It is not by coincidence that the old separation between people who live in the mountains and those by the planes is expressed in a Bulgarian saying – “Field give birth to pumpkins, mountains – to a people”. More than 1/3 of its territory is covered by mountains, located mainly in the central and the southwest parts of the country. No matter of its relatively small area, about 111 000 square km, Bulgaria offers a great variety of landscapes and climate. This is also presented in the mountain ranges – each of them has its specifics, unique combination of relief, [...]
Mountain Rescue services are paid in Bulgaria and the best way to cover such an expenses is to have a valid insurance. It can be your International Travel Insurance that covers medical costs and mountain rescue during activities like hiking up to 3000 m. elevation (check that) or obtained in Bulgaria mountain insurance. But keep in mind that the standard one that you can buy from the tourist offices here has restrictions on the type of accidents that are covered and also refunds expenses up to 1000 leva (approximately 500 EUR) which may not be sufficient if covering a helicopter [...]
Check the current weather conditions and the latest forecasts for the mountains of Bulgaria – Rila, Pirin, Balkan and Rhodopes.
Generally tap water is drinkable everywhere in the mountains. Currently there is two huts that take their water supply from nearby lakes (Tevno Ezero in Pirin Mountains and The old 7-lakes hut in Rila Mountains) – practically that doesn’t lead to any problems for the visitors but if you are worried of the potential risk take water purifying tablets with you. It is not advisable to drink (at least without purifying) water from open sources like lakes, streams and rivers because of the possible animal and human inhabitation above that may compromise the water. Depending on your route and the [...]
The mountains in Bulgaria are covered by an extensive network of marked trails which gives opportunities for a huge number of variations of routes. Another question is the maintenance of this infrastructure. These, together with the mountain huts and shelters, were developed during the Communist period when activities like hiking were officially encouraged as a good way for the masses to spend their free time, instead of thinking about rebellions and so on. Lots of money was put into this and a special organization used to take care for the huts, the trails and the markings, which is a very [...]
There is a lot of resources covering the general safety issues in the mountains and we’ll discuss only some aspects of them that might be more specific for the region and therefore unexpected. This is not a complete list of all the possible troubles that may occur while being in the mountains of Bulgaria, so be sure that you have that type of knowledge before starting a trip. Generally relying on your common sense in combination with appropriate knowledge, equipment and skills is the way to save yourself from troubles of any sort. Loosing the right way – its a [...]
We can provide full route descriptions of different parts in Rila, Pirin, Balkan and Rhodope Mountains. The sets consist of trails and markings description, elevation profile, information about alternative routes, water on the way, etc. These can be part of a detailed program that will contain indications of places to stay and eat and day-by-day plan including routes, transport connections, etc. Such a self-guided program might be written upon request and is part of our paid services. We may also provide any other support needed. Contact us for any further information. A sample description of a route in Rila Mountains [...]
Not all the maps of the Bulgarian mountains that are offered in the book stores are good enough for something more than a common view of the region. We would recommend the newly issued maps of Iskar Tour, which are scaled 1:40 000 and GPS-compatible. Unfortunately they do not cover all the mountain ranges currently. We also recommend the maps issued by Domino. Here you can find some Garmin GPS maps for free download and also an old military topographic map of Bulgaria, including the mountain ranges, scanned (BGtopoVJ in the link, available on separate sheets, GPS converted, in scale [...]
There are few options to stay overnight in a different types of places if you are hiking or trekking in the mountains of Bulgaria: – Using the mountain huts network; – Staying in a guest houses and small hotels in the lower mountain areas and in the villages around; – Camping; – Combination of these types of lodging. Using the mountain huts infrastructure. This gives a great chance to spend all your time surrounded by awesome sceneries as most of the huts are high up, between 1000 and 2500 m. elevation. Multiday treks in Rila, Pirin and Balkan Mountains are [...]
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