balling, team-building activities, and local Tundzha river kayaking expeditions. The trips are ideal for all members of the family and include knowledgeable and friendly guides, all equipment and some basic instruction.
There are several trip options with the company, these include; family friendly gentle river-fun to the more extreme options with serious rapids for those with considerable kayaking experience. All the Extreme Adventure GP river trips do offer however, a unique and novel way to view the local area, plus some great opportunities to view our spectacular wildlife.
The Sakar and south Sakar regions are known to produce some of the best red wines in Bulgaria. Many of our local vineyards welcome visitors to tour, taste and buy their products.
Interestingly, via the vineyards, customers can buy some of the top vintages and labels many of which are not easily available in Bulgaria and destined for export- all at really affordable prices.
Konna Baza Sakar can organise private vineyard tours with dedicated car and driver on request.
Read More:Discover the impressive wines of Sakar region
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Discover Over 2000 Years of Archaeology
The archaeology of the area around Srem is unusual in that we have many ‘Dragon Houses,’ or dolmens, sun-circles and it is believed to be one of the centres for the birth of Hesychasm, a mystical branch of the Orthadox Eastern Church.
Within walking distance from Srem there are two sets of Sun-Circles, (and another in Topolovgrad- a 20 minute drive away). These sites are believed to date back to Thracian times and while there is little more known of their origin- current understanding is these artifacts are linked to the ancient cult of the sun.
Topolovgrad’s small museum collection is housed in one of the most beautiful houses in the town. Built in the early 20th century by a rich local family of Vlaikidis (currently emigrants in Thessaloniki, Greece). The museum exhibition is displayed on two floors and showcases valuable objects, documents and photographs, testifying to the historical development of the area. The region’s history from ancient times to the present day is presented on the upper floor,. while the lower floor features an ethnographic collection.
Easy day-trips from Srem by car allow visitors to explore Dolmens, Stone Circles, Thracian temples and more.
Ustrem: Only 3 Km away is the beautiful Holy Trinity monastery of Ustrem. A centre of worship since Thracian times, the current buildings date back to the early 1700s. The area offers picnic and BBQ spots along the river and for those who want to explore further, the ancient rock church is located up a steep path above the river.
Matochina: The all but abandoned village of Matochina located on the Turkish border offers a well-preserved Byzantine fort, cave churches and a slew of crumbling Communist lookout towers.
Voden: In the small village of Voden to the East (50km away), is the ancient Hesychastic monastery of St. Mary. Built over caves and an underground river, the site is believed to be a strong energy source and was for a time, the centre of Hesychasm.
Hlyabovo: A little past Hlyabovo on the route to Harmani are the region’s best preserved and most numerous Dolmens.
Shopping & Dining
The town of Elhovo (20km away from Srem) is well developed and offers guests a large well-stocked supermarket, hospital, hardware shops, a vegetable and health food shop, large weekly markets, plus several good restaurants and modern swimming pools.
For those looking for a dining experience, out of the ordinary, with a modern menu, stunning decor and a location worthy of a Thracian fortress, then head to Zaara Estate Hotel, Spa and Winery, only 50 minutes away from Srem.
Yambol city offers various dining and shopping options, to find out more, see here.
To find out more about horse riding holidays in Bulgaria, horse riding in Bulgaria and horse tours in Bulgaria or make a booking- message at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us @Konna Baza Sakar on Facebook.