With us at Bulguides, you can

Climb that mountainExplore the horizonBe one with nature

Get the holiday you've been dreaming about. Leave the planning to us.

With us at Bulguides, you can

Climb that mountain

Explore the horizon

Be one with nature

Get the holiday you've been dreaming about. Leave the planning to us.

Spring & Summer

Mountain Biking - MTB


Ski Touring & Snowshoeing in Bulgaria

About Us

Reviews on our Tours


The trip was amazing, our guide Lyuben was great!
We visited amazing places and we had a lot of fun.
Lyuben made sure that we were doing well in the challenging trails. He has a lot of patience, we felt that we were lead by a profesional the whole way. We will never forget the trip, and we recommend it to all.

Noa and Amitai, September 2020, Hiking in Rila and Pirin
Mountain biking Rhodopes

I took a 3 days private tour bike with Lyuben. It was the best tour ever. Lyuben is a great guide!!! The tour was amazing. Very reliable company!!
Thank you

Ofir Itzak, October 2020, Mountain biking in Bansko area
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We hiked the Rila and Pirin mountains for 5 days. Bulguides team provided us with day by day plan, self guided info and maps, booked our accommodations and transportation as needed. Everything was very well organized and super professional. Highly recommended!

Yuval and Ofir, September 2020, Selfguided hiking in Rila and Pirin

My husband and I did a one day rock climbing tour with Damyan. We climb in the gyms sometimes, but I have never climbed outdoor before. We are glad that we found Top Guides Bulgaria when we planned our trip to Bulgaria. Our coordinator Lyuben was very easy to communicate with. Because of current circumstances and weather factor, we were not sure if we can make it out until last minute. We appreciate their patience during our inquiry and they were very flexible with our schedule.

Our guide and rock climbing instructor Damyan is very knowledgeable. I didn’t have any experience and thought I will be a bit frightened with the height. But with Damyan’s instruction, I felt very confident on the rocks. He tailored the tour to our ability and found routes that were suitable for us. The area in Lakatnik was also very beautiful with a lot of routes. It was a great experience and we learned a lot about rock climbing. We highly recommend a rock climbing tour with Damyan!

Annabel & Frank, October 2020, Rock climbing in Lakatnik
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When planning this summer holidays (which we prepared quite late) we came across the website of Hiking Guide Bulgaria, we read the reviews and services and it gave us a good impression, it is very clear and organized. We received and immediate answer from Lyuben, and during the two weeks before our adventure he was really helpful and answered very quickly our countless questions.
Kofe is a special guide, thanks to his kindness, generosity and patience, he has allowed us to know the fantastic mountains of Pirin and Rila from a different perspective. He was very attentive with us at all times and always had a smile to brighten the day. We didn’t need to worry about anything. Everything was under control. We hiked Mussala and Vihren Mounts, visited the 7 Rila lakes and Rila Monastery, and crossed the Pirin and Rila National Parks sleeping in cute huts in awesome landscapes. Even under the rain and hail we felt really safe with our guide.
Congratulations for the great service. We are so glad we found you!

Vero, Lourdes and Julia Valencia (Spain), August 2018, Hiking in Rila and Pirin One week hiking in the Rila and Pirin Mountains with Kaloyan
Mountain biking

We did a week-long MTB tour through the Rodopes guided by Lyuben, and subsequently spent 8 days of self-guided hiking in the Balkan and Rila mountains, and both were a fantastic experience! The MTB tour brought us to places we would never visit otherwise, including many different landscapes (agricultural, forested, grasslands), almost-abandoned villages, self-sufficient agricultural communities, and wild nature. The self-guided hiking trip allowed us to explore two other mountain ranges, with beautiful landscapes (more gentle Balkans, and more alpine Rila mountains), while the support of Lyuben ensured that all accommodations were secured and we could help ourselves even in places where really no-one speaks English. It was really helpful to have someone to arrange local transport, and trouble-shoot when necessary (such as missing your train and thus the next connection). A great holiday we won’t forget!

Maartje and Jasper, MTB and self-guided hiking in Rila, Rhodopes and the Balkan Mountains The Netherlands
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Zhivko is an excellent guide with thorough knowledge of the Bulgarian mountains. But even before we met him, he made sure he knew what our wishes were and made suggestions for a custom-made family trip. Any questions or concerns we had were quickly addressed. The program was quite full, but left room for adjustments at any time. Which made for an adventurous but at the same time very relaxed 7 days in Rila and Pirin. At times Zhivko himself was disappointed because things didn’t turn out as he’d hoped: there would be too much fog to see the view, or the room we got in the hut wasn’t the one he’d specifically asked for. But we didn’t care, we had a great time! We knew we were in good hands and enjoyed every minute of the experience.

Our children really enjoyed the program Zhivko had composed, and they loved his company from day one. Zhivko turned out to be patient with the youngest (13 yrs old) when he found the climb difficult, and would spontaneously start motivating our son when he didn’t think he could make it to the top. On the other hand, Zhivko found ways to really challenge the eldest one (19 yrs old), who was up for some proper hiking, and provided alternatives for the not-so ambitious hikers amongst us.
Any questions we had about the country, the culture, the flora and fauna, up to the menu, Zhivko would do his very best to answer them.

He has a great sense of humor, and as he got to know us a bit better, we shared quite a few good laughs together.

We ended our 7 days by having a fabulous meal in a restaurant we would never have discovered on our own, which gave us some of the funniest and best memories of Bulgaria. Thanks, Zhivko!

Tom, Roos, Simon, Julia & Louis, Family Hiking Trip with Zhivko
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Lyuban was our guide and instructor in our ski vacation. It was the first time in our life that we went skiing. We asked him many questions before we arrived to Bansko, and he patently answered them all. Thanks to him we came prepared and knew what to expect. Since we were beginners, he offered us to go to a smaller site outside of Bansko- it turned out to be a goldan advise. We had a great time. All thanks to Lyuban’s patience. He is the best.

