Mountains of Bulgaria
Hiking has strong traditions in Bulgaria because of the country’s great nature resources that attract visitors, from one side, and the patriotic connotations that were associated to this outdoor activity from the late 19-th century, from another. At this period hiking in the country’s wild ranges become a way to show love to the motherland. This viewpoint is expressed in the words of one famous Bulgarian writer, Aleko Konstantinov, who is considered as the establisher of the organized mountain tourism in Bulgaria. “Get to know your motherland to love it”, he said, and hiking was the way “to get to know”. Later, during the Communist period, this ideology took even greater place in people’s life, because it was officially encouraged. Many huts were built and many trails were traced in that time, many people spent their holidays walking in the mountains, organized together in a hiking clubs with their colleagues, neighbors and so on. For the last decades the number of foreigners who discover the opportunities for hiking, that this small country with the highest mountains in southeast Europe offers, is increasing constantly.
There is a lot of reasons for the people to become interested in hiking in Bulgaria – from the severe alpine-like rocky landscapes of Pirin Mountains to the “green sea” of hills and meadows of the Rhodope Mountains. Totally counted as 37, the mountains of Bulgaria are suitable for a day walking or long treks – on foot or with snowshoes – in every season. Best time to go hiking in the highest parts of Rila, Pirin and Balkan Mountains is between July and September, when the weather is dry and warm and even the thickest snow drifts has already melted.
In Winter, between December and March-April, a pair of snowshoes on your feet gives a great chance to see completely different views of the all covered in white mountains. Spring is a good time for hiking in the lower ranges – like the Rhodopes and Strandja Mountains – they’ve already lost their snow cover, the weather is cool but not hot and the views are in all shades of green. In Autumn red, yellow and brown paints dominate in the Balkan Mountains which are said to offer the best “autumn” views, but this change of the colors is also impressive in Rila and Vitosha Mountains, partly covered in broad-leaf forests. A walking trip in Bulgaria may include a visit of a nature landmarks like caves, rock formations and glacial lakes, but also it is always more or less touch to a different culture, represented by the inhabitants of the mountain ranges that we meet on our way.
If you want to do some hiking in Bulgaria, researching about the right mountain range and route according to the season, your preferred level of difficulty and interests is the key for a good walking holiday. This, along with some practical questions that are discussed in this website, is the necessary minimum of information you need before starting to plan a biking or hiking holiday in the mountains of Bulgaria. It can be arranged entirely on your own, you can join a bigger group, organized by a tour company, or hire a local guide to accompany you during your hiking trip in Bulgaria, setting the program according to your own pace and interests.
Ski Touring Rila & Pirin
Snowshoes are one of the genius inventions of the humankind that lets us to explore the wild even in a harsh snow conditions, as it is usually in the mountains in winter. There is no any particular difficulty to learn how to use them, but the freedom they give us to explore the nature in winter conditions is invaluable. Winter landscapes in the mountains are something completely different to what we are used to see in summer and not so many enjoy that beauty. Covered in snow mountains look as nobody has ever been there before us, except the wild animals that left their prints in the snow.
Snowshoeing trips to Bulgaria are possible between the end of December and beginning of April, depending on the snow cover in the current year. There is a variety of options, but the most popular areas are in Rila, Rhodopes and Vitosha mountains as they are usually covered in thick snow, offer avalanche safe routes and, especially Rila and Vitosha, are crisscrossed by a network of well marked winter routes. Of course snowshoeing is possible in all the mountains of Bulgaria, but good knowledge of the area, the routes and avalanche safety in the mountains is a must before taking such an adventure.
What do we offer? Snowshoeing trips to places of your choice or recommended by us, for only a day, weekend or a whole weeklong holiday. Take your friends, come on your own or ask us to join a bigger group for a certain period. The trips can be designed in different grades of difficulty and do not require any special skills – all you need is to be well equipped. It is possible to rent all the necessary special equipment (snowshoes, poles, avalanche safety kit) from Sofia. Most important is your personal mountain equipment – warm and water/wind proof clothes, gloves, warm and stiff hiking boots, rucksack, sun protection, etc. If you have any questions, any ideas about going to a particular place, or you need an idea where to go – contact us – we’ll be happy to discuss your plans. Please, check Hire a Guide section of our website for more information about the way we organize trips. Prices we can offer are very competitive as they consist of your guide’s daily rate and expenses, shared between the group, and expenses for your own transport, accommodation, food, etc.