Explore the majestic Rila and Pirin mountains as you trek surrounded by Bulgaria’s most spectacular alpine scenery and reach the Balkans’ highest summits. The programme is based in two locations, the village of Govedartsi and the town of Bansko, where you will be able to relax in cosy guesthouses and family hotels, all offering private en-suite rooms.
This holiday includes circular hikes around Smolyan Lakes and the unique village of Shiroka Laka, set in one of the most beautiful parts of the Rhodope mountains. The trip is mostly centre-based; it features accommodation in 4-star hotels spa hotels and finishes in the spa resort in Devin.
Rila and Pirin are often referred to as the Bulgarian Alps for a reason. This itinerary will take you through the most beautiful areas of the two national parks. Explore these majestic mountains as you trek through some of the Balkans’ most spectacular alpine scenery and highest summits, past impressive peaks and sparkling glacial lakes.
Trace the footsteps of Orpheus through the mighty Devil’s Throat cave in the Tirgrad Gorge, said to be the mythical Hall of Hades, walk to Chaira Lakes and then take in the splendour of the Canyon of Waterfalls before moving to the comfort of your spa hotel.
Where Do our Walking Holidays in Bulgaria Take Place?
Bulgaria is one of the few countries in Europe which is an EU member but still excites as an exotic destination. The country is rich in traditions and culture. Bulgaria features notable diversity with the landscape ranging from the snow-capped peaks of Rila, Pirin and the Balkan Mountains to the mild and sunny Black Sea coast; from the typically continental Danubian Plain (ancient Moesia) in the north to the strong Mediterranean climatic influence in the valleys of Macedonia and in the lowlands in the southernmost parts of Thrace.
Most of the country is situated within the humid continental climate region, with an Alpine climate in the highest mountains and subtropical climate in the southernmost areas.
The Rilo-Rhodope region where most of our Bulgaria self guided walking holidays take place covers the south-western areas of Bulgaria and includes the Rhodope Mountains, Rila, Pirin, Osogovo, Vlahina, Maleshevo, Ograzhden and Belasitsa, as well as the valleys of the rivers Struma and Mesta. The Rhodopes are the most extensive mountain range in Bulgaria, spanning an area of 14,730 sq km with an average altitude of 785 m, characterised with gentle and densely forested slopes. Their length from west to east is 249 km and reach a width of 100 km. The altitude decreases from west to east.
Exploring Bulgaria with a self guided walking holiday will give you a chance to experience people’s hospitality and enjoy the spectacular scenery. The lower prices (compared to other EU member countries) are only a bonus to what will undoubtedly be an epic holiday!
Our Rhodope Mountains Bulgaria walking holidays include visits the impressive Buinovo Gorge, then hikes to the Eagle’s Eye viewing platform offering spectacular views of the Rhodopean Range. Trace the footsteps of Orpheus through the mighty Devil’s Throat cave in the Tirgrad Gorge, said to be the mythical Hall of Hades, walk to Chaira Lakes and then take in the splendour of the Canyon of Waterfalls before moving to the comfort of your spa hotel. Accommodation is in hand-picked 3 or 4-star hotels.
Our walking and spa adventures are specifically designed to allow you to reconnect with nature and experience the wilderness and great outdoors. Included in the majority of nights are some hand-picked 4-star hotels with spas, so if you feel like a bit of pampering after your days hiking it’s all here too! The holiday also gives you the opportunity to experience the unique local culture and try some traditional Rhodopean food and wine. As these hiking adventures are self-guided, maybe you’ll have the chance for a little self-discovery along the way.
When to Go
Depending on the region, our Bulgaria walking holidays are available from May or June till September or October. Late spring, the whole summer and early autumn are beautiful in the Bulgarian mountains with colourful foliage in May, gorgeous sunsets in summer and warm panoramas in fall.
Additional Reads about Bulgaria
If you’d like to learn more about Bulgaria before going on one of our Bulgaria walking holidays, we recommend the following reads:
- Plovdiv and the Southern Mountains (Lonely Planet)