ליובן היה המדריך סקי שלנו. הייתה זו הפעם הראשונה בה התנסינו בסקי. היו לנו הרבה שאלות לפני שהגענו לאתר, וליובן עלה על כולן בסבלנות מרובה. בזכותו הגענו מוכנים. כשהגענו למקום, הוא הציע שנלך לאתר קטן יותר סמוך לבנסקו. הייתה זו עצת זהב. נהנינו מאוד ובזכותו היתה לנו חופשת סקי מדהימה. ליובן הוא אחד המדריכים המצויינים שיש.

Noam and Elisheva, skiing lessons in Bansko Israel
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Thanks to Jordan’s expertise I felt totally secure and efficiently guide to the most beautiful scenery I have seen before. He was always very attentive and follows our pace; he made sure we got hydrated all the way. He guided us through a storm with swiftness to the hut where he shared his passion and showed a lot of patience !!!!! I so highly recommend his services and sincerely hope to be back one day ! The spirit of this hike exceded 10 times fold my expectations ! Please receive my utmost respect and massive thank yous . Beatrice

Beatrice, Rila Lakes & Monastery Trip with Jordan
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I had the absolute best time on this tour and couldnt recommend it enough! There was a surprise storm and Jordan guided us through to safety for the night, and even let us still add the hike to the 7 lakes early the next morning so we didnt miss out. 100% recommend if you like to get off the beaten track with a real, passionate local Bulgarian who values nature and the outdoors. Thanks for making my Builgarian experience!

Elise, Rila Lakes & Monastery Trip with Jordan
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Just wanted to drop a quick note to thank you for organising an excellent couple of days hiking through Rila Mountains and Skakavitsa falls. It was our first trip to Bulgaria and we enjoyed the hikes and were very well taken care of – the suggested itinerary, pace of the hikes and thermal bath visit were great. We wanted to try out some of the local food and we got a couple of good restaurant recommendations from our guide who took the trouble to work them into the day which we really appreciated.
Will surely recommend the hikes to any of our friends coming to the region and hope we will get to do some more trips with Bulguides in the future. Thanks again!
Radhina and Mark, Rila Lakes and Monastery with Jordan
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My mom, sister and I wanted to go hiking to the seven rila lakes during our weekend getaway in Sofia. It was halfway may and not yet the right season for hiking the lakes and too late in the winter season for a snowshoe tour. Tour operators start the hiking tour to the lakes from halfway june. We contacted bulguides and they arranged a tailormade trip for us. We were picked up from our appartment in town in the morning and our guide drove us to the mountains. He provided trekking poles (which we couldn’t bring because we only had handluggage on our flight). The chairlift wasn’t working yet but the guide arranged a 4WD to bring us halfway up the mountain. Even though (or better: because) it was not high season for visiting the lakes we had the best time hiking through the snow and enjoying the wonderfull views. Our guide was very helpfull, knew where to go and above all good company for a day of trekking. For us it was the highlight of our short trip in Bulgaria.

Rianne, Tailormade hike to seven rila lakes with Jordan Netherlands
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Mitko was the hero of our trip to Bulgaria!  My husband and I went for a long weekend to Sofia, and we wanted to take advantage of the beautiful nearby mountain.  In spite of the fact that we enjoyed the nightlife of Sofia a bit too much in our hotel’s rooftop bar on Saturday night, we made our way to meet Mitko in the lobby at 8ish on Sunday morning.  He was timely and cheerful.  The four-hour ,mostly backcountry, tour that he took us on was exactly what the doctor ordered!  The scenery and peacefulness of the mountain were amazing.  To make the scenario even more perfect, it snowed during our entire trek.  So, we were walking through lovely fresh powder!  Mitko took us to a refuge, as we requested, and we had delicious soup and some traditional beans and sausages.  It was really a perfect day, and we could never have navigated the mountain the way that Mitko did.  He really knows the nature and the landscape of Vitosha.  Additionally, he gave us some interesting cultural and historical perspectives on Bulgaria.  Just a great day with a great guide!  Thanks. . .and “Merci” from Greg!

Jen Smith, Mount Vitosha Snowshoe Tour
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Our snow shoeing trip to Semkovo on 7th March was thoroughly enjoyable. Mitko advised of the weather conditions ensuring that there was plenty of snow at the venue. He tailored the level of difficulty to our party and not only gave us an entertaining walk but was also very knowledgeable on the history, geography and natural history of the region. We felt very safe with him throughout and would certainly book another trip with him (if available) when we return to Bulgaria, hopefully to experience the beautiful countryside in the summer months. Thanks to Lyuben for organising our amazing day and to Mitko for his knowledgable, safe and entertaining guidance.

Elaine & Andrew Parkin, Snowshoeing near Bansko – Semkovo area
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Despite the fog and wind we have had a great day snowshoewalking on sunday 26/02/2017. All the 11 people of our group where  enthusiastic about the hike but certainly also  enthusiastic about our guides, Ivan and Nelly. We all reached the top  even though we where all unexperienced with snow-shoeing. I have had experience with other guides in the alps for some hikes in summer and they did’t have as much patience for people who are not so fast as Ivan and Nelly did with us.

Chretien, Snowshoewalking Belgium
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We, a couple with brother (and thereby also brother-in-law) had a 2 week hiking holliday in the Bulgarian mountains august/september 2015. We had 3 hiking days each in Rhodipies, Pirin and Rila mountains. First day at each place we hired Lyuben to guide us and also give advice for the two following days of hiking. Highly recommended – it was simply perfect.
Lyuben was most skilled in telling our skills when it came to hiking and proposed the most excellent hikes. He is a very nice guy that made our stay most pleasant. He acted as guide when needed. The rest of the time he was just another friend that joined us for enjoyable hikes in fabulous mountains.
Going to the Bulgarian mountains is worth the effort. Hiring Lyuben to assist you adds value.
Great experience!

