Location: Sofia, Bulgaria.
Professional experience: Dimiter (Mitko) works as a mountain leader since 2007, both with individuals and larger organized groups, English and Spanish speaking.
Experience in the mountains: Knows quite well the mountains of Bulgaria – Vitosha, Rila, Pirin, Balkan and Rhodopes. Has visited the volcanoes and the mountains in Mexico (Pico de Orizaba, Copper Canyon), Guatemala (Jungle of Petén), Spain (Ordesa National Park – Mount Monte Perdito, Natural Park of Posets-Maladeta, Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park), Jordan (Wadi Rum desert).
Interests: hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, skiing, fishing, exploring, flora, fauna, Bulgarian folk dances.
2014 – IML (International Mountain Leader), member of Mountains and People Association, UIMLA (Union of International Mountain Leader Associations) member;
2013 – Tour Guide Award, Professional Education Center – Balkantourist, Certificates №618/2013 and №619/2013;
2010 – Ski Instructor Award, “А” Class – Bulgarian Ski School (ISIA Member);
2010 – Mountain Bike Leader Qualification, Mountains and People Association;
2006 – 2007 – Mountain Leader Award, Mountains and People Association, Certificate №070277/2007; Registered in the National Tourist Registry under Т-РД-17-2/20.01.2017;
2003 – 2005 – Master degree, University of Forestry, Sofia, Bulgaria;
1997 – 2002 – Bachelor degree in Forestry, University of Forestry, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Languages: English, Spanish
Reviews for this guide:
Vicente Herrero, Spain:
Ya conocíamos a Mitko desde el 2014, en esta ocasión hemos viajado 25 senderistas. Gracias por tu gran capacidad organizativa, por tus conocimientos, por tu saber hacer y por hacernos tan fácil la estancia en Bulgaria siempre dando mas y mas.
Nos llevamos grandes recuerdos para una buena temporada. Un abrazo para ti y para Moni. Hasta la próxima.
My mom and I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to the beautiful country of Bulgaria! We were fortunate enough to have Mitko as our guide. He did a fantastic job at creating a wonderful itinerary for the short amount of time we had there. He ensured to have every detail thought out and that all of our needs were more than met! It was wonderful to not have to do any planning! Due to having Mitko as our guide we were able to go to some really beautiful places that we otherwise would not have been able to even find on our own! My absolute favorite was being able to snow shoe! I had never been snow shoeing before and had an absolutely incredible time! The scenery was absolutely stunning!! Mitko was extremely knowledgable and I was so glad that he could share so much information about Bulgaria with me. I had an absolutely wonderful experience and highly recommend Mitko as a guide while you are in the beautiful land of Bulgaria! It will truly change your experience!!
Jacqueline Keatinge, Australia:
Just a few words to tell about my experience with Mitko ( Dimiter) November 2018. Fabulous, challenging, flexible. I found Bulgarian Guides on Google but the experience I had was definitely tailor made. 10 days trekking , 5 in Rila Mts and 5 in Pirin Mts. Wow !! This trip had everything…snow, sunsets, views you dream of, as well as, good organisation, communication, variety, options to change when I was tired and challenged like I hadn’t been before. Mitko was confident and firm in his application for risk minimization. Besides extensive knowledge of the local flora and fauna, we tracked animals, climbed snow covered rocks and shlushed our way through fallen leaves. From climbing valleys full of ancient trees to the remotest hut in Pirin Mts, Mitko took me there. And safely. I have never had any one look out for me as he did while still encouraging me to overcome my fears.I can only say thank you for this adventure. I couldn’t recommend Mitko highly enough 11 out of 10.
Sharon and Liat, Israel:
During March 2018, we arrived to Bulgaria for few days.
Lucky for us Dimiter was our tour guide for two days.
Dimiter is a very reliable guide, and relates to his work in a very
responsible and serious manner.
Even before our arrival to Bulgaria, we had a long correspondence
between us to verify the suitability of the routes for us, as well as
an update of the expected weather.
Dimeter always came on time, highly motivated, was very receptive to
our requests and took us to beautiful and unique routes.
We had a good time snowshoeing on 7 Rila lakes area in Rila Mountains
and walking to Bovska Skaklya Waterfall at Zasele village.
We enjoyed the trip very much, and we returned to Israel full of
We strongly recommend to travell with Dimiter”
Susanne, the Netherlands:
Dimiter accompanied us for a one day snowshoe trekking to Vitosha mountain (feb 2018). He picked us op at the hotel and dropped us after our 4.5h hike.
We had a wonderful experience. He is a knowledgeable, experienced guide and speaks Еnglish very well. Depending on the type of group, he will adapt the route to your specific needs.
During our trip we barely followed the “regular trail”. He searches for the best route with fresh snow, so you’ll be the first one to walk on it. Really liked that, to go off the beaten track straight through the woods and across stone rivers. Barely haven’t seen other people on the whole mountain, except for the ski classes at the hut where we had lunch. Most of the time we’ve been only with the 3 of us. Alone in the white, silent wonderland. From the woods to abandoned ski slopes, to the 2nd plateau of the mountain om 2000m height. We’ve seen it all.
Definitely recommend him as a guide for snow shoeing!
We were happy to have Dimiter ( Mitko) as our guide he was there at 8am sharp at our hotel to pick us up and to drive us to hike around the 7 lakes in Rila. It was one of best hikes we did in the mountains. taking a child friendly guide (our girls of 6 and 9 were with us) like Mitko is really a pleasure, he is easy going, helpful and very friendly and knows the places where he is guiding. Having a local guide is a big advantage to see tourist “hotspots” differently , while everybody was taking route X we took a route which was much better and offered better views. being with our daughters and due to the bad time they predicted we couldn’t see all the lakes. On the way back Mitko proposed to go to sapareva banya the hot springs this was really great after the 4hour hike, swimming pools warmed with water from the local geiser with temperatures ranging from 30 to 50 degrees really great.
We can really recommend Mitko
Musala – the highest of the Balkans
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!!!
Excellence in mountain advice and snowshoe guiding
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.
A truly memorable experience: snowshoeing in Rila
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.
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.
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!
Author: Lyuben Grancharov
“The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page” (Augustine of Hippo). I enjoy filling up the page, called “Bulgaria”, both working as a guide and writing about the mountains of Bulgaria on this blog.