Passion for the extraordinary!
Everyone at Excedo unites behind one common goal – to share the challenge, beauty and joy of trekking, rock climbing, kayaking and other outdoor activities and explore together with our clients the mystery that is Bulgaria.
Beyond having the necessary technical and interpersonal skills to ensure an unforgettable experience, we at Excedo emphasize on high quality, safety and outstanding customer service.
Our guides are all outstanding professionals who love what they do and do what they love! But beyond that – they are extraordinary individuals, each unique with their quirks and twists, each committed to sharing with you an authentic and memorable journey.
Manuela is Founder and CEO of Excedo Travel and also our organizational guru.
She used to work as a consultant at the Munich and Berlin offices of EurAide, Inc. The company is a familiar name for North American and South Korean travelers in particular, who enjoy Europe by rail. After returning to Bulgaria, Manuela took charge of the administrative department of one of the biggest and most respected law firms in the country – Penkov, Markov & Partners. You could say that she has quite the experience in organizing the impossible.
She is a passionate hiker, climber and beach volleyball player and loves all outdoor activities. In general, she tends to follow the principle ‘always go for the challenge.’
Manuela is a licensed mountain guide and tour guide and has made it her life’s goal to share Bulgaria’s rich and wild natural beauty and exciting 1300 year old history and culture with world travelers. There is nothing like making a living out of what you love doing!
As a child, Manuela lived in the German speaking part of Switzerland and later went to university in Munich, Germany where she made her Masters Degree in American Studies and English Linguistics. She is fluent in both English and German and has several years of experience as an interpreter and translator.
Vanya is our hobby historian and of course, a licensed tour guide. If you’re eager on debating some of the indisputable or rather controversial moments in Bulgarian history – she’s your man … or in our case, woman!
Vanya is not only a sports science graduate but also an athlete at heart. She graduated the former Higher Institute for Physical Education and Sport ‘Georgi Dimitrov’, known nowadays as the Bulgarian National Sports Academy, and is a master of sports in 400 m hurdles. This is probably why Vanya purposefully seeks out and overcomes any difficulties not only in her work, but also in her free time.
She enjoys skiing and swimming, but cross-country cycling and mountaineering are her passion. She loves high mountain peaks, where she can almost “touch the stars at night and roam the ridges during the day, looking down the slopes and feeling like a soaring bird.” Still, if you ever join Vanya on a hike, three things are dead certain: i) you’ll end up walking at least some 10 hours strait; ii) you’ll pick the most difficult route for sure; and of course, most important of all – iii) you’ll definitely get lost in a dwarf-pine plantation! Or, as Vanya likes to say, it would be boring otherwise, right!?
And here is some insider info for you – Vanya has been working in the field of aviation security (on both national and EU level) for more than 17 years, so be careful what you say out loud as the agent in her never sleeps!
Every self-respecting adventure travel company that places an emphasis on responsible and sustainable tourism should have an environmental expert in their ranks. In Excedo’s case, that is Yordan, who easily balances between the mountain, the sea and the air.
He is a licensed mountain and tour guide. When on shore, Yordan can be seen hiking in the mountains, exploring new routes or just “roaming” in the wild. He also loves biking; whether on a paved or unpaved road, it always takes you to beautiful places, because that is Bulgaria – small enchanting village, nestled along centuries-old forests or charming meadows with an abundance of wild flowers and orchids. And of course, we shouldn’t forget that Yordan is also a climber.
When he is away from the mountains, Yordan is most likely at sea. As a professional sailor on research vessels, our resident environmentalist has been to many places around the world. He can fascinate you with interesting stories about the polar bears in the Arctic; the monkeys trying to steal your lunch on a hike in Singapore or Taiwan; the thousands of people taking a stride in the South Korean mountains; Okinawa’s venomous snakes, used by locals to produce the very special Habu Sake; or the mushroom shaped islands of Palau in the Pacific Ocean…
Yordan’s latest passion is flying – he did a paragliding training some five years ago. So if you want to go on a hike and fly mission in Bulgaria, he will be the one to take you!
And make sure you are throwing your garbage at the right place because the environmental watchful eye is always watching.