Staffan (Sweden), Agnes (Sweden, born Canadian) and John (Canada), Amazing Hiking in Rhodopies, Pirin and Rila Mountains Sweden, Canada
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Lyuben took me on a three-day tour of the villages and sights of the Rhodope Mountains. It was an amazing experience and I was delighted to visit breathtaking vistas, fascinating monasteries and quaint villages in this short amount of time. Lyuben was kind, generous and very well organized. He knows the area very well and was great at adapting the itinerary to my schedule. Luckily, the weather was fantastic this November, so we had sunny days and ran into few people on the trails. I highly recommend booking a tour and would definitely book again, if I visit in the future.
Visited November 2015

Alexandra, Three-day Rhodope Mountain tour USA
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Two of us did a 3 day trek in the Western Rhodope Mountains in October 2015. Although we are quite experienced generally in mountain trekking, we have never before hiked in Bulgaria and we speak no Bulgarian. We turned to Lyuben for advice on route selection, the program and for making lodging and food arrangements. The trek was guided by his partner Alexander. We can wholeheartedly recommend their team and the itinerary to any mountain trekking fan, the route from Jagodina Cave to Gela. Although the trails are not technically challenging, still offer a good level of physical exercise, beautiful views on the unspoiled mountain scenery and such surprises as exceptional jagodina cave with its unique stone formations or ruins of orthodox churches dating back to the V century. The villages are full of charm of hidden and somewhat long forgotten mountain settlements however all venues selected by Lyuben and Alexancer were clean, dry, safe and comfortable. Throught the trek we received only exceptionally helpful and friendly service. The food offer was simple but tasteful and full of local flavour. Organization of our trek was perfect with no unwanted surpises. Aleksander turned out to be both a perfect guide and companion sharing his in depth knowledge of history and local tradition, fauna and flora along the way.
Visited October 2015

Rafal, Rhodopes 3 Day Trek Poland
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This is the first time I ever went to Bulgaria and of course the first time I stepped into their mountains. I was expecting a cold day because me and my dad went at the end of october, but lucky for us the sky was blue and the wind was missing. It was a fresh, golden fall and we got to enjoy it. Our goal was the seven Rila Lakes. We started at the cave of John of Rila and the Rila Monastery. Our guide Dimiter told us with detail the story behind Rila Monastery, which of course is much interesting if you are actually there, so stop reading about it on Wikipedia, go there! Plus, if you visit the cave of John of Rila you may wash your sins just by entering the cave.
The next day we continued our trip to the seven lakes. Dimiter told us about the flora and fauna of the area. Of course much of the flowers were let to our imagination because at the end of October you can´t see many of them, but the trees and the frozen waterfalls are just as amazing.
At the end of a morning of climbing we finally reached the the first lake, it is known by the locals as “the kidney” and not so far away you can find the second lake, “the eye”. Those are the only organs you will find, but you will always be amazed by the beauty of the place. We continued hiking, amazed by the view, Dimiter always in a good mood and searching for the best views, telling us things about this beautiful place and happy as if this was also his first time at this amazing place.Finally we reached the highest point of our trip, the green mountain. Over 2000m, surrounded by high peeks, lakes and a blue sky over your head, that view really takes your breath (not only because you have to really walk to reach it).
It was an amazing trip and I would really like to see more of this beautiful place.

Ana, Rila Lakes and Monastery Mexico
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We (2 Belgian families with kids) enjoyed this month a great 2 day hiking trip in Rila mountains (7 lakes + mountain hut + Rila monastery).
Very good support from Lyuben in preparing the trip. Appreciated a lot the effort to adapt last minute the schedule with one day upon our request..Itcho was the actual guide during our trip. Excellent knowledge of the mountains and history of Bulgaria. Good English. Very mature in guiding our mixed group.
Visited August 2015

Peter, 2 day hiking in Rila Mountains Belgium
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Never would I have thought booking a professional mountaineering guide would provide me with such a memorable day! Hiking 15 +/- km in a day – wow! didn’t think I was still capable of doing so at this stage of my life. What is there to say about Dimiter aka Mitko: professional, courteous, knowledgeable and too boot, charming! A real gentleman even on what I considered to be the craziest and hardest hike I have done since Machu Picchu! Descents are the worse: Mitko took care I didn’t miss a step; didn’t go tumbling down the stoney path; held my hand and best of all kept me calm! Rila’s Seven Lakes is one of those wonders to be seen and enjoyed. Do the long circuit and avoid the crowds!

Happy Feet, Toronto, Rila’s Seven Lakes – Must do on everyone’s to do list! Canada
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We took ‘The Villages of Rhodopes’ four day tour. Lyuben was extremely helpful in organizing it, assisting with details and answering all the questions almost immediately. Our guide, Zhivko, was an excellent guide and company during the trip. Very well orginised hike, it took us through forests and valleys of Rhodopes mountains during the day, while we stayed overnight in lovely lodges in small villages with all the amenities and good local food selection.
The hike was a moderate level and I’m sure it is adjustable to any level and also it is easy to tailor it further e.g. adding extra areas or days. We cannot imagine organizing or doing this hike on our own as the path marking are sometimes confusing and even missing, getting lost or being constantly ‘wired’ to avoid missing the path can be frustrating, with Zhivko it was very smooth and enjoyable.
It exceeded all our expectations and made me fell in love with Bulgaria; we saw only a small part of Bulgarian’s nature and it is extremely beautiful, can’t wait for the next summer to explore it further and definitely with this group of guides.
Thank you Zhivko & Lyuben for this amazing hike, all the best and keep up with doing an amazing job, offering these amazing hikes over Bulgarian mountains!

