Boasting of one of the most exciting natural playgrounds in the world for adventures, thanks to the rivers and lakes carved into towering mountain ranges, Bulgaria’s backyard attracts a collection of avid outdoor enthusiasts year-round. But the Balkan nation doesn’t just excel in one activity, it grades high when it comes to hiking, cycling, snowshoeing, skiing, and the list goes on. Bulgaria may not be the first country that pops into your mind when you think of rewarding, rugged ventures, but it deserves to be at the top of anyone’s list.
Outsiders may think of folklore and opera singers when they think of Bulgaria, but behind the vibrant culture, exploding with talented musicians and rich traditions, rests a countryside waiting to be explored. An array of mountain ranges soar over the nation: Balkan Mountains, Pirin Mountains, Rila, Strandzha, Belascia, and the Rhodope Mountains. In total, Bulgaria encompasses 37 clear-cut mountains. If this doesn’t shout “adventure utopia,” we don’t know what does.
To the west, trekking enthusiasts will find Musala Mountain, standing tall at 9,600 ft, making it the highest peak on the Balkan peninsula. Most hikers flock to the Pirin and Rila ranges, where a variety of rustic, cozy huts sit nestled deep in the hills, providing a pleasant refuge—without compromising on your outdoorsy experience. Whereas Rhodope offers a more verdant, charming trekking experience, and is home to the fairy-tale-like purple Orpheus flower.
But the outdoor fun isn’t just exclusive to hiking! Road cyclists and mountain bikers will love the variety of scenery peppering the land as they cycle along rivers cutting below hills, by gorges, and through quaint villages. Mountain bikers can traverse fantastic paths in the Rila, Vitosha, and Rhodope mountains.
When the snow blankets the land, Bulgaria transforms into the ultimate winter wonderland. Bansko, the ski resort, has an array of trails tailor-made for beginners and intermediate skiers. At the same time, the Pirin and Rila mountain ranges have remarkable backcountry skiing and snowboarding opportunities.
It’s safe to say that Bulgaria encompasses a diverse range of activities!Read More