PS: if you like good coffee and honey in the morning, bring them with you as these two are not the best in the lodges/guest houses. In addition since the starting point is Devin we highly suggest visiting Devin’s Struilitza Mineral water pools and hike the wonderful Lakata eco-trail that starts just beside the pools.
Visited August 2015

Tamara, Amazing Hike of Rhodopes mountain! Cyprus
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Frozen wind with snow, sun and cold this was what I faced that day.
More than six hours of walking on top of 3 meter height pine trees, climbing on icy mountain, bending my body against the wind and going all this in back order on our way back.
It isn’t National Geographic story, but easily could be! I never thought that one day in Pirin mountains can give me this feeling.
And honestly, I wouldn’t survive this trip without such professional and friendly guide like Dimiter ( Mitko)! Snowshoeing from Bezbog Hut to Polezan Peak planed by my skilled guide was most memorable day in my Bulgarian vacation!
At least three times I asked myself: “How can I withstand the next part of our track?” And each time Mitko gave me faith in my inner forces.
Making wise stops for refreshing, teaching me to use clever equipment and feeding me with sweet dates – made me feel safe and confident in this fantastic journey into the nature far from civilization.
The way back, when the wind hit our back we were able to talk a lot about animal trails, topography, season changes and many other subjects. Dimiter (Mitko) has deep knowledge in each of those topics and was interesting lector.
This trip was much higher than my expectations and now at home watching photographs taken there I am still excited from that day! Many thanks to Dimiter for this experience and also thanks to Lyuben for fast response and suggesting Mitko as my guide for this trip!

Leonid, Pirin Israel
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In February I spent a perfect weekend in the Bulgarian mountains for skitouring and riding in open area of Rila mountains. Until then, I have had experience of the mountains in the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and the Alps of Western Europe, but this was my first experience in this bountiful area. Thanks to Boris, I experienced a great weekend. Base of his recommendation we went to area of Rila Mountains, around Malovitza hut. At the weekend was beautiful sunny weather, which predetermined the possibility of summits tours. Malovitza peak let us come to the peak and let us enjoy the view far around. There are a lot of other places where I have to go in Bulgaria and I am sure, that will be again with Boris smile emoticon Hospitality chalets gave us try “Ore” conditions during sleepover when hut operator decided not to heat that night in rooms, but we survived smile emoticon. Our weekend was shortly after the fresh snowing and condition was just perfect for safe and amazing freeride. Thank you Борис Влаев and Hiking Guide Bulgaria ! I’ll be back soon.

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The mountains of Bulgaria present attractive objectives in both summer and winter conditions, but there are virtually no guidebooks written in English apart from the excellent Cicerone guide to the summer long distance trails. However nothing is available on snowshoeing. My wife and I wanted to hire a guide for a couple of days and then do some routes on a self-guided basis as we were reasonably experienced snowshoers. Having trawled the net I decided to contact Lyuben at Bulguides about my ideas. He was very responsive and helpfully answered lots of my questions regarding the possibilities. In the event he was not available personally but put us in touch with fellow guide Dimiter (Mitko) Samounev. Both guides are fluent in English.
Mitko was equally helpful and after a series of e-mail exchanges we agreed on two possible less-visited day routes in the Rila. With warmer weather prevailing when we arrived in Bansko, Mitko suggested a change to starter higher in the Rila at the Treshtenik Hut with the aim of reaching the frozen Ribno Ezero, which we did. The next day we did a longer 8hr route from Semkovo resort up to the Rila main chain to reach Chemnerna and Svednia Vrah. The icy and narrow approach routes to the huts allowed Mitko to demonstrate his competent winter driving skills. On the mountain he was in his element and we both enjoyed his company, learning about the snow conditions, route selection, trees, animal tracks and much else.

Mitko’s navigation and route finding in the misty conditions was excellent and the trips were very relaxing. In conversation, we also learnt a lot about the history of Bulgaria and many other subjects from fishing and food to national music, as well as a tutorial on the Cyrillic alphabet! So all in all, a great couple of days out. Mitko set off as he was instructing aspirant mountain guides on a snowshoeing course, but before he did he provided some sound advice on the safest approaches to some of the Pirin peaks which we followed to reach the summits of Orelak and Bezbog later in the week.
I would highly recommend Lyuben and Mitko to anyone wanting guiding and advice on snowshoeing or walking in the mountains of Bulgaria.
Visited February 2015

Mick, Excellence in mountain advice and snowshoe guiding UK
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What a perfect winter day on Vitosha! My wife and I had essentially no prior snowshoeing experience, but with the mountain looking so big and beautiful over Sofia this winter, we wanted to give it a try. On very short notice, Lyuben arranged for Dimiter Samounev to be our guide the next day. It was just the two of us, plus our guide. Dimiter is a great guide, by the way. He’s really knowledgeable about the geology, the flora, and the fauna of the mountain and was a lot of fun to be with. He’s also an amazing driver, which really matters given the condition of the mountain road in the winter. His English is great too.
We were very lucky with the weather. There were clear, blue skies and very little wind on the mountain. To avoid the weekend crowds, we went to a less-visited part of the mountain and made our own trail up to a ridge with outstanding views of the Rila Mountains and the Balkan Mountains. From way up there we could see all the way to Macedonia and into Serbia. Looking down, we saw lots of tracks in the snow, including rabbits, foxes, a little deer, and a wild boar…plus snow-covered “stone rivers”. We eventually made a loop back to the mountain hut where we started. Altogether I think we were snowshoeing for 6 hours, and it was so much fun the entire time.
We highly recommend it!

Incredible day of snowshoeing on Mt. Vitosha
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Having a few free days coming up and a desire to try snowshoeing in a nearby locale, but no clear vision and not a lot of time to plan, I started researching options online. I then found Bulguides.com, which immediately appealed based on the types of trips on offer. So I contacted Lyuben, who promptly responded to my inquiry. He in turn put me in touch with Dimiter Samounev (aka Mitko), who presented a multi-day option in the Rila mountains that perfectly suited my needs and budget.
En route to Sofia to meet Mitko I was still not exactly sure what to expect, as I am an independent, DIY travel type guy generally. (This was my first time hiring a guide in fact.) However, my concerns were quickly put to rest: Mitko is affable, knowledgeable, and an all-around outdoorsmen. He took care of every detail, big and small, from accommodation to car travel to equipment use. It was such a pleasure to just focus on relaxing, enjoying the environs in the Rila area and snowshoeing. He also has an excellent command of English, and deftly manages to be attentive yet unobtrusive.
Moreover, Mitko has a genuine love of nature and the outdoors that is truly contagious. I really learned a lot from him (about snowshoeing, the local area, snow conditions, flora, fauna, animal tracking, and more) while he avoided being pedantic. Mitko was always the consummate professional yet friendly and personable. I could not have asked for more.
I will definitely consider using Bulguides.com again in the future, not only for snowshoeing but also for hiking. And I give the firm a strong recommendation to anyone who wants to discover the natural beauty of Bulgaria with an experienced local guide.
Visited January 2015

Lynn, “A truly memorable experience: snowshoeing in Rila” Istanbul
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Les Rhodopes sont magiques !
J’adore les montagnes en général, mais les Rhodopes c’est la montagne que j’aime le plus !
J’ai voulu y randonner avec ma famille et ma belle-famille.
En faisant des recherches sur internet je suis tombée sur le site des « Guides de montagne » et très rapidement j’ai compris que j’étais tombée à la bonne adresse. Lyuben mon interlocuteur par mail, m’a mis en confiance grâce à son sérieux et son professionnalisme. J’ai vite compris que j’avais à faire à quelqu’un de compétent.
Avec lui nous avons ciblé un parcours qui correspondait au mieux à nos attentes.
Lyuben s’est occupé de tout : les réservations des hôtels et des bus, l’acheminement des bagages, les assurances…
Comme tout était organisé de A à Z nous avons profité au maximum de notre randonnée.
Sans Lyuben nous n’aurions pas pu engager les mêmes sentiers et chemins envoûtants que la nature rhodopéenne nous proposait. De plus il a toujours pris en compte nos souhaits et nos capacités du moment présent. Donc sur place il nous proposait des options de parcours selon l’état physique de chacun. Il était à nos petits soins.
Ainsi je peux dire que notre randonnée dans les Rhodopes était un pur bonheur !
À tous ceux qui cherchent un guide hautement qualifié nous vous recommandons vivement Lyuben.

Randonner dans les Rhodopes – une expérience inoubliable !
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I had only 2 days spare in an other-wise hectic business trip, and wanted to spend some time in a beautiful, quiet place. I am glad I chose Lyuben and his team. (Normally, I will organise everything myself, but I had no time to investigate, and no time to “get lost”.) Maya was my guide and driver. She is knowledgeable, extremely competent and friendly and easygoing. It was 2 days in the Rila Mountains spent sightseeing, hiking, and rejuvenating.
I corresponded with Lyuben to organize the trip. He responded quickly (when he wasn’t in the mountains himself) and thoroughly. My travels were in March, the start of spring, and as a result, hiking was unpredictable. Was there snow? Snow shoes or not? Lyuben planned as best he could given assumed weather conditions, and Maya adjusted on the spot for actual conditions. I did not want to snow shoe, so the route we chose was not meant to have snow. As it turned out, mother nature had other plans. Although we did not reach our planned destination, the journey was magnificent.
Maya also had great knowledge of the places that we visited – the history of Boyana and the Rila Monastery, and of Bulgaria itself. She is an enthusiastic bird-watcher and identified birds and plants as we walked, as well as giving me insight into the geology of the lakes and mountains. I would highly recommend Maya, Lyuben and the Hiking Guides of Bulgaria.

Celia, Johannesburg, Beautiful hiking in Rila Mountains South Africa
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Planning a first visit to Bulgaria, we (married couple aged 60) puzzled over how to include some hiking and time in mountain villages. This was complicated by the fact that we don’t speak/read Bulgarian and we prefer to skip car rentals while vacationing. Poking around, I ran across Lyuben’s website and the description of a multi-day hike to villages in the Rhodope Mountains. We hadn’t thought about hiring a guide, but all the hike descriptions sounded like they were written by someone with a deep appreciation and knowledge of the outdoor world and local history. And the Rhodope Mountain hike seemed like exactly the kind of thing we were hoping to do.
Lyuben was quick to respond to our email inquiries and everything sounded good, including costs. We Skyped to discuss things further and soon we had a plan.
Seeing a small section of the Rhodopes on foot and being treated to the terrific hospitality of our village hosts was just an outstanding experience. This kind of trek and the village visits would not have been possible for us on our own and it was our good fortune that the Lyuben’s mountain guide organization is available. As others have commented, Lyuben is an excellent guide in every way, calm, organized, perceptive, knowledgeable, and helpful. He was a pleasure to deal with from start to finish and beyond (I am looking forward to checking on his hike photos which he kindly made available to us after we went our separate ways).
We highly recommend Lyuben /his mountain guide organization to anyone wanting to hike in Bulgaria.
Visited October 2013

Elsa and John, Outstanding guide; wonderful experience visiting Rhodope Mountain villages USA
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I contacted Lyuben in may by email enquiring about a guided trip in the Rila or Pirin Mountains. He responses promptly and professionally but I didn’t organise anything at the time as I was unsure of my plan. So when in Sofia I Email Lyuben and ask, at very short notice, if he could organise a guide for me in two days to visit the Seven Lakes in Rila Mountains for two days. He can and he does. Lyuben was busy competing in a marathon event so he organised Margi to be my guide. I had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed my walk with Margi through the Rila mountains. She was very knowledgeable of the mountains/routes, had allot of walking/hiking/mountain experience and was allot of fun. I have allot of walking experience but wasn’t confident walking alone in the mountains in a new area. I was so pleased to have Margi as my guide, it is a highlight of my travels. I would highly recommend Lyuben and his associates and the guide cost is worth every cent. Highly recommend Lyuben and his guides.

Visited September 2013

Sonja Risa, Wonderful experience, a highlight. Australia
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Fantastic experience, very knowledgeable and helpful guide, will definitely do it again and will recommend Lyuben to other foreign climbers interested in the unique beauty of Bulgarian mountains!
Thank you Lyuben!

Yannis Serafimides Greece
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5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013
In februari 2013 we (my girlfrien an I) did a wonderfulll 8 day snowshoeing trip with our guide, Lyuben, from hiking guide Bulgaria. In the past we’ve done a lot of summer hikes on our own in the apls, but due to the winter conditions and the fact that we had no expierence with hiking in Bulgaria we decided to hire a guide for this trip.The scenery and local people in bulgaria where amazing and we really enjoyed these 8 days, Lyuben, our guide, really made the trip perfect for us, He had a good feeling for what we wanted and this resulted in beautiful, challeging hikes and interesting encounters with the local people that live in the mountains. One night he even improvised a stay with local people in a small village in the rhodope moutains which made the trip a real adventure for us. Due to his extended knowledge of all mountain area’s in bulgaria (Rila, Rhodope, balkan and Pirin) he could also improvise a perfect alternative plan in the rhodope mountians when the weather turned bad high up in the Rila mountains.
Lyuben tailored a program for us and gave a good overview of the costs, accomodations and alternatives at forehand. This resulted in a trip that was perfect for our budget and whiches. When plans changed during the trip, Lyuben also left enough options such that we could have our say in what type of accomodations to stay in.
Thanks to Lyuben we have seen parts of Bulgaria that we had never seen when we did the trip on our own. I’m certain that hiring a guide like this is definitely worth the money and thanks to Lyuben the trip was a great adventure for us!

Frank and Chris, Snowshoe adventure in Beautifull Bulgaria Holland
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Hey lyuben. Thanks so much for a wonderful week hiking in Bulgaria back in October 2012. We all had a superb time, your knowledge and commitment was impeccable. We would all like to come back and do another hike in the spring, maybe may/june 2013!!!! Can u let me know the best time for you and which weeks your free please. Thank you.

Tara Steward UK
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5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

We had a fantastic 5 days hiking in the Rhodope mountains with an amazing hiking guide, who really made our trip. Lyuben, our Bulgarian guide could not have been more helpful. We were really impressed with his local knowledge of the area, accommodation and transport options, and thankfully for us, his excellent English skills. (Our guide also had first aid and mountain rescue experience so we felt we were in safe hands while out in remote areas!)

We traveled over lovely scenery during our hike and Lyuben was really happy to go at a relatively challenging pace that suited us during our trip. We stayed in a range of accommodation depending on the villages we stopped in – including a country hotel style as well as village huts with local families and guesthouses. We definitely felt we got value for money – and a tour tailored to our budget and the level of challenge that we had requested. We were very relieved we hadn’t tried to go out and attempt the walks by ourselves – some of the paths were not always marked, signs were impossible to understand at times, and we would have had a very hard time organising accommodation and supplies!

We would definitely recommend Lyuben as a guide to anyone wanting to go out in the Bulgarian mountains!!

Lisa and Simon, Amazing Bulgarian hiking guide!! Highly recommend. New Zealand
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Although born in Bulgaria, I first started mountaineering abroad….so to visit the highest peak of the Balkans was one of my biggest dreams. It came true on 5th May 2016. It would be perfect spring time, I thought, but no…..two days trip, bearable winter conditions, unstoppable snow fall, windy, -5oC/ -1oC, no view at all…….My guide and fellow companion Dimiter Samounev was just perfect. The entire trip was programmed by him according to the weather and my abilities. He gave me my first lesson with the snowshoes, some tips how to use my tools better, always watching cautiously if everything is alright. I heard a lot of stories about the mountain(s) and the place itself….a pleasant evening by the fire he managed to start up so that we could stay warm and dry with all that snow. Bulguides, in particular Dimiter, made these two days unforgettable experience and inspired me…..to go higher.Thank you guyes!!!

Musala – the highest of the Balkans
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We had an absolutely great day out with Lyuben snowshoeing from Bezbog hut up to the peak. He was very knowledgeable, speaks fluent English and is good company too! Highly recommended for any outdoor activities in the area.

Visited April 2016

Excellent day snowshoeing
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We had a wonderful snowshoeing day trip with Lyuben to the Bezbog mountain.
He is a great guide, very knowledgeable about the area and very easygoing. We organized the trip on a very short notice and it turned out to be the best thing I did in Bansko area.
Snowshoeing in the snowy mountains is a really special experience and I really recommend it (and of course Lyuben as the guide :-)) to everyone who loves hiking and wants to experience the area in a different way.

Visited February 2016

Great day on a snowy mountain
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We had an amazing 2 days snowshoeing with Lyuben. He was easy to communicate with prior to the trip and was very flexible. Our snowshoe trip was beautiful and just as we expected. The huts were comfortable and welcoming. Would definitely recommend this trip.

Visited January 2016

Great trip of Rila Lakes
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We had an amazing 2 days snowshoeing with Lyuben. He was easy to communicate with prior to the trip and was very flexible. Our snowshoe trip was beautiful and just as we expected. The huts were comfortable and welcoming. Would definitely recommend this trip.

Visited January 2016

Great trip of Rila Lakes
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Self Guided Service! Perfect service, also for long distance tours…

We had a wonderful hiking-trip in the Bulgarian mountains. Three weeks in Rila, Pirin and Rhodops were an exceptional experience. We really enjoyed organizing our trip with the help of “bulguides.com” and would like to highlight some aspects of their support:

-good preparation of the tour beforehand

-good advice in routing ( especially considering walkingdircection, distances and altitude profile)

-detailed description of every single part of the tour with additional gpx.-tracks for orientation

-reliable and straightforward organization and booking of transport and accommodation

-lots of information and advice about local specialties (sights, food and traditions.)

Most important: there is always somebody to help, if you need anything.

Thank you, Margarita and Ljuben, your service was a great assist for us and it wouldn’t have been such a nice trip without your help!

We are happy to recommend Bulguides.

All the best! See you next time…

Matthias and family Germany
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We 3 reasonably experienced hikers were looking to explore the Bulgarian mountains this year. I came across the Bulguides website which was very informative but it very quickly became clear that this would be far more difficult to organise than other European countries we have visited. The key issues for us were language (both spoken and the written) and local knowledge.(bus timetables, water and food availability). We therefore decided to use Luyben’s services to create our self guided trip.

We have just returned and the trip could not have gone better. Language was still a major issue for us but we just about muddled through. However with all the information Lyuben had provided language difficulties were of the minor sort. I would go as far as to say that without Lyuben’s help, we could not have made this trip – the information required is not readily available and the written language just makes it impossible. If you are considering a self guided trip in Bulgaria and cannot speak Bulgarian or Russian, I would highly recommend you save yourself some anxieties and have Luyben help you also.

His services range from initial planning with help and advice about where to go and what to see, arranging transfers (if needed), providing bus timetables if you wish to make your own way and keep costs down, a written route guide for each days walking including information about where to get water and food, maps, GPS tracks for your phone (in case you wonder if you are going the right way), safety information about mountain rescue etc. It was also reassuring to know that we could have called him should anything have gone seriously wrong.
I should also mention that during the planning phase which stretched over about 9 months, Lyuben was always very quick to respond to our questions via email.

I can’t recommend Lyuben highly enough and we had a fantastic 6 stress free days hiking in Rila and Pirin. Thank you Lyuben.

Joe Gabris – 6 days Self Guided hiking in Rila and Pirin mountains UK
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We used Lyuben’s service for self guided tours in August 2017 for a spectacular 7-day hike in Rila and we can strongly recommend it!

The organization was really excellent. Lyuben made all necessary reservations for us (transfers from and back to Sofia Airport and for our stay in the huts in Rila and at Rila Monastery) and he also provided the instructions for each day of hiking. The instructions were very clear and easy to follow, and we never felt lost or confused during the entire trip.

All in all, if you are baffled by the prospect of organizing a hiking trip in Rila, hire Lyuben as he does a really fantastic job!

Polina, Self guided tour
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I just wanted to send Lyuben a quick message to say how great our trek was. Lyuben was patient and keen to answer (lots) of my questions. He personalised a route for us -as we had time constraints and family to meet. The track notes and GPS were thorough, well presented and useful. The huts we stayed in were brilliant, great atmosphere and lovely hospitality. Thank you Lyuben for a memorable trek and time in Bulgaria. Thanks also for the extra advice and information in helping us decide on destinations to take our elderly parents on a tour of Bulgaria after our trek. We loved Bulgaria, it’s people and dramatic scenery. We’re keen to return soon!

Mat Fleming, Rila and Pirin Mountains – Personalised Self Guided Trek
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We wanted to make a 3 days hike in the Pirin mountains and while searching on the internet we came across this site.
Pretty interesting and full of information.
We wrote an email and the next day we had a reply from Lyuben with a nice proposal. Lyuben arranged the huts, taxi, map and gps tracks. All very swift and responsive.
A few days before the trip again a mail to verify whether there were maybe still open questions.
The trip itself very nice, everything was well arranged (and we had beautiful weather; i guess he also arranged that :-))
I would recommend him to anyone taking a trip in Bulgaria.

Ton, Netherlands, 3-day tour in Pirin Mountains
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We are a family with 3 children , we asked Lyuben to help us in planning our trip to Bulgaria – 25 days. we described the views we like to see, the difficulties of the routes, we asked to stay more than 2 nights in each place, etc.
Lyuben did an excellent job – he built a balanced itinerary (hiking, towns visiting and relaxing days), and he found for us many beautiful hikes, with superb views.
Lyuben sent us maps, detailed and accurate descriptions and GPX files for all the trails (which were very helpful) and he was available along the trip through e-mails and phone.
You can be sure that this man knows Bulgaria by heart while giving you a professional and kind service.
Thank you Lyuben!

Visited October 2016

Thank you Lyuben for a professional service
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We are a family with 3 young children (8, 6, 2.5), and we needed help in planning hikes in the mountains with our kids (the youngest one in a baby carrier) . Lyuben did a great job – found for us many beautiful hikes, with superb views, suitable for our kids’ ability (5-7 km). We wanted to hike by ourselves, without a guide, so he sent us maps, detailed descriptions and gpx files for all the trails. We needed to change our plans several times during our 3 weeks’ visit, and he helped us a lot, through mail, to adjust our plans. He was very informative and flexible, and we had the best time! Thank you Lyuben!

Visited October 2016

Lyuben planned great hikes for us!
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We are a couple at the end of our 50s who love hiking. Since contacting Lyuben, he was quick to respond and offered us a great plan for our trip to Bulgaria. We had a 2 day hike in the Rila lakes with Nelly. The hike as well as Nelly, our guide, were great. Following Lyuben’s advise, our rented car waited for us with our extra luggage at the end of the trek and we continued hiking according to Lyuben’s detailed hikes. The information he gave us together with the maps he sent us, allowed as to adjust the hikes to our strength. When we were tired, or in case of bad weather, we could adjust the hikes accordingly. Lyuben came to meet us one evening during our trip and advised us face to face and helped us with the owners of the Guest house whose English is very poor. Already then, Lyuben, suggested alternative plan for bad weather. Once it was obvious that it is going to rain and snow on the mountains, Lyuben sent us an email, with more suggestions. We felt that someone really cares and takes care to help us enjoy and use well our time. In addition,all the places Lyuben recommanded for sleeping, the hotel in Sofia, Favorit Hotel, the guest house “Pri Deshka” near Bansko and the hotel in Goverdartsi, Krusharskata Kashta were great places. The plan of the trip allowed as to view both the highlights of the Rila and Pirin mountains. We highly recommend planning a vacation in Bulgaria with Lyuben!!!!

Visited September 2016

Amazing Vacation in Bulgaria
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Lyuben suggested a great itinerary which matched our requirements perfectly. He sent us maps and truly excellent route descriptions, booked all the required accommodation (both mountain huts and a guesthouse in Bansko), booked taxi transfers for us, provided detailed information about bus transfers, and arranged for our non walking luggage to be transported from Sofia to Bansko ahead of us.
All the arrangements worked perfectly, and we had a fantastic time walking in very beautiful mountains.
The mountain biking day was again perfectly tailored to our needs, and was thoroughly enjoyed.

Visited August 2016

5 Days Self Guided Tour in Rila and Pirin, Guided Mountain Biking in Pirin
The Team

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Lyuben Grancharov

Lyuben Grancharov | Founder & Guide
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Ski touring in Pirin

About us

Learn more about our company and our offerings. Meet the guides, and find the best one to support you in your upcoming Bulguides guided tour.

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Explore Bulgaria

Hiking in the Rila Mountains

The East European country of Bulgaria is a great place to spend your walking or trekking holiday. There are a few mountain ranges with an altitude higher than 2000 m (Rila, Pirin, Balkan, Rhodopes and Vitosha mountains), with a well-developed network of hiking trails and mountain huts, accessible at every time of the year. Browse through our guided and self-guided tours here.

Ski Tours

Ski Touring on the Ridges of Rila and Pirin

Rila and Pirin are the two highest and most popular mountains of Bulgaria. Each with an altitude of almost 3000m, they are the perfect place for a great winter adventure. The Rila Mountains are famous for their beautiful alpine peaks – Malyovitsa and Musala, for their numerous glacial lakes and its magnificent coniferous forests.

Hiking and ski touring over the Balkans

The Balkans Crown

We explored the amazing and diverse mountains of the Balkan Peninsula while walking, mountain biking and ski touring. Find more about our journey here.

Self-guided tours

Organize Your Trip Your Way

We hope that the Self-Guided Trips section of our website, by providing professional advice and assistance from our mountain guides, will fill any gaps in your planning. Let’s help you organize the best walking trip possible to the mountains of Bulgaria!

Our Bestsellers

Explore Bulgaria

The territory the country of Bulgaria is a playground for a myriad of mountain outdoor activities. With a variety of mountain ranges and four distinct seasons, Bulgaria provides numerous opportunities for nature adventures all the year round.

Summer mountain activities include walking, trekking and mountain biking, as well as rock climbing and trail running. The summer season in this part of the Balkans lasts from June to October, however on the edges of the season you can experience some winter type weather conditions in the highest parts of Rila and Pirin mountains, the tallest in the area. Here’s some more info about hiking and trekking during Spring and Autumn:

Spring Hiking in the Bulgarian Mountains

Walking & Trekking in Bulgaria in Autumn

The territory the country of Bulgaria is a playground for a myriad of mountain outdoor activities. With a variety of mountain ranges and four distinct seasons, Bulgaria provides numerous opportunities for nature adventures all the year round.

Summer mountain activities include walking, trekking and mountain biking, as well as rock climbing and trail running. The summer season in this part of the Balkans lasts from June to October, however on the edges of the season you can experience some winter type weather conditions in the highest parts of Rila and Pirin mountains, the tallest in the area. Here’s some more info about hiking and trekking during Spring and Autumn:

Spring Hiking in the Bulgarian Mountains

Walking & Trekking in Bulgaria in Autumn

Mountain Biking

The driest part of summer is July and August and this is when most people head out for multi-day and long distance trekking in the highest mountains of Bulgaria. This includes crossing the E3 Kom – Emine route along the Balkan mountains, the E4 and E8 routes in Rila, Pirin and the Rhodopes, climbing the tallest peaks and traversing the main ridges of all the ranges.

May, June and September-October are periods fraught with more changeable weather and possible terrain issues, so the most suitable areas would be the lower mountain ranges, such as the Rhodopes, Kraishte mountain area, the lower parts of the Balkan, Rila and Pirin.

While Rila and somewhat Pirin are possible to cross on a mountain bike, this would require peak physical condition and some carrying of the bike. For more “bikeable” areas with good cross-country routes, best head to the Rhodopi. Or you can stay lower, closer to the tree line in the highest ranges, where there are numerous bike paths, dirt roads, some designated bike parks (Borovets, Pamporovo) and enduro trails.

Outdoor climbing is possible almost all year round, with some spots in Northwestern Bulgaria suitable even in January/February, in the midst of winter. Approaching the routes at higher altitude in the Rila and Pirin National Parks is best during the summer months due to the adverse weather conditions during other seasons.

Walking in the Rhodopes is a unique experience, being a combo of natural and cultural sights and experiences. Hikers would visit local villages on the way, where rural life and traditions are still kept away from civilization. It is the mountain range that spreads around most of the country – a vast, hilly, wooded area, that has been home to wild animals and inhabited by humans for centuries.

Walking in the Rila and Pirin mountain ranges is for those who like more severe landscapes, rocky peaks, glacial lakes and the solitude of the high mountain. Both national parks are established in an attempt to preserve the unique landscapes and natural habitat of the Balkan mountains. The summer season is short there and the weather conditions are changeable. Most suitable accommodation is in the high-altitude mountain huts located all around both ranges.

Walking the Balkan mountains is a symbolic activity for Bulgarians. The long fish-bone ridge that divides the country in two parts – northern and southern – is an endless hiking trail leading towards the Black sea. Although it isn’t the highest mountain in Bulgaria, Stara Planina is a still “real” mountain with its weather changes and terrain traps, deep valleys and sharp peaks, diverse wildlife and air of mystery. Again, staying in the huts of Central Balkan National Park is the best way to organize multiday walking tours in Stara Planina